State’s top recruiting prospects react to Orange-White Game

Posted April 17th, 2017

Story highlights
  • Orange-White Game leaves lasting impression on 2018 recruits.
  • Offensive tackle target Rafiti Ghirmai says Texas is 'pretty high on the list' in recruiting.
  • 2017 signee Jordan Pouncey enjoyed his return to Austin and, along with the rest of the 2017 class, worked the recruits.

The Texas Longhorns hosted more than 30 top 2018 and 2019 prospects during Saturday’s Orange-White Game. Many of those visitors held offers from Tom Herman’s program, and the tweets and quotes from the high school players was a good sign for the future of the Longhorns.

Rockdale athlete Jacqualyn Crawford posted a photo of him, coach Herman and numerous other 2018 prospects. Pictured, left to right, are Texas commit and Fort Worth Eastern Hills linebacker Byron Hobbs, Crawford, four-star safety Leon O’Neal, Herman, four-star defensive back D’Shawn Jamison, four-star wide receiver Al’Vonte Woodard, four-star cornerback Jalen Green, four-star defensive tackle Keondre Coburn and five-star safety B.J. Foster. All seven of those uncommitted prospects can be found in the Fabulous 55, and they each hold a Texas offer.


“There was a lot of passing,” said Woodard, a wide receiver from Houston Lamar. “I hung out with all the players, but mostly Holton Hill (former teammate at Lamar), Davante Davis and Kris Boyd. They treat me like family. Like they’re my big brothers.”

Woodard is one of three Houston Lamar products with an offer. The Longhorns are also after Jamison and five-star cornerback Anthony Cook, who visited Austin for a second time this calendar year a week before the Orange-White Game. Cook, Jamison and Green are Texas’ top targets at cornerback in the 2018 class. O’Neal and Foster are the top two safety targets, while Crawford could play slot receiver or in the secondary. Coburn, a product of Westfield High School, is a defensive tackle who can play on the center or over the tackle.

Frisco Wakeland offensive tackle, Rafiti Ghirmai, also enjoyed the Orange-White Game. He’s become Texas’ top offensive tackle prospect in this class and the Longhorns are in good shape despite Ghirmai holding offers from nearly every program in the nation. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound four-star prospect is one of just six offensive tackles in the nation with an offer from Texas.

“I got to see the new lockers which were amazing. The facilities were nice, but they were renovating some stuff at the time,” Ghirmai said. “I loved the atmosphere. Texas is pretty high on my list.”

The No. 3 player in the Fab 55, defensive end Max Wright, made a trip to Austin. The Katy Taylor product is considered a long-shot for the Texas staff, but he’s the type of player defensive coach Oscar Giles wants at defensive end. His size and ability would allow him to play the position Malcolm Roach will feature at this year. Wright, who prefers a four-man defensive line, is coming around on the idea of a new position.

“Texas attacks with its defensive ends, and I like that,” Wright said. “At my high school, we play an odd-man front and it forces me to take on double-teams nearly every play. I want to rush the passer and use my athleticism. Coach Orlando wants defensive ends like that.”

Wright was pictured with defensive line coach, Oscar Giles, and fellow defensive end target, Joseph Ossai. Ossai is a four-star defensive end who could also play as an edge linebacker in a 3-4 base. Ossai mentioned at Texas’ junior day that Texas A&M was his dream school, but making another visit to Austin can’t hurt the Longhorns’ chances.

The Orange-White Game also allowed members of the 2017 recruiting class to attend, including Florida wide receiver Jordan Pouncey.

“I’ve never felt more at home and I’m very excited to be apart of something so special,” he said. “We worked the 2018 recruits. Texas is the place to be.”