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The Texas 22: Starting at wide receiver — Reggie Hemphill-Mapps

Posted August 17th, 2017

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We’re breaking down who we think will be Texas’ starting lineup, a combined effort from Mike Craven, Brian Davis and Danny Davis. We’re doing two a day, one offensive and one defensive player.

REGGIE HEMPHILL-MAPPS

Freshman (redshirt) wide receiver, 6-1, 185

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High school: Manvel

Signing class: 2016

Career games: None

Career starts: None

Career numbers: None yet

WHO HE WAS — BEFORE TEXAS

Hemphill-Mapps was one of three wide receiver headliners of the Charlie Strong’s final recruiting class along with Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay. He was the lowest-rated of the three, a three-star recruit and the 67th-rated receiver prospect in the country per 247Sports’ composite, which also had him as the No. 384-ranked overall recruit nationally.

Signing him was an adventure. He originally committed to Mack Brown back in August 2013, just before his sophomore year at Manvel. But then he opened his recruiting back up when Brown was fired after that season. Strong continued to pursue him, though. Hemphill-Mapps was at Royal-Memorial Stadium on a visit for Strong’s 2014 coaching debut against North Texas and he ended up committing to the Longhorns again that October.

He was ranked No. 43 on the 2015 Fabulous 55 after his senior season, when he had 31 catches for 557 yards and five touchdowns. That was an average of 18 yards per catch. As a junior he had 36 receptions for 725 yards and 14 touchdowns.

At Manvel, Hemphill-Mapps was a four-year contributor to one of the top power programs in the Houston area. He had 10 catches for 400 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman and followed that up with 28 catches for 589 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior.

RELATED: Our 2016 Signing Day Q&A with Mapps — including why he decommitted, then recommitted

Texas’ wide receiver John Burt, center, and Reggie Hemphill-Mapps walk off the field after falling 45-40 to Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

WHO HEMPHILL-MAPPS HAS BEEN HERE — SO FAR

Hemphill-Mapps redshirted last season, but has earned a chance to become a starter thanks to an impressive spring and strong start to fall camp this month. He was one of many young players who impressed at the spring game; he had five catches for 84 yards that day, second on the team behind only Johnson.

He committed to Brown, signed with Strong and now will play for Tom Herman. Losing your head coach during your redshirt freshman season can’t be mentally easy. But a new head coach also offers a fresh slate and a chance to impress. It looks like he’s impressed Herman and new offensive coordinator Tim Beck enough and may be poised for a breakout season.

WHO TEXAS NEEDS HIM TO BE THIS SEASON

If Johnson is right, then Hemphill-Mapps can “just roll out of bed and play football.” Texas would like to see him roll through defensive backs as a slot receiver. At 6-1, he’s small considering the size of those out wide. The coaching staff has praised him internally for excellent ball security and an ability to maneuver in traffic. It’s difficult to gauge what kind of statistics he’ll put up as a redshirt freshman, especially because this is a new offense. But the coaching staff wants to spread the ball around.

The Texas 22 — so far:

Offense:

QB Shane Buechele,

WR Armanti Foreman

WR Reggie Hemphill-Mapps

TE Andrew Beck

Defense:

DT Poona Ford

CB Kris Boyd

CB Holton Hill

S DeShon Elliott

The post The Texas 22: Starting at wide receiver — Reggie Hemphill-Mapps appeared first on HookEm.

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