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  1. Texas added their 15th commit of the 2022 class Wednesday afternoon when Denton Ryan DB Austin Jordan pulled the trigger in favor of the Longhorns. The Denton Ryan product is ranked the 196th overall player in the country and 10th ranked safety, according to the 247sports composite rankings. Jordan had previously released a top 3 of Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio State. Jordan could profile to a number of different spots in the secondary, but his biggest upside might be at safety. He joins a defensive back class that already includes Bryan Allen Jr. and Jaylon Guilbeau. Terry Joseph and the rest of the Texas coaching staff will continue their pursuit of Denver Harris and Bryce Anderson in hopes of rounding out one of the best defensive back classes in the country.
  2. 2022 is very important cycle along the offensive line for Texas after the Longhorns only signed two lineman in the 2021 class. Kyle Flood got the cycle started off on the right foot this evening by securing commitments from Cole Hutson (Frisco) and Connor Robertson (Austin Westlake). Hutson chose Texas over offers from Oklahoma, Texas A&M and others. Robertson picked the Longhorns over Stanford and Northwestern. Both likely profile as interior lineman once they arrive on the 40 acres. The pair of commitments brings the 2022 class to a total of 14 members. Flood will look to grow the OL class soon with elite OT Kelvin Banks set to announce his commitment Sunday between Texas, Texas A&M, Oregon and LSU.
  3. Story by Dina Colunga Three key recruits in the class of 2020 have announced their top schools and the Texas Longhorns are in the running to nab all but one in Prince Dorbah, Ryan Watts, and Myles Slusher. The Texas Longhorns are coming off their best season in years and it is impressing the class of 2020. After hauling in the No. 1 recruiting class in the Big 12 and the No. 3 class in the nation for 2019, the Longhorns are looking to keep their spot among the clouds with next year’s group of players. So far, coach Tom Herman and the Longhorns have four commits for 2020 in Hudson Card, Jaylen Garth, Logan Parr, and Jake Majors. All are four-star recruits based in Texas. Last week, the Longhorns received some updates on who may be joining the class of 2020, with three recruits announcing their top schools. Prince Dorbah Four-star outside linebacker Prince Dorbah announced his top five schools on Friday and Texas made the cut. The Longhorns will be battling Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State for Dorbah’s signature. The 6-foot-2, 210 pound Highland Park product is the No. 15 outside linebacker in the nation and the No. 30 in the state of Texas per 247Sports. Through two years of varsity football, Dorbah has recorded 167 total tackles, 26 sacks, 39 quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, and averages 5.8 tackles per game. He was also named the Defensive MVP during Highland Park’s state title game victory. If the Texas Longhorns get Dorbah’s pledge, he will be a deadly pass rushing addition to the defense. The quality production he has amassed for powerhouse Highland Park in its tough Class 5A league, shows not only promise but a high ceiling once he transitions to college football. Dorbah last visited campus unofficially in January and is currently favored to pick Texas via 247Sports’ Crystal Ball Prediction. Ryan Watts Four-star cornerback Ryan Watts also announced his top schools on Friday. Along with the Texas, Watts will be deciding between Arkansas, Baylor, Cal, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M. The 6-foot-2 and a half, 187 pounder is the No. 30 corner in the nation and the No. 49 in the state of Texas. The Little Elm product had a solid showing at The Opening Dallas Regional, recording a 4.59 second 40-yard dash, 38 inch vertical, 4.20 second shuttle, and securing a 116.91 overall rating in the 99th percentile of all recruits tested. Like Dorbah, Watts’ ceiling is high and his length and speed benefits one-on-one matchups. Watts’ Crystal Ball Predictions are split between Texas with 67 percent and Oklahoma with 33 percent. Watts is on the Texas Longhorns’ cornerback target shortlist along with Kitan Crawford, Joshua Eaton, Kelee Ringo, Dwight McGlothern, and Jalen Kimber. Myles Slusher Four-star safety Myles Slusher announced his top 10 schools on Friday, which unfortunately had the Longhorns absent. As of now, Slusher will be deciding between the Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Texas A&M, and TCU. The 6-foot-0, 181 pound Oklahoma native is the No. 14 safety in the nation and the No. 3 in the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma, Oregon, and Oklahoma State are all tied with 33 percent in Slusher’s Crystal Ball Predictions. With Slusher out of the running, the Texas Longhorns are looking to bring in any of the six remaining safeties who retain an offer. Four-stars Chris Thompson Jr., Bryson Washington, Darius Snow, Lathan Ransom, and Xavion Alford. All are in-state prospects except for Ransom whose hometown is Tucson, Arizona. Ransom and Snow are the only two whose Crystal Ball Predictions do not favor Texas.
  4. BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND Texas quarterback signee Roschon Johnson enjoyed a decorated high school career at Port Neches-Grove, putting up video game numbers and proving himself to be one of the top quarterbacks in the state. Johnson enjoyed playing behind an offensive line that featured one of the best tackle prospects in the state for the 2020 class, Jaylen Garth. Garth quickly found himself on Texas’ radar, and Herb Hand wasted no time in prioritizing him, earning a commitment from another important piece to the offensive line puzzle. Garth is currently ranked as the 37th best offensive tackle in the country and the 43rd best prospect in Texas. He held offers from Texas A&M, Alabama, Houston, Ohio State and Arkansas. Player Information Name: Jaylen Garth Position: OT High School: Port Neches-Grove City & State: Port Neches, Texas Measurables Height: 6’4 Weight: 285 40-yard: N/A Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics No statistics available. Film Jaylen Garth Film Pros: Garth uses his hands really well to move defenders with ease and is able to steer them where he wants to take them. His pass protection is further along than many high school offensive lineman. His feet help him keep a good base. He always does an excellent job of finishing his blocks, particularly in the run game. He frequently finds himself in the second level and will put defenders on their backs. Garth is explosive off the ball and is quick to latch on his man and move bodies. He has very little wasted effort in his steps. Very athletic. Garth moves well and is able to get a hat on multiple defenders in the same play. Cons: Garth profiles more as a RT or interior player as opposed to someone who could protect Roschon Johnson’s blind side. Playing LT at his current height and weight would be a tall task. He has a tendency to play too high from time to time, which he will need to avoid at the next level. Summary When you turn on the film, the first thing that stands out about Garth is his finishing ability. Whether it is in the run or pass game, Garth always seems to finish plays on top of defenders. He does an excellent job of playing through the whistle and displaying the type of physicality required in the trenches. Garth’s footwork is good, but he will need to maintain it as he bulks up with Yancy McKnight. A huge positive for Garth is that the offense Port Neches-Grove ran featured a lot of similar concepts shared by the Texas offense, which should make his transition to the college game a little smoother. There is not a lot to dislike about Garth’s game. Like many high school lineman, there are times he relies on his size and strength to win at the point of attack, but many of the fundamentals his displays projects for future success, even when matched up against quality competition. Similar to most offensive lineman entering college, Garth will need a redshirt season, but all the tools are present for him to become a multi-year starter. Final Verdict The 2020 offensive line class in the state of Texas is loaded, and Texas is off to an excellent start. Garth joins Logan Parr and Jake Majors as offensive line commits in the 2020 class, and the trio will surely be in the ear of elite tackle Chad Lindberg. Perhaps more importantly, the quality offensive line will be a positive in the recruitment of five-star RB Zach Evans, who has not been shy is stating he wants to run behind some of the best offensive linemen the state of Texas has to offer. Tom Herman and company appear to be taking a more aggressive approach in the 2020 class compared to 2019, and it has paid dividends already. The aggressiveness, combined with the on-field product shown in 2018 is already paving the way for what should be another top 10 recruiting class.
  5. BY DANIEL SEAHORN Early on in the last recruiting cycle, we discussed the probability of Texas landing a monster offensive line class that consisted of some of the top prospects in the state of Texas. You all probably remember the picture of guys like Branson Bragg, Kenyon Green, Tyler Johnson, and Javonne Shepherd all together with Coach Herb Hand when they made their way to Austin early in the cycle. As you know by now, that dream haul didn’t quite come together, as Green pledged to Texas A&M, Bragg continued to the Stanford curse, and we are still dealing with the Shepherd saga heading into NSD2. While things didn’t come together for Texas along the offensive line like they would have hoped in the 2019 class, things may already be coming together for them in the 2020 class. They already have a four-star in the boat in form of Logan Parr, and the staff has been hard at work on Chad Lindberg, Damieon George, Jaylen Garth, and Jake Majors. Stanford once again has played a big factor for Lindberg and Majors, and I’m sure that Texas fans are tired of seeing the Cardinal steal big-time prospects from the Lone Star State. Landing those two would send the message all the way to Palo Alto that this aggression will not stand, man. Lindberg is set to take official visits later this spring, but Majors’ timeline was a bit unknown — until now. I’ve mentioned previously that the staff was being more aggressive this time around, and even with that I may have undersold how aggressive they were getting. Coming into this weekend I didn’t think they would press for a commitment, and I was dead wrong. Majors went from a perceived Stanford lean to a Longhorn commitment, and the Longhorn staff was able to put a big notch in their belt by keeping the master technician home. Player Information Name: Jake Majors Position: OT, OG, OC High School: Prosper City & State: Prosper, TX Measurables Height: 6’4 Weight: 280 40-yard: N/A Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics No statistics available. Film Jake Majors Film Pros: At 6’4, 280 pounds Majors already possesses good size and will put on more good weight once he hits a college weight room. Very technically advanced for a player at the position at this point in his development. Possesses good feet and moves very well laterally. Shows good quickness and moves fluidly when climbing to the second level on blocks. Shows great patience in pass protection and does a great job of mirroring pass rushers. Also, already shows some counters to power rushes on tape. Shows very good awareness when it comes to tracking and picking up twists, stunts, and blitzes. Almost never see him get off balance and is always under control even after engaging with defenders. Possesses a good punch and can really shock a defender off and knock them off balance. Very smart player and always seems to put himself in the proper place to execute his assignment. Moves with urgency as a puller and will likely be a big asset in that regard at the next level. Moves well in space and does a good job of tracking his assignment. Shows good aggression and does a good job of finishing defenders off. Cons: I have questions about his length and think it could give him some issues. While he could probably play it in a pinch, I don’t think he sticks at tackle at the next level. Have questions about how well he is able to anchor against legit power rushers. Summary Jake Majors is a 2-year (and soon to be 3-year) starter at offensive tackle for Prosper (TX) high school. Majors is a composite 3-star prospect across the networks as things sit today, but I’d be willing to wager that he will be significantly bumped up once evaluators actually dig into the film and undo their wrongs. There is a lot of positive to discuss when it comes to Majors’ game and for an offensive lineman at this stage in the development, that is pretty unique. At 6’4, 280 pounds, Majors already possesses good size and will continue to fill out going forward once he hits a college S&C program. While I have questions about his overall length and ability to stick at tackle, he can probably play it in a pinch and projects to be a very good interior player at either guard or center. Majors is a close to a master technician as you are going to see for a young offensive lineman. He takes good, efficient steps, plays with good pad level, and takes good angles to execute his assignments and blocks. Majors displays very good agility quickness both laterally and vertically when it comes to executing double teams and climbing to the second level. He consistently gets movement on the down linemen and gets his body in the right place to pick up the linebackers and doesn’t get off balance in the process. Majors does a good job of controlling and steering players whenever he gets engaged with them and shows the aggression you like to see from players at the position. If Majors gets the chance to finish you he’s going to do it, and it will bring joy to the heart of every coach that turns his tape on. Majors’ great technique also shows up in his pass protection. He’s incredibly patient and does a great job of mirroring rushers and already displays some counters to power rushes. Majors shows great awareness and recognition of stunts, twists, and blitzes and always seems to have himself in the right place at the right time. While I do have some questions about his ability to anchor, that comes more from the place of him not playing against better rushers. Majors’ tape was a joy to work through and he is going to be a great player wherever he ends up. You don’t see many this far along technically at this stage in development, so it was both fun and refreshing to see a player working diligently at honing their craft. Final Verdict It’s hard to understate how big of win this for Texas kicking off the 2020 recruiting cycle. The staff lands in my mind an elite offensive line prospect in Majors, and at the time finally lands a body blow to Stanford, who has been making a living at pulling elite offensive prospects from Texas over the past few cycles. Landing Majors now gives Texas two great building blocks along the offensive line with Parr already committed, which gives them more ammo as they continue to press for Lindberg, Garth, and George going forward. Parr has already gone on the record about how close he is with some of the players I just mentioned, and that could go a long way with eventually securing their commitments down the line. And If you want to go even further down that rabbit hole, securing an elite group like that could eventually go a long way with making significant progress with a guy like Zach Evans. For now, Texas fans should enjoy and celebrate accordingly because this a fantastic pickup and Majors is a guy I think could make his way into the two deep early after enrolling in the spring next year.
