Houston Lamar cornerback Anthony Cook competes at The Opening in Houston Feb. 4. (Mike Craven/American-Statesman)

Football

Two 5-star prospects head the 10 recruits that Texas will focus on for junior day

Posted February 23rd, 2017

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Story highlights
  • Texas will woo the state's top two prospects
  • A pair of Louisiana playmakers will tour the 40 Acres
  • One lineman from the rich Allen High School pipeline will visit

Saturday is an important day for college football teams, and not just in the fall. Texas hosts the next batch of blue-chip recruits this Saturday, the first UT junior day of the Tom Herman era.

A junior day is an orientation of sorts. Potential targets will tour UT’s campus and facilities, speak to football and academic staff and interact with current Texas players. Consider it an open house.

The group of 2018 recruits expected on campus is impressive. Texas should host around 50 soon-to-be seniors as well as a handful of the top talent in the 2019 class. Here are 10 recruits that Texas’ staff will be paying extra attention to this weekend:

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1. Anthony Cook, CB, Houston Lamar

FYI: 6-1/168; 5-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Top offers: LSU, Ohio State, Baylor, TCU, Clemson

College: Undecided

Hudl: 

 

The latest: Cook is the best player in the state and the No. 1 priority for Texas’ staff. Cornerback is a need position for UT in 2018 and the state is loaded with top-end talent and depth. There’s no doubt Texas will find two or three blue-chip cornerbacks in 2018, but it won’t be a complete success unless Herman’s staff eventually earns the signature of the five-star prospect. Texas has a successful history recruiting defensive backs from Houston Lamar — the Longhorns have signed Lamar cornerbacks Rod Babers (1999) and Holton Hill (2015) and safeties Drew Kelson (2004) and John Bonney (2014) — and Herman’s Houston background should give Texas an advantage. And then there’s family; current Longhorns defensive back Eric Cuffee is Cook’s cousin. Cook said at The Opening in Houston on Feb. 4 that Texas would always be in his top group of schools. The Longhorns can make a lasting impression Saturday.

2. BJ Foster, S, Angleton

FYI: 6-1/188; 5-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Top offers: Ohio State, LSU, Michigan, TCU

College: Undecided 

The latest: The No. 2-ranked player in the state will be at UT on Saturday, and all indications point to the Longhorns leading for the five-star safety. Foster was at The Opening in Houston along with Cook and other elite defensive back prospects, but he didn’t participate because of the MCL injury he suffered last fall. Foster is Texas’ to lose right now, but don’t expect a decision soon. He holds offers from nearly every Power Five program in the nation and has indicated he’d like to take some unofficial visits before he decides. Still, Texas is in good position and can solidify that Saturday.

3. Justin Watkins, ATH, Ocala (Fla.) Vanguard

FYI: 5-11/172; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Top offers: Florida State, Alabama, Clemson, Florida

College: Florida State

Hudl: 

The latest: An interesting development took place in Orlando over the weekend. At The Opening’s regional event, Watkins — a Florida State pledge since last summer and the No. 1-ranked athlete in the country — indicated that Texas could flip his commitment. He’ll likely play slot receiver in college, but the secondary isn’t out of the question. The four-star prospect plans to visit Austin this weekend and a commitment isn’t out of the question. He feels playing time is immediately available with the Longhorns, which has Texas in a good position. It seems like Watkins is on the verge of flipping from the Seminoles; Texas is the leader right now.

4. Casey Thompson, QB, Southmoore (Okla.)

FYI: 6-1/184; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Top offers: Miami, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech

College: Undecided

The latest: Texas might need to go out of the state to find a quarterback for 2018, and Oklahoma’s Thompson is the favorite right now. He has family ties to the Sooners, but Oklahoma already holds a 2018 commitment from a quarterback. That could work in Texas’ favor; Thompson has indicated Texas is a viable option for him. He went as far as calling his offer from UT a “dream offer” when he received it earlier in the year. It’s a down cycle for quarterbacks inside Texas, but Waco Midway’s Tanner Mordecai also should be at junior day. He held an offer from Herman’s staff at Houston and could enter the mix, but Thompson is still Texas’ first choice right now. Gaining a commitment from a quarterback early can help a class gain momentum. Texas will know more about where it stands with Thompson after the weekend.

