Texas began its 2022 recruiting class Friday afternoon when four-star wide receiver Phaizon Wilson of Lancaster High School pledged to the Longhorns over 15 other offers, including Alabama, Texas A&M and Florida. The 6-4, 200-pound prospect is the 31st-ranked wide receiver in the 2022 cycle, and a future member of the Fabulous 55.
Wilson was primarily a backup as a sophomore, catching eight passes for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Texas offered on April 23. Wide receiver is among the most important positions for Texas in the 2022 cycle. Wilson is one of 16 wide receivers in the cycle to hold an offer from Texas, more than any other position.
Texas started its previous classes in July, adding quarterbacks first in Tom Herman’s previous cycles. The 2021 class, consisting of players entering their senior seasons, ranks 12th in the country and first in the Big 12. The Longhorns have signed three consecutive top-10 classes that ranked first in the Big 12. The only wide receiver commit in the 2021 class is three-star Casey Cain from Louisiana.
Skill set: Varsity tape on Wilson is limited as he set behind a bevvy of older receivers as a sophomore at Lancaster. His offer list is impressive, meaning the college coaches trust the evaluations of the Lancaster coaches. Texas is betting on the upside of Wilson. He’s expected to start as a junior. Wilson is a big, tall target who can be an outside receiver capable of drawing double-coverage because he’s also a speedster.
“He’s a great kid,” said Lancaster head coach Chris Gilbert. “He plays as strong as he looks. He can run and block. He’s a high-ceiling prospect because of his coachable personality.”
Immediate impact: Brennan Eagles will be gone by the time Wilson arrives on campus. The outside receiver position is wide open after the 2021 season unless some younger players step up to fill the voids left by Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay. Wilson should be in the mix for playing time as a true freshman, but wide receiver is a tough position to earn significant playing time early because of the added responsibility as a blocker and route runner.
Fitting into the program: Texas wouldn’t accept a commitment this early from a player that the coaching staff didn’t feel was a great fit. Lancaster is a talent-rich program in the south Dallas area, giving the Longhorns another foothold within a talent-rich area of the state. His high school coaches say Wilson is a high-character athlete with a strong work ethic and a large ceiling as a player.
Recruiting at the position: Expect Texas to be aggressive recruiting wide receivers in the 2022 class with a chance to sign three or four players at the position depending on how the 2021 class finishes at the position. The Longhorns missed out on in-state prospects like JoJo Earle and Cody Jackson to out-of-state programs. Those losses make the next cycle important with a lack of proven talent at the outside receiver position beyond Eagles, who will be gone by 2022. Wide receiver Marcus Washington will be a senior by 2022, so recruiting this far out is planning for the distant future. Texas is also recruiting in-state five-star wide receivers Caleb Burton and Evan Stewart.