  6. After the slow start that Texas had to the 2019 class, Tom Herman knew it was imperative to get a jump on a key number of prospects in 2020. With that, Elite Day was born. Texas did an excellent job of getting a number of key 2020 prospects into Austin before its annual Junior Day in February. Herman and Co. did a great job with a number of recruits and put themselves in a great position moving forward. Here are some various visitors and our confidence levels: Chad Lindberg - OL, Clear Creek (High) Texas has really separated themselves as of now for Lindberg's services. He loves Austin and has a brother that attends Texas, which doesn't hurt. If Lindberg sticks to his timeline of taking spring officials and making a summer decision, we like Texas' chances. Of course, Texas is going to have to stave off Stanford, and Lindberg has expressed interest in playing with Zach Evans at the next level. For now, Texas is in a great position. Keep in mind that Stanford always makes things interesting for prospects of Lindberg's caliber, so things could change quickly if Lindberg visits Stanford and enjoys his time there. Vernon Broughton - DL, Cy Ridge (Med-High) Broughton is a must-get in this class, and Texas is prioritizing him as such. You probably saw the picture of Broughton and his dad in Texas uniform on Twitter. Broughton's dad is a mammoth, so it's not hard to see where Broughton gets his size from. This one is probably a little trickier because Alabama wants him and other schools are going to prioritize him as well. He hasn't set a timeline to my knowledge, but this one could have some twists and turns. For now, Texas is in a good spot. Zach Evans - RB, North Shore (Low-Med) I put the level as such because I don't even think it's worth mentioning Evans at this point. This recruitment is going to be a roller coaster, but it is worth mentioning because Evans found the time to come to Austin even when his brother could not take him. Texas remains in a good spot, but other schools like LSU, Clemson, and of course A&M are going to continue to push. Jase McClellan - RB, Aledo (Low-Med) There have been rumors that McClellan is looking around a bit, and the visit to Texas will only increase the magnitude of those rumors. McClellan has been a Sooner since 2017, which was a very early commitment for a 2020 prospect. Texas was obviously not pushing for 2020 prospects that early, so there really wasn't much competition with the Sooners. Tom Herman is turning up the heat now, and McClellan seemed to enjoy the visit to Austin. Texas is in the picture now. Look for the staff to keep pushing. Jake Majors - OL, Prosper (High) Majors has become a priority for the Texas staff, and if you've seen his film, you know why. The Prosper OL is extremely technically sound and projects well at the next level. His composite three-star rating is nowhere near where he is as a prospect, and that will probably be fixed once the 2020 rankings are updated. Texas is going to keep pushing for Majors, and have put themselves in a really good position. Bryson Washington - C.E. King, Safety (Medium) Washington reminds me a lot of Texas signee Tyler Owens. He's got a good frame, and carries elite speed/athleticism. Texas will be selective on who it takes at safety in this class due to the depth they already have, but Washington is a prime candidate. He likes Texas early, but other schools like Oklahoma, Alabama and Clemson are going to keep pushing. Texas positioned themselves nicely after this weekend. Jaylen Garth - OL, Port Neches-Groves (High) The former protector of Roschon Johnson made it into Austin this weekend alongside his former quarterback. Garth notched an LSU offer whilst on his visit to Texas, but waited until his visit was over to post the offer on social media. Garth immensely respects the Texas staff, and I think that little tidbit means something. Texas is going to continue pushing Garth, who could decide to pull the trigger early. He may decide to slow it down a bit if other schools like LSU come knocking. For now, Texas is in a prime position. Prince Dorbah - DL, Highland Park (Medium) Texas did some solid work getting Dorbah back on campus, but Oklahoma remains the main competitior. This one is still shaping up to be a Texas-Oklahoma battle, and it doesn't look like Dorbah is going to make a decision anytime soon. Texas will continue to work on Dorbah, and I would cautiously say they are the leader as of now. The staff needs to continue pushing, however. Right now Dorbah feels like a priority, and it will remain that way. Jaylon Jones - DB, Cibolo Steele (Med-High) You probably also noticed Jones this weekend after he posted a "DBU" edit on Twitter featuring the burnt orange. Elite Day had a really positive impact on Jones. Jones got to spend a ton of time with former Cibolo Steele DB Caden Sterns, which only helped the Longhorns' cause. Texas is looking good early, but other schools like Florida and A&M are going to combat the visit high. Texas is in a good position right now. Damieon George - OL, North Shore (Low-Med) George and Evans have consistently expressed the desire to play with each other in college, and that appears to be genuine. George doesn't say much about his recruitment, but it's definitely easy to assume the visit went well. George has a legitimate interest in leaving the state, and likes the appeal of the SEC early on. Alabama, LSU, and A&M are all schools in the Southeastern Conference that stand out to George, and Texas has some work to do to wear off the shine of the conference. The visit to Austin this weekend was a solid start. Kelvontay Dixon - ATH, Carthage (High) Keaontay's little brother took to Twitter to highlight his visit to Austin. Texas continues to solidify itself as the clear leader in this recruitment. Dixon is not a product of being Keaontay's little brother, either. Dixon is a legitimate prospect that carries some very intriguing qualities in an ATH take. Texas just needs to stay the course here.
  7. Dodge City C.C. linebacker Lakia Henry tells me he will be taking an official visit to Texas on February 1. Texas was the front runner in the recruitment for a while, then Henry committed to Tennessee. Henry backed out of his verbal pledge to the Volunteers in early January, and Texas resumed contact with the 4-star prospect. Henry will see Ole Miss this weekend before traveling to Austin the next. If Henry qualifies academically, I feel very good about Texas’ chances. The news was first reported by Jason Suchomel of Orangebloods.
  8. BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND Winning recruiting battles in the trenches is what turns good programs into elite ones. This cycle, Texas has looked for big bodies that can play outside, and found a hidden gem in Isaiah Hookfin. Hookfin made a significant leap from his junior to senior season, and Texas jumped into the race for his services at exactly the right time. Hookfin started blowing up earlier this year, receiving offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, and others. After a visit to Austin for the West Virginia game, Hookfin received an offer from the Longhorns. Ultimately, he decided not to pass up the opportunity to play for what is becoming one of the best offenses in the Big 12. Hookfin will be a nice addition to a solid offensive line room, and has the potential to leave a mark after his time in Austin concludes. Player Information Name: Isaiah Hookfin Position: OT High School: Dulles City & State: Sugarland, TX Measurables Height: 6’5 Weight: 270 40-yard: N/A Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics No statistics available. Film Isaiah Hookfin Film Pros: Hookfin plays with the type of aggression coaches drool over. He is always searching for the next player to drive into the ground. He carries his weight very well. Hookfin is agile for his size, but also looks like he could add some weight and be around 300 pounds during his college career. His ability as a puller really stands out in the run game. His athleticism allows him to get to his assignment quickly and work to the second level. Does a nice job of latching onto defenders and getting leverage to move them where he wants them to go. Very effective as a down blocker and on double teams. Comes off the ball hard consistently and brings the fight to the defender. Cons: Like most high school offensive lineman, Hookfin is more polished as a run blocker than in pass protection. He overwhelmed much of his high school competition, so it's tough to get a true read on his ability when he goes against elite defensive linemen. Hookfin can play high at times. Herb Hand will need to tap into his strength and help him develop as a drive blocker in the run game. Summary Hookfin has really blown up in recent weeks, catching the attention of many schools around the country, particularly Mississippi State and Auburn just prior to his November 3rd visit to Austin. It is easy to see why many schools wanted to throw their hat in the ring for his services. The big, athletic tackle has a knack for seeking out opposing players and putting them on their backside. Hookfin has long arms and an ideal frame to grow into the perfect tackle for Herb Hand the Texas offensive line. It is not unusual for most high school offensive linemen to be more advanced in run blocking than pass protection, and the same could be said for Hookfin. He has all the tools to develop into a solid pass protector, but will need to develop his set and use his length to his advantage. Hookfin overwhelmed much of the high school competition he faced, but he will almost assuredly get a redshirt year to adjust to the speed of the college game. Final Verdict Texas is in a very good spot with offensive line recruiting for the 2019 cycle. Hookfin joins Tyler Johnson and Javonne Shepherd as the offensive linemen in the class. It is likely the Longhorns will look to add 1 or 2 linemen to close out the class, with an emphasis being placed at the junior college level. The addition of Hookfin to the class has a lot of similarities to when Sam Cosmi and Derek Kerstetter were offered later in the 2017 cycle. Both players ended up turning into solid players for the Longhorns, with Cosmi turning into one of the best linemen on the team and Kerstetter starting at RT as a freshman. Herman hopes to have similar success with another prospect who flashes major potential as the Longhorns look to continue to improve the offensive line for years to come.
  9. With the impending departures of current Texas linebackers Anthony Wheeler and Gary Johnson, Todd Orlando and Tom Herman needed to land several immediate impact players at the linebacker position for the 2019 recruiting cycle. The Longhorns landed one earlier this year with commitment of DeGabriel Floyd and added another one today when Fullerton College LB Caleb Johnson pledged to Texas. Johnson is widely considered one of the best junior college linebackers in the country and is ranked as the 3rd best outside linebacker prospect in the 2019 junior college class, according to the 247Sports’ composite rankings. Despite his previous commitment to Iowa State, the Longhorns offered Johnson prior to the 2018 season. Shortly before his official visit to Austin for the Baylor game, Johnson de-committed from the Cyclones and Texas was able to seal the deal during his official to Austin. Player Information Name: Caleb Johnson Position: LB Junior College: Fullerton College City & State: Fullerton, CA Measurables Height: 6’1 Weight: 220 40-yard: N/A Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics No statistics available. Film Caleb Johnson Film Pros: It’s hard to miss the similarities between Caleb Johnson and current Texas LB and former junior college standout Gary Johnson. Caleb loves contact and is not afraid to lay the wood. Johnson has a lot of film where he is assigned as a QB spy, and diagnoses plays well. He closes fast and never lets the quarterback escape the pocket. While we were unable to find a 40 time, his football speed is apparent. He frequently runs down receivers in the open field and beats skill players to the edge. For a player his size, Johnson does a good job of shifting through bodies in the run game to get into the backfield. He is not afraid to take on defenders 100 pounds heavier than him. Very effective as a blitzer and looks like he shoots out of a cannon. Shows he can get home to the quarterback and be disruptive in the backfield. Very physical player and packs a punch as a hitter. Accelerates through contact whether it’s a blocker or a ball carrier. Could potentially challenge right away for a starting position with Texas set to lose seniors at the position. High effort player, doesn’t give up plays and will make the hustle plays coaches love. Cons: Despite his physical attributes, Johnson could still benefit from some additional weight to help make his transition to playing major FBS college football easier. While the skill is evident Texas will be banking heavily on Johnson being ready to play, and that could be a dicey situation if he proves not to be. The jump from JUCO to FBS is a big one and no matter how good the player performs, you have to expect an adjustment period. Summary Johnson profiles perfectly for the rover position in the Texas defense. His ability to defend in space while also serving as an effective blitzer is something Texas will need in 2019. He possesses the ability to make plays between the tackles and embraces playing physical. He diagnoses plays well and rarely chooses a wrong gap to attack. Johnson will need to add some weight once he gets to campus, but as an early enrollee he will participate in winter strength and conditioning with Yancy McKnight. After taking a medical redshirt for one of his years at Fullerton College, Johnson will have 3 seasons to use his 3 years of eligibility remaining. Final Verdict Adding Johnson to the linebacker room will give Texas some much needed depth. DeMarvion Overshown came to Texas as a safety but has begun getting reps at the rover position during the 2018 season. He and Johnson figure to battle it out throughout spring practice and into fall camp for the starting role, although both will surely play. Last time Texas took a junior college linebacker in Gary Johnson, it worked out about as well as they could have hoped for. If Caleb Johnson comes anywhere close to replicating the production of his comparison, Todd Orlando and Texas fans will be very happy.
