The Dotted Line: Texas’ 2019 defensive recruiting board entering June

Posted May 31st, 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 defensive 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.

Only three of the eight commitments play defense. Texas holds pledges from one defensive lineman (T’Vondre Sweat), one outside linebacker (De’Gabriel Floyd) and one cornerback (Kenyatta Watson II). Only Sweat plays in-state. The recruiting picture is less fuzzy on the offensive side of things entering the summer. The defense still needs work at every position.


David Gbenda, inside linebacker, Katy Cinco Ranch

FYI: 6-0/212; 4 stars; No. 43 on the 2019 Fabulous 55

The only in-state middle linebacker prospect with a Texas offer in the 2019 class is Gbenda, a sideline-to-sideline linebacker with instincts and a hard-nosed attitude. He’s a modern linebacker who is as comfortable in space as he is playing downhill against the run. He also can play Rover and blitz the quarterback. TCU, Texas A&M and Arkansas are also high on Gbenda’s list. He was a first-team all-district selection as a junior after recording 56 tackles, two sacks and two pass breakups.

Makiya Tongue, outside linebacker, University Lab (La.)

FYI: 6-2/210; 4 stars; No. 14-ranked athlete

Tongue is also a wide receiver target and he’d be allowed to start his career on the offensive side of the ball if he wished. His skill-set and body frame suggest a permanent move to outside linebacker. He’s a big-bodied prospect with tons of athleticism from his time playing wide receiver. His father, Reggie, played safety at Oregon State and in the NFL. Tongue also holds offers from Georgia, Alabama, Clemson and Arkansas.

Marques Caldwell, cornerback, Alvin

FYI: 6-1/171; 3 stars; Oregon commit

Caldwell officially arrived on Texas’ recruiting radar on May 18 when he was extended an offer by assistant coach Jason Washington. Caldwell committed to Oregon as a junior, but the opportunity to stay in Texas and become the second commitment for Texas at cornerback could be too much for Caldwell to turn down. He’s a long, rangy cornerback, which is what Texas has recruited under defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. Caldwell was a second-team all-district selection as a junior and has collected four interceptions in his two-year prep career.

Jalen Catalon, safety, Mansfield Legacy

FYI: 5-9/180; 4 stars; No. 19 on the 2019 Fabulous 55

Catalon is a football player. He’s a swiss-army knife of talent, earning all-state honors as a sophomore at safety when he recorded 196 tackles, nine interceptions and three forced fumbles. He registered 101 tackles as a junior, doubling as the team’s starting quarterback. Catalon earned District 10-5A MVP honors with 1,145 passing yards and 1,031 rushing yards, accounting for 28 offensive touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown. Catalon can play safety, nickel and return punts. Texas is considered the favorite.

Chris Adimora, safety, Mayfair (Calif.)

FYI: 6-1; 4 stars; No. 23-ranked safety

Texas went out of state for two of its first three defensive commits and the Longhorns hope Adimora joins the list by the start of football season. He’s a hard-hitting safety who can cover a lot of ground. He holds 16 offers, including a recent one from Alabama. Adimora can also roam the defensive backfield as a free or strong safety. His coverage skills allow him to cover tight ends and big wide receivers. He originally set a commitment date for Aug. 11, but he could decide sooner.

Other names to know: Jermaine Johnson, Zach Williams, Taurean Carter, Faatui Tuitele, Rian Davis, Marcus Banks

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