Commitments keep pouring in across the country despite the no-visit rule imposed on coaches and players until July 31 due to the pandemic. Only eight of the top 20 players on the 2021 Fabulous 55 are uncommitted entering mid-June. Thirty-two of the 55 players on the list are already pledged to colleges with 12 of those committed to out-of-state programs.
This fall could resemble the Wild West if travel restrictions are lifted. The lure of official visits would test the steadfastness of each commitment for every program considering this group of recruits didn’t get a chance to travel to campuses in the spring or summer.
Many things can change between now and signing day, but let’s take a look at where the uncommitted players in the Fab 55 are leaning as high school practices resume throughout Texas.
Tommy Brockermeyer, offensive tackle, Fort Worth All Saints
Fab 55 rank: 2
FYI: 6-6, 283; five stars; No. 1-ranked OT
— Tommy Brockermeyer (@TBrockermeyer) December 4, 2019
It’s always hard to bet against Alabama if the Crimson Tide and Nick Saban dedicate real time and effort into recruiting a player. Brockermeyer is essentially the perfect prospect. That doesn’t mean he’ll become a Hall of Fame tackle, but it’s easy to see why every program in the nation wants the 6-6 son of former Longhorn and NFL lineman Blake Brockermeyer. Tommy comes from proven stock, possesses the requisite height and length to handle edge rushers, and already carries nearly 300 pounds without losing his athleticism.
Texas does possess advantages in the race considering the family history. Blake Brockermeyer’s oldest son, Luke, is a linebacker at Texas. Still, the recent success of Alabama is an undeniable wildcard for the Crimson Tide. I’d place my money on Alabama if Tommy were forced to decide today. He and his twin brother, James, a four-star center, might commit to Alabama before the end of the summer. But it is hard to envision a scenario where Texas doesn’t get one final shot late in the cycle to swing the Brockermeyers back toward burnt orange, especially if Texas experiences success in 2020.
Bryce Foster, guard, Katy Taylor
Fab 55 rank: 5
FYI: 6-4, 330; four stars; No. 4-ranked G
Foster is a two-sport star who wants to compete as a thrower on his college track and field team. His main sport is football and he’s earned the nickname of “The Mountain” in reference to a monstrous character on the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” Foster is a big, strong lineman who uses his power and compact frame to bully defenders at the point of attack.
Foster is a teammate of Texas commit Hayden Conner, who starts at left tackle for Katy Taylor next to Foster at left guard. The two friends might find themselves on the opposite side of the Red River Rivalry game for the next four or five years if the Sooners remain the leader for Foster.
Savion Byrd, offensive tackle, Duncanville
Fab 55 rank: 7
FYI: 6-5, 265; four stars; No. 6-ranked OT
The Mustangs are becoming a real recruiting threat in Dallas in much the same way the University of Houston capitalized on local talent under the direction of Tom Herman, signing five-star Ed Oliver. SMU already holds a commitment from Preston Stone, the highest-rated quarterback on the Fab 55. Adding Byrd would be a tremendous win for SMU, and building a pipeline into Duncanville would be an even bigger success.
Byrd is an athletic tackle prospect who spent his junior season playing defensive tackle for a program that reached its second straight Class 6A Division I title game. Texas is in the race with his former quarterback, Ja’Quinden Jackson, set to enroll at UT when athletes are officially allowed back on campus. LSU is also in the mix.
Marcus Burris, defensive tackle, Texarkana Pleasant Grove
Fab 55 rank: 11
FYI: 6-4, 262; four stars; No. 8-ranked strong-side defensive end
Burris is listed as a defensive end on some recruiting services, but he’s likely to move inside permanently to defensive tackle in college unless he plays in an odd-man front. In a four-man front like the one utilized at Oklahoma, Burris projects as an athletic three-technique defensive tackle who is strong enough to take on double teams and athletic enough to create disruption in the backfield.
LJ Johnson, running back, Houston Cypress-Fairbanks
Fab 55 rank: 12
FYI: 5-10, 204; four stars; No. 4-ranked RB
Prediction: Texas A&M
A&M needs running backs more than Texas and that should play in the Aggies’ favor with Johnson, who would see the field faster at A&M than at Texas, where the Longhorns sport an impressive stable of backs. Johnson is Texas’ first choice at running back in the cycle and I have him ranked above Garland Lakeview Centennial’s Camar Wheaton despite their national rankings, but A&M is in great position heading into the season.
Camar Wheaton, running back, Garland Lakeview Centennial
Fab 55 rank: 15
FYI: 5-11, 190; five stars; No. 1-ranked RB
I’m not sure Wheaton knows who his favorite is right now, so this is a guess. Like many players in this class, including some of the committed ones, Wheaton wants to get to campuses for visits and is likely to take those visits, if allowed by the NCAA, even if he is committed to a program. Texas wants one of the top-two in-state running backs in the class and Wheaton seems more open than Johnson, who is an A&M lean as described above.