  10. The four-star wideout out of Oklahoma officially backed out of his verbal pledge minutes ago via Twitter. This isn’t that surprising and has been a possibility for a while now. Oklahoma is the team to watch here.
  11. A quality Power 5 program can never have enough big men up front — and the Texas Longhorns know this. With this need in mind, Texas turned its focus towards former TCU commit Myron Warren. After committing to TCU in May of this year, Warren began to warrant the attention of several SEC schools such as Tennessee and Missouri. He also got Texas' attention, and the Longhorns have been in constant contact with Warren over the past few months. Then, Texas offered Warren. When we spoke to Warren, it was obvious that the interest was mutual from his end. "Texas is a school that loves to win," Warren said. After notching the offer, Warren subsequently decided to de-commit from TCU, and the writing was on the wall. Texas now has three defensive ends in its 2019 class — T'Vondre Sweat, Peter Mpagi and Myron Warren. All three prospects are highly touted, and are viewed to have high ceilings. Warren fits the bill of a large potential project, but such "projects" are more certain when Gary Patterson is evaluating. Nonetheless, Warren is a welcomed addition to a Texas defensive edge that is going to need pass rushers after 2018. Player Information Name: Myron Warren Position: SDE High School: Many City & State: Many, LA Measurables Height: 6’3 (Verified) Weight: 240 (Verified) 40-yard: N/A Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics 2016: 21 Tackles, 4 TFLs, 1 Sack, 1 FF 2017: 41 Tackles, 3 TFLs, 0 Sacks, 4 FF Film Film unavailable to the public. Pros: High intensity and motor. Does not ever slow down and always hustles. Displays high athleticism for his size. Is able to get keep up with just about anyone on the perimeter. Possesses good length and an ideal frame for his position. Not afraid to get physical. Warren often finds ways to make plays by physically dominating others. Creates turnovers. Last season, Warren had 4 forced fumbles. Utility player. Can build into his frame and play multiple positions in the Big 12 at a high level. Cons: Needs to improve his pass rushing abilities. Does not get to the quarterback often. Is not extremely technically sound. Relies on his physical attributes to help him make plays. Sometimes is too aggressive and overly pursues. Will be fixed with coaching in college. Not much tape available, but is certainly viewed as a project with a high ceiling. Summary Ultimately, there is not much film available for Warren. However, we were able to speak to a reliable source who has seen the Many, LA native in action. Anytime Texas lands a defensive recruit that Gary Patterson evaluated and wanted, it is a win-win situation. Warren is a high ceiling prospect that will need at least a year in the weight room and under Todd Orlando. However, this does not mean that he lacks the skill necessary to succeed in Todd Orlando's scheme. Warren actually reminds me a lot of Malcolm Roach coming out of high school — both in regards to his recruitment and his style of play. Warren has a non-stop motor and a relentless pursuit to the ball. He displays sneaky athleticism with an ability to hold the perimeter of the field against most, if not all, ball-carriers. His physical dominance is obvious when watching him play for his small high school, and he sometimes relies on his physicality to a fault. When he enters college, he will certainly need to improve his technique — especially when it comes to getting to the quarterback. Warren is a utility-type player that can play multiple positions well in the Big 12, which is something that Todd Orlando likely loves in a prospect like this. Orlando loves players like Warren — those who possess a relentless pursuit and a win at all costs attitude. Although Warren has a tendency to over-pursue at times and uses his physicality as a crutch, these are easily fixable once he is in Orlando's system. Final Verdict Texas has developed itself quite the pipeline of defensive line recruits from Louisiana. Malcolm Roach, Deandre Christmas-Giles, and now Myron Warren all hale from the boot. Todd Orlando knows how important it is to have a solid unit up front, and is only going to make it better with the addition of Myron Warren. Warren now joins T'Vondre Sweat and Peter Mpagi as the headlining edge defenders in Texas' 2019 class. With the perimeter of the defensive line appearing to be locked up, Texas can now shift its focus to interior linemen. After missing out on DeMarvin Leal, the Longhorns have some work to do at the position, even though both Keondre Coburn and Moro Ojomo are expected to be big contributors in the near future. The addition of Warren is important, especially because of the departures of seniors Breckyn Hager and Charles Omenihu after this season. Texas is desperately going to need young edge defenders to step up and help bring pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Although Warren will need at least a year to be ready from both a physical and mental standpoint, he is certainly going to be a factor. Under a Todd Orlando defense, Warren could be just what the Longhorns are looking for.
  12. With spots in the 2019 recruiting class getting limited, coaches are beginning to focus on kick-starting their 2020 recruiting class and setting the foundation. For Texas, they opened the 2020 cycle by landing Lake Travis dual threat quarterback Hudson Card, but since then, the focus has remained on the 2019 cycle as they try to maximize their class and make a run at another top five finish. Many have wondered how Texas would hit its quota for offensive linemen this cycle, but I’ve been more curious about how the next couple of cycles would play out at the position with the state’s crop in 2020 and 2021 being very stout. Logan Parr is part of that elite crop. Stocking up on talent in the trenches on both sides of the ball is a way to ensure that a recruiting class has a solid foundation. Landing Parr is a very solid first brick to the foundation of the 2020 recruiting class, and landing more like him will no doubt keep guys like Card happy going forward. Player Information Name: Logan Parr Position: OG High School: O'Connor City & State: Helotes, TX Measurables Height: 6’3 Weight: 268 40-yard: N/A Shuttle: N/A Vertical: 21.10” Statistics No statistics available. Film Logan Parr Film Pros: At 6’3 and 268 pounds, Parr looks the part on tape and already possesses solid size for the position. I don’t envision bulking up will be much of a problem. Possesses good play strength that shows up frequently on tape. You don’t see any issues with him moving defenders off of the LOS. Already a good space blocker at this point in his development. Does a good job of locating his assignment as a puller and on screens, and shows he can execute cut blocks at the second level and in space. His speed should give him an ability to get separation from defenders. Very effective as a down blocker and on double teams. Comes off the ball hard consistently and brings the fight to the defender. Constantly looking for work and is always looking to finish defenders. Shows some technical savvy with his handwork in pass protection. Will swat down defenders’ arms and knock them off balance to give him an advantage. Possesses solid mobility and athleticism. Very smart kid (4.0 GPA), so mental processing shouldn’t be an issue. Cons: Has a tendency to play a little high at times. At times he can turn his shoulders a little early in pass protection which can give rushers a shorter edge. While he’s a solid athlete, he’s not a good or great one. Even for his position, the vertical number is not great and shows a lack of explosiveness. Will likely be asked to be a swing player, but I’m not sure how he projects to playing center at this stage with the lack of snaps there. Summary Logan Parr is a three-year varsity letterman for O’Connor high school out of Helotes, Texas. Parr is a guard/tackle prospect that likely projects to the interior at the collegiate level. At 6’3, 268 pounds Parr possesses solid size for the position and certainly passes the eyeball test on tape. Parr also possesses the frame to continue filling out once he hits a college strength and conditioning program, so I don’t anticipate adding on mass being an issue. From an athleticism standpoint, Parr possesses solid mobility and is a solid athlete, but overall he seems to lack explosiveness as shown by his below-average vertical. On the flip side, Parr displays good play strength on tape and I don’t foresee that being an issue moving forward, as he doesn’t struggle to get movement on defenders. Parr shows on tape that he is competent drive blocker while also showing he excels as a down blocker. As a pass blocker, Parr shows the ability to mirror defenders consistently and also shows a technical savvy when the hands battle. Parr also shows the understanding of staying on the same level as his teammates when it comes to effectively passing off twists and stunts, which is easily a plus at this stage. With that said, Parr does show a habit of turning his shoulders early, which can be problematic against better defenders. As a blocker, Parr wins me over by consistently looking for work and is consistently looking to finish off defenders when he gets them on skates. On tape Parr shows to be a good space blocker at this stage in his development, as he fares well as a puller and in the screen game. Parr consistently is able to track and identify his assignment on the move and get his body in the proper position to execute his block. Parr also shows that he can execute a cut block properly on the move, which takes a good amount of athleticism when you are targeting linebackers and defensive backs in those situations. Since I project Parr to the interior at the next level, I would like to know if he has the capability to log snaps at center, but with the lack of film that’s a question mark currently. He’s a very bright kid who possesses a 4.0 GPA, so if he has to cross train at that position down the line, I feel confident that mental processing won’t be an issue. Final Verdict Landing Parr gives the Longhorns the first of what could be several elite offensive linemen for the 2020 recruiting class. With top-end talent at the position being thin in-state for the 2019 recruiting cycle, it made landing quality bodies in 2020 a big priority and Herb Hand didn’t waste any time getting on the board early. Parr gives you talented player who has a good amount of upside on the interior and a guy who could potentially play tackle in a pinch. If he shows down the line that he is capable of logging snaps at center, then you've got yourself a very versatile chess piece that brings a lot of value to your meeting room. You can never have enough versatility on your roster, and that goes double when it comes to the offensive line. Getting Parr in the boat early is a great news for the Texas staff, as they try to assemble an elite haul along the offensive line to try and sway the likes of elite skill players such as North Shore’s Zach Evans hop on board. Parr is just one piece of the puzzle, and now Texas needs to find four more of the same caliber.
  13. Texas and particularly Stan Drayton have been putting in a lot of work to get their foot in the door in the St. Louis area, and their efforts may finally be paying dividends. The Longhorns managed to land linebacker Ayodele Adeoye during the last recruiting cycle, and went a little further out and landed defensive end Daniel Carson as well. Drayton also dropped off a stack of offers at local powerhouse Trinity Catholic — the home of new Longhorn commit Marcus Washington. Washington was one of four players at Trinity Catholic to be extended an offer from Texas last year along Mookie Cooper, Shammond Cooper, and Isaiah Williams. While Williams is committed to Illinois and never really considered Texas, both Mookie and Shammond are still heavily considering Texas. Washington recently took an official visit to Texas for the USC game, and both he and his father came away raving about the Longhorns. At one point it looked like Washington was going to stay closer to home and side with either Ohio State or the home team Missouri Tigers, but the Longhorns did a great job recruiting him and managed to seal the deal when they got him on campus. Player Information Name: Marcus Washington Position: WR, SS High School: Trinity Catholic City & State: St. Louis, MO Measurables Height: 6’2 Weight: 191 40-yard: 4.75 Shuttle: 4.28 Vertical: 32" Statistics 2015: 35 rec, 583 yards (16.6 YPC), 8 TDs 2016: 33 rec, 676 yards (20.48 YPC), 13 TDs, 6 INTs 2017: N/A Film Pros: Possesses good size at 6'2, 191 pounds. Has a frame that will allow him to fill out well. Does a great job of catching the ball with his hands. Really snatches the ball out of the air. Displays great ball skills. Shows craftiness with routes and an ability to get separation from defenders. Is elusive after the catch and shows an ability to gain yards after catch. Shows tackle-breaking ability and fights for every yard. Tall, long strider as a runner. Eats up real estate quickly. Plays the game aggressively and confidently. Loves to compete. Always finds a way to get open. Will move the chains at the next level. Has an ability to be utilized in multiple ways. Took snaps in the wildcat in high school. Cons: Lacks staight-line speed. Won't threaten a defense vertically. Runs a little bit high and upfront, but is easily correctable in college. Sometimes displays too much confidence. Things like throwing the ball at a defender after scoring will not cut it in college. Hard to predict his ceiling. Could end up being great, but hard to know how much better he will get in college. Summary Marcus Washington is a four-year varsity starter for Trinity Catholic in St. Louis, Missouri and is also a two-year starter at both outside wide receiver and safety. Washington is viewed long-term as a wide receiver prospect, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting up great numbers on both sides of the ball. Washington tallied 21 offensive touchdowns along with 6 defensive interceptions as an underclassmen and he also chipped in with some forced fumbles. I will be curious to see if he is able to sustain those numbers as an upperclassman. Washington is a possession receiver that lacks straight-line speed to stretch the defense vertically but makes up for it in other ways. Washington is very crafty with his movements in his routes, and is consistently finding ways to get separation. On top of that, he does a great job of tracking the football in the air and making adjustments. One of Washington’s strongest assets is his hands and his ball skills. Washington shows off a strong set of hands on tape, and he really attacks the ball. You don’t see a bunch of body catching from him on tape and he shows off a very good catch radius. After the catch Washington shows good elusiveness and good tackle-breaking ability, and is capable producing a good amount of yards after the catch. Washington has the makeup of a player who is going to be a quarterback’s best friend when the offense needs to move the chains. He’s not going to blow you away in shorts, but the more you watch him, the more you appreciate him as a player. Final Verdict If I’m being honest, the first time through Washington left me a little underwhelmed, but as I worked back through the tape I came away feeling better about him. He’s not going to test off the charts, but he’s a guy that I believe does his talking when the pads come on. Washington plays the game aggressively and confidently — something any team wants out of a guy who will plug into the outside receiver position. I don’t think his ceiling is super high like some the blue chip wide receiver recruits you will come across, but I think he has a pretty solid floor and will end up being at minimum a solid contributor as a collegiate player. In the long run, picking up Washington’s commitment can only help Texas’ standing with his teammate Mookie Cooper. Texas was already in really good shape with Cooper, but you can never have enough aces up your sleeve when you are recruiting players of Cooper's caliber. With Washington on board now, I am now curious to see how the Texas staff tweaks their recruiting focus with the players they are still pursuing.
