Dual-threat quarterback Malik Hornsby (2020) at The Opening regional. (Mike Craven)


The Dotted Line: Texas leads for Javonne Shepherd; Malik Hornsby welcomes competition

Posted June 6th, 2018


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.

Texas called ‘top school’ by Javonne Shepherd

Scores of high school prospects filtered out of the Texas practice facility and toward the parking lot after the conclusion of a mini-camp on Tuesday night. But one player remained on the field. He could be seen catching passes and running routes with the Texas assistant coaches. It wasn’t a receiver, however. It was four-star offensive lineman Javonne Shepherd of Houston North Forest.

“I think this might be home,” Shepherd said after the camp. “Coach (Tom) Herman talked about me, not just football. I spent the whole day here and I’d say it is my No. 1 school right now. That’s what I’m thinking.”



Shepherd is the top tackle remaining on Texas’ board after the Longhorns picked up a pledge from five-star offensive tackle Tyler Johnson. Humble Atascocita’s Kenyon Green, the No. 6 player on the 2019 Fabulous 55, took his name out of the running when he picked Texas A&M. Green and Shepherd are close, but Green’s decision won’t impact Shepherd.

“That’s his decision,” Shepherd said about Green. “We’re two different people. That’s where he felt best at. I’m looking for a staff and team that makes me feel like family. It won’t be about anyone else.”

That includes his girlfriend. Just like A&M fans got excited when Green jumped on board thinking that would help land Shepherd, UT fans became hopeful when it was revealed Shepherd’s girlfriend had been admitted to Texas. Shepherd might choose Texas, but it won’t be about relationships with anyone except for the coaching staff.

“Where she goes won’t impact me one bit,” Shepherd said.

The 6-6, 319-pound prospect is seen as a potential left tackle by Texas. Shepherd is concerned with perfecting his craft and staying in shape.

“I’m a strong athlete. I’m mobile and quick,” Shepherd said. “I’m coachable and reliable in the things that I do.”

Peter Mpagi expects Texas offer

Richmond George Ranch defensive end Peter Mpagi has made his desire to receive an offer from Texas no secret throughout the offseason. His dad went to Texas and his sister ran track for the Longhorns for a time. Mpagi, a 6-4, 224-pound three-star prospect, spoke with Herman at length on Tuesday at the camp and expects the coach to extend an offer by the weekend.

“My relationship has grown a lot with defensive line coach Oscar Giles,” Mpagi said. “He showed clips to coach Herman and Herman talked to me a lot during camp. He said he’d be in contact within the next two or three days and I expect an offer to come my way.”

A Texas offer would catapult the Longhorns into the mix. The main competition would be Washington after a recent visit to Seattle impressed Mpagi. He said he’s planning to visit A&M next, then Northwestern and then Stanford but plans to make his commitment in June.

Malik Hornby won’t shy away from quarterback competition

Texas’ first commitment in the 2020 class was dual-threat quarterback Hudson Card, a four-star from Lake Travis. The Longhorns aren’t likely done at quarterback for 2020, specifically if Houston Austin quarterback Malik Hornsby decides to pick Texas over his impressive early list of offers. He’s the No. 2-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the nation, per the 247 Sports composite ratings. Card is ranked No. 4.

Austin High School (Houston) quarterback Malik Hornsby at The Opening regional. (Mike Craven)

It’s safe to say Card’s early commitment won’t impact Hornsby’s plans. Texas is high on his list and competition is something the 6-1, 170-pound playmaker welcomes.

“It is not a situation. I want all the smoke and don’t mind any competition,” Hornsby said of a potential battle with Card. “They told me it will be a battle. I don’t have a problem battling with anyone.”

Hornsby did say he’s not ready to pick a school. He recently visited SMU and talks to Baylor. He’ll visit Texas A&M on Thursday. Still, Texas is in great shape because of the coaches and the scheme employed in Austin.

“The offense is built around the quarterback. I’m a shotgun and RPO guy, and that’s what Texas does,” he said. “The staff treated me well, like I’m part of the team already. I was here all day and toured the campus. The highlight was the photo shoots with the icy white uniforms.”

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