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.
The secondary dilemma
Recruiting is prone to exaggeration. We rank classes based on the perceived talents of teenagers and crown programs champions before a single player hits the field. It’s no different than the NFL draft. Mel Kiper sits at his table, full of pumpkin pie, and opines about a future no one knows. The ratings are through the roof. The high school equivalent to draft day is the hat ceremony.
Fewer prospects are waiting to announce on national signing day, instead choosing to use an edit or commitment video on social media. It’s forced college coaches to adjust. It’s also caused fan bases to panic over recruiting rankings and early commitments at an alarming level. But will the winner in June remain the champion when the fax machines are plugged into the wall?
Texas was dealt another blow in the secondary when three-star cornerback Marcus Banks chose LSU over the Longhorns, Texas A&M and Alabama. The Spring Dekaney product, and former teammate of tight end Malcolm Epps, who signed with Texas in 2018, is a native of Baton Rouge and picked home. The top 12 players on the 2019 Fabulous 55 are committed. Only three prospects in the top 20 remain uncommitted with six months to go until signing day.
Banks is another in-state recruiting loss in the secondary. Texas signed a historic group in 2018, locking in the top three cornerbacks and safeties in the state. It’s proven a deterrent for some players, who openly talk about depth charts as deciding factors. Kenyatta Watson II, a four-star defensive back from Georgia, is the only secondary prospect currently committed to the Longhorns.
Five in-state cornerbacks hold UT offers. The only one considered a legitimate Longhorns target is Oregon commit Marques Caldwell, a three-star cornerback from Alvin. It’s no time for panic, however. There is a clear plan at corner and safety for Tom Herman and his staff in the 2019 class.
Texas only needs to sign two cornerback prospects in this cycle. Watson is half of the puzzle. Flipping Caldwell, who picked up an offer in May, could complete the position because of the three cornerbacks signed in 2018. The Longhorns also like four-star safety Jalen Catalon as a nickel back, which means the staff could count him as a corner when it comes to numbers.
The trio of Watson, Catalon and Caldwell would give Texas two big cornerbacks and a player capable of covering slot receivers a year removed from landing the trio of Anthony Cook, Jalen Green and D’Shawn Jamison. The 2019 group might not hold the headlines or rankings of that trio from 2018, but that doesn’t matter.
Texas is yet to land a commitment from a safety for 2019, though Watson has the frame to play safety and some experience at the position. The Longhorns signed Caden Sterns, BJ Foster and DeMarvion Overshown in 2018. Catalon is the top in-state prize at the position. He can play free safety but would likely slide to nickel corner in college. He can also help in the return game.
Thank you… ✍🏾✍🏾 pic.twitter.com/KrJljdGmDX
— Chris Adimora (@Ceewavvy1) June 8, 2018
Chris Adimora (Calif.) is another top target who named Texas among his top schools. He’s expected to announce his pick by the start of his senior season. Like at cornerback, Texas needs only two players in the 2019 cycle. If Catalon counts towards cornerback, Texas, at least in theory, only needs to find a partner for Adimora. The obvious target is Lewis Cine, a member of the Fabulous 55 who plays at Cedar Hill Trinity Christian after transferring from Massachusetts following his junior season.
