This is the second half of the American-Statesman’s fifth annual 20 for 20 project, a Longhorns recruiting primer almost 20 days out of national signing day, which this year falls on Feb. 5.
What you need to know. We published Part 1 on Tuesday.
11. Where are the state’s top players headed?
The top players in the state will spread across the nation.
Texas leads the 2020 Fabulous 55 with a dozen commitments from the list, but it is Texas A&M and Alabama who hold pledges from a pair of borderline five-star in-state prospects. Wide receiver Demond Demas and safety Jaylon Jones are both top-five players in Texas, and both are future Aggies. Five-star running back Jase McClellan and outside linebacker Drew Sanders are heading to Alabama. Ohio State and Clemson also signed top 10 players. Texas’ top-ranked in-state signees were quarterbacks Ja’Quinden Jackson and Hudson Card.
12. Which top recruits aren’t yet committed?
Seven members of the Fab 55 remain uncommitted, including Galena Park North Shore’s Zachary Evans, the No. 1-ranked player in the state. Evans, who is also the No. 1-ranked running back prospect in the country, was headed to Georgia until off-the-field issues stopped that move. Texas A&M appears to be the current leader. Bastrop Cedar Creek defensive tackle Alfred Collins and Manor defensive end Princely Umanmielen are also high-profile uncommitted prospects.
13. Who’s winning the state?
Let’s call it a draw.
The Longhorns lead the Fab 55 with 12 commitments, ahead of Oklahoma’s seven and Texas A&M’s five. The Sooners and Aggies scored the five-star talents within the state, however. It was a down year for talent in Texas. Texas A&M can claim the state’s recruiting crown if it lands Evans. That would give A&M four of the state’s top 11 players.
14. Which position has Texas recruited best?
The Longhorns did a great job at quarterback and offensive line.
The duo of Card and Jackson forms the best quarterback class in the nation. It’s hard to imagine both of those players flaming out in college, so Texas, at least on paper, is in good shape when Sam Ehlinger runs out of eligibility. The four offensive line signees are four-star prospects with versatile skill sets. Jake Majors can play center or guard, same as Logan Parr. Jaylen Garth and Andrej Karic are high-upside tackle prospects.
15. Who are the Austin area’s top prospects?
It was a good year for Austin talent. Cedar Creek’s Collins and Manor defensive end Princely Umanmielen remain uncommitted with three weekends left until signing day. Lake Travis quarterback Hudson Card chose Texas. Round Rock wide receiver Collin Sullivan is headed to Purdue, while Pflugerville Connally cornerback Jahdae Barron signed with Baylor days before Matt Rhule left for the NFL.
16. Are there any early enrollees for Texas?
Nearly half of Texas’ current class are early enrollees, as eight of the 17 signees moved into dorms on Jan. 11. The group is headlined by Card and defensive linemen Vernon Broughton and Sawyer Goram-Welch. Texas is also welcoming safeties Xavion Alford and Jerrin Thompson on campus. The other players enrolling early are wide receiver Troy Omeire and offensive linemen Parr and Majors.
17. Did Tom Herman recruit out of state?
Texas stayed within its borders for 16 of its 17 signees a year removed from signing 10 out-of-state prospects in 2019. Five-star running back Bijan Robinson is the only non-Texan in the class. It’s hard to utilize a national reach during a 7-5 season. It was much easier for Texas last year after beating Oklahoma in the regular season, reaching the Big 12 championship game and knocking off Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
18. How far will each future Longhorn have to travel?
Hudson Card, QB: 22 miles (Lake Travis)
Dajon Harrison, WR: 26 miles (Hutto)
Logan Parr, OG: 89 miles (Helotes)
Vernon Broughton, DT: 142 miles (Cypress)
Troy Omeire, WR: 151 miles (Fort Bend)
Xavion Alford, S: 178 miles (Alvin)
Jaden Hullaby, ATH: 179 miles (Mansfield)
Ja’Quinden Jackson, QB: 189 miles (Duncanville)
Prince Dorbah, OLB: 198 miles (Highland Park)
Andrej Karic, OT: 212 miles (Southlake)
Jaylan Ford, OLB: 221 miles (Frisco)
Jerrin Thompson, S: 222 miles (Lufkin)
Kitan Crawford, CB: 226 miles (Tyler)
Jake Majors, OC: 227 miles (Prosper)
Jaylen Garth, OT: 254 miles (Port Neches)
Sawyer Goram-Welch, DT: 272 miles (Longview)
Bijan Robinson, RB: 900 miles (Tucson, Ariz.)
19. How many early signees did Texas get?
Texas signed each of its 17 commitments during the early signing period. Last year, Texas had 23 pledges in December and signed 22 of them; in 2018, Texas signed 19 of its 21 commitments in the early period.
The early period is the new national signing day. The February date is left for guys still needing time to decide.
20. What positions will Texas recruit in 2021?
The state is loaded with offensive line talent in the 2021 cycle. The Longhorns already hold a pledge from four-star tackle Hayden Conner of Katy Taylor and they hope to add five-star tackle Tommy Brockermeyer and four-star center James Brockermeyer, the twin sons of former UT great Blake Brockermeyer. Duncanville four-star tackle Savion Byrd is also a high priority for offensive line coach Herb Hand and the rest of the coaching staff. The best interior offensive line prospect on the board is Bryce Foster, a teammate of Conner’s at Katy Taylor. The Longhorns also need defensive linemen and linebackers.