Kennedale's JD Coffey picked Texas back in June. He's ranked No. 32 on the 2021 Fabulous 55. (Michael Ainsworth/Special Contributor)


Commitment 101: JD Coffey continues Texas’ tradition of landing elite safeties under Tom Herman

Posted June 15th, 2020


Texas started its reloading process at the safety position by securing the commitment of JD Coffey, a four-star from Kennedale High School. He’s the seventh-ranked safety in the 2021 recruiting class, per 247Sports Composite, and he checks in at No. 32 on the Fabulous 55. The 6-0, 185-pound playmaker chose the Longhorns over 31 other offers, including LSU and Michigan. 

“Texas was always a dream school,” Coffey said. “It is where I wanted to be, so I don’t see the point in waiting on a commitment. I’m excited to be a Longhorn.”

Coffey is Texas’ 13th commitment in the 2021 class, and the first true safety with four-star Billy Bowman Jr. ranked as an athlete who could play safety or wide receiver in college. The Longhorns need a solid group of safeties to help replace the 2018 class that consisted of Caden Sterns and BJ Foster as those players will be seniors by the time the 2021 class arrives on campus. 


Skill set: Coffey became a prep star as a freshman, earning AP Class 4A first-team all-state in 2017 after recording 88 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss, and six interceptions. He was a first-team all-district selection as a sophomore and the District 6-4A Division I Defensive MVP as a junior Coffey is a ballhawk who has 14 interceptions in his three-year varsity career. 

“I hope I’m a guy who is seen as versatile and willing to play in whatever role my team needs,” Coffey said. “Safeties need to cover and tackle equally, and I feel like I’m a safety who can do everything, but I also know I’m nowhere near a finished product.”

Coffey excels as a roaming free safety who can read the quarterback and trust his instincts to wind up in the right spot. Like most prep stars, he’ll need to learn how to play within a defense and continue to add bulk to his frame. Coffey is unafraid to help in the run game and could be used at nickel early in his career. Coffey can also help in the return game where he scored three times as a junior. 

Immediate impact: The need for Coffey to make an immediate impact when he arrives on campus depends on who is left on campus. His ability to see the field early would be increased if Sterns or Foster elect to chase NFL dreams after 2020. The Longhorns do possess a strong stable of young talent with Chris Adimora and 2020 signees Xavion Alford and Jerrin Thompson. Tyler Owens might end up moving from safety to linebacker like DeMarvion Overshown. 

Fitting into the program: Coffey was high on Texas even when the previous defensive staff was in charge. He is a highly motivated football player with a strong work ethic. He’s spent plenty of time on campus before the COVID-19 restrictions, so the staff knows what to expect from Coffey as a prospect and a person. The need for safeties who can cover is at an all-time high in modern football. Coffey will immediately fit into the safety group as a player who can cross-train at multiple positions as he grows under the leadership of defensive coordinator Chris Ash and the older safeties on campus.

Recruiting at the position: Texas needs to sign at least two safeties in the 2021 class regardless of where the coaches project Bowman. Coffey is a fantastic start. The need for another safety might be local as Austin LBJ’s Andrew Mukuba and Manor’s Devin Lemear are two of the 11 safeties offered by the Longhorns in the 2021 cycle. Lemear was offered May 30. 

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