|RANK (PREV.)||PLAYER||POS.||HIGH SCHOOL||COLLEGE|
|1. (7)||Garrett Wilson||WR||Lake Travis (6A)||Ohio State|
|2. (3)||DeMarvin Leal||DL||Converse Judson (6A)||Texas A&M|
|3. (1)||Jordan Whittington||WR||Cuero (4A)||Texas|
|4. (4)||Brian Williams||S||Bishop Dunne (TAPPS)||Texas A&M|
|5. (15)||Tyler Johnson||OT||Conroe Oak Ridge (6A)||Texas|
|6. (5)||Kenyon Green||OT||Humble Atascocita (6A)||Texas A&M|
|7, (8)||NaNa Osafo-Mensah||DE||Fort Worth Nolan Catholic (TAPPS)||Notre Dame|
|8. (10)||Austin Stogner||TE||Prestonwood Catholic (TAPPS)||Oklahoma|
|9. (44)||Trejan Bridges||WR||Carrolton Hebron (6A)||Oklahoma|
|10. (6)||Theo Wease Jr.||WR||Allen (6A)||Oklahoma|
|11. (9)||Grant Gunnell||QB||St. Pius X (TAPPS)||Arizona|
|12. (12)||Marcus Banks||CB||Spring Dekaney (6A)||LSU|
|13. (38)||Jeffery Carter||CB||Aledo (5A)||Texas A&M|
|14. (17)||Marcel Brooks||OLB||Flower Mound (6A)||LSU|
|15. (13)||Marcus Stripling||DE||Mayde Creek (6A)||Uncommitted|
|16. (2)||Arjei Henderson||WR||Fort Bend Travis (6A)||Oklahoma|
|17. (14)||Marquez Beason||CB||Bishop Dunne (TAPPS)||Illinois|
|18. (19)||Jalen Catalon||S||Mansfield Legacy (6A)||Uncommitted|
|19. (24)||Demani Richardson||S||Waxahachie (6A)||Texas A&M|
|20. (49)||Dylan Wright||WR||West Mesquite (5A)||Texas A&M|
|21. (11)||Jalen Curry||WR||St. Pius X (TAPPS)||Uncommitted|
|22. (22)||Erick Young||CB||Fort Bend Bush (6A)||Texas A&M|
|23. (39)||Elijah Higgins||WR||Austin Bowie (6A)||Uncommitted|
|24. (NR)||Lewis Cine||S||Cedar Hill Trinity Christian (TAPPS)||Uncommitted|
|25. (23)||EJ Ndoma-Ogar||OG||Allen (6A)||Oklahoma|
|26. (21)||Roschon Johnson||QB||Port Neches-Groves (5A)||Texas|
|27. (31)||Javonne Shepherd||OT||North Forest (4A)||Texas|
|28. (48)||Bobby Wolfe||CB||Houston Madison (6A)||Texas A&M|
|29. (41)||Branson Bragg||C||Crandall (4A)||Stanford|
|30. (30)||Tamauzia Brown||WR||Newton (3A)||TCU|
|31. (32)||Jaylen Ellis||WR||Round Rock Cedar Ridge (6A)||Baylor|
|32. (43)||David Gbenda||ILB||Katy Cinco Ranch (6A)||Texas|
|33. (16)||Kam Brown||WR||Colleyville Heritage (5A)||Texas A&M|
|34. (NR)||Baylor Cupp||TE||Brock (3A)||Texas A&M|
|35. (18)||Deondrick Glass||RB||Katy (6A)||Uncommitted|
|36. (20)||Nelson Caesar||DE||Fort Bend Ridge Point (6A)||Houston|
|37. (28)||Isaiah Spiller||RB||Klein Collins (6A)||Texas A&M|
|38. (46)||T'Vondre Sweat||DE||Huntsville (5A)||Texas|
|39. (25)||Hunter Spears||DT||Sachse (6A)||Notre Dame|
|40. (40)||Braedon Mowry||DE||Katy Taylor (6A)||Texas A&M|
|41. (NR)||Myles Brooks||S||Pflugerville Hendrickson (6A)||Cal|
|42. (27)||Grant Tisdale||QB||Allen (6A)||Ole Miss|
|43. (29)||Jonathan McGill||S||Coppell (5A)||Uncommitted|
|44. (36)||Josh Ellison||DT||A&M Consolidated (5A)||Texas A&M|
|45. (33)||Steven Parker||DE||South Oak Cliff (5A)||Texas Tech|
|46. (50)||Velton Gardner||ATH||Dallas Skyline (6A)||Kansas State|
|47. (34)||Jamal Morris||S||Fort Bend Bush (6A)||Oklahoma|
|48. (52)||Darwin Barlow||RB||Newton (3A)||TCU|
|49. (37)||David Ugwoebu||DE||Katy Seven Lakes (6A)||Uncommitted|
|50. (26)||Brannon Brown||OG||San Antonio O'Connor (6A)||TCU|
|51. (47)||Kori Roberson||DE||Manvel (5A)||Oklahoma|
|52. (53)||Gilbert Ibeneme||DE||Pearland (6A)||Texas Tech|
|53. (NR)||Andrew Coker||OT||Katy Taylor (6A)||TCU|
|54. (NR)||Marques Caldwell||CB||Alvin (6A)||Texas|
|55. (NR)||Thomas Gordon||TE||Strake Jesuit (6A)||Northwestern|
Miss a previous edition of The Dotted Line? Get caught up here.