News broke Sunday that Texas was moving on from defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. That news impacts recruiting as much as it does the current football team. The early signing period is less than three weeks away, but early indications are that the Longhorns should hold onto most its class despite any coaching changes. It was later announced that Texas is also departing with wide receiver coach Drew Mehringer, while offensive coordinator Tim Beck was reassigned for bowl duty.
“It’s bigger than football,” said four-star defensive tackle Vernon Broughton, who is expected to enroll early. “My loyalty is to the University of Texas and to coach Tom Herman.”
That sentiment was echoed by fellow commitment Jerrin Thompson, who simply responded by saying he’s “100 percent committed” when asked if the change at defensive coordinator would impact his pledge.
Four-star safety Xavion Alford is also expected to enroll early. A knee injury sidelined him for his senior season, but he expects to be cleared by spring football.
“I am 100 percent committed to Texas,” Alford said emphatically. “Me picking Texas is also a business decision. I have no control over what goes on when it comes to coaches. My job is to come in and be the best player I can be. That’s what I’m focused on the most.”
Texas’ 2020 class consists of 17 commitments and ranks seventh in the nation. Only five of those commitments are expected to play on the defensive side of the football following the news of Utah defensive end Van Fillinger de-committing from the Longhorns.
I will be DECOMMITING from Texas and REOPENING my recruitment.
— Van Fillinger (@van_filli) December 1, 2019
The offensive class is where Texas needs to keep players together. Five-star Bijan Robinson says he’s planning on signing with Texas if running back coach Stan Drayton remains on the staff. Texas also holds commitments from four offensive linemen, who shouldn’t be impacted by the changes since Herb Hand is safe through 2020.
“I’m still 100 percent committed to Texas,” said offensive tackle Jaylen Garth. “I understand it’s a business and coach Herman is just doing what’s best for the future of the program.”
Hutto playmaker Dajon Harrison is the most recent Texas commit, picking the Longhorns on Nov. 5. He’s listed as an athlete, but the three-star is expected to play slot receiver when he gets to college in the summer. Harrison remains firm to the Longhorns despite losing Mehringer. The main reason is Bryan Carrington.
“BC is that man when it comes to recruiting, but we love him for the person he is. He’s true to his words and is passionate about what he does,” Harrison said. “No matter what happens with the coaching staff, our recruiting class is going to be something serious. There is nowhere else I’d rather be.”
Troy Omeire and Quentin Johnston are the two true wide receiver prospects pledged to Texas. Omeire, a four-star from Fort Bend Austin, summed up his reaction with a simple, “I’m a Longhorn.”
Lake Travis product Hudson Card is one of two prep quarterbacks pledged to Texas. The local four-star is flanked by Ja’Quinden Jackson to form the best duo of quarterback prospects committed to the same school in the 2020 class, though Jackson, a dual-threat from Duncanville, is ranked as an athlete by recruiting services. Card grew up a fan of Texas and still plans to sign in December and enroll in January.
“I understand that coaching changes happen often at the college level,” said Card on Sunday night. “I’m putting my trust in Tom Herman for the long-term decisions he makes for the program.”
Card was injured during the season and has missed Lake Travis’ recent playoff run. He elected against surgery and could be back for the Class 6A Division I Region IV championship against Converse Judson at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
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