Latrell McCutchin, cornerback, Austin LBJ
Fab 55 rank: 16
FYI: 6-1, 176; four stars; No. 11-ranked CB
The one-time Alabama commitment is expected to pick Oklahoma. McCutchin never considered the Longhorns despite an early offer and the proximity to campus. He’s the highest-rated cornerback on the Fab 55 and would be a big get for Oklahoma.
Ishmael Ibraheem, cornerback, Dallas Kimball
Fab 55 rank: 18
FYI: 6-1, 175; four stars; No. 13-ranked CB
Ibraheem announced last week on social media that he’ll pick a school this coming Monday. Texas is the overwhelming leader heading into the weekend. Four-star safety JD Coffey also is expected to pick the Longhorns on Monday, too. Ibraheem is an incredibly athletic corner with the ideal size to cover big receivers on an island. He’s raw, but he’ll remind fans of current starter Jalen Green.
RANK PLAYER POS. HIGH SCHOOL COLLEGE
1. Donovan Jackson OG Bellaire Episcopal (TAPPS) Ohio State
2. Tommy Brockermeyer OT Fort Worth All Saints Episcopal (TAPPS) Alabama
3. Ja'Tavion Sanders ATH Denton Ryan (5A) Texas
4. Landon Jackson DE Texarkana Pleasant Grove (3A) LSU
5. Bryce Foster OG Katy Taylor (6A) Uncommitted
6. Billy Bowman ATH Denton Ryan (5A) Texas
7. Savion Byrd OT Duncanville (6A) Uncommitted
8. Preston Stone QB Parish Episcopal (TAPPS) SMU
9. Shadrach Banks WR Galena Park North Shore (6A) Texas A&M
10. Jalen Milroe QB Katy Tompkins (6A) Texas
11. Marcus Burris DT Texarkana Pleasant Grove (3A) Uncommitted
12. LJ Johnson RB Cy-Fair (6A) Uncommitted
13. Cody Jackson WR Richmond Foster (5A) Oklahoma
14. Quaydarius Davis WR Dallas Skyline (6A) USC
15. Camar Wheaton RB Garland Lakeview Centennial (6A) Uncommitted
16. Latrell McCutchin CB Austin LBJ (4A) Oklahoma
17. JoJo Earle WR Aledo (5A) LSU
18. Ishmael Ibraheem CB Dallas Kimball (5A) Texas
19. Dematrius Davis QB Galena Park North Shore (6A) Auburn
20. Reuben Fatheree OT Richmond Foster (5A) Texas A&M
21. Dametrious Crownover TE Grandview (3A) Uncommitted
22. Sawyer Robertson QB Lubbock Coronado (5A) Mississippi State
23. Clayton Smith OLB Texas High (6A) Oklahoma
24. Theodore Knox WR The Woodlands (6A) Mississippi State
25. Jordon Thomas DE Port Arthur Memorial (5A) Texas
26. Derrick Harris Jr. OLB New Caney (5A) Texas
27. Kendall Blackshire ILB Duncanville (6A) Alabama
28. Ketron Jackson WR Royse City (5A) Uncommitted
29. Landyn Watson DE Hutto (5A) Uncommitted
30. Eli Stowers QB Denton Guyer (6A) Texas A&M
31. Hayden Conner OT Katy Taylor (6A) Texas
32. JD Coffey S Kennedale (4A) Texas
33. Brandon Campbell RB Lamar Consolidated (5A) USC
34. Cullen Montgomery OT Bellaire Episcopal (TAPPS) Oklahoma
35. Behren Morton QB Eastland (3A) Texas Tech
36. Hunter Washington CB Katy (6A) Florida State
37. KJ Liggins WR Denton Guyer (6A) Uncommitted
38. Shemar Turner DE DeSoto (6A) Uncommitted
39. Jaeden Roberts OG Galena Park North Shore (6A) Auburn
40. James Brockermeyer OC Fort Worth All Saints (TAPPS) Alabama
41. Cisco Catson S Weatherford (6A) Baylor
42. Bryson Green WR Allen (6A) Oklahoma State
43. Latrell Neville WR Fort Bend Hightower (6A) Nebraska
44. Kyron Drones QB Alvin Shadow Creek (6A) Baylor
45. Erick Cade OT Braswell (5A) Uncommitted
46. Deuce Harmon CB Denton Guyer (6A) Texas A&M
47. Terrence Cooks OLB Alvin Shadow Creek (6A) Uncommitted
48. Lake McRee TE Lake Travis (6A) USC
49. Cam'Ron Valdez RB Rockdale (4A) Uncommitted
50. Matthew Wykoff OT Magnolia (5A) Texas A&M
51. Jordan Jenkins RB Lindale (5A) Baylor
52. David Abiara DE Mansfield Legacy (5A) Notre Dame
53. E'maurion Banks DE Wichita Falls Rider (5A) Texas Tech
54. Shedeur Sanders QB Cedar Hill Trinity Christian (TAPPS) Florida Atlantic
55. Byron Murphy II DT DeSoto (6A) Baylor