The Dotted Line: Texas’ 2019 offensive recruiting wish list entering June

Posted May 30th, 2018


Stay updated on latest Texas Longhorns recruiting news brought to you by Longhorns recruiting beat writer Mike Craven of 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 wish list

Texas’ 2019 recruiting class grew by two members over Memorial Day Weekend. It started Friday when five-star offensive tackle Tyler Johnson pledged to the Longhorns. It continued Saturday when three-star tight end Jared Wiley picked Texas over Houston and Missouri. Texas now sits at eight commitments in the cycle, which ranks No. 15 in the nation and No. 2 behind Oklahoma in the Big 12.

Round Rock Cedar Ridge wide receiver Jaylen Ellis is currently committed to Baylor. (Mike Craven)

Five of the eight commitments play offense. Texas is likely done at quarterback for 2019 class with the pledge of Roschon Johnson, a four-star dual-threat from Port Neches-Groves. The Longhorns signed two quarterbacks in 2018 and already hold a pledge from 2020 signal-caller Hudson Card. Texas is also likely done at tight end with commitments from Wiley and Brayden Liebrock.

That leaves running back, wide receiver and offensive line. Texas has one commitment at receiver — Cuero’s Jordan Whittington — and picked up its first offensive line commitment over the weekend in Johnson. The Longhorns want to gain commitments from three more receivers and three more linemen, and there are plenty of options still on the board.

Noah Cain, running back, IMG Academy (Fla.)

FYI: 5-10.5/209; 4 stars; No. 2-ranked running back

The top running back on Texas’ running back board is a Texan. Cain was a second-team all-state selection at Denton Guyer as a sophomore before taking his talents to IMG Academy. He was also the District 5-6A newcomer of the year as a freshman. He’s split carries with Trey Sanders, the nation’s top running back prospect and a fellow Texas target, while at IMG. Cain is originally from Louisiana, which also puts LSU in the mix. Texas, however, is the front-runner for the powerful and shifty playmaker. Cain would be a top-5 player in Texas this cycle if he hadn’t left the state.

Jake Smith, wide receiver, Notre Dame Preparatory (Ariz)

FYI: 6-1/189; 4 stars; No. 17-ranked wide receiver

Smith takes his official visit to Texas starting Friday and all indications point toward the play-making wide receiver to pledge to the Longhorns either during or shortly after the visit to Austin. Smith was the first Arizona prep product since Christian Kirk to record more than 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. Smith is a slot receiver who can immediately help as a returner. He took his official visit to USC, his other finalist, on May 18. He scored 26 offensive touchdowns as a junior.

Jaylen Ellis, wide receiver, Round Rock Cedar Ridge

FYI: 6-0/180; 3 stars; No. 32 on the Fabulous 55

The Austin native finally received the offer he wanted all spring when the Longhorns extended a scholarship offer on May 26. Ellis is a two-time first-team all-district selection and brings speed to the field. He recorded a 10.4 100-meter time at a district meet and then posted the highest SPARQ score for a receiver at The Opening regional in Dallas. Ellis has averaged 25 yards per catch during his two-year varsity career. He can play outside but is considered mostly a slot prospect because of his size. He caught 56 passes for 1,248 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior.

Langston Anderson, wide receiver, Midlothian Heritage

FYI: 6-2/188; 3 stars; 21 offers

Anderson received a UT offer on May 26 and that immediately placed the Longhorns in the running for the under-the-radar prospect. Texas missed out on five-star Garrett Wilson and is trailing Stanford and Ohio State for Elijah Higgins, so that means the Longhorns must concentrate on new prospects heading into the summer. Anderson moved to Texas from Mississippi after his sophomore season and made an immediate impact at Midlothian Heritage as a junior when he was named first-team all-district after recording 55 catches for 850 yards and nine touchdowns. Anderson possesses the height to play on the outside.

Branson Bragg, center, Crandall

FYI: 6-4/295; 4 stars; No. 41 on the Fabulous 55

Texas has yet to sign a true center since Herman took over recruiting duties late in the 2017 cycle. The Longhorns want to change that in 2019 with Bragg, the state’s top center prospect in a few cycles. Bragg is high on Texas, while Texas A&M and Stanford are also in the mix. Bragg wants to take his time with the process and visit his top schools before narrowing his list or announcing his decision. He’s a mauler who wants to be a future football coach. He’s a quarterback of the offensive line and a physical player who can also play guard.

Other names to know: Trey Sanders, Dylan Wright, Elijah Higgins, Javonne Shepherd, Kenyon Green, Stacey Wilkins, Peyton Powell

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