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.

DeSoto defensive end Shemar Turner is among Texas' top targets in the 2021 cycle. (Mike Craven)


The Dotted Line: Texas’ defensive recruiting wish list updated following latest commitments

Posted May 13th, 2020


The last recruiting wishlist for Texas published a month ago. Since then, the Longhorns have added a commitment from four-star defensive lineman Jordon Thomas and lost out on four-star defensive end Landon Jackson to LSU. It’s time to reset the recruiting board for the Longhorns on the defensive side of the football. Tom Herman’s program holds nine commitments in a class that ranks 13th in the nation and first in the Big 12. 

Clayton Smith, outside linebacker, Texarkana Texas High

FYI: 6-4, 215; 4 stars; No. 23 on the 2021 Fabulous 55

Top offers: Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State, LSU (27 total)

Smith is a hybrid edge defender who could remain at outside linebacker or grow into an athletic defensive end with incredible upside as a pass rusher. Either way, the Longhorns consider him one of their two top targets on the defensive side of the ball along with Jackson. He and Jackson both live in the Texarkana area. Smith is the No. 8-ranked outside linebacker prospect and an overall top 150 prospect in the country, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. 

Smith was a first-team all-district defensive end as a junior. He also plays basketball and participates in the high jump. He recorded 20 sacks as a junior, and I believe he’d wind up at defensive end in Texas’ new 4-2-5 scheme under defensive coordinator Chris Ash. 

Terrence Cooks, outside linebacker, Alvin Shadow Creek

FYI: 6-2, 210; 3 stars; No. 47 on the Fab 55

Top offers: Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Alabama (35 total)

It’s harder and harder to find true linebacker prospects in high school football. Some of that is due to the preferred offensive schemes in prep football as more places head toward spread concepts. Texas added a similar prospect last week when three-star Arlington Martin product Morice Blackwell pledged to the Longhorns. 

Cooks is Texas’ top target at the middle linebacker position. He helped Shadow Creek win a state championship as a junior and is close to 2021 UT commit Derrick Harris. He attends the same high school that produced Xavion Alford, a safety who signed with Texas in 2020.  

Ishmael Ibraheem, cornerback, Dallas Kimball

FYI: 6-1, 175; 4 stars; No. 18 on the Fab 55 

Top offers: Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas (34 total)

Ibraheem is one of the state’s top-rated cornerback prospects and he has moved to the top of the recruiting board because the Longhorns stand no chance with Austin LBJ star Latrell McCutchin. Ibraheem is a long, physical corner with a smooth running style. He also doesn’t shy away from contact. The Longhorns need a new crop of defensive backs as their 2018 group heading into their junior years. Guys like Jalen Green, Anthony Cook and D’Shawn Jamison would be seniors by the time Ibraheem arrived on campus. He’s a two-time all-district honoree, though his stats won’t impress because opposing offenses avoid his side of the field whenever possible. 

Shemar Turner, defensive end, DeSoto

FYI: 6-3, 260; 4 stars; No. 38 on the Fab 55

Top offers: Texas, Alabama, Baylor, Oklahoma (39 total)

Turner is a big-bodied defensive lineman with the potential to play strong-side defensive end or grow into a three-technique defensive tackle. The Longhorns want to pair him with four-star end Jordon Thomas, who committed early in May. Turner has helped DeSoto reach the second round of the state playoffs the past two seasons. He was a first-team all-district selection as a sophomore and a junior. He has recorded 12 sacks and 17 tackles for loss in his two-year varsity career. 

JD Coffey, safety, Kennedale 

FYI: 6-0, 180; 4 stars; No. 32on the Fab 55

Top offers: Texas, LSU, Michigan, Oregon (32 total)

Coffey is among Texas’ top defensive backs targets, specifically at safety. He’s an athletic, versatile safety who can roam the middle of the field as a deep safety or place closer to the line of scrimmage as a nickel back. He’s a great tackler in run support. Coffey is the eighth-ranked safety in the 2021 class. 

The four-star was an AP Class 4A first-team all-state selection as a freshman after recording six interceptions and 88 tackles, including 11 for loss. He was a first-team all-district selection as a sophomore, recording six more interceptions despite battling injury. He returned to form as a junior, earning District 6-4A defensive MVP honors. 

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