Texas head coach Tom Herman finished the 2018 class with defensive end Vernon Jackson. (Nick Wagner)

Football

The Dotted Line: 20 for 20 — a Texas recruiting primer 20 days away from signing day (Part 1)

Posted January 19th, 2018

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Story highlights
  • The Longhorns expect to sign a top 10 class in 2018.
  • Texas locked up the best three cornerbacks and safeties in the state during the 2018 cycle.
  • Tom Herman and his staff are still searching for elite prospects to finish the class.

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 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. 11-20 of our 20 for 20 will publish today at noon.

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

1. Will Texas sign a top-10 class?

Yes.

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Tom Herman’s first signing class at Texas ranked 25th nationally in 2017, but his 2018 class — his first one that he’s had a full year to recruit and build — is currently ranked No. 3 in the country behind Georgia and Ohio State. The Longhorns are hoping for a top-5 class and it’s likely they’ll finish somewhere in the top five if Herman can add a few more elite prospects to the mix.

2. Who are Texas’ commitments/signed players?

2018 Texas Longhorns signing class

Here's a look at the recruits who signed with Texas for the 2018 recruiting cycle. Star rankings from 247Sports composite.
PlayerPos. SchoolStars Status
Byron HobbsLBFt. Worth Eastern Hills3Signed
Casey ThompsonQBSouthmoore (Okla.)4Signed
Cameron Rising QBNewbury Park (Calif.)4Signed
Reese MooreOTSeminole 3Signed
Cameron DickerKLake Travis3Signed
Caden SternsSCibolo Steele4Signed
Keaontay IngramRBCarthage4Signed
DeMarvion OvershownSArp4Signed
Ayodele AdeoyeLBIMG Academy (Fla.)4Signed
B.J. FosterSAngleton 5Signed
Al'Vonte WoodardWRHouston Lamar4Signed
Jalen GreenCBHouston Heights4Signed
Brennan EaglesWRAlief Taylor4Signed
Anthony CookCBHouston Lamar4Signed
D'Shawn JamisonCBHouston Lamar4Signed
Malcolm EppsTESpring Dekaney4Signed
Junior AngilauOTSalt Lake East (Utah)4Signed
Mikey GrandyOTCollege of San Mateo (Calif.)3Signed
Ryan BujcevskiPProKick AustrailiaN/ASigned
Keondre CoburnDTSpring Westfield4Signed
Keaontay IngramRBCarthage4Signed
Daniel CarsonDEWilliam Chrisman (Mo.)3Signed
Michael WilliamsDEDunham School (La.)3Signed
Joshua MooreWRYoakum4Signed
Christian JonesOTCy Woods3Signed
Moro OjomoDTKaty3Signed
Joseph OssaiDEConroe Oak Ridge4Signed

3. Who has the nation’s top class?

Georgia.

The Bulldogs rode the momentum of reaching their first ever college football playoff to the top-rated recruiting class in 2018. Head coach Kirby Smart’s class has 22 players — nine of which have already enrolled, another 11 who are already signed and two that are committed. Georgia has six 5-star prospects and signed the nation’s top-ranked quarterback, running back, offensive guard and linebacker.

4. Who’s winning the Big 12?

The usual teams — Texas and Oklahoma.

Oklahoma ranks second in the Big 12 and seventh in the nation. TCU and Baylor hold the third and fourth spots, respectfully. Oklahoma State rounds out the top 5, while Texas Tech is eighth.

The Longhorns and Sooners have finished with the first- and/or second-ranked classes in the conference for the last 12 years.

5. How have Texas’ recent classes ranked nationally?

2011: 4th (including RB Malcolm Brown, DB Quandre Diggs, QB David Ash, WR Jaxon Shipley)

2012: 2nd (DT Malcom Brown, RB Jonathan Gray, DB Duke Thomas)

2013: 17th (OG Darius James, OT Kent Perkins, QB Tyrone Swoopes)

2014: 17th (RB D’Onta Foreman, WR Armanti Foreman, DT Poona Ford)

2015: 10th (OT Connor Williams, LB Malik Jefferson, OG Patrick Vahe, S DeShon Elliott)

2016: 7th (QB Shane Buechele, S Brandon Jones, WR Collin Johnson)

2017: 25th (QB Sam Ehlinger, RB Daniel Young, MLB Gary Johnson)

6. Who are Texas’ top recruits?

They’re all defensive backs:

BJ Foster, Angleton safety: Foster — the lone 5-star player in the state — has enrolled early and should immediately compete for the starting snaps vacated by DeShon Elliott, the Thorpe Award finalist who’s leaving early for the NFL. Foster spent some of his time at Angleton playing running back, but he put in a great performance at safety during the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando on Jan. 4.

Texas safety signee BJ Foster at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando. (Mike Craven)

Caden Sterns, Cibolo Steele safety: Sterns, who originally had committed to LSU before signing with Texas in December, also is an early enrollee and will compete for snaps. He was the defensive MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and can play in several spots of defensive coordinator Todd Orlando’s defense.

Sterns can play safety, nickel back and cornerback.

Anthony Cook, Houston Lamar cornerback: Cook chose the Longhorns over LSU and Ohio State on Dec. 20, the first day available for prospects to sign early. He was one of 19 Texas commits to sign during the early period and the early enrollee should compete for the starting cornerback job opposite of Kris Boyd now that Holton Hill, a fellow Houston Lamar alum, is heading off to the NFL.

7. Are there gems or sleepers in Texas’ class?

Well, 17 of the 22 players in Texas’ current class are rated as 4-star prospects or higher. That doesn’t leave much room for true sleepers. And two of the four players who aren’t 4-star players are kicker Cameron Dicker and punter Ryan Bujcevski. That leaves Reese Moore — an offensive tackle from Seminole — and Byron Hobbs, an outside linebacker from Fort Worth Eastern Hills, as the only position players in the class that are 3-star players.

8. What are Texas’ biggest remaining to-do’s?

The Longhorns failed to sign a single defensive lineman during the early period. That means they need to hang on to the commitment of Spring Westfield defensive tackle Keondre Coburn as well as add some talent at defensive end and one more player defensive tackle. The Longhorns also are searching for a slot receiver and possibly another linebacker.

9. What are Texas’ biggest needs this year?

Texas needed help on the offensive line and in the secondary. The Longhorns have hit a home run in the secondary, signing the three best safeties and cornerbacks in the state. The Longhorns signed four offensive linemen, including Mikey Grandy, a JUCO product who should contribute right away. Herman also needed to add depth in the quarterback room and he pulled it off by signing two 4-star out-of-state prospects in California’s Cameron Rising and Oklahoma’s Casey Thompson.

10. Who does Texas still want?

Besides hanging on to the commitments of Coburn and Carthage running back Keaontay Ingram, the top priority is Conroe Oak Ridge defensive end Joseph Ossai. Coburn and Ingram were the only two UT commitments who chose not to utilize the early signing period. Other targets include wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Joshua Moore and defensive tackle Moro Ojomo of Katy. The top offensive lineman remaining on the board is Nicholas Petit-Frere of Florida.

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