The Dotted Line

Stay updated on the 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.

Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman waves to Texas Longhorns fans as he arrives to compete against Utah Utes during an NCAA college football game at the Valero Alamo Bowl at the Alamo dome on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Football

The Dotted Line: Three questions facing Texas on the recruiting trail amid COVID-19

Posted April 21st, 2020

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The recruiting world halted for most of the past 30 days minus a few commitments sprinkled across the state and the country. The major targets are holding out for official visits, meaning the recruiting calendar is likely to be organically shifted from a frantic spring and summer to more pledges in the fall and winter. It’s also likely more prospects skip the early signing period and elect to wait for national signing day next February due to the travel restrictions amid COVID-19

That doesn’t mean coaching staffs are slowing down behind the scenes. No matter the future of football in 2020, there will be football again in the future. That requires new blood, so recruiting remains an integral part to building a successful program, even if the college coaches can’t physically see the targets. Coaches can still FaceTime and use other means of video chat to stay connected. 

The recruiting well can’t remain dry forever, so here are three questions facing Texas. The Longhorns hold six commitments in the 2021 cycle. 

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Who is the next commitment? 

The Longhorns haven’t added a commitment to the 2021 class since Ja’Tavion Sanders joined in September of 2019. The class is ranked 16th nationally as other programs add numbers to the class. Recruiting is more marathon than sprint, but expect Texas to apply pressure to a few targets leaning toward the Longhorns. 

The next scheduled commitment of a Texas target takes place May 1 when three-star outside linebacker Jaydon Williams announces his commitment. The 6-1, 195-pound prospect from South Oak Cliff holds 22 offers and is the 62nd-ranked outside linebacker in the country, per 247Sports composite rankings. The former wide receiver recorded 32 tackles and five sacks in just five games as a junior. 

What position is the most important this cycle on each side of the football? 

Offensive line is the money position for the Longhorns in the 2021 cycle because of the depth of elite talent within the state this cycle. The Longhorns already hold a commitment from four-star offensive tackle Hayden Conner. The Katy Taylor product is teammates and close friends with four-star guard Bryce Foster, Texas’ top interior line target in the cycle. Offensive line coach Herb Hand has spent the last two years building relationships with Conner, Foster and the other top targets in this class, and it needs to pay off for the Longhorns. 

The top targets in the entire class are Tommy and James Brockermeyer. Tommy is a five-star offensive tackle. James is a four-star center. The twins are the youngest sons of former Texas offensive lineman Blake Brockermeyer and the younger brothers of current Texas linebacker Luke Brockermeyer. Adding those two names to the 2021 class is priority No. 1 for Hand and Tom Herman. A class without the Brockermeyer twins can’t be considered a success. 

Defensively, Texas needs to rebuild at the cornerback position. The 2018 class that was loaded with defensive back talent including cornerbacks Anthony Cook, Jalen Green and D’Shawn Jamison will be entering their senior season when the 2021 class arrives on campus. Texas only signed one cornerback in 2020 in Kitan Crawford and he may be destined for nickel or safety. The Longhorns need to avoid a youthful secondary in 2022 by signing a solid group of players in this cycle. Dallas Kimball four-star Ishmael Ibraheem is the top player on Texas’ board. 

How are Texas A&M and Oklahoma recruiting thus far? 

Not great. Texas’ class still ranks above both programs in the national rankings as all three teams remain stagnant during the early part of the calendar year. Oklahoma’s class sits at 32nd in the nation with four pledges, trailing the likes of Kansas State and Baylor in the early Big 12 race. The Sooners will undoubtedly begin to return toward the top-10 of the national recruiting rankings as the class grows. The same is likely true for Texas A&M, which sits 38th nationally with only three commitments. 

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