  14. In most states, the end of Week 8 marks the halfway point of the high school football season, including the playoffs. With half of the season in the rearview, here is how the Longhorns' 2019 commits have fared: Chris Adimora, Safety Adimora, a July commit to the Horns, has seen an uptick in offensive production for Mayfield High in Lakeview, California. In seven games this season, Adimora has 18 receptions for 525 yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2018, he has nearly doubled his receiving touchdown numbers from last season (four in 2017, seven in 2018). On the defensive side of the ball, Adimora has 27 total tackles and 2 interceptions. Mayfield will play the final game of their regular season on Friday night against Bellflower before entering the playoffs. Derrian Brown, Running Back Four-star running back Derrian Brown out of Buford, Georgia has bolstered his 2018 production, leading one of the most prolific offenses in Georgia. In just five games, Brown has rushed for 839 yards and 11 touchdowns, and has added another 6 receptions for 75 yards and 1 receiving touchdown. Brown will play two more regular season games before leading Buford into the playoffs in November. In SEC country, Brown's September commitment came as a surprise to some, but looks to be a hard commitment to the Longhorns. Marques Caldwell, Defensive Back From one burnt orange team to another, three-star Marques Caldwell out of Alvin, Texas has been sidelined since Week 3 with a torn labrum, and is not expected to return this season with Alvin well out of the playoff picture. What was supposed to be a season for Caldwell to prove doubters wrong (outside of top 500 overall players in all major recruiting databases) has now turned into a sideline watch for 2018. Texas fans will have to wait until next August to see what Caldwell can bring to the table. De'Gabriel Floyd, Linebacker Arguably the most productive commit in the 2019 class is Los Angeles product De'Gabriel Floyd. Floyd, a four-star linebacker who will enroll early to try and take over a wide-open starting linebacker role next season, has been absolutely dominant on the defensive side of the ball for Westlake Village all season. In eight games, Floyd has recorded 103 total tackles to go along with 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. In jumbo packs, Floyd has been used at running back and has three touchdowns on 75 yards. With Floyd set to enroll early, look for him to make a big impact in spring ball. David Gbenda, Linebacker David Gbenda out of Katy, Texas will provide some depth to a linebacker position that could be anyone's in 2019. In seven games, Gbenda has matched his tackle and sack total from all of 2017 with 56 and 2 respectively. His presence in the backfield has been huge for Cinco Ranch this season, as he has recorded 10 tackles for loss. With Cinco Ranch not expected to make the playoffs, Gbenda will get three more games to have at it before playing in the burnt orange next season. Demariyon Houston, Wide Receiver Houston, the second best player out of the state of Oklahoma, does not have any accessible official stats for the season. His Millwood team, however, has steamrolled through their competition, sitting at 8-0 with an average margin of victory of 38 points. If Houston's production has been anything like his last two years for the Falcons, expect big final tallies come December for this four-star. Tyler Johnson, Offensive Tackle The highest ranked recruit in Texas' 2019 class, four-star OT Tyler Johnson (#34 overall), has had another dominating season for Conroe Oak Ridge. On 247Sports' database, he is the highest ranked four-star in the country, and his 32 pancake blocks in 2018 in just seven games are a testament to that fact. Roschon Johnson, Quarterback Eyes have been surrounding four-star Roschon Johnson since his commitment in late July, and few have been turned away during his senior season with Port Neches Groves. In a season that has seen Johnson battle a nagging ankle sprain, the Under Armour All-American has put up 1304 yards while passing for 14 touchdowns to lead PNG to a 5-2 record. With the Indians expected to make a deep playoff run, Johnson is a name to keep an eye on throughout November and into December. Brayden Liebrock, Tight End Coveted as one of the top five tight ends in the 2019 class, Liebrock chose Texas over his home-state school Arizona State. For Chandler (Ari.) this season, the 6'5, 225 pound four-star has 37 receptions for 470 yards and 5 touchdowns. With Chandler being undoubtedly the best team in Arizona and a deep playoff run almost certainly in store, look for Liebrock to easily eclipse his 2017 total of 600 yards and 39 receptions. Peyton Powell, Athlete The most recent commit to the 2019 class is Odessa Permian's do-it-all man Peyton Powell, who has sure done it all and then some for the Panthers this season. In seven games this season playing at QB, Powell has notched 1,010 passing yards and 10 touchdowns while rushing for 374 yards and 7 touchdowns. He has shown the versatility that power five programs around the country have flocked to see in 2018, and it gives Longhorn fans reason to believe he could be the most valuable recruit to the class when it's all said and done. With Permian expected to go at least two rounds deep in the Texas 6A playoffs, Powell should have about 5-7 more games before exchanging his black and white uniform for burnt orange. Javonne Shepherd, Offensive Tackle Javonne Shepherd's season with Houston North Forest has been nothing short of disappointing, as the Bulldogs are 1-6 and 0-3 in district play. With little playoff hope left, Shepherd's high school career should end in early November. No official stats are available for Shepherd, but an unofficial visit was made to Texas A&M in early October for the four-star. Jake Smith, Wide Receiver When it comes to stats, Jake Smith out of the Notre Dame Preparatory School in Arizona is undoubtedly having the best season of anyone in the 2019 class. In nine games, Smith has 37 receptions for 836 receiving yards (22.6 avg.), 660 rushing yards, and 32 total touchdowns. With these numbers, expect his #86 overall ranking to rise in the 247 Sports 2019 rankings. The Saints team have waltzed through their competition, as they sport a 9-0 record and will look to draw more blood in the playoffs in November. T'Vondre Sweat, Defensive End The Huntsville Hornets have had an impressive first half of their season, standing at 6-1 with their only loss coming to the defending Texas 5A Division II state champions College Station, 20-7 in Week 3. T'Vondre Sweat has been a big part of their stellar defense, as they have taken down impressive offenses throughout the season with relatively little problem, including limiting Roschon Johnson's Port Neches Groves to 14 points in Week 2. Despite Sweat being known for his pass rush, he also leads the team in interceptions with two on the year. Look for Sweat to make some noise once the Texas high school football playoffs get going in mid-November. Jordan Whittington, Wide Receiver The second highest rated recruit in Texas' 2019 class according to the 247 Sports rankings is none other than Cuero's star playmaker Jordan Whittington. In his senior season, Whittington has battled injuries and only participated in three games, but he has been nothing short of lethal while on the field. On the year, the four-star has 20 receptions for 369 yards and 6 touchdowns. With Whittington back on the field down the stretch for the top-ranked Gobblers, expect Texas' future star to put up eye-boggling numbers in the playoffs. Kenyatta Watson II, Cornerback When it comes to Georgia's elite, Grayson High School is always in the conversation, and Kenyatta Watson II is a testament to that fact. In eight games this season, Watson II has 19 tackles and an interception to lead the Grayson defense as they sit at #25 in the nation according to MaxPreps. With Grayson primed for another deep playoff run, look for Watson II to make some noise in the second half. *No official stats available for DE Peter Mpagi, S Tyler Owens, LB Marcus Tillman Jr., and TE Jared Wiley
  15. *Disclaimer - We did not evaluate Peyton Powell as a QB, but he will get a chance to play the position at Texas. We evaluated Powell primarily as a WR, but he could also very well end up as a DB at Texas. With the potential departure of at least one of Collin Johnson and Lil'Jordan Humphrey, the Longhorns need help at wide receiver. The biggest need is outside, especially a deep threat with Devin Duvernay lacking in the production column and only retaining one year of eligibility. Enter Odessa Permian ATH Peyton Powell. Although Powell plays quarterback for Odessa Permian, he likely won't play the position in college. He is a run-first type threat at the position with all of the qualities needed to be a productive receiver at the next level. The initial comparison out of high school is to Quandre Diggs — who played QB for most of his time at Angleton before becoming an elite defensive back for the Longhorns. Powell is a high ceiling type prospect who will take several years to develop, but can become a solid contributor at outside receiver in due time. Player Information Name: Peyton Powell Position: ATH High School: Odessa Permian City & State: Odessa, TX Measurables Height: 6’2 Weight: 182 40-yard: 4.45 Shuttle: 4.25 Vertical: 37.60” Statistics 2016: 124/218, 1918 yds, 16 TD. 170 car, 1594 yds. 26 TD. 2017: 96/195, 1077 yds, 13 TD. 138 car, 1014 yds, 12 TD. Film Peyton Powell Film Pros: Possesses good size (6'2, 182) for an outside receiver that will be used as a vertical threat. Has good straight-line speed. His 4.45 40-yard dash shows when he's in the pads. Displays great vision with the ball in his hands. Is able to find holes or bounce outside and get positive yardage when his offensive line can't create a crease. His speed should give him an ability to get separation from defenders. Demonstrates good footwork, especially when bouncing outside. Will help translate to efficient route running at the next level. Protects the ball well, both in the air and on carries. Shows the ability to break tackles and elude defenders in space. Cons: Lacks tape at any position other than QB. Hard to project his floor or ceiling at the position. Needs a few years to add size to his frame and learn the position. Will likely need to learn how to play physically. Most athletes that are placed at a skill position have a learning curve regarding physical toughness. At receiver, this means learning to block. Don't know much about his hands. Has good length, but it may take him a while to learn how to catch with his hands as opposed to his body. Not much competition. Powell is a superior athlete, and it shows. Would like to see how he competes with players of his caliber. Summary Peyton Powell is a quarterback at Permian Odessa who projects as an athlete in college. Most of Powell's evaluations have him at wide receiver, but some schools like Ohio State like his potential as a defensive back. With Texas signing a historic defensive back class last season, Powell likely projects to wide receiver for the Longhorns. Although all of Powell's film is at QB, some traits still stand out that show the potential for a solid vertical threat at outside wide receiver. The first thing that stands out is Powell's speed. His 4.45 40-yard dash definitely shows in the pads. Powell is an elite runner that displays an ability to elude defenders. Not only that, but Powell also displays a decent tackle-breaking ability and elite footwork. Powell's footwork should help make the transition over to wide receiver smoother, as he may be able to pick up on route running more quickly. Powell's straight-line speed and his elusiveness make him an intriguing prospect at the outside receiver position, especially when Texas is needing a consistent vertical threat on the outside. Final Verdict Gaining a commitment from a highly-touted athlete such as Powell is always a win for any blue blood program, especially when numbers at his projected position are needed. Texas entered the picture for Powell in May, but didn't maintain contact until earlier this month. When the contact reinitiated, Powell reciprocated the interest and took an official visit to Austin for the Baylor game. Powell was extremely impressed with the visit, and felt that he could fit with the Texas offense perfectly. With Powell now in the boat for Texas, the wide receiver numbers get really interesting for the Longhorns' 2019 class (even though Powell won't count against those numbers since he is an ATH). Texas already had Jake Smith, Jordan Whittington, and Demariyon Houston in the class before Powell's commitment. Ideally the Longhorns wanted to take 4, maybe 5 receivers in this class. With Kennedy Lewis, Elijah Higgins, and Bru McCoy still in the picture, things will get interesting from a numbers standpoint. Texas may end up not using Powell at wide receiver, but that is ultimately his best projection in college. For now, Powell is a solid addition to a solid wideout corps in the 2019 class.
