Texas signees BJ Foster, D'Shawn Jamison and DeMarvion Overshown at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando. (Mike Craven)

The Dotted Line: 20 for 20 — a Texas recruiting primer 20 days away from signing day (Part 2)

Posted January 19th, 2018

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Stay updated on the latest Texas Longhorns recruiting news brought to you by Longhorns recruiting beat writer Mike Craven of Hookem.com. The Dotted Line will publish M-F at 10 a.m. each morning to provide Texas fans with an in-depth look at the latest for the Longhorns on the recruiting trail. 

This is the second half of the American-Statesman’s third annual 20 for 20 project, a Longhorns recruiting primer 20 days out of national signing day, which this year falls on Feb. 7. Nos. 1-10 of our 20 for 20 published this morning.

11. Where are the state’s top players headed?

The top six players on the Fabulous 55 are heading to Texas. A year after not signing a single player in the state’s top 10, Tom Herman closed the borders and did a great job recruiting the top talent in the state. It worked out in his favor that most of the elite talent in Texas during the 2018 cycle was in the Houston area, a spot familiar to Herman. It’s possible that the entire top 10 of the Fab 55 stays in-state during this cycle.

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12. Which top recruits aren’t yet committed?

The highest-ranked uncommitted prospect on the Fab 55 is Jaylen Waddle, a slot receiver from Houston Bellaire Episcopal who starred at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Texas, Texas A&M and Alabama are still in the mix for him. And Leon O’Neal, a safety from Houston Cypress Springs, is still deciding between Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

The rest of the state’s top 10 is either committed or signed heading into the final 20 days before signing day.

13. Who’s winning the state?

Texas, and it isn’t even close.

The Longhorns have already signed or hold commitments from the state’s best running back, wide receiver, defensive tackle, cornerback and safety. Texas already signed the top six players in the state during the early signing period one year removed from not signing a single top-10 prospect on the 2017 Fab 55.

Texas A&M and Oklahoma also signed quality players from the state. Oklahoma State landed Texas’ best quarterback in Denton Ryan’s Spencer Sanders.  

14. Which position has Texas recruited best?

Defensive backs.

The Longhorns signed the best three cornerbacks and the best three safeties in the state. The cornerback trio of Anthony Cook, D’Shawn Jamison and Jalen Green are national top 150 prospects. The three safeties are even more impressive. Angleton’s BJ Foster is a 5-star prospect and considered the best safety in the nation. Sterns and DeMarvion Overshown are not far behind in the rankings.

15. Who are the Austin area’s top prospects?

The best local prospect for 2018 is Matthew Baldwin, the Lake Travis quarterback who’s heading to Ohio State. Westlake running back Nakia Watson is a running back heading to Wisconsin. Both players will be represented on our final Fab 55 of the cycle. Otherwise, it was a down year for the Central Texas area when it comes to college prospects.

16. Are there any early enrollees for Texas?

Yes. Nine.

Already on campus are quarterbacks Cameron Rising and Casey Thompson; Mikey Grandy, a JUCO offensive tackle; outside linebacker Ayodele Adeoye; wide receiver Brennan Eagles; punter Ryan Bujcevski; and three defensive backs — safeties Caden Sterns and BJ Foster and cornerback Anthony Cook.

17. Did Tom Herman recruit Houston?

Yes. Big-time.

Herman attacked the Houston area like he was still running UH, the program inside the city. Four of the top-five rated prospects in the class are from the Houston area. In total, Herman has commitments from eight players considered Houston products. That’s more than a third of the class.

18. How far will each future Longhorn have to travel?

Texas’ signees, from closest to farthest:

Cameron Dicker, K: 35 miles (Lake Travis)

Caden Sterns, S: 69 miles (Cibolo)

Jalen Green, CB: 155 miles (Houston)

Brennan Eagles, WR: 156 miles (Alief)

Anthony Cook, CB: 157 miles (Houston)

Malcolm Epps: 157 miles (Spring)

Al’vonte Woodard, WR: 157 miles (Houston)

D’Shawn Jamison, CB: 157 miles (Houston)

Byron Hobbs, OLB: 189 miles (Fort Worth)

BJ Foster, S: 202 miles (Angleton)

Rafiti Ghirmai, OT: 237 miles (Frisco)

DeMarvion Overshown, S: 255 miles (Arp)

Casey Thompson, QB: 383 miles (Southmoore, Okla.)

Reese Moore, OT: 410 miles (Seminole)

Daniel Carson, DE: 706 miles (Independence, Mo.)

Junior Angilau, OT: 1,072 miles (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Ayodele Adeoye, ILB: 1,202 miles (Bradenton, Fla.)

Cameron Rising, QB: 1,272 miles (Newbury Park, Calif.)

Mikey Grandy, OT: 1,761 miles (San Mateo, Calif.)

Ryan Bujcevski, P: 9,289 miles (Australia)

Committed players, closest to farthest:

Keondre Coburn, DT: 153 miles (Spring)

Keaontay Ingram, RB: 280 miles (Carthage)

19. How many early signees did Texas get?

Nineteen of Texas’ 21 commitments utilized the first ever early signing period in December. The only two commitments who didn’t sign were Ingram and Coburn. This was true for most programs and players in the country. Most of the 2018 prospects elected to sign early.

20. What positions will Texas recruit in 2019?

The Longhorns need to continue to add depth on the offensive and defensive lines, plus load up on wide receivers and linebackers.

Expect Texas to be picky at running back and in the secondary after signing a nice class at those positions in 2018. Texas’ lone commitment for 2019 is dual-threat quarterback Roschon Johnson of Port Neches-Groves. He’ll likely be the only quarterback Texas chases.

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