The Texas Longhorns flag flies in the end zone prior to kickoff against West Virginia at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

Football

20 for 20: A Texas recruiting primer, 20 days away from signing day (Nos. 11-20)

Posted January 11th, 2017

This is the continuation of our third annual 20 for 20 project, a Longhorns recruiting primer 20 days out of national signing day, which this year falls on Feb. 1.

Here are Nos. 11-20. Nos. 1-10 published earlier today.

La Grange's J.K. Dobbins(22) celebrates a touchdown against Liberty Hill during their Class 4A high school football game at Leopard Stadium in La Grange Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
La Grange’s JK Dobbins (22) celebrates a touchdown against Liberty Hill during their Class 4A high school football game at Leopard Stadium in La Grange Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

11. WHERE ARE THE STATE’S TOP PLAYERS HEADED?

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Most of the top players in Texas are headed outside the state.

That includes four of the top five players on the American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55 list of the state’s top recruits — No. 1 Baron Browning (Ohio State), No. 2 Jeffrey Okudah (Ohio State), No. 4 JK Dobbins (Ohio State) and No. 5 Walker Little (Stanford) — and five of the top 10. Three others are uncommitted, and two others are going to Texas A&M (Plano East inside linebacker Anthony Hines) and Texas Tech (Frisco guard Jack Anderson).

Marvin Wilson is one of the top recruits on the Austin American-Statesman Fabulous 55 for 2017. (seccountry.com)
Marvin Wilson is one of the top recruits on the Austin American-Statesman Fabulous 55 for 2017. (seccountry.com)

12. WHICH TOP RECRUITS AREN’T YET COMMITTED?

The state’s highest-rated player yet to name a school is Houston Bellaire Episcopal defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, who’s No. 3 on our Fab 55 but No. 1 on some state rankings lists. He’s expected to choose Alabama, another likely five-star Texan that will leave Texas and the Big 12.

Galena Park North Shore defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson, who’s No. 6 on our list, Liberty-Eylau defensive end Lagaryonn Carson (No. 9) and No. 15 Chevin Calloway, a cornerback from Dallas Bishop Dunne, are the only top 15-ranked players uncommitted. Both Chaisson and Calloway hold offers from Texas and are expected to take official visits to Austin before signing day; Carson once was a Longhorns pledge before he de-committed.

during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.
during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.

13. WHO’S WINNING THE STATE?

No one in the state of Texas. It’s Ohio State that should claim the 2017 state belt. Three of Texas’ five best players are committed to the Buckeyes, who also recently got junior college prospect Kendall Sheffield, a former 5-star recruit from Missouri City.

In fact, Oklahoma has as many pledges (two) among the state’s top 12 players on the Fab 55 as all the other Texas football programs combined. Texas and TCU each have three commitments from the top 25.

Westlake Senior Quarterback, Sam Ehlinger (4) gets his team excited before their game against Lake Travis High School in Lake Travis, Texas on Friday, October 7, 2016 Elizabeth Kreutz for American-Statesman
Westlake Senior Quarterback, Sam Ehlinger (4) gets his team excited before their game against Lake Travis High School in Lake Travis, Texas on Friday, October 7, 2016
Elizabeth Kreutz for American-Statesman

14. WHICH POSITION HAS TEXAS RECRUITED THE BEST?

Offensive skill positions.

The Longhorns had the commitments of quarterback Sam Ehlinger, wide receiver Damion Miller and potential wide receiver Montrell Estell before Herman was hired. And on his first month on the job, Herman has landed two running backs and two tight ends. One of those running backs, Toneil Carter, is a 4-star prospect.

Levi Jones (17) sacks Beau Kalbacher during the 56-12 win by the Chaps over Austin High at Westlake on Friday night, September 18, 2015. PAUL BRICK FOR ACN
Levi Jones (17) sacks Beau Kalbacher during the 56-12 win by the Chaps over Austin High at Westlake on Friday night, September 18, 2015. PAUL BRICK FOR ACN

15. WHO ARE THE AREA’S TOP PROSPECTS?

La Grange running back JK Dobbins (No. 4) and a pair of Westlake players — Sam Ehlinger (Texas) and Levi Jones (uncommitted) — rank highest on the Fab 55. Lake Travis has several college prospects, including tight end Cade Brewer (Texas) and quarterback Charlie Brewer (Baylor) among others. And Round Rock defensive lineman James Lynch is committed to Baylor.

16. ARE THERE ANY EARLY ENROLLEES?

Texas has three — Ehlinger, Carter and junior college kicker Joshua Rowland.

 

Lake Travis tight end Cade Brewer pushes away Hays defensive back Jason Fowler after a first-quarter catch Friday night. Jay Plotkin photo for ACN
Lake Travis tight end Cade Brewer pushes away Hays defensive back Jason Fowler after a first-quarter catch Friday night. Jay Plotkin photo for ACN

17. DID TOM HERMAN TAKE AWAY ANY HOUSTON RECRUITS?

Yes.

Brenham linebacker Marqez Bimage, who pledged to Texas last week, once was a Cougars commitment. And Texas recently offered California cornerback Javlin Guidry, who also once was committed to Houston.

Herman also targeted players that he also had gone after at Houston, like San Antonio Reagan offensive lineman Derek Kerstetter, Spring Westfield running back Daniel Young, Houston Langham Creek running back Toneil Carter and Lake Travis tight end Cade Brewer.

They’re all Texas pledges now. Herman’s use of existing relationships was a smart way to close out the 2017 class.

 

18. HOW FAR WILL EACH FUTURE LONGHORN HAVE TO TRAVEL?

In ascending order, shortest to longest road trips:

Sam Ehlinger, Westlake QB: 8 miles

Cade Brewer, Lake Travis TE: 19 miles

Taquon Graham, Temple DE: 69 miles

Derek Kerstetter, San Antonio Reagan OL: 76 miles

Marqez Bimage, Brenham ILB: 92 miles

Toneil Carter, Langham Creek RB: 145 miles

Daniel Young, Spring Westfield RB: 155 miles

Kobe Boyce, Lake Dallas CB: 227 miles

Damion Miller, Tyler John Tyler WR: 228 miles

Josh Thompson, Nacogdoches CB: 232 miles

Montrell Estell, Hooks ATH: 360 miles

Reese Leitao, Tulsa (Okla.) Jenks TE: 446 miles

Joshua Rowland, Gulf Coast (Miss.) C.C. K: 569 miles

19. HOW MANY UT PLEDGES WERE ON BOARD BEFORE HERMAN WAS HIRED?

Five — or at least five that are still part of Texas’ 2017 class: Ehlinger, Miller, Boyce, Estelle and Graham. Texarkana Liberty-Eylau defensive end Lagaryonn Carson decommitted a month after Herman’s hire.

20. WHAT WILL TEXAS TARGET IN 2018?

Next year’s top recruiting priority will be defensive line, plus safety and linebacker. Offensively, Texas will need to get another quarterback and more bodies at wide receiver and offensive line.

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