Texas’ 2021 recruiting class added its first new member since last September on Sunday night when three-star Humble Atascocita tight end Landen King chose the Longhorns over 28 other offers, including Texas A&M. King’s pledge pushed Texas’ class ranking up to 14th in the nation, and it remains first in the Big 12.
Tom Herman and his staff expect to add more targets during May. COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, prohibiting on-campus visits by prospects to colleges and college coaches to high schools. Still, recruiting must move forward. The schools need to fill their classes and players must start to take their place in a class or risk a school moving on to a new prospect.
Here are five candidates to be the next Texas commitment:
Jaydon Williams, outside linebacker, South Oak Cliff
FYI: 6-1, 195; three stars; No. 62nd-ranked OLB
Top offers: Texas, Arizona State, Ole Miss, SMU (22 total offers)
Williams is set to announce his college destination on May 1. The three-star linebacker from south Dallas is a sideline-to-sideline prospect who’s solid against the run and adept at pass coverage. Williams recorded 32 tackles, including 8.5 for loss and five sacks in five games on defense as a junior. The Longhorns are the overwhelming favorite as his commitment date moves closer.
JD Coffey, safety, Kennedale
FYI: 6-0, 180; four stars; No. 8-ranked S
Top offers: Texas, LSU, Michigan, Oregon (32)
Coffey was high on the Longhorns before the coaching changes on defense, and it appears that the new defensive staff wants the athletic safety to be part of the 2021 class. Texas is one of 32 programs to offer Coffey, who was the District 6-4A Division I defensive MVP as a junior after compiling 71 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. He’s been a varsity starter since his freshman year.
Andrew Mukuba, safety, Austin LBJ
FYI: 6-0, 185; three stars; No. 20-ranked S
Top offers: Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama (35)
Texas hopes Mukuba can reverse a recent trend of local talents heading elsewhere. The 2020 NFL draft was full of in-state talents who left the state for college, including Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah and JK Dobbins. Lake Travis wide receiver Garrett Wilson (Ohio State) and Bowie receiver Elijah Higgins (Stanford) both left the state in 2019, as did Manor defensive lineman Princely Umanmielen this year, to Florida. Mukuba starred on offense and defense for LBJ as a junior, earning first-team all-district honors at safety and District 12-5A Division I offensive newcomer of the year honors.
Jordon Thomas, defensive lineman, Port Arthur Memorial
FYI: 6-3, 240; four stars; No. 15-ranked weak-side DE
Top offers: Texas, Texas A&M (8)
It’s a two-team race for the gifted four-star lineman. Thomas has declared Texas and Texas A&M as his top two schools, and now both fan bases are waiting on his decision. He missed his junior season with a lower leg injury. He was a second-team all-district selection as a sophomore. Thomas could potentially grow into a three-technique defensive tackle despite playing defensive end in high school.
Jonathan Brooks, running back, Halletsville
FYI: 6-0, 185; three stars; No. 50-ranked RB
Top offers: Texas, Texas Tech, UTSA (7)
Texas wants to sign two running backs. The Longhorns hope to pair one of either LJ Johnson or Camar Wheaton with Brooks, a durable, powerful runner with enough speed to threaten defenses on the edge. The running backs room is currently in great shape, but it’s hard to imagine that Keaontay Ingram or Bijan Robinson are around for longer than necessary because of the physical demands of the position. Brooks gives Texas a solid piece in which to build around in the future.