  16. Texas has secured a huge commitment on one of its biggest recruiting weekends in decades. After securing a big win against USC, the Longhorns weekend got even better with the commitment of 4-star running back Derrian Brown. Although Texas was high on top backs such as Noah Cain and Trey Sanders early on, Brown entered the picture and it was impossible for Texas to pass. Brown is a high-level back that has the potential to leave his mark in Austin. A duo of Keaontay Ingram and Derrian Brown in the backfield is not something Texas fans will be displeased to see. Player Information Name: Derrian Brown Position: RB High School: Burford HS City & State: Buford, Georgia Measurables Height: 5'10 Weight: 179 40-yard time: 4.62 Shuttle: 4.28 Vertical: 35.0" Statistics No stats available. Film Derrian Brown Junior Season Pros: The first thing you notice about Brown is that he has a sneaky type of quickness about him. For his size he might not be the quickest or fastest back out there, but he certainly has some breakaway speed. His 40-yard dash time supports that. With his quickness comes Brown's fearless nature when hitting the holes. This may attribute to the fact that his offensive line creates decent lanes for him to run through, but there is no denying that Brown hits the gaps hard and without hesitation. This is something you like to see from a back, but also causes mild concerns about their patience and vision. Has great ability in the second level. Once Brown gets to that second level on film, there's no stopping him. He shows great power and lateral quickness to make defenders miss. Demonstrates great awareness. Whether it is on the sideline or gaining a couple extra yards for the first down, Brown always knows what he needs to do on every play. Football savvy. Shows good instincts and high football IQ. Cons: The major area Brown needs to improve in is lowering his pad level. He's able to get away with it in high school, but in college he won't be able to gain extra yardage after the point of attack. Catches the ball out of the backfield with his body rather than his hands. Granted, there is not much film regarding his catching ability, but using his body will result in some drops in college. No film on his blocking ability. Brown is a little undersized, so he might have to adjust to the size of college-level linemen. Needs to learn to have more patience. It's not a bad thing that Brown hits the holes at full speed, but it can be a problem when your offensive line doesn't create holes and you run right into a plugged up gap. Brown needs to learn to be a bit more patient, and will have a great mentor to learn from in Keaontay Ingram in that department. Summary Brown may not stand out physically on tape, but his play speaks for itself. He demonstrates quickness and a keen ability to get to the second level and beyond. Brown is a very talented 4-star back, and his abilities demonstrate that he will fit in nicely with Tom Herman's offense. Although Brown clearly has the skillset to succeed in the Big 12, there are some concerns — mainly that the competition he faces in Georgia is not stellar. Other concerns stem from Brown's lack of patience and limited tape on his pass catching and blocking abilities. All in all, Brown is a fantastic get for the Longhorns, and will be the feature back of Texas' 2019 class. Final Verdict After trending negatively for top RB targets Noah Cain and Trey Sanders, Texas needed to come up with an alternative. Bryan Carrington and Derek Chang then identified Brown and Texas offered. After the offer, Texas continued to trend in the right direction. I see a lot of former Texas running back D'onta Foreman in Derrian Brown. His quickness and burst through the gaps has similar characteristics to Foreman's running style — even though Foreman had much more bulk on his frame. Brown is another great add to the Texas running corps, and gives Stan Drayton the potential to find his next Ezekiel Elliot.
  17. Intel from The Opening De’Gabriel Floyd With Chris Adimora’s commitment Sunday afternoon, Texas now has multiple pledges from California in the 2019 class. Adimora joined LB De’Gabriel Floyd, who committed to the Longhorns in March. While meeting with the media on Sunday, Floyd made it clear that he will continue to be in the ear of several Texas targets who reside in California, including Mater Dei 5-star ATH Bru McCoy. “I know a lot about his situation and what’s going on, what he’s thinking,” Floyd said about McCoy. “I’m telling him the same thing I’m telling everyone else. (Bru) can go do his thing on offense, but at the same time he can play defense and we can be together, and that’s a bad situation for an offense.” Pulling kids from California is not new for Texas. The Longhorns have inked Cameron Rising, Kirk Johnson and Collin Johnson is recent cycles, but Texas has not signed multiple players from California in the same class since 2013, when junior college players Desmond Harrison and Geoff Swaim inked with the Longhorns. “I think some kids are really interested in moving to a new state, being on their own and being in an environment where they have to adapt to be more comfortable,” Floyd said when asked why Texas is having renewed success in California. “Texas is kind of the closest thing to California, in my opinion. Texas also has a lot of talent in state, so we feel like if Texas is coming way out here to show interest in us, it really shows they are actually trying to get us to their school.” In addition to talking recruiting, Floyd also spoke about his performance at The Opening on Sunday. The 4-star LB tested very well, running a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash, a 4.38 in the shuttle drill and recording a vertical of 33 inches. Floyd profiles perfectly as a rover in the Todd Orlando defense, which is exactly where Floyd said the coaching staff is expecting him to play. Noah Cain Last cycle Texas secured its bell cow running back very early in the cycle in Keaontay Ingram, but so far this cycle they are still working hard to get their man. IMG Academy running back Noah Cain has long been at the top of Texas’ want list at the position and that isn’t changing any time soon, but from the sounds of it Cain is a major priority for several top programs. Schools like Auburn, Georgia, and Penn State have been turning up the heat, but that isn’t all according to the blue chip running back. “Clemson, Miami, and Ohio State are still in the picture. A lot of different schools have the opportunity for me to come in and play early”, said Cain. So where does Texas currently sit with Texas? Things don’t seem to have changed much there. “They still stand where they were before and they’re one my top schools. Coach Drayton and Coach Herman text me every other day or Bryan (Carrington). Texas is still one of my top schools”, said the four star running back. As if there was any question about Cain’s importance to the Texas staff, Herman is personally involved in the recruitment and reaffirmed to Cain that he was a top priority to them and will continue to be so until the end. Speaking of IMG running backs, Cain isn’t the only one that holds a Texas offer, as the Longhorns are hard after Cain’s five star teammate Trey Sanders. The idea of playing together at the next level is something the two backs have discussed. “Texas is one of the schools we have actually playing together at because of the need at running back. Me and Trey (Sanders) are both unselfish and want to see each other succeed and feed off each other. We always talk about playing with each other at the next level, but we will have to see if that’s the right fit”. Stacey Wilkins While Javonne Shepherd has been the most frequently discussed offensive tackle on Texas’ board, the Longhorn staff is still hard after Camden (AR) tackle Stacey Wilkins. Wilkins made his way to Austin during the spring and came away impressed with what he saw with the Longhorn program. Since then he has been developing his relationship with offensive line coach Herb Hand and it seems that Hand is leaving a good impression on the four star big man. “Me and Coach Hand have a real good relationship and it is fun talking to him because he doesn’t make it too much about football. He is one of the top coaches at his position and knows what he is taking about”, said Wilkins. Attending camps like The Opening can be a bit overwhelming for guys sometimes given the competition and being under the microscope with all the attention, but Wilkins seemed to really be enjoying the process and just having fun with it while competing against the top players in the country. “It’s been real fun because I don’t think guys from my town have been able to get this opportunity. I was able to compete against the best defensive linemen in the country, learn new things, and be able to take it back in put it into my arsenal. So that was one good thing and to be able to help my teammates at the same time”, said the four star tackle. As far a Texas goes, Wilkins has an official set for the fall for the weekend of the USC game and he plans on watching both teams closely, as the Trojans are another team high on his list of consideration. Wilkins went on to say that he measured in at 6’7, 280 pounds this week and ran in the 5.0-5.1 range in the 40 yard dash during the testing. He has the offensive tackle starter kit you want and will no doubt remain a high priority for Texas as they continue to hunt tackle bodies. Elijah Higgins For Austin Bowie wide receiver Elijah Higgins, the recruiting process has been gruesome and long, and he’s ready to make a decision and move forward. Before he came to that conclusion, he spent his offseason competing in a variety of camps, including The Opening in Frisco this past weekend. “It’s been great,” Higgins said in regards to The Opening. “There’s some great coaches around here. I’ve been around some of the top quarterbacks in the nation. The ball is a little faster, so you have to adjust. It’s really been about developing and battling through adversity when your legs are tired.” While Higgins has attended various camps this summer, other athletes are hard-pressed to get him to commit to their school. But Higgins takes a different approach to the process than an every day recruit. “I recruit myself,” Higgins said. “I ask the recruits about other schools, what they think, and stuff like that. I try to get a vibe perspective. It’s really me going around asking them questions and them pulling me that way.” In terms of a decision timeline, Higgins is ready to wrap up his recruitment before his senior season at Austin Bowie begins. “After this, I’m done,” Higgins stated. “It’s time to sit down and talk schools.” In terms of when a decision could come, Higgins relayed it would come “hopefully when I get home. Probably that week. I haven’t really had much time. I’ve been traveling, visits, camps, so that’s the main reason I haven’t done it yet.” However, Higgins is not going to rush into a decision. “If I’m not ready, I’m not going to do it.” So, where does Texas stand with Higgins? Although he kept his ranking of schools close to the vest, he did make one thing certain — Texas will not receive an official visit for the coveted wide receiver. That is not necessarily a bad sign, however. “I decided not to [take an official to Texas] because it’s so close and they have 2 more spots left [for other recruits] and I respect that,” Higgins said. “They asked me if that was okay with me, and I said yes, of course. Other than flights and free food, you can do everything on an unofficial that you can on an official. I don’t want to take anyone else’s opportunity. That’s really it.” To be frank, Texas is on the outside looking in for the Austin native. After offering Higgins in January, the Longhorns stepped off the gas pedal for a good amount of time, allowing other schools like Florida and Stanford to enter the picture. The best the Texas staff can hope for is that Higgins indeed decides he is not ready to decide before his senior season starts, so that they can have more time to try and sell the future in Austin. Otherwise, one of the best recruits to ever come out of Austin Bowie will be heading out of state to begin his collegiate career next fall. Mailbag Q: Any status on the kids coming back from major injuries like Pat Hudson, Gary Johnson, Kirk Johnson, Cade Brewer, etc A: Gary Johnson is participating in summer workouts and barring any setbacks, will be ready to go for fall camp. With the departure of Edwin Freeman, Johnson needs to remain healthy this season. Patrick Hudson and Cade Brewer are both still recovering from ACL injuries, but Brewer appears to be participating at 100% in offseason workouts. The expectation is both will be ready to go in August. Kirk Johnson is a wild card. No one truly knows if he will be able to contribute this upcoming season, both from an injury standpoint and the fact the running back room added two talented players in Keaontay Ingram and Tre Watson. Q: How many do we plan to take at OL, DL, and LB this cycle? A: Numbers are a very fluid thing so it’s tough to call on an exact number. I’d expect 3-5 OL and DL apiece because you want to maintain depth there, and I would expect at least 3 at LB if they can manage it. Q: Behind the scenes, who seems to be developing (on the team) more than most this summer? Any word on the rumor wire? When will the team report to camp this year? A: Of the young guys, the name mentioned most seems to be Anthony Cook. Seems like there is a legit chance he logs some snaps this fall. Other names that have been mentioned are Caden Sterns, BJ Foster, and Ayodele Adeoye. With the linebacker position being thin, Adeoye may log some snaps this fall. From a physical standpoint, he arrived on campus ready to compete. With Todd Orlando as his LB coach, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the field at least as a run stopper. Not sure as far as an exact date for reporting, but it will likely be early August. Q: How do the coaches use their limited time on visits to show off what makes Austin special? A: The main focus for the coaching staff is sell what is on campus. When recruits visit, they are shown the locker room, weight room, dining hall, academic support center, dorms and given a tour of campus. In addition, they will break down film with their position coach and get to ask questions about potential scheme fit. The staff does an excellent job of making sure that recruits see the entire scope of what Texas has to offer, including the academic side. At night, recruits will get to interact with current players, and that is when they get to experience Austin as a whole. Recruit visits almost always end with a meeting with Tom Herman. A lot of times, the staff tries to sell the city of Austin as a whole as well. This includes going to places like Top Golf and getting to partake in activities at the lake by visiting Tom Herman’s house — which is a good sales pitch. If you haven’t seen it, you should do a quick Google search. Q: What are the chances we can start a Hawaii to Austin pipeline? A: Texas will need to produce on the field if they have hopes of developing a consistent pipeline to a place like Hawaii. Recruiting assistants like Jake Langi have done an excellent job helping get Texas’ foot in the door, but the results on the field will have the final say. Guys like Faatui Tuitele and Maninoa Tufono have interest in Texas, but the Longhorns are not the top choice for either. The lure of going to the west coast or a powerhouse like Alabama is hard to overcome with kids from that region.
