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.
Jaylon Jones ready to follow in Caden Sterns’ footsteps
Houston Lamar holds the honorary title of DB High. But Cibolo Steele is also in the mix. Texas dipped into the wealth of talent 60 miles south of Austin in the 2018 class to sign defensive back Caden Sterns. Sophomore defensive back Jaylon Jones watched a star-studded backfield in 2018, waiting for his turn.
It’s now here.
“Cibolo Steele gives you a great education on the football field, especially at defensive back,” Jones said. “We have a long line of tradition and I’m excited for it to be my turn, so to speak. There is a lot of preparation going on with spring practice. I’m ready to show the world what I can do.”
Expect Jones’ stock to rise with coaching staffs visiting high schools around the state for spring practice. The 2020 prospect is a 6-2, 185-pound cornerback ranked as a four-star by 247Sports. He holds offers from Baylor, Houston and Oklahoma State. That list will only grow as he becomes an every-down starter for Steele.
“I’m excited that spring football is here,” he said. “We were ready to put the pads on and I’m hoping my offer list will grow once coaches can by the school.”
Jones not only learned how to improve as a football player from teammates like Sterns. He also learned how to handle recruiting.
“Caden told me to take recruiting slow and respect all of the coaches that invest time in you because you never know what will happen with coaching changes and stuff like that,” Jones said. “It’s important to never burn bridges, see your options and then go from there.”
Jones comes from a military family and spent time in Japan during his youth. He’s lived in Cibolo since 2010 and credits his background with his cerebral approach to football, and life.
“The moving and living in different places allowed me to meet new people and gain respect for others,” he said. “It gave me a great view of the world most people my age didn’t experience.”
Chayse Todd on Texas’ recruiting radar
Texas’ search for an interior offensive lineman in the 2019 class took a hit Wednesday when Allen four-star EJ Ndoma-Ogar chose Oklahoma over the Longhorns and a long list of elite offers. Tom Herman and his staff hope to sign at least four offensive linemen in the current cycle, and that number is subject to grow if the right prospects want to jump on board.
The targets at offensive tackle are clear, at least as clear as recruiting can get. The Longhorns hope to gain a commitment from Conroe Oak Ridge’s Tyler Johnson before the end of May. Texas is also in the mix for prospects like Javonne Shepherd, Kenyon Green and Stacey Wilkins. The top target at center is Branson Bragg.
A name to watch at guard is Chayse Todd. The 6-2, 290-pound prospect holds 11 offers and that list should grow by the end of spring practice as coaches come by Crosby to get a closer look at Todd and his teammates. Todd put in a strong performance at the Under Armour Camp Series in Houston.
Todd can play guard or center.
“Recruiting is starting to pick up. It got hot in March when I received five offers in two weeks,” he said. “I’m staying humble because for a while, no one was looking at me and I thought I had great tape in 2017. It’s a process and I understand that.”
Most of his offers come from G5 programs like SMU, UTEP and New Mexico State. He also holds Big 12 offers from Iowa State and Kansas. He’s a big-bodied player who excels at the point of attack. He showed a nasty streak at a camp setting without pads and that translates to the football field. Todd credited his performance at a The Opening regional earlier in the offseason for his stock rising.
“I talk to coach (Herb) Hand regularly,” he said after the Under Armour event. “He said he’ll come see me in spring and hopefully he’ll pull the trigger then and offer. If not, maybe during the season.”
Alec Bryant remains a 2020 priority
Shadow Creek defender Alec Bryant could be approaching a Texas offer. The pass rusher says he hears the most from TCU and Texas. The Horned Frogs offered on March 15. He’s since picked up offers from SMU and Houston. The 6-2, 228-pound sophomore is listed as a defensive end, but he sees himself as more than that.
“I can play defensive end or stand up and play outside linebacker. That’s what I like most about TCU and Texas,” Bryant said. “Both of those teams use the defensive front in different ways. Texas uses both the 3-4 and a four-man front. I see myself as a guy who can play both positions.”
Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando covets defenders who can play multiple positions — a safety who can play some cornerback, a linebacker who can play defensive end in passing downs, defensive tackles capable of playing over the center or outside the guard. Versatility is the key for Orlando and Bryant is a future four-star prospect with that type of ability.
“I want to prove I’m one of the best 50 underclassmen in the country and that I can pass rush,” he said. “The big factors for me in recruiting will be my major, which will be communication, and if it is close enough for my family to come watch me play.”
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