The Longhorns moved to No. 10 on the national recruiting rankings after the commitment of outside linebacker Marcus Tillman Jr. and offensive tackle Javonne Shepherd to end July. Texas holds commitments from 15 prospects and hopes to sign a full class of at least 25 in 2019. The Longhorns can sign more than that if necessary because of the eight early enrollees in the 2018 class plus the loss of JUCO transfer Mikey Grandy to injury. Expect the Longhorns to add a few more commitments before the start of the high school season.
Here are three candidates:
David Gbenda, inside linebacker, Katy Cinco Ranch
FYI: 6-0/212; 4 stars; No. 32 on the 2019 Fabulous 55
Top offers: Texas, TCU, Texas A&M
Texas needs a third linebacker for the 2019 cycle. The Longhorns hit a home run at outside linebacker with the commitment of four-star outside linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd, who is arguably the top-rated prospect committed to Texas in the entire class. Tom Herman’s program added a second outside linebacker commit when Tillman pledged on July 28. Texas could wrap up the position if it can land Gbenda, the state’s top inside linebacker prospect. He’ll announce a commitment date soon; the Longhorns are in great shape.
Derrian Brown, running back, Buford, Ga.
FYI: 5-11.5/185; 4 stars; No. 14-ranked running back in country
Top offers: Texas, Auburn, Alabama
Most of the headlines concerning the running back position in the 2019 cycle have highlighted prospects like Noah Cain, Trey Sanders and even Katy’s Deondrick Glass. Derrian Brown, a four-star prospect from Buford, Ga., was considered an afterthought because of his ties to SEC country. He holds offers from Auburn, Alabama and Florida, and most figured the 5-11, 185-pound running back would pick a school within the SEC.
Brown is now trending toward the Longhorns as Texas falls behind for prospects like Sanders and Cain. Glass is the only in-state running back with a UT offer. It’s a down year inside the state at the position and that means the Longhorns are moving outside of it to lock down a player Herman covets. Brown now holds 67 percent of the Crystal Ball predictions on the 247Sports composite.
Brown is a one-cut back who excels once he can get his shoulders square and attack the defense. He lacks the high-end speed of some of the elite running backs in the cycle, but he’s plenty fast to make an impact. He’s also strong enough to handle a heavy workload and capable of catching out of the backfield. Brown is the No. 14-ranked running back in the country and a top-250 prospect regardless of position in the nation.
Tyler Owens, safety, Plano East
FYI: 6-2/202; 4 stars; No. 44-ranked safety
Top offers: Texas, Baylor, UCLA
Texas offered Owens on July 29 and quickly moved up his recruiting list. Texas’ lone commitment at safety is Chris Adimora, a four-star from California. Owens is an in-state prospect with the ideal height and speed to play safety at Texas. The Longhorns are also chasing Mansfield Legacy’s Jalen Catalon, a two-sport athlete wanting to play baseball and football. He holds 15 offers.
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