The spring evaluation period is in full swing. That means college coaches, including the Longhorns, are on the road searching for recruits. This time of year usually means offers are extended as assistant coaches can see recruits practice in person.
Let’s reset and look at recent offers extended by Texas over the past month before new prospects come into play.
Seven of the latest eight offers were on the offensive side of the ball with running back, offensive line and tight end the main areas of concentration right now. That makes sense because wide receiver, defensive line and secondary talent are available within the state.
Texas holds commitments from slot wide receiver Justin Watkins, outside linebacker Byron Hobbs and quarterback Casey Thompson. It’s unclear whether the Longhorns will search out a second prep quarterback to sign in the 2018 class or use the JUCO/grad transfer route to create depth at the position.
Harold Joiner, running back, Mountain Brook (Ala.)
FYI: 6-3/218; 4-stars
Texas offer: Yes (April 11)
Other top offers: Alabama, Auburn, LSU
Latest on Joiner: It’s never easy to convince a recruit from SEC country to play in a different conference. That’s exactly the task Tom Herman’s staff has in front of them with Joiner. The good news for Texas is that Joiner is planning a trip to Austin before his senior season. Joiner is a one-cut running back with size and deceptive athleticism. He’s taller than most running backs, but he does a good job of running with a lowered pad level to create leverage. He will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio alongside UT targets Brennan Eagles and Anthony Cook.
Lyn-J Dixon, running back, Taylor County (Ga.)
FYI: 5-10/185; 3-stars
Texas offer: Yes (March 21)
Other top offers: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisville
Latest on Dixon: It’s clear Texas isn’t comfortable with the running back class in the state. The Longhorns have offered only one in-state back — Carthage’s Keaontay Ingram. Ingram remains the top priority on Texas’ board at the position and the Longhorns are still in good shape for the four-star running back. However, the longer Ingram goes without committing must cause concern for the staff. In response, UT offered three running backs over the past month; Dixon was the first of the trio to receive an offer. He holds 16 offers and is ranked the No. 24 running back in the 2018 class, per 247Sports composite.
Tavion Thomas, running back, Dunbar (Ohio)
FYI: 6-2/225; 4-stars
Texas offer: Yes (March 28)
Other top offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon
Latest on Thomas: A week after Dixon earned a scholarship offer, so did Thomas. Thomas holds an Ohio State offer and it is almost impossible to get commitments from Ohioans when Urban Meyer wants their signature. Offensive coordinator Tim Beck does have ties to Thomas from Beck’s time as offensive coordinator at Ohio State. Still, it feels like a long shot for Thomas to go anywhere but Ohio State unless the Buckeyes run out of room at the position.
Luke Ford, tight end, Carterville (Ind.)
FYI: 6-7/250; 4-stars
Texas offer: Yes (April 20)
Other top offers: Arkansas (committed)
Latest on Ford: Ford, a giant tight end with the ability to block defensive ends and catch passes, committed to Arkansas on March 14, one day after taking an unofficial visit. More than a month later, Texas decided to extend an offer. Texas clearly wants one or two tight ends in the 2018 class and Malcolm Epps and Mustapha Muhammad appear to be the only in-state players on Texas’ radar. The offer to Ford might indicate Texas’ chances with Epps and/or Muhammad. Ford is a traditional tight end, much like Muhammad. Epps fits the H-Back role.
Dominik Wood-Anderson, tight end, Arizona Western College (Ariz.)
FYI: 6-5/ 245; 3-stars
Texas offer: Yes (April 7)
Other top offers: Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, TCU, Oregon
Latest on Wood-Anderson: Texas wouldn’t mind immediate help at tight end and Wood-Anderson, a JUCO prospect, could provide instant impact. Alabama is chasing him, so it won’t be easy for the Longhorns to sign the three-star tight end who ranks as the No. 1 JUCO tight end in the country. Texas needs to get Wood-Anderson on campus to have a shot.
Cameron Wire, offensive tackle, East Ascension (La.)
FYI: 6-6/271; 3-stars
Texas offer: Yes (April 15)
Other top offers: Auburn, Baylor, Oregon, Tennessee
Latest on Wire: The state of Texas lacks elite offensive line prospects this year. The Longhorns have offered two in-state talents — Rafiti Ghirmai and Reese Moore. This means Texas must search elsewhere for top-level prospects to play offensive tackle. Wire, a three-star with a long frame to add weight, was recently offered by Texas. A Louisiana native, LSU likely earns his commitment if the Tigers extend an offer. If not, Texas is in as good of shape as any school on his current offer list.
Sione Angilau Jr., offensive guard, Salt Lake City East (Utah)
FYI: 6-5/280; 3-stars
Texas offer: Yes (March 30)
Other top offers: BYU, Cal, Fresno State, Oregon, USC
Latest on Angilau: Not only is the in-state 2018 crop low on possible tackles, it’s also a down cycle for interior prospects. Texas was in the running for Fabulous 55 member Chasen Hines before he chose LSU. The Longhorns are still after Allen’s Trey Stratford, who plays offensive tackle in high school, but projects as an eventual guard or center in college. Angilau Jr. was offered nearly a month ago and Texas’ only shot is to get him on campus this summer for an unofficial visit. Texas offered a day after the three-star prospect picked up an offer from USC.
Daniel Carson, defensive end, William Chrisman (Mo.)
FYI: 6-5/260; 3-stars
Texas offer: Yes (March 31)
Other top offers: Ohio State, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas
Latest on Carson: Carson is the only defensive player Texas has offered over the past four weeks. The Longhorns feel comfortable with the talent it is recruiting at defensive tackle, cornerback and safety. The Longhorns already hold a commitment from a linebacker and won’t search for more than one more prospect at that position. Defensive end is tricky. The Longhorns like Max Wright and Joseph Ossai, but both are considered Texas A&M leans. Texas needs at least two ends in the class and both might come from out of state. Carson is a long, physical defensive end who could easily grow into a defensive tackle in college.