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.
No rush for state’s top center
Recruiting sped up with the addition of the early signing period for the 2018 class. It became as much of a sprint as a marathon with the 2019 class’s ability to take official visits this spring. Classes are filling up and prospects are flying off the board. Texas secured its sixth commitment on Tuesday when Arizona three-star tight end Brayden Liebrock chose the Longhorns over Arizona State, Cal and Ohio State.
One player not in a hurry is Crandall’s Branson Bragg. The 6-4, 294-pound center is the No. 41-ranked prospect on the initial 2019 Fabulous 55 and the No. 3-ranked center in the country. He holds 19 offers with Texas, Texas A&M and Stanford considered his top schools. Bragg is honest about wanting to take his time.
— Branson Bragg (@bransonbragg72) March 23, 2018
“I know a lot of guys are committing around this time, but I’m just not ready,” Bragg said. “I’m waiting and thinking around December. It’s about being honest and telling them I’m not ready to make a decision. I don’t want to re-think my commitment. I don’t want to go lightly about it because it’ll be a decision that impacts the rest of my life.”
Bragg took two visits to Texas in the spring, once during the Texas Relays and again for the Orange-White game. It allowed him time to talk to offensive line coach Herb Hand and head coach Tom Herman. It also allowed Bragg, who wants to be a coach, a chance to watch film with a college coach.
“(Hand) showed me clips from spring practice to the end, plus his Auburn tape. I think his guys are progressing,” Bragg said. “I got to sit down with coach Herb Hand for over two hours and talk ball and to talk Texas. I got to sit down with coach Herman and see the spring game and the progression of the offensive line.”
Dylan Wright builds bond with Drew Mehringer
Texas lost out on an in-state wide receiver when Garrett Wilson chose Ohio State. The Longhorns hold a commitment from Cuero’s Jordan Whittington, the No. 1-ranked player on the Fabulous 55, and are in the top two for out-of-state target Jake Smith. Receivers coach Drew Mehringer is also hunting for big bodies for the outside receiver spot. One of the priority targets is Dylan Wright, a four-star from West Mesquite.
“Mehringer is a real dude. He’s always there for you no matter what,” Wright said. “He’s young and knows what we go through during the process. Everything with him is heart to heart. Texas will be in my top five. They’re like family to me.”
Wright also mentioned Florida State and Arkansas as programs he’s built strong relationships with during the recruiting process. The 6-4, 195-pounder is an intriguing player who has only played receiver for one season. He’s a physical specimen with size, length and athleticism. He’s currently recovering from toe surgery.
“There are schools separating for me, but I’m in no rush. I’m going to commit at the Under Armour game. Maybe drop a top schools list in July around my birthday,” he said. “I want to feel like family. I don’t want it to always be business. I’ve moved a lot, so I want to have a long-lasting relationship with the guys on the team and with my position coach.”
Darius Snows sees upside at safety
Lewisville Hebron product Darius Snow is already a top priority among sophomore safeties. The 6-1, 210-pounder holds an offer from Texas, Alabama, Michigan State and 12 other programs. He was an Associated Press Class 6A first team all-state selection as a sophomore after notching 136 tackles, a sack and an interception.
Snow continued to build a reputation at 7-on-7 tournaments and elite camps like The Opening regional, but was ready to put back on the pads and start preparing for his junior season with his teammates.
“The game is meant to be played in pads. The 7-on-7 and elite camps can help improve your game, but nothing compares to real football,” he said. “We’re ready to get better.”
Snow is bullish on his future college position. He’s a big safety for his age and that means projections toward outside linebacker. Snow isn’t buying it.
“My upside is at safety,” he said. “If I go to college and play linebacker, I’d be considered an average-size linebacker. If I stay at safety, I’m a big safety. If I can run with wide receivers and cover, why not play safety?”
The Longhorns are prioritizing Snow as a safety and his relationship with assistant coach Craig Naivar is growing. He also knows what he’s looking for in his future school.
“Texas sees me at a similar spot as DeShon Elliott. Our relationship constantly grows with each call,” Snow said. “I want a school with high academics. I also want to feel at home and be able to compete for a starting spot at safety. Proximity also plays a part, so my parents can see me. Campus life is also important.”
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