  18. Despite a very successful 2018 class, the one thing bothering many Texas fans was the Longhorns inability to pull in several targets that were offered later in the recruiting cycle. Prospects like Craig Williams and DeShaun White received Texas offers later than they would have liked, and in the end it hurt Texas’ chances of landing both. Fast forward to now, and it appears Tom Herman and co. is making sure they are not caught in a similar situation. The plan is for Texas to only take 2 or 3 cornerbacks, so the coaching staff needed to make sure they established their targets early and made them feel like a priority. With a commitment from Kenyatta Watson, it appears there may only be 1 or 2 spots remaining. Spring Dekaney‘s Marcus Banks took several unofficial visits to Texas over the past few months, but it appears A&M has surged to the front of his recruitment. Not wanting to be caught flat footed, Texas maintained a strong relationship with Alvin’s Marques Caldwell, who was committed to Oregon. On May 18, the Longhorns decided to extend an offer to Caldwell. Ultimately, the 3-star prospect choseto stay in-state and flip his commitment to Texas, giving Jason Washington another talented cornerback in the 2019 class. Caldwell is currently ranked as the 56th best cornerback in the country and the 637th player overall, according the 247sports composite rankings. In addition to Texas and Oregon, Caldwell also held offers from TCU, Missouri, Texas Tech and Ole Miss. Film Analysis Player Information Name: Marques Caldwell Position: CB High School: Alvin City & State: Alvin, Texas Measurables Height: 6’1 (Nike) Weight: 171 (Nike) 40-yard: 4.5(Unverified) Shuttle: 4.30 (Nike) Vertical: 32 (Nike) Statistics 2016- 32 Tackles, 1 TFL, 8 PBU, 2 INT 2017- 17 Tackles, 1 TFL, 1 Sack, 4 PBU, 2 FF, 2 INT Film http://www.hudl.com/video/3/7903807/5a0a67b3d225a40ed44d7bd7 Pros: Cons: Shows great anticipation. Consistently jumps routes and puts himself in position to make plays on the ball. Displays good hips and uses his length well. Stays with receivers and knows how to utilize leverage to put himself in position to break up passes. Caldwell shows good technique at this stage in his development. Gets low is his backpedal and diagnoses plays as they are developing. Advanced feel for the position. Plays very physical. Supports the run and fights through blocks to get to the ball carrier. One of the most impressive defensive back prospects I’ve watched this cycle in terms of his willingness to hit. Not afraid to move around on the field. Was occasionally used as a blitzer and effectively caused disruption in the opposing backfield His style of play could translate well to special teams. Coaches usually say a guy earns his way on the field through special teams, and Caldwell’s willingness to hit and enjoy contact could allow him to be stable in the 3rd phase of the game. At 6’1, Caldwell possesses good size for the position and will allow him to match up well against bigger receivers. While Caldwell shows reliability as a tackler, he also has a tendency to lower the shoulder and try to deliver the big hit instead wrapping up. Has a tendency to drop his head on tackle attempts and not see what he is hitting. Will need to learn to keep his eyes up in that regard. Will likely not be ready to be a day 1 contributor. Will need to pack on about 15 pounds, which he should be able to do during a redshirt year. As with a lot of DB’s coming out of high school, Caldwell uses his eyes to help make a lot of plays. College coaching will be a huge benefit to help make him more reactionary and rely on his technique as opposed to peaking in the backfield. Summary If you turned on Caldwell’s film and didn’t know anything about him, most people would have a tough time believing he is a 3-star. The 6’1, 172 pounder shows ideal cornerback traits, using his quick hips and good length when defending the pass. His technique should translate well to the college game and his ball skills make him someone who can have good interception totals. Caldwell also plays a physical brand of corner that carries over into how he defends the run and fights through blockers. He is not afraid to lower the shoulder for the big hit. Wide Receivers will have a tough time blocking him because he has proven to be relentless to the football and usually finds a way to get to the ball-carrier. The most impressive takeaway from watching Caldwell’s film was how football savvy he appeared to be. His football IQ at corner is high and he understands how to play the position. He isn’t just an athlete who was placed at corner. The Alvin product will need to add some muscle to compensate for the step up in physicality in the college game, but his skills should allow him to become a very productive cornerback at the next level. Final Verdict If Texas does indeed close up shop at corner with Caldwell joining Kenyatta Watson, Longhorn fans should be very pleased, especially after the defensive back haul in the 2018 class. Both corners should have the luxury of learning their first few years on campus before being asked to be major contributors. Tom Herman continues to show the ability to make tweaks and adjustments with his recruiting strategy. After waiting too long to offer several prospects last cycle, Herman identified a player like Caldwell early enough and offered him before Oregon or another school could negative recruit the Longhorns timing of the offer. The result is another quality player joining the 2019 class and continues to build momentum as the summer months progress.
  19. With only T'Vondre Sweat on the board for the 2019 DL class thus far, Texas added more beef up front with the commitment of DE Peter Mpagi. Although Mpagi won't stand out in terms of stars or his overall composite score, he is a prospect that will have a high ceiling in college. Mpagi will fit in on Todd Orlando's defense nicely after taking some time to learn from several experienced upperclassmen. His addition will only help fill the inevitable holes that will be left by the departures of Charles Omenihu and Breckyn Hager. After a stellar junior season, Mpagi started to gain the attention of several blue blood programs like Texas and Nebraska. Ultimately, Mpagi's love for the Longhorns won the day. Mpagi will need some time to beef up and get stronger, but after a year with Yancy McKnight, he could become a valuable contributor to the Texas defensive front. Player Information Name: Peter Mpagi Position: DE High School: George Ranch City & State: Richmond, TX Measurables Height: 6’4 (Nike) Weight: 224 (Nike) 40-yard: 4.64 (Unverified) Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics 2016 - 5 Sacks 2017 - 33 Tackles, 5 TFL, 9 Sacks, Film Peter Mpagi Junior Season Pros: Shows great lateral quickness. Mpagi has the athleticism to handle assignments that a college linebacker would normally be tasked with. Utilizes hands extremely well. Mpagi was able to take advantage of often undersized linemen by using his hands to gain leverage and get to the backfield. Displays a great motor. He never gives up on plays and is always making some type of impact around the ball. Always finds a way to get to the quarterback. It's not surprising to see that Mpagi had 9 sacks this season. Most impressive was Mpagi's ability to get to a mobile quarterback running outside the pocket. Possesses a high football IQ. Mpagi frequently got his hands up in situations where he wasn't able to get into the backfield and caused interceptions. Holds a great frame for the position that will allow him to grow into a physical presence coming off the edge. Cons: While Mpagi certainly possesses quickness, he needs to improve on his first step off the ball. He does not currently have the explosiveness that coaches like to see in edge rushers. Has a tendency to move inside. Needs to improve on the outside rush, as linemen in college will not be as prone to allowing successful inside moves off the edge. Needs a year or two under Yancy McKnight to become a stronger physical presence. Add that with being coached by Todd Orlando and you have a good recipe for success. Mpagi is very predictable. That's not something that is surprising out of a high school lineman, but he will need to mix it up in college. Summary Although Mpagi is a late bloomer, it's hard to see why more schools did not notice him sooner. The numbers he put up in 6A high school football is impressive. Mpagi is essentially a Charles Omenihu prototype. He has the quickness and athleticism to be a solid pass rusher off the edge for the Longhorns. There is certainly room for improvement in his game, but none of his weaker traits are uncommon for an edge rusher. The one thing that stands out most about Mpagi is that he already uses his hands very effectively. If he can learn how to gain a quick first step off the ball, he will become a nuisance for Big 12 tackles. Final Verdict The defensive line is one of several units that Texas and Oscar Giles needed to add depth to — especially with the departure of Charles Omenihu and Breckyn Hager at the end of the 2018 season. T'Vondre Sweat and Peter Mpagi might not be the biggest fish available, but they are certainly quality players that could be key producers in the future. Even though Texas did not get off to a hot start with the 2019 class, they are slowly gaining momentum on the recruiting trail. Tom Herman's recruiting class ranks in the top 5 nationally in average composite rating, which will only continue to rise. Where offering late usually is a negative to a recruit, Herman used the time to his advantage. He knew Mpagi was very interested in the Longhorns, and evaluated patiently to sell Mpagi on the fact that Texas offers players they are sure about. In the end, the strategy paid off, and Tom Herman has added yet another quality recruit to the 2019 class.
  20. When California LB De’Gabriel Floyd committed to Texas in March, he made it clear he would be a huge recruiting presence for the Longhorns on the west coast, specifically in California. When Floyd committed, it appeared to be the first step in Texas re-establishing themselves in one of the most talent-rich areas in the country. The next step was taken today, when Mayfair (CA) S Chris Adimora verbally committed to Texas. Adimora joins Kenyatta Watson as the only two defensive backs committed in the 2019 class. The California native took an unofficial to Texas for the Orange-White spring game in April, and came away very impressed. In June, Adimora named a top 7 of Alabama, Texas, Michigan, USC, UCLA, Oregon and the only school he ended up taking an official visit to, Boise State. Ultimately, Adimora decided to shut down the recruiting process and pledge to the Longhorns without taking his remaining official visits, giving Texas their first safety commit this class. The 6’1, 181 pounder ranks as the 14th best safety in the country and the 200th best player overall, according to the 247sports composite rankings. Film Analysis Player Information Name: Chris Adimora Position: S High School: Mayfair City & State: Lakewood, CA Measurables Height: 6’1 (Verified) Weight: 181 (Verified) 40-yard: 4.71 (Verified) Shuttle: 4.45 (Verified) Vertical: 32 (Verified) Statistics 2017: 71 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 7 interceptions Film https://www.hudl.com/profile/6729292/Chris-Adimora Pros: Possesses solid size for the position at 6’1, 181 pounds and carries a pretty muscled up frame. First thing that jumps off the tape is the amount of ball production he produces. Lots of interceptions, forced fumbles, and PBUs. Reminds me of Eric Berry or Ed Reed when he gets his hands on the ball in any phase of the game. He’s always looking to take it to the house and is dangerous when he gets his hands on the rock. Displays pretty good hands on both sides of the ball and does a good job of high pointing the football. Can produce the big hit with the best of them, but also does a good job of putting his chest on ball carriers and wrapping up. Displays good range from the middle of the field to both sidelines. Shows a nose for the end zone in all three phases of the game. He’s relentless in his pursuit of the end zone. Very versatile player that has been featured at several positions over the past couple of years including running back. Plays the game hard, fast, and looks to always be competing no matter what position he is playing. Cons: His tape was a lot of fun to watch, but some of the plays he made reminded me of DeShon Elliott, in which he just happened to be in the right place at the right time. The competition he plays against doesn’t seem to be the best, which may lead to his stats being a tad inflated. Is he a big fish in a small pound? There were times where he was caught peeking in the backfield and he started flowing the wrong direction. Needs to become more disciplined with his eyes. Unsure if his ability as a return man will translate to the next level. Summary When you turn on the film, the first thing that stands out about Adimora is his ability to make plays. He has a nose for the ball and puts himself in position to produce turnovers. Unlike some guys who are being recruited as safeties but have most of their experience at corner, Adimora exclusively played safety on defense throughout high school, meaning he has a great understanding of his responsibilities and where to be on the field. He projects to be a reliable tackler who also has the ability to light people up who come across the middle of the field. The 4.71 40-time listed is not a concern, as he showed no problems being able to cover sideline to sideline and plays faster than that on tape.As mentioned in the cons, there are some questions about the level of competition in some of his highlights. Regardless, the skills and traits he displays scream productivity at the college level, which makes his high school competition a very minor concern. Final Verdict When Tom Herman got to Texas, he said he would not limit himself to just the borders of the state to find talent. The 2019 class supports that sentiment wholeheartedly. 5 of the 11 verbal commitments Texas has are from out-of-state players. Adimora and Floyd in particular could help Texas develop a nice pipeline to California in future classes. It doesn’t hurt that the duo can continue to work on 5-star ATH Bru McCoy, who plays at California powerhouse Mater Dei. The current talent in the defensive backs already on campus should afford Adimora a redshirt year, but he should squarely be in the mix for playing time by 2020. After the 2018 defensive back haul, Tom Herman and Craig Naivar have to be thrilled to add another talented player to the safety room.
