The state’s 2017 recruiting class will be remembered as an exodus from the state, as most of the top 10-ranked players left for programs like Ohio State and LSU.
Texas coach Tom Herman and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin are making sure the 2018 class isn’t a repeat.
Eight of the state’s top 10 players on our updated Fabulous 55 list are committed either to Texas or Texas A&M. And 11 of the new top 20 — and 26 of the entire 55 — players are already committed to in-state schools with 15 players who are uncommitted.
There are 11 new names on the updated list, headlined by Arp safety DeMarvion Overshown (No. 11) and Yoakum wide receiver Joshua Moore (No. 12). Overshown has pledged to Texas; wide receiver Al’vonte Woodard (No. 15) and Carthage running back Keaontay Ingram (No. 19) give the Longhorns eight pledges among the top 20-rated players.
And there’s a new No. 1 player in the state.
Jalen Green, a four-star cornerback from Houston Heights, replaces Houston Lamar cornerback Anthony Cook, who now checks in at No. 4 heading into the season. Green, a 6-1 corner who played quarterback at Heights until his sophomore season, had a dominating performance at The Opening Final in Oregon earlier this summer and also was the most consistent defensive back in the state throughout the camp circuit.
A pair of safeties who have committed to Texas — Cibolo Steele’s Caden Sterns and Angleton’s B.J. Foster — are ranked No. 3 and No. 4. Texas A&M-bound wide receiver Jalen Preston rounds out the top five.
Every one of those top five players were at The Opening Final; Sterns was the most impressive safety at the event, showing off his ability as a roaming and coverage safety.
Texas has 17 commitments; 11 of those are on the Fab 55. The Longhorns’ class, which is still expected to grow by five players, moved up to No. 2 in the country per 247Sports’ composite ratings after Spring DeKaney tight end Malcolm Epps pledged to Texas on Tuesday.
NCAA rules prohibit coaches from talking about specific recruits until after they’ve signed a national letter of intent, but he did address Texas’ recruiting surge on Wednesday.
“I think you sell the people,” Herman said. “You sell our staff. You sell our strength coach, you see the academic staff, our nutritionists, our assistant coaches. The truth is easy to sell.
“You sell the tradition, although tradition for these guys is Vince Young,” he added. “It’s not Earl Campbell and Tommy Nobis. Tradition can only get you so far. You’ve got to sell the people, the academics, the cityand you sell the track record, too.”
Max Wright, a defensive end who has committed to Texas A&M, is now ranked sixth overall in the state, one spot ahead of recent Longhorns commitment Brennan Eagles, a wide receiver from Alief Taylor. Eagles also traveled to Oregon for The Opening Final; his combination of height and speed is unmatched in the state.
Leon O’Neal, a Cypress Springs safety who has pledged to A&M, jumped from 29th on our original list to No. 8. Uncommitted tight end Mustapha Muhammad is No. 9 while new Texas pledge Keondre Coburn, a four-star defensive tackle from Spring Westfield, is now No. 10.
AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2018 FABULOUS 55
The American-Statesman’s updated Fabulous 55 list of the state’s top recruits for 2018, compiled by staff writer Mike Craven:
Rank (pvs.)—Position—Player—School—Ht./Wt.—College note
1 (10)—CB—Jalen Green—Houston Heights (6A)—6-1/170—Committed to Texas
2 (4)—S—Caden Sterns—Cibolo Steele (6A)—6-1/173—Committed to Texas
3 (2)—S—B.J. Foster—Angleton (5A)—6-1/188—Committed to Texas
4 (1)—CB—Anthony Cook—Houston Lamar (6A)—6-1/168—Several, incl. Ohio State, Texas, LSU
5 (5)—WR—Jalen Preston—Manvel (5A)—6-2/202—Committed to Texas A&M
6 (3)—DE—Max Wright—Katy Taylor (6A)—6-4/260—Committed to Texas A&M
7 (13)—WR—Brennan Eagles—Alief Taylor (6A)—6-3/202—Committed to Texas
