Round Rock Cedar Ridge wide receiver Jaylen Ellis is a Baylor pledge. (Mike Craven)


The Dotted Line: Five prospects trending toward Texas in the 2019 class

Posted June 22nd, 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.

Targets trending toward Texas

The Longhorns landed their 10th commitment of the 2019 class last weekend when three-star defensive end Peter Mpagi pledged to Tom Herman’s program over a host of major offers. The product of Houston George Ranch was the second defensive end to pick the Longhorns this cycle, joining Huntsville’s T’Vondre Sweat.

Texas holds commitments from a quarterback, two wide receivers, two tight ends, a pair of defensive ends, an outside linebacker and a cornerback. Numbers won’t allow UT to exceed the 25-man limit in 2019 like it was able to in 2018, and there remains plenty of holes to fill.


Here are five players trending toward Texas.

Javonne Shepherd, offensive tackle, Galena Park North Forest

FYI: 6-6/319; 4 stars; No. 27 on the 2019 Fabulous 55

It’s a true in-state battle for Shepherd, who is wanted by Texas and Texas A&M. The two rivals no longer meet on the football field, but that hasn’t stopped the coaching staffs from facing off on the recruiting trail. Shepherd is the top remaining tackle in the state. Texas already has Tyler Johnson. Texas A&M already has Kenyon Green. The battle for Shepherd is leaning toward the Longhorns, but there is a lot of time between now and national signing day. Shepherd made his way to the Heat Wave last weekend and named Texas his leader.

Taurean Carter, defensive end, Mansfield Legacy

Mansfield Legacy defensive lineman Taurean Carter at the Texas Heat Wave in June. (Mike Craven)

FYI: 6-3/260; 3 stars; 15 offers

Carter was another prospect with an offer who made his way to Austin for the Heat Wave pool party on Texas’ campus. He’s a big, athletic defensive lineman who can play end or grow into a true nose tackle. Texas likes versatility among its defensive linemen because of the odd-man front employed by defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. Texas also wants Carter’s teammate, safety Jalen Catalon, who is pegged as the nickel corner for the 2019 class.

Chris Adimora, safety, Mayfair, Calif.

FYI: 6-1/195; 4 stars; No. 14-ranked safety

Texas already holds one commitment from a Californian. Outside linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd, who committed early, is from nearby Westlake Village. Adimora is Texas’ top safety target and he’s expected to pick the Longhorns before the start of his senior season. Hes an enforcer in the backfield with coverage skills. Herman’s roots in California have allowed him to land multiple players from the state since taking over at Texas.

David Gbenda, inside linebacker, Katy Cinco Ranch

FYI: 6-0/212; 4 stars; No. 32 on the 2019 Fabulous 55

The only in-state middle linebacker in the 2019 class to hold a Texas offer is Gbenda, an athletic prospect with offers from every major program in the state. The Longhorns will battle teams like TCU and Arkansas for his signature. Gbenda keeps his recruitment close to the vest, but stated during spring practices that the Longhorns were among his leaders. Gbenda was a first-team all-district selection as a junior and holds 24 offers.

Jaylen Ellis, wide receiver, Round Rock Cedar Ridge

FYI: 6-0/180; 3 stars; No. 31 on the 2019 Fabulous 55

The prolific and speedy wide receiver from Round Rock received a UT offer on May 26. The Austin native is committed to Baylor but made it known he coveted an offer from his hometown team. Teams like Ohio State, Michigan and Oregon are also in the mix. Ellis is a big-play threat from the slot position who was invited to The Opening Finals. He’s a two-time first-team all-district performer who averages nearly 25 yards per catch on varsity.

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