  21. With Lake Travis wide receiver Garrett Wilson off the board to Ohio State, the Texas staff was forced switch gears a bit with who they were prioritizing at the position. Jordan Whittington has already reserved his spot in the class and assumed the position as a class leader, but he was overdue for some company at wide out. Particularly some company that could be featured in the slot. That’s where Jake Smith comes into the equation. Smith made multiple trips to Austin this spring as he made visits to several of the nation’s top programs. Despite making trips to some of the nation’s elite, there was something about Texas that he just couldn’t shake. Smith was viewed as a USC lean for some time, but after his second trip to Austin for the spring game things started trending strongly for the Longhorns in this recruitment. Things began trending so strongly that even a great visit to Los Angeles couldn’t slow down Texas’ momentum with Smith. Smith became a much bigger priority when Wilson chose the Buckeyes, but you should know better by now than to doubt this staff on the recruiting trail. Smith has given his pledge to the Longhorns and gives them another nationally ranked wide receiver commit. Film Analysis Player Information Name: Jake Smith Position: WR High School: Notre Dame Preparatory City & State: Scottsdale, AZ Measurables Height: 6’1 (Unverified) Weight: 189 (Unverified) 40-yard: 4.37 (Unverified) Shuttle: N/A Vertical: 34 (Unverified) Statistics 2017: 118 Rushing attempts, 1135 yards, 11 TDs, 33 receptions, 1055 yards, 15 TDs Film https://www.hudl.com/video/3/6340216/59c7fdfaff01dc11406b6fd8 Pros: Possesses solid size for the position. Listed at 6’1, 189 pounds. Has great speed, acceleration, and short area quickness. The competition he faces struggles just to stay in front of him and he is able to frequently get separation. Possesses very good long speed. You don’t see him getting caught from behind much and he even outruns some defenders who have angles on him. Shows good body control and coordination as he tracks balls in the air. Has good hands and shows the ability to maintain concentration for the difficult catches. His versatility really shows up on tape. Rushed for over 1,000 yards at RB and netted over 1,000 yards receiving. Also proved to be a legitimate threat as a return man. Coaches will be able to get creative with him. Incredibly elusive once he hits the second and third levels of the defense. He will get his fair share of YAC if the first defender doesn’t get him on the ground. Shows good patience, vision, and burst as a ball carrier. Shows a knack for allowing the play to develop and bursting through the hole and to the next level. Love his competitive toughness. How many wide receivers do you see willing to line up at running back and slam in between the tackles? Has a nose for the end zone. He’s a big play machine and he finds pay dirt often. Cons: While his listed measurables are solid, I am willing to bet he comes in a little under both in the height and weight category. Him being fast isn’t a question, but the 4.37 may be on the generous side. Want to see more of the route tree from him on tape. He’s a problem on vertical and deep routes, but he will be asked to do much more in the slot. The competition he plays against isn’t great. Thankfully he shows consistently that he can dominate it and doesn’t play down to it. Being on the smaller side, I wonder how he will respond against quality corners that will be able to get physical with him when pressed up. Summary Jake Smith is a two (soon to be three) year varsity starter of Notre Dame Prep out of Scottsdale, AZ. Smith is a bit of a Swiss army knife for Notre Dame’s offense, as he splits time at both wide receiver and running back and excelled at both in 2017. Smith is listed at 6’1, 189 pounds, but my eyes tell me he is probably slightly smaller than what he is listed at, but a true eyeball test is required to confirm those suspicions. Smith rolled up over 1,000 yards as a running back and as a wide receiver, and was the first Arizona high school player to accomplish that feat since Christian Kirk back in 2013. The main thing that jumps off the tape at you about Smith’s game is his speed and elusiveness in the open field. Smith is able to accelerate and get up to top speed quickly and is able to make cuts and make defenders miss without having to slow down much. On top of that, Smith possesses great long speed as you don’t see him getting caught from behind much once he breaks away from the defense. As a pass catcher, Smith shows he has good, reliable hands and shows that he can make the concentration catches like over the shoulder deep balls and or when his vision is obstructed by defenders. As a route runner, Smith’s combination of quickness and straight line speed allow him to frequently get separation from defenders. At this stage in his development, Smith is featured on a lot of vertical routes in the passing game, so he will need to become more comfortable with more parts of the route tree. This holds especially true if Smith is going to be counted on to log heavy snaps in the slot, as he will be asked to work the middle of the field on short and immediate routes and will be asked to find the holes and soft spots in zones rather than just trying to run past guys on vertical routes. I am bullish on him on becoming a more well-rounded route runner though, as he has the movements, agility, and footwork to potentially become a real problem in his aspect of his game. One of my favorite traits about Smith would definitely be his competitive toughness. While he split time at both positions in 2017, in 2016 he was used more as a running back and even though he is on the smaller side you don’t see him shying away from contact as a ball carrier. Smith shows on tape that he is not afraid to pound the rock up in between the tackles and he isn’t a guy that is going to look to bounce it outside and try to rely on his speed every time he touches it. Seeing this on tape makes me feel good about his chances of being a guy who will eventually develop into a reliable chain mover on money downs, as I think he won’t shy away from going over the middle and making tough catches when he knows he will take a lick from a defender. Overall I didn’t find any glaring weaknesses when watching Smith on tape, but something I will note in closing is that the competition he faces doesn’t seem to be very strong, but as I listed above he doesn’t seem to ever play down to the competition and he put up great numbers in 2017. I also think there could be a bit of an adjustment period for him when he makes the transition to college, as he will face bigger, longer defensive backs who will be able to get physical with him and not give him as many clean releases as he is getting right now. Final Verdict This is a fantastic pickup for Texas and it takes the sting out of losing Garrett Wilson to Ohio State earlier this spring. While some may never get over that loss, this is a heck of a consolation prize and I’m not sure you can even put Smith in that category given the caliber of player that he is. We are talking about a legit blue chip, Top 100 nationally ranked player with 30+ offers from some of the best programs in the country. And given that Texas lacks a player that could truly be dynamic out of the slot, that makes landing Smith an even bigger victory in my book. Smith has the skillset that will allow him to see the field sooner rather than later due to the versatility that he brings to the table and his ability to contribute to special teams. Barring injuries, I think Smith truly has a chance to be a heck of a player at Texas and think he could evolve into a player that earns All Big-12 accolades and I think his floor is a solid multi-year starting contributor at the next level. All and all this was a great job recruiting by Tom Herman and his staff, and a great pickup for the Longhorns.
  22. It is no secret Texas needs quality tight ends to help the Tom Herman offense be successful. After signing Cade Brewer and Reese Leitao in 2017, the Longhorns took one player at the position in the 2018 class, Malcolm Epps out of Spring Dekaney. 2019 set up to be another year where the Longhorns wanted to take multiple commitments at the position. Tom Herman and Co. went out of state for one, securing a commitment from Chandler (AZ) tight end Brayden Liebrock in early May. The second slot was filled today with the commitment of Temple (TX) tight end Jared Wiley. Wiley was extended an offer in February, and the Longhorns immediately jumped to top of his list. On May 10th, Wiley named a top 3 of Texas, Houston and Missouri. Ultimately, the Longhorns won out and now have the luxury of having 2 high-upside and athletic tight ends in the same recruiting class. The 6’5, 225 pounder is ranked as the 1185th player in the country and the 43rd best Tight End, according to the 247sports composite rankings. Film Analysis Player Information Name: Jared Wiley Position: TE High School: Temple High School City & State: Temple, Texas Measurables Height: 6’5 (Unverified) Weight: 225 (Unverified) 40-yard: 5.03 (ESPN) Shuttle: 4.71 (ESPN) Vertical: 28.1 (ESPN) Statistics 2017- 25 REC, 323 Yards, 4 TD’s Film https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7492330/5a0c7eb4e984d40e3877972c Pros: Played with his hand in the dirt and as a receiver flexed out wide. Seemed very comfortable in both roles. Tough to bring down. Repeatedly showed the ability to absorb blows and always has his feet churning for extra yards. Not afraid to lower the shoulder and push the pile forward Plays well in traffic. Has the ability to make catches over the middle and with defenders surrounding him. Displays a high football IQ. Has great awareness wherever he is lined up on the field and knows where the soft spots in a defense are. Wiley also spent a season as a backup QB, so he knows what to look for. Very willing blocker. Uses his frame well and shows the potential to be a good inline blocker down the road. Carries his weight very well. Shows good agility in the open field. While he will never be someone who can run by somebody, he has good speed for his size. For a guy who projects as a Tight End, Wiley shows the ability to run a variety of routes effectively. Looked very comfortable going up the seam as a TE, but also was reliable when running hitches and wheel route when he was lined up as a receiver. Displays solid hands and good body coordination when having to make adjustments on the football. Cons: As with most tight ends coming out of high school, there will be an adjustment period with learning blocking techniques at the college level. Shows he is willing, but still needs to improve hand placement and play with better leverage at the POA. Carries his weight well to the point that he looks a bit lanky. Will need to spend some time in the weight room and add some good weight. Play strength seems to be a bit of an issue at this point, but that will improve once he spends some time with Yancy McKnight and the training staff. As mentioned in the pros, he lacks the speed to break away from tacklers in the open field. Would like to see some more wiggle and elusiveness when it comes to getting YAC. Spent some time at quarterback last year and will likely do the same in 2018, which could be both good and bad. Summary The tight end position may be hardest position to recruit. There are becoming fewer and fewer true tight ends coming out of high school. What Wiley represents is both a combination of skills and projection. The first thing that sticks out when you turn on the film is Wiley’s experience as both a TE and a WR at the high school level. The Temple coaches utilized him in a traditional TE role at times, where he showed the ability to be an effective blocker, while also serving as a receiving threat. When he flexed out to receiver, Wiley showed good hands and a diverse route tree. For a guy standing at 6’5, Wiley shows good agility with the ball in his hands. His previous experience at quarterback shows in his game, as he has the ability to find open spots in coverage to sit down for his QB. He flashes the ability to play well in traffic, catching several tough passes where he was blanketed by defenders. He also high points the ball well and could be a dangerous target near the goal-line. The biggest question mark as he transitions into college will be his development as a blocker. While he shows a willingness to block, he will likely need to beef up in the weight room to be able to handle college defenders. If he is able to add weight and learn to utilize his size to leverage defenders in the run game, Wiley could develop into a very good player. Final Verdict Very early in his tenure at Texas, Tom Herman emphasized how important the tight end position would be for his offense. Cade Brewer flashed major potential as a freshman, and Reese Leitao has received his some praise for his practice performance. It appears the tight end position is beginning to take a turn for the better for Texas after years of sub-par production. The depth will likely allow Wiley to take a redshirt year to pack on some good weight, which should be very beneficial. Texas had several options when it came to recruiting the tight end position, but the offensive staff made Wiley a priority several months ago and never wavered. Assuming he takes the next step developing as a blocker, Wiley will give Texas another major contributor and possible multi-year starter at one of the most important positions in the Longhorn offense.
