The Dotted Line

Stay updated on the 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.

Cy-Fair running back LJ Johnson is a four-star in the 2021 class. (Mike Craven)


The Dotted Line: Texas can cherry-pick running backs in the 2021 recruiting cycle

Posted February 14th, 2020


Texas inked 19 players in the 2020 class, which ended last week with national signing day. Texas’ class ranked ninth in the nation and first in the Big 12. The Longhorns have more scholarships for the 2021 cycle and hope to land a top-five class.

2021 running back prospect Camar Wheaton is a five-star Texas target. (Mike Craven)

As the coaching staff switches its full attention to 2021, we take a look at where the Longhorns stand at each position, continuing with quarterback. We broke down the outlook at quarterback and defensive line in previous editions of The Dotted Line. 

Running back

Already on campus: Keaontay Ingram (jr. this fall), Roschon Johnson (soph.), Derrian Brown (fr.) 


2020 signees: Bijan Robinson (5 stars)

2021 commitments: N/A

Top in-state targets: LJ Johnson (4), Cy-Fair; Camar Wheaton (5); Garland Lakeview Centennial; Brandon Campbell (4), Lamar Consolidated; Jonathon Brooks (3), Hallettsville

Other offers: Donovan Edwards (5), West Bloomfield (Mi.); Phil Mafah (4), Loganville (Ga.) Grayson

Texas enters the 2020 season with its best stable of running backs since 10-win seasons were the norm. The long-term depth at the position was boosted by the announcement that converted quarterback Roschon Johnson is staying put after an impressive true freshman campaign. Add in the growing confidence and durability of Ingram, and Texas is primed to improve on its rushing game. I expect Brown to redshirt after his return from brain surgery. He’ll be able to apply for a medical redshirt to cover the 2019 season. 

The wildcard is Robinson, the only five-star recruit to sign with a Big 12 program in the 2020 cycle. The Tuscon (Ariz.) native rushed for more than 2,000 yards in each of his final three prep seasons, earning all-state honors as a junior and a senior. The 6-foot, 200-pound prospect is set to arrive in the summer and is undoubtedly part of the plan for the 2020 season. He didn’t come to Texas to redshirt. The path was cleared when Tom Herman announced that Jordan Whittington is moving back to wide receiver. 

Texas can get picky in the 2021 cycle at running back. LJ Johnson is the top target, and the feeling is that the Longhorns want to sign two players at the position in the cycle after only signing Robinson in the 2020 class. Robinson is a three-year rental if he lives up to the hype and Ingram will be a senior by the time the 2021 signees arrive on campus. Johnson is a speedy playmaker with durability. Look out for Brooks. The three-star might emerge as the top choice to become the second running back pledged to the class if the Longhorns lock up LJ Johnson. 

Hayden ConnerOTKaty Taylor4July 23 (2019)
Juan DavisWR/TEEverman3July 26 (2019)
Derrick Harris Jr.DENew Caney4Aug. 3 (2019)
Ja'Tavion SandersATHDenton Ryan5Sept. 8 (2019)
Jordon ThomasDEPort Arthur Memorial4May 2
Morice BlackwellOLBArlington Martin4May 10
Jonathon BrooksRBHallettsville3May 15
Casey CainWRWarren Easton (La.)3May 15
Isaac PearsonPProKick AustrailiaNRMay 29
Ishmael IbraheemCBDallas Kimball4June 15
JD CoffeySKennedale4June 15
Jamier JohnsonCBJohn Muir (Pasadena, Calif.)4July 3
Gunnar HelmTECherry Creek (Englewood, Colo.)3July 27
Michael MyslinskiCBishop Kennedy (Jacksonville, Fla.)3Aug. 6
Jaden AlexisWRMonarch Prep (Pompano Beach, Fla.)3Aug. 8
Charles WrightQBAustin3Aug. 22
Max MerrilOTStrake Jesuit3Sept. 25
Terrence CooksOLBAlvin Shadow Creek4Nov. 14
Byron Murphy IIDTDeSoto3Nov. 18