The Dotted Line

Stay updated on the latest Texas Longhorns recruiting news brought to you by Longhorns recruiting beat writer Mike Craven of Hookem.com. 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.

Austin, TX; LBJ Jaguars wide receiver Andrew Mukuba (2) runs in for the touchdown against the Crockett Cougars during the first quarter at the District 12-5A football game on Thursday, Oct 17, 2019, at Toney Burger Stadium. [JOHN GUTIERREZ/FOR STATESMAN]

Football

The Dotted Line: Where does Texas turn to fill the defensive back position in the 2021 recruiting class?

Posted July 1st, 2020

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Texas has offered scholarships to 28 defensive backs, and two of them are committed as the Longhorns head into July. Both pledges came on June 15 when four-star cornerback Ishmael Ibraheem and four-star safety JD Coffey picked the Longhorns over dozens of Power Five offers. Both are ranked on the Fabulous 55.

New defensive coordinator Chris Ash isn’t done, however. Texas wants at least one more safety and one more cornerback, though the 2022 class within the state of Texas looks loaded at defensive back. Expect the Longhorns to hold on to a few scholarships and use them on 2022 prospects if the preferred members of the 2021 class head elsewhere.

Kennedale’s JD Coffey celebrates an interception against Midlothian Heritage last September. The four-star cornerback pledged to Texas in June. (Michael Ainsworth/Dallas Morning News)

Ibraheem is the second-highest rated cornerback in the state. The 6-1, 175-pound prospect is one of 17 corners holding a UT offer, which is the most of any position in except for wide receiver. He’s raw but uniquely talented and athletic and possesses the perfect frame for the position. Coffey is another highly-ranked safety joining Texas’ program. 

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The Longhorns actually might be holding two commitments at safety if the staff considers Denton Ryan athlete Billy Bowman Jr. a safety rather than a wide receiver. The four-star Bowman is the sixth-ranked player on the Fab 55. He’s an outstanding athlete with a chance to play on both sides of the ball at Texas. His upside might be highest at safety rather than slot receiver, however.

Other defensive backs high on Texas’ radar:

 

Andrew Mukuba, S, Austin LBJ

FYI: 6-0, 185; four stars; No. 12-ranked safety

Top schools: Texas, Clemson, LSU, Alabama 

Herman hopes to add another four-star to the mix in Mukuba, who lives only a few miles from the UT 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.  

Mukuba is a two-sport athlete who also excels on the track. His versatility as a football player was on display during his junior year when he earned first-team all-district honors as a safety and was District 12-5A Division I’s offensive newcomer of the year. He caught 33 passes for 641 yards and 10 touchdowns, adding 26 tackles and a pair of interceptions on defense. He’ll play safety at the college of his choice. 

Devin Lemear, S, 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 head to the NFL after their upcoming  junior seasons. Lemear is another Austin-area defensive back, like Mukuba, who is familiar with the Texas staff considering how much time the group spent recruiting 2020 Manor defensive end Princely Umanmielen. The seriousness in which Texas pursues Lemear likely depends on how the 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. 

Jamier Johnson, CB, Pasadena (Calif.) John Muir

FYI: 6-0, 170; four stars; No. 17-ranked cornerback

Top schools: Arizona State, Oregon, Texas, Colorado, Ohio State

There isn’t an in-state cornerback with an offer leaning toward Texas. The search for the second corner might lead out of state, and Johnson is a name to remember. Tom Herman enjoys recruiting California, his former home state. He could be the next in line from that state to sign with the Longhorns, though safety Chris Adimora appears to be the only true success story with Cameron Rising transferring and De’Gabriel Floyd forced to retire from football with stenosis. 

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