Jaylen Ellis of Cedar Ridge High School is among the Austin American-Statesman's 2019 Fabulous 55 listing of top football prospects in Central Texas. (Mark Matson/for American-Statesman)


Breaking down the 2019 Fabulous 55: Nos. 35-31

Posted March 9th, 2018


The release of the initial 2019 Fabulous 55 was the unofficial beginning of the latest recruiting cycle. Texas is in the mix for some of the best players in the state months removed from signing the best class in the Big 12 and the third-best in the nation, which included the five top-rated players on the 2018 Fab 55.

No. 35: Gilbert Ibeneme, defensive end, Pearland

Fort Bend Bush safety Jamal Morris at Texas’ junior day. (Mike Craven)

FYI: 6-3/255; 4 stars; No. 25-ranked strong side defensive end


Texas offer? No

Top offers: Texas A&M, TCU, Oklahoma

Analysis: Ibeneme is an incredibly strong prep defensive end who wins at the point of attack with raw power. That strength will serve him well as he continues to learn the nuances of the defensive end position. He’s a big-bodied lineman with a good first step and explosive hands. He isn’t a premier edge rusher, but he’s more than capable of getting to the quarterback. It’s possible he grows into a three-technique defensive tackle or plays the edge in an odd-man front.

No. 34: Jamal Morris, safety, Fort Bend Bush

FYI: 6-2/185; 4 stars; No. 20-ranked safety

Texas offer? Yes

Other top offers: Oklahoma, LSU

Analysis: Morris recently announced a final three of Texas, LSU and Oklahoma. The talented safety is a long, learn prospect who has the range of a center fielder and the mindset of an outside linebacker. Morris isn’t afraid to strike an opponent and help in the run game. He excels in pass coverage, especially when he’s allowed the freedom to go make plays in zone defense. Morris has proven his ability to cover elite wide receivers in select 7-on-7 tournaments and at camps like The Opening regional in Houston.

No. 33: Steven Parker, defensive end, South Oak Cliff

FYI: 6-4/220; 4 stars; No. 23-ranked weak side defensive end

Texas offer? No

Committed: Texas Tech

Analysis: Parker is a terror off the edge and one of the state’s premier pass rushers. He recorded 13 sacks and 21 tackles for loss as a junior, earning defensive MVP honors in 11-5A. He accounted for 86 tackles. Parker is exceptionally quick for a prospect his size and could play outside linebacker in the right college system. Parker is likely to add weight and remain a 4-3 defensive end in Lubbock. His highest upside is as a stand-up rusher in a 3-4 scheme. He committed to Texas Tech in May of his sophomore year.

No. 32: Jaylen Ellis, wide receiver, Round Rock Cedar Ridge

FYI: 6-0/180; 3 stars; No. 85-ranked wide receiver

Texas offer? No

Committed: Baylor  

Analysis: Ellis defines vertical threat. He’s a big play waiting to happen and can beat defenses over the top or turn quick passes into long gains because of his quickness and ability to make defenders miss in small space. Ellis committed to Baylor but has continued to look at other schools, including a visit to Texas for junior day. He caught 56 passes for 1,248 yards 14 touchdowns as a junior, earning first-team all-district honors for the second straight season.

No. 31: Javonne Shepherd, offensive tackle, HoustonNorth Forest

FYI: 6-6/319; 4 stars; No. 32-ranked offensive tackle

Texas offer? Yes

Other top offers: Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Alabama

Analysis: Shepherd is quickly becoming a hot commodity on the recruiting trail because of his potential and unique frame. He’s a long-armed offensive tackle with athleticism, which is one of the hardest combinations to find in football. He’s approaching 25 offers based on his potential and overwhelming performances at the prep level. He was a first-team all-district selection as a junior and put on a clinic at The Opening regional in Houston. Texas and Texas A&M are in a battle for the four-star tackle who could play on the left or right side in college.

