Texas’ 2021 recruiting class now consists of 13 members following the Monday commitments of four-star defensive backs JD Coffey and Ishmael Ibraheem. The Longhorns’ current recruiting class ranks ninth in the nation and first in the Big 12. Ten of the 13 pledges hail from Texas. Eight of them are ranked on the 2021 Fabulous 55.
The Longhorns are essentially halfway done with the 2021 recruiting class if head coach Tom Herman plans to take a full class consisting of 25 members. Expect Texas to become picky moving forward, leaving some spots open for later in the cycle when official visits are hopefully allowed. The travel restrictions placed on coaches and players amid the pandemic likely equates to more de-commitments from around the country.
Texas is among the leaders for a handful of offered prospects, and the Longhorns hope to add them to the 2021 class and continue moving up the recruiting rankings. Herman has signed three consecutive top-10 recruiting classes, leading the Big 12 in recruiting in every cycle since 2018.
Jaden Alexis, wide receiver, Monarch Prep (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
FYI: 5-11, 175; three stars; No. 62-ranked wide receiver
Top schools: Texas
Alexis appears like a lock to eventually join the Texas class. He holds 36 offers, including in-state powers like Florida and Miami, as well as Alabama and other prominent schools across the country. Alexis has never visited Texas’ campus, but a virtual tour and his growing relationship with the coaches have him trending toward Austin. Alexis is a slot receiver candidate with strong bloodlines considering his father, Rich, played for multiple NFL teams as a running back.
Alexis would be Texas’ second commitment at wide receiver, joining Casey Cain of Louisiana. Long-time commitments Billy Bowman Jr. and Ja’Tavion Sanders could also play wide receiver considering they’re two-way stars at the high school level and listed as athletes on recruiting services. Alexis caught 49 passes for 894 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior.
Andrew Mukuba, safety, Austin LBJ
FYI: 6-0, 185; four stars; No. 12-ranked safety
Top schools: Texas, Clemson, LSU, Alabama
Texas landed a four-star safely in Coffey on Monday. Herman hopes to add another four-star to the mix in Mukuba, who lives within a dozen miles of Texas’ campus. The main competition is Clemson, and if the Tigers have room and prioritize Mukuba, he could be destined for the ACC. Texas is right there due to the proximity and the Longhorns’ current stable of defensive backs. Mukuba trains with some of the local defensive backs like Jahdae Barron, who joined the 2020 class late from Pflugerville Connally.
Devin Lemear, safety, Manor
FYI: 6-0, 170; three stars; No. 75-ranked safety
Top schools: Texas, TCU, Baylor
Taking three safeties might be out of the question for the Longhorns unless Caden Sterns and B.J. Foster are headed to the NFL after their junior seasons. Lemear is another local defensive back, like Mukuba, who is familiar with the Texas staff considering how much time the group spent recruiting 2020 defensive end Princely Umanmielen. The seriousness in which Texas pursues Lemear likely depends on how the Texas coaches feel about their chances with Mukuba. Lemear becomes an option as the third safety if the Longhorns feel like three are needed in the 2020 class.
Terrence Cooks, outside linebacker, Pearland Shadow Creek
FYI: 6-2, 210; three star; No. 26-ranked outside linebacker
Top schools: Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Alabama
Texas was one of Cooks’ last unofficial visits before the travel restrictions were put into place and he left that visit favoring the Longhorns due to his growing relationship with Houston-area commitments like Derrick Harris Jr. and Jalen Milroe. Cooks hasn’t pulled the trigger and is likely to wait until he can take official visits before making a college decision. Texas is also home to his former teammate Xavion Alford, who signed with Texas in December.
Shemar Turner, defensive end, DeSoto
FYI: 6-3, 260; four stars; No. 10-ranked strong-side defensive end
Top schools: Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Texas
Texas loaded up at the defensive tackle position in the 2020 cycle. It wants to do the same thing at defensive end in the 2021 class. Harris, who plays linebacker for New Caney, is likely destined for defensive end once he arrives on campus, and Sanders is a five-star player because of his potential at defensive end, but Turner is still a take for Texas regardless of who is on the board. The DeSoto prospect recorded 10 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a junior. Alabama might quietly be the leader.