Tom Herman and offensive coordinator Tim Beck are ready to ride with existing quarterbacks in 2017. Herman said he does not plan to add another quarterback in 2017, instead focusing on 2018 prospects around the nation.
Texas has already extended three offers to quarterbacks in the 2018 class. It’s early in the process, and that number likely will grow, but there are trends to notice from the early movement. The Longhorns’ first three offers were extended to dual-threat quarterbacks beyond Texas’ borders. Here is a closer look at the three offers, plus two in-state quarterbacks to watch.
TARGETS ALREADY OFFERED
1. Joey Gatewood, Bartram Trail, Fla.
FYI: 6-4/233; 4-star dual-threat quarterback; No. 51 overall prospect in nation, 3rd ranked dual-threat
Gatewood’s athleticism is unquestioned. At 6-4, his long stride in the open field resembles a wide receiver more than a quarterback. He simply glides through the second and third levels of defenses, doing his most damage as a rusher out of the backfield. Gatewood is a raw passer, but the arm strength is there for him to mature into a top-level quarterback in college. He’s currently committed to Auburn.
2. Justin Fields, Harrison, Ga.
FYI: 6-2.5/210; 4-star dual-threat quarterback; No. 88 overall prospect in nation; 5th ranked dual-threat
At 6-2, Fields might not have as much perceived upside as Gatewood. But at this stage in their careers, Fields is the more polished quarterback prospect. As a junior, Fields completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,253 yards and 18 touchdowns. He added 977 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. He uses his legs to create opportunities to pass more than he looks to scramble. This allows his receivers to run open and create separation in the secondary. It’s a trait not many young quarterbacks with his athleticism possess.
3. Casey Thompson, Southmoore, Okla.
FYI: 6-1/184; 4-star dual-threat quarterback; No. 137 overall prospect in nation; 6th ranked dual-threat
Tim Beck offered Thompson at Ohio State before becoming the offensive coordinator at Texas. Beck made it a priority to offer Thompson as a Longhorn. Thompson is a dual-threat quarterback with a big arm and plenty of athleticism. He already holds offers from 20 programs, including in-state Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. It’ll be a battle to get Thompson out of Oklahoma, but he’s had positive things to say about the Longhorns since receiving his offer.
TEXANS TO WATCH
1. Jaylen Mayden, Sasche
FYI: 6-2/208; 4-star dual-threat quarterback; No. 180 overall prospect in nation; 11th ranked dual-threat
The Mayden name is one familiar to high school football fans. His brother, Jared, is a young defensive back at Alabama. Mayden popped up on the recruiting scene late his freshman year and his stock has only risen since taking over the varsity role as a sophomore. Mayden’s athleticism stands out, but he’s a pass-first quarterback. In his first two years as a varsity starter, he passed for 5,336 yards and 59 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions, adding 1,145 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
2. Tanner Mordecai, Waco Midway
FYI: 6-2/190; 3-star dual-threat quarterback; No. 355 overall prospect in the nation; 14th ranked dual-threat
Mordecai is a name to watch, if for no other reason than he was offered by Houston. He also holds offers from Missouri, Kansas, North Texas and Northwestern. He shows a blend of skills suitable for Herman’s offense. He’s an accurate passer with the ability to hurt defenses with his legs on called runs or when the play goes off script. Injury slowed down his senior season, but still accounted for 21 touchdowns to just five interceptions, completing 60 percent of his passes for 14.4 yards per completion.