8 (30)—S—Leon O’Neal—Hou. Cypress Springs (6A)—6-2/190—Committed to Texas A&M
9 (11)—TE—Mustapha Muhammad—Fort Bend Ridge Point (6A)—6-5/235—Several, incl. Michigan, Clemson, LSU
10 (12)—TD—Keondre Coburn—Spring Westfield (6A)—6-1/326—Committed to Texas
11 (NR)—S—DeMarvion Overshown—Arp (3A)—6-4/200—Committed to Texas
12 (7)—WR—Joshua Moore—Yoakum (3A)—6-0/168—Committed to Nebraska
13 (28)—WR—Jaylen Waddle—Hou. Bellaire Episcopal (Priv.)—5-9/175—Several, incl. Texas A&M, Florida St., Alabama, Oregon
14 (6)—TE—Malcolm Epps—Spring DeKaney (6A)—6-6/214—Committed to Texas
15 (14)—WR—Al’vonte Woodard—Houston Lamar (6A)—6-1/182—Committed to Texas
16 (8)—OT—Darrell Simpson—Justin Northwest (5A)—6-7/330—Several, incl. Oklahoma, TCU, Texas A&M
17 (36)—CB—D’Shawn Jamison—Houston Lamar (6A)—5-10/168—Several, incl. Texas, TCU
18 (38)—DE—Jarrell Cherry—Dallas Carter (6A)—6-4/226—Committed to LSU
19 (51)—RB—Keaontay Ingram—Carthage (4A)—5-11/190—Committed to Texas
20 (20)—DT—Bobby Brown—Arlington Lamar (6A)—6-4/275—Several, incl. Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M
21 (22)—S—Atanza Vongor—South Grand Prairie (6A)—Committed to TCU
22 (9)—OG—Barton Clement—Fort Bend Marshall (5A)—6-2/304—Committed to Texas A&M
23 (NR)—WR—Tommy Bush—Schertz Clemens (6A)—6-4/191—Several, incl. Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma
24 (29)—WR—Erik Ezukanma—Fort Worth Timber Creek (6A)—6-2/175—Several, incl. Arkansas, Houston
25 (NR)—DE—Joseph Ossai—Conroe Oak Ridge (6A)—6-4/217—Several, incl. Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Texas
26 (54)—WR—Jaquaylin Crawford—Rockdale (3A)—5-10/163—Committed to Oklahoma
27 (17)—ILB—Alston Orji—Rockwall (6A)—6-2/214—Committed to Vanderbilt
28 (23)—QB—Spencer Sanders—Denton Ryan (5A)—6-2/190—Committed to Oklahoma State
29 (24)—OT—Luke Matthews—Fort Bend Elkins (5A)—5-9/166—Committed to Texas A&M
30 (55)—OG—Chasen Hines—Marshall (5A)—6-2/340—Committed to LSU
31 (34)—DT—Calvin Avery—Dallas Bishop Dunne (Priv.)—6-1/310—Committed to Illinois
32 (21)—S—Jordan Moore—Yoakum (3A)—5-11/180—Committed to Texas A&M
33 (NR)—OT—Rafiti Ghirmai—Frisco Wakeland (5A)—6-4/290—Several, incl. UCLA, Texas, Alabama, Georgia
34 (16)—OT—Colten Blanton—Hou. Cypress Ranch (6A)—6-6/271—Committed to Texas A&M
35 (15)—QB—Jalen Mayden—Garland Sachse (5A)—6-2/208—Committed to Mississippi State
36 (39)—ATH—Joshua Fleeks—Cedar Hill (6A)—6-0/170—Committed to Baylor
37 (NR)—OLB—Byron Hobbs—Fort Worth Eastern Hills (5A)—6-3/204—Committed to Texas
38 (18)—ILB—Bumper Pool—Lucas Lovejoy (5A)—6-2/215—Committed to Arkansas
39 (26)—S—Cam’ron Jones—Mansfield (6A)—6-0/187—Committed to UCLA
40 (32)—ILB—Chad Bailey—Fort Bend Ridge Point (6A)—6-0/235—Committed to Missouri
41 (40)—CB—Trev. Moehrig-Woodard—Smithson Valley (6A)—6-1/175—Committed to TCU
42 (53)—ATH—Julon Williams—Converse Judson (6A)—5-10/188—Several, incl. Houston, Kansas State
43 (44)—WR—Miles Battle—Houston Cypress Creek (6A)—6-4/188—Committed to Oregon
44 (49)—WR—Ke’von Ahmad—Colleyville Heritage (5A)—6-0/183—Several, incl. Boise State, San Diego State
45 (33)—WR—Montel Parker—Dickinson (6A)—6-2/176—Committed to Texas A&M
46 (NR)—OT—Reese Moore—Seminole (2A)—6-6/265—Committed to Texas
47 (NR)—OT—Connor Galvin—Katy (6A)—6-6/260—Committed to Baylor
48 (NR)—WR—Kalon Barnes—Silsbee (4A)—5-11/172—Committed to Baylor
49 (19)—WR—Gabriel Douglas—Denton Ryan (5A)—6-2/185—Committed to Texas Tech
50 (NR)—OLB—DaShaun White—North Richland Hills (6A)—6-1/222—Committed to Texas A&M
51 (NR)—ATH—BJ Hanspard—DeSoto (6A)—6-0/170—Committed to Arkansas
52 (37)—WR—Drue Jackson—Garland Sachse (6A)—6-1/186—Several, incl. Houston, Louisville, Texas Tech
53 (35)—CB—Verone McKinley III—Lewisville Hebron (6A)—5-10/170—Committed to Oregon
54 (25)—RB—Craig Williams—Crosby (5A)—5-9/166—Several, incl. Baylor, Houston, Minnesota
55 (NR)—CB—Gemon Green—DeSoto (5A)—6-2/165—Committed to Michigan