5. Trey Stratford, OT, Allen

FYI: 6-4/270; 3-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Top offers: UCLA, TCU, Ole Miss, Baylor

College: Undecided

Hudl: 

The latest: Allen is the biggest school in the state and churns out Power 5 talent on a yearly basis. But the Longhorns have yet to build a true pipeline into the Eagles’ program. Stratford could help with that. The three-star tackle is high on the Longhorns and already holds a Texas offer. He’ll need to add weight before contributing at the college level, but he’s an athletic prospect with a big frame. He also could move to guard. It won’t be shocking if Stratford commits to Texas this weekend.

6. DeMarvion Overshown, S, Arp

FYI: 6-4/200; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Top offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Clemson,

College: Undecided

The latest: No player in the state is seeing his stock rise as fast as Overshown’s. The small-school safety is racking up offers from across the country. Texas was on him early and that should be an advantage; Overshown’s lone offer was UTSA when Texas offered on Dec. 8. Since then, programs like Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Florida State have offered, giving Overshown much to think about. Herman’s staff is high on him, and the Arp star is a top priority for the defensive staff this weekend. His frame could allow him to play linebacker in college with added weight.

7. Keaontay Ingram, RB, Carthage

FYI: 5-11/190; 3-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Top offers: Michigan, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma

College: Undecided

The latest: Running back isn’t Texas’ top priority for 2018, but the Longhorns will want to sign at least one. The only state prospect at the position with a UT offer is Ingram, who’s planning on attending Texas’ junior day. He’s a three-down running back with elite receiving skills. He helped lead Carthage to a state championship in 2016 and is a member of the Fab 55. Ingram was considered a Texas lean when he was offered earlier in the year, but with programs like Ohio State now in the mix, Herman’s staff has work to do to gain his commitment.

8. Chasen Hines, OG, Marshall

FYI: 6-2/340; 3-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Top offers: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas Tech

College: Undecided

Hudl: 

The latest: Texas is in great position for the three-star interior line prospect, and might even gain his commitment this weekend. Hines is a run-blocking specialist who continues to evolve as an all-around lineman. He’s a guard prospect because of his height. He doesn’t possess ideal length for an offensive lineman, but he makes up for it with brute strength and physicality. He’s a hard-nosed prospect and brings the type of attitude to the field that all offensive line coaches love. He’d be a solid early piece to the 2018 class.

9. Terrace Marshall, WR, Parkway (La.)

FYI: 6-4/190; 5-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Top offers: LSU, Texas A&M, TCU, Alabama

College: Undecided

The latest: Don’t expect Marshall to commit anywhere soon. And Texas might not even end up as a finalist for the five-star prospect, but getting him on campus for junior day is an accomplishment for UT’s staff. Marshall is the No. 3-rated receiver in the 2018 class and the nation’s No. 22-ranked overall prospect. He’s the top player in Louisiana and holds offers from nearly every major program in the country. But LSU is the leader. Marshall’s teammate, quarterback Justin Rodgers, also is expected to be on campus. Rodgers also could receive a Texas offer this weekend. The 6-4, 205-pound four-star is a dual-threat quarterback.

10. Tommy Bush, WR, Schertz Clemens

FYI: 6-5/184; 3-stars

Texas offer: No

Top offers: Baylor, Arizona, Michigan State, TCU, Oklahoma State

College: Undecided

The latest: Within the last week, Bush has received offers from Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Arizona State and Oklahoma. He isn’t as polished as some of the other top 2018 receivers, but his upside is immense. He tested well at The Opening in Houston and has seen his recruiting stock rise since. He easily could earn a Texas offer this weekend and his proximity to Austin should give the Longhorns an advantage over other programs currently recruiting him.

 

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