  23. Texas has officially broke the seal on the 2020 recruiting class and they did it by staying local and tapping into the talented Lake Travis pipeline. Texas took a bad beat earlier this spring when Garrett Wilson announced he was picking the Buckeyes over the Longhorns, but that didn’t temper the staff’s enthusiasm in recruiting QB/WR Hudson Card. Card did a little bit of everything for Lake Travis offensively in 2017, but spent most of the season at wide receiver where he put together an impressive sophomore year that lead to 20 plus offers from some the best programs in the nation. Despite being in the middle of recruiting for the 2019 class, Texas identified the local 2020 product early and made it clear they wanted him to stay in Austin. Texas landing Card is great way for the staff to kick off what is sure to be another very talented recruiting class. Player Information Name: Hudson Card Position: ATH (QB, WR) High School: Lake Travis City & State: Austin, Texas Measurables Height: 6’2 (Unverified) Weight: 167 (Unverified) 40-yard: 4.79 (Unverified) Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics 2017: 604 Passing Yards, 6 TDs (3 INTs), 459 Rushing Yards, 6 TDs, 69 Receptions, 1137 yards, 13 TDs Film https://www.hudl.com/video/3/6877959/5a46c1e4f55fe701a4ec8c66 Pros: He’s a Swiss army knife on the offensive side of the ball. Will be a guy you can get creative with due to his versatility. Very decisive with his steps and movements. Doesn’t have a lot of wasted movements. Already runs very clean routes at this stage in his development and consistently gets separation. Very tough guy to stay with in coverage. Very elusive open field runner with the ball in his hands. Possesses good wiggle, lateral agility, and vision. Very reliable hands as a receiver. Catches balls consistently all over the field and shows a willingness to make catches in traffic. As a Quarterback, he shows good touch on his passes and the ability to place the ball where only his receiver can get it. Familiarity with the Texas offense. Former Texas QC Coach Will Stein is the new Lake Travis offensive coordinator, so Card will get to take advantage of having a coach who knows the Longhorn offense. Cons: Currently weighs in south of 170. Will need to spend some time in the weight room and add some good mass to his frame. The 2018 season will be his first at QB full time. Depending on where he projects long term, the lost reps at the receiver position could be unfortunate. Has a tendency to tuck and run a tad early when at quarterback. Will also need to learn how to slide more often and conserve hits on his body. Curious to see how he reacts when he faces bigger, strong corners that will be willing to get more physical with him when pressed up. Summary If there was one word to describe Card, it would be playmaker. He was utilized all over the field during his sophomore year at Lake Travis, and the results speak for themselves. His agility and ability as a route runner make it easy to see wide receiver as his future home, but his potential as dual-threat quarterback is hard to ignore. Card will take over as the starting quarterback for the Cavaliers in 2018, where he hopes to build off of a good performance in the 2017 State Championship game when he filled in for an injured Matthew Baldwin and nearly led Lake Travis to a state title over powerhouse Allen. As a receiver, Card is a polished route runner with reliable hands. He shows good elusiveness in the open field and isn’t afraid to go over the middle or make catches in traffic. His experience at quarterback benefit him as a route runner, where he shows the ability to read defenses and adjust his routes accordingly. At quarterback, Card’s game shows similarities to former Lake Travis QB Baker Mayfield. The shiftiness and elusiveness he shows at receiver carries over to QB, where he shows the ability to extends plays with his legs and keep his eyes downfield. The threat of him as a runner forces defenses to be honest, creating the opportunity for receivers. Card shows the potential for good arm strength, with the ability to make strong throws over the middle and outside the hashes. The biggest adjustment if he stays at QB at the next level will be progressing through reads and becoming more comfortable in the pocket. Final Verdict Card is the type of player who you will always take a commitment from and figure out his position later. While his highest potential may be at quarterback, there is little doubt Card would also succeed as a receiver. His skills and athleticism will translate well to the college game. The coaching staff should have the luxury of giving Card a redshirt year to help develop him at whatever position they choose. Texas has not been shy about offering 2020 players who they feel can be elite, and Card fits that category. It doesn’t hurt when the talent is in your own backyard, and Tom Herman was able to take advantage of the proximity and reel in another quality player.
  24. By Daniel Seahorn If you couldn’t tell by now, Texas running back coach Stan Drayton values versatility in his meeting room. Being able to tote the rock is one thing, but when you can be an asset as a pass blocker in blitz pickup and or as a receiver out of the backfield or split out wide then you really set yourself apart from the pack in evaluations. Running backs Daniel Young and Toneil Carter have certainly shown in flashes that they possess these traits and incoming freshman back Keaontay Ingram has shown on tape consistently that he can be that kind of back as well. The thing these three players have in common? They will all be underclassmen when the 2018 season kicks off this fall and they could probably benefit from some veteran experience in the rotation. That’s where former Cal running back Tre Watson enters the picture. Watson possesses the traits mentioned previously and he was setup for a breakout year as the lead back in Berkley in 2017 before suffering a season ending injury. Watson got the Wally Pipp treatment, as his replacement Patrick Laird experienced a breakout season of his own as he tallied over 1400 yards from scrimmage . With that transpiring, Watson opted to go the graduate transfer route and look for a new home. Watson looks to have found what he was looking for in his new home in Austin, Texas. After officially visiting Texas over the weekend and thoroughly enjoying himself for the spring game festivities, Watson decided to call Austin home for the next year and become a Longhorn. Film Analysis Player InformationName: Tre Watson Position: RB High School/ College: Centennial/ Cal- Berkley City & State: Corona, CA Measurables Height: 5’11 Weight: 205 40-yard: N/A Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics 2014: 25 carries, 94 yards, 1 TD, 1 reception, 1 yard, 20 kick returns, 407 yards, 1 punt return, 4 yards 2015: 88 carries, 494 yards, 3 TDs, 10 receptions, 106 yards, 1 TD, 2 kick returns, 44 yards 2016: 143 carries, 709 yards, 4 TDs, 21 receptions, 241 yards, 4 TDs, 12 kick returns, 206 yards 2017: 17 carries, 83 yards, 5 receptions, 31 yards ** ** Suffered a season ending injury Film 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWuSOjeUMoI 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxwl50ssIy4 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGry4SIXHVE Pros: Battle tested veteran. Tallied just under 1800 yards from scrimmage during his time in Berkley. Brings a diversified skill set to the table. Can be effective as a receiver out of the backfield and can also be split out wide. Possesses solid size for the position at 5’11, 205 pounds. Possesses good vision and runs decisively. Sticks his foot in the ground and goes without much hesitation and shows good up-field burst. Shows to have a good feel and patience for inside and outside zone as well as the power run game. Has the speed to get the corner of the defense and rip of yards in chunks. Not the biggest guy, but runs with some subtle power and runs behind his pads when anticipating contact. Has some wiggle and can make defenders miss in close quarters and in the open field. Will be a big asset in the screen game in Austin just like he was in Berkley. Possesses a reliable set of hands as a receiver. Could be an asset in the return game. Cons: Suffered a season ending lower body injury in 2017. Will have to be sure he has fully recovered from that injury without any setbacks. Returning from a lower body injury makes me wonder if he will have the same decisiveness and burst as he did pre-injury. Was easily replaced after going down with an injury. Product of a plug and play system? Can he BYOB (be your own blocker) with the state of the Texas offensive line? Shows a lot of good on tape, but I have questions about how he holds up as a pass protector. He’s a one year band-aid for the position that is young and struggled a bit this spring with ball security. Will likely steal carries from one of the young backs, which could be both good and bad. Summary Tre Watson is a former three year lettermen with the California Golden Bears. Watson participated in 37 games and logged 8 starts before going down with a season ending lower body injury in the second game of season in 2017. Prior to the injury in 2017, Watson displayed the makings of a player that could be an asset in three different phases of the game (as a runner, a receiver, and returner). As a runner, Watson displays good feel for both the zone (inside and outside) and power run game. He shows good vision, and patience as he lets the play and blocks develop in front of him before showing off his up-field burst and exploding to the second and third levels of the defense. At 5’11, 205 pounds, Watson has solid size for the position and does a good job of running behind his pads and show good tackle breaking ability both through finesse and at times through pure strength from his lower body. Watson has some wiggle to his game and is capable of making defenders miss in close quarters as well as the open field and particularly showed off this facet of his game as a receiver in the screen game. As a receiver, Watson proves to have reliable hands in the screen game or even flexed out wide in empty sets. Watson possessing this ability only adds to his value due how Texas likes to utilize their running backs outside of just turning and putting the ball in their belly. Watson being a reliable target in the passing game gives Watson the opportunity to potentially be a three down back during his time in Austin, which would be a change a pace from the game of musical chairs the position experienced in 2017. During his time in Berkley, Watson also logged snap both as a kick and punt returner, and while he didn’t put any points on the board as the return man, he does bring that experience the table and give the coaches another option back there going forward. Final Verdict The more I watch Watson, the more I really like this pickup for Texas. Does him coming off a lower leg injury worry me? Yes. Does he likely take carries away from two young backs that showed promise last year? Yep. Does the Texas offensive line still need to be able to open up consistent running lanes for him to be successful? You would be correct about that. In regards to the young backs, I don’t think the Texas coaches would be going down this avenue if they felt 100% comfortable with their stable after concluding spring practice. We’ve already covered the staff’s concerns about ball security and we saw that issue in the spring game with Toneil Carter putting the ball on the ground. And while many are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Keaontay Ingram in the summer, it would be nice if the staff didn’t have to rely heavily on a true freshman for the second year in a row at the running back position. Watson may be a one year rental, but he could prove to be a very valuable asset in the Texas backfield in 2018 with the skill set he brings to the table and he takes the pressure off of Keaontay Ingram to have to provide meaningful snaps from Day 1.
  25. 2019 (All Official Visits) OT Tyler Johnson The five star offensive tackle from Conroe headlines the big recruiting weekend for the Longhorns and with Texas already sitting in a good position with Johnson, we don’t expect that to change following the weekend. Johnson previously took an official to Oklahoma last month, and while they are in the mix Texas holds a comfortable lead on the Sooners and the rest of the field. We think Johnson can see himself in Burnt Orange when things are all said and done, but I wouldn’t expect a commitment to drop just yet as he continues to take his time through the process. TE Brayden Liebrock It is no secret that Texas would prefer to take multiple tight ends in 2019. The Longhorns have extended 8 tight end offers so far, and will host one of their top targets this weekend in Brayden Liebrock. Standing at 6’5, 220 pounds, Liebrock fits the mold of the type of tight ends Tom Herman wants in his offense. The Arizona native took an unofficial visit to Texas back in March, so his interest in the Longhorns is legitimate. Ohio State, Cal and Arizona State appear to be the primary competition for Texas. DE/OLB NaNa Osafo-Mensah Mensah will be the only player visiting this weekend with a commitment date already set. The 4-star out of Fort Worth Nolan will decide between Texas and Notre Dame on May 19th. Texas will get the luxury of having the last official visit before his decision, but Notre Dame made a big impression during his visit to South Bend several weeks ago. Several months ago, we were asked about Texas and Osafo-Mensah, and at the time Texas had some serious ground to make up if they wanted to be a serious contender in his recruitment. The Longhorns did just that and have a very real chance of getting 2 head-to-head wins over Notre Dame this cycle, but it will not be a layup after the Fighting Irish blew Osafo-Mensah and his family away on their official. This was trending very favorably for Texas not too long ago, but the latest buzz has the momentum heading towards South Bend. CB Derek Stingley The nation's 2nd best cornerback, according to the 247sports composite rankings, will be in Austin this weekend. Stingley named Texas in his top 6 back in March along with LSU, Stanford, Michigan, Florida and Georgia. The Louisiana native was committed to LSU at one point in time, but de-committed a little over a year ago. The Tigers are still seen as the favorites in his recruitment, but Texas appears to have positioned themselves favorably and will at least get a chance to wow the 5-star standout. ATH Makiya Tongue The versatile playmaker from The Boot will make his way to Austin for his official visit this weekend and the vibes going in are favorable for the Longhorns. We’ve said previously that things could get interesting if LSU got into the mix with him being a University Lab player, but it doesn’t look like the Tigers view him as a priority at this time and that is allowing Texas to strengthen the relationship. Tongue has NFL bloodlines and could project to a few different positions at the collegiate level, but he wants a shot at playing wide receiver starting out. While he may have visions of catching touchdowns, his upside may be higher on the defensive side of the ball, which is where Texas seems to like him more. 2020 QB Bryce Young (Unofficial visit) With a commitment from Roschon Johnson in the 2019 class, Texas has already begun the search for a signal caller in the 2020 class. Young transferred to California powerhouse Mater Dei earlier this year and already holds offers from over 20 programs. The Texas staff has done a great job building a relationship with Young and his visit this weekend will be his 2nd time in Austin this offseason. USC is seen as the early favorite, but Texas will have an opportunity to make a big impression. Additional Note: Marcus Banks will not be making his official visit this weekend and will have to reschedule for a later date.

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