Previous rankings: 55-51 | 50-46 | 45-41

1.Jordan WhittingtonWRCuero (4A)Texas
2.Arjei HendersonWRFort Bend Travis (6A)Oklahoma
3.DeMarvin LealDLConverse Judson (6A)Texas A&M
4.Brian WilliamsSBishop Dunne (TAPPS)Texas A&M
5.Kenyon GreenOTHumble Atascocita (6A)Uncommitted
6.Theo Wease Jr.WRAllen (6A)Oklahoma
7.Garrett WilsonWRLake Travis (6A)Ohio State
8.NaNa Osafo-Mensah DEFort Worth Nolan Catholic (TAPPS)Notre Dame
9.Grant GunnellQBSt. Pius X (TAPPS)Uncommitted
10.Austin Stogner TEPrestonwood Catholic (TAPPS)Oklahoma
11.Jalen CurryWRSt. Pius X (TAPPS)Uncommitted
12.Marcus BanksCBDekaney (6A)Uncommitted
13.Marcus Stripling DEMayde Creek (6A)Uncommitted
14.Marquez BeasonATHBishop Dunne (TAPPS)Illinois
15.Tyler JohnsonOTConroe Oak Ridge (6A)Uncommitted
16.Kam BrownWRColleyville Heritage (5A)Texas A&M
17.Marcel BrooksLBFlower Mound (6A)Uncommitted
18.Deondrick GlassRBKaty (6A)Uncommitted
19.Jalen CatalonSMansfield (6A)Uncommitted
20.Nelson Ceaser DEFort Bend Ridge PointUncommitted
21.Roschon JohnsonQBPort Neches-Groves (5A)Texas
22.Erick YoungCBFort Bend Bush (6A)Uncommitted
23.EJ Ndoma-OgarOTAllen (6A)Oklahoma
24.Demani Richardson SWaxahachie (6A)Texas A&M
25.Hunter SpearsDTSachse (6A)Notre Dame
26.Brannon BrownOGSan Antonio O'Connor (6A)TCU
27.Grant TisdaleQBAllen (6A)Ole Miss
28.Isaiah SpillerRBKlein Collins (6A)Uncommitted
29.Jonathan McGillSCoppell (6A)Uncommitted
30.Tamauzia BrownATHNewton (3A)Uncommitted
31.Javonne ShephardOTNorth Forest (4A)Uncommitted
32.Jaylen EllisWRRound Rock Cedar Ridge (6A)Baylor
33.Steven Parker DESouth Oak Cliff (5A)Texas Tech
34.Jamal MorrisSFort Bend Bush (6A)Oklahoma
35.Gilbert IbenemeDEPearland (6A)Uncommitted
36.Josh EllisonDTA&M Consolidated (5A)Texas A&M
37.David UgwoegbuDEKaty Seven Lakes (6A)Uncommitted
38.Jeffery CarterATHAledo (4A)Uncommitted
39.Elijah HigginsWRAustin Bowie (6A)Uncommitted
40.Braedon MowryDEKaty Taylor (6A)Texas A&M
41.Branson BraggCCrandall (4A)Uncommitted
42.Titus SwenRBHaslet Eaton (5A) Uncommitted
43.David GbendaLBKaty Cinco Ranch (6A)Uncommitted
44.Trejan BridgesWRCarrollton Hebron (6A)Oklahoma
45.Deion HankinsRBEl Paso Parkland (5A)Uncommitted
46.T'Vondre SweatDEHuntsville (5A)Texas
47.Kori RobersonDEManvel (5A)Oklahoma
48.Bobby WolfeCBHouston Madison (6A)Uncommitted
49.Dylan WrightWRWest Mesquite (5A)Uncommitted
50.Velton GardnerATHDallas Skyline (6A)Uncommitted
51.Anfernee OrjiSRockwall (6A)Uncommitted
52.Darwin BarlowRBNewton (3A)Uncommitted
53.Jayden JerniganDTAllen (6A)Uncommitted
54.Trevor RobersonOTWellington (2A)Uncommitted
55.Carl WilliamsDTLufkin (5A)Uncommitted