Stay updated on 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.
The offensive targets
Texas crossed one prospect from its 2019 recruiting wishlist when 5-star wide receiver Jordan Whittington committed to the Longhorns on March 10 over schools like Texas A&M, UCLA and Florida. The Cuero product became the third member of Texas’ class, joining 4-star quarterback Roschon Johnson and 3-star defensive end T’Vondre Sweat.
April will be a busy month on the recruiting front. The Longhorns will host visitors for the Orange-White game on April 21. This is also the first class that can take official visits in the spring of junior seasons. Previous classes were forced to wait until prospects’ senior year. Many of the top priorities in the 2019 class plan to take official visits in the spring.
Here are the top offensive targets remaining on Texas’ recruiting board as March comes to a close:
Garrett Wilson, wide receiver, Lake Travis
FYI: 6-0/185; 4 stars; No. 7 on the Fabulous 55
Top schools: Texas, Ohio State, Notre Dame
With Whittington in hand, the focus at wide receiver shifts to securing Wilson. Ohio State is the main competition for the Longhorns. Wilson lives in Austin, but he is from Ohio. He took an unofficial visit to Columbus on March 23 and that placed the Buckeyes firmly in position to land the 4-star prospect. But Texas won’t give up and the Longhorns are placing an emphasis on keeping the top talent in Texas. Wilson is a priority target for Herman and the program.
Tyler Johnson, offensive tackle, Conroe Oak Ridge
FYI: 6-5/308; 4 stars; No. 15 on the Fab 55
Top schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Alabama
It’s a good year to load up on offensive linemen and Johnson is a priority target for the Longhorns and offensive line coach Herb Hand. Johnson is familiar with the Longhorns because of their recruitment of former teammate Joseph Ossai in the 2018 class. Johnson is considered a Texas lean and he’d represent a key piece to the future of the offensive line. He’s a big player with great feet. He might possess more upside than any other offensive tackle in the state.
Elijah Higgins, wide receiver, Austin Bowie
FYI: 6-3/215; 3 stars; No. 39 on the Fab 55
Top schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Stanford
If Wilson is priority No. 1 at receiver, Higgins isn’t far behind. The Austin Bowie product is a fellow local playmaker and a big-bodied receiver who’s a matchup nightmare. He’s too athletic for linebackers and safeties and is too big for most cornerbacks. As he continues to improve his route-running and becomes more consistent as a pass catcher, Higgins can blossom into a weapon on third downs and in the red zone. He’s also big enough to use at H-Back or as a flex tight end.
Branson Bragg, center, Crandall
FYI: 6-4/295; 4 stars; No. 41 on the Fab 55
Top schools: Texas, Stanford, Texas A&M
— Branson Bragg (@bransonbragg72) March 23, 2018
Bragg is the No. 1-ranked center in the state and that’s a position the Longhorns have yet to address on the recruiting trail since Herman took the job. It’s hard to find true center prospects in the prep ranks because most of the biggest and best prospects tend to play at tackle. Not Bragg. He’s a natural center and the No. 2-ranked prospect in the country at the position, per the 247Sports composite. He’s the top priority for Texas along the interior of the offensive line.
Kenyon Green, offensive tackle, Humble Atascocita
FYI: 6-4/317; 5 stars; No. 5 on the Fab 55
Top schools: Texas, Texas A&M, LSU
It’s a loaded year at offensive tackle inside the state and Green is the most college-ready of the bunch. He’s a big-bodied bully at the point of attack with excellent feet and technique for a prep player. Most offensive linemen need a redshirt year. That’s probably not true for Green. He’d be an instant-impact recruit and a candidate to take over the left tackle position after the departure of Rice grad transfer Calvin Anderson. He also can play guard.
Javonne Shepherd, offensive tackle, Houston North Forest
FYI: 6-6/319; 4 stars; No. 31 on the Fab 55
Top schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, TCU
It’s impossible to teach the frame of Shepherd. He’s a big, long offensive tackle who is just learning how to play the position. His upside is excellent and he’s a future right or left tackle after a year or two of development. Shepherd said he’d like to decide “soon” and the Longhorns have made up ground on Texas A&M after a recent unofficial visit. If Texas does land him, Hand will be the key. Texas would like to sign Johnson, Green, Shepherd and Bragg.
Jared Wiley, tight end, Temple
FYI: 6-5/225; 3 stars; No. 44-ranked tight end in country
Top schools: Texas, Houston, Missouri, SMU
Texas is in search of a quality tight end and Wiley is floating to the top of the board because of his ability to block and catch the football. Texas signed Spring Dekaney’s Malcolm Epps in 2018, but he’s more of a wide receiver than tight end. Wiley can put his hand on the ground and block defensive ends at the point of attack. He’s also an adept pass catcher who uses his big body well to block out defenders. He visited a practice at Texas in the first week of spring drills.
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