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Bellaire Episcopal offensive tackle Donovan Jackson ranks No. 1 on the 2021 Next 25.


The Dotted Line: The updated 2021 Fabulous 55 is dominated by offensive linemen, quarterbacks

Posted August 5th, 2020


High school football practices began Monday for Class 4A schools and below as the state attempts a return to normalcy despite COVID-19 health concerns. The offseason was unique for all parties. The high school prospects in the 2021 class weren’t allowed to take visits or attend camps. College coaches couldn’t visit prospects in the spring. It has led to an interesting and challenging recruiting cycle.

The 2021 Fabulous 55 debuted in February. This is the updated version based on more film study, discussions with college and prep coaches, as well as offer lists. The list remains relatively unchanged, with five new members. The top three players on the list also remain unchanged.

Denton Ryan’s Ja’Tavion Sanders is one of Texas’ highest-rated commitments. The five-star athlete will play either wide receiver or defensive end in college. (Jeff Woo/Denton Record-Chronicle)

The challenges presented this spring and summer haven’t slowed the pace of commitments. Forty-two of the 55 members are pledged somewhere. Twenty-two of those 42 are committed to out-of-state programs. The Big 12 leads with the most pledges (19), just ahead of SEC’s 16. Texas leads all schools with nine pledges. Texas A&M is second with five. 


The class is offense-driven with a strong crop of offensive linemen and quarterbacks headlining the list. Donovan Jackson, an offensive lineman from Houston Bellaire Epicopal pledged to Ohio State, remains the top-rated player in the state. The 6-4, 308-pound five-star is considered the top guard in the country despite playing tackle for his prep team. Jackson was awarded the 2019 Offensive Line MVP award at The Opening last summer, beating out prospects from the 2020 class. Brockermeyer recently pledged to Alabama. 

The state of Texas is the quarterback capital of the football world with NFL players like Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees leading the charge. The future is in great hands with the 2021 class with 10 quarterbacks represented on the list. Texas commit Jalen Milroe is the top-rated quarterback at No. 13. Nine offensive linemen made the list, including UT commit Hayden Conner. 

Texas’ top-rated pledges are a pair of athletes from Denton Ryan as Ja’Tavion Sanders and Billy Bowman Jr. check in at the fourth and fifth spot, respectively. Seventeen different programs possess at least one commitment on the Fab 55. Baylor and Oklahoma are tied with four pledges each. 

1. (1)Donovan JacksonOLBellaire Episcopal (TAPPS)Ohio State
2. (2)Tommy BrockermeyerOLFort Worth All Saints (TAPPS)Alabama
3. (3)Ja'Tavion SandersATHDenton Ryan (5A)Texas
4. (6)Billy Bowman Jr.ATHDenton Ryan (5A)Oklahoma
5. (12)LJ JohnsonRBCy-Fair (6A)Uncommitted
6. (23)Clayton SmithOLBTexas High (6A)Oklahoma
7. (13)Cody JacksonWRRichmond Foster (5A)Oklahoma
8. (5)Bryce FosterOLKaty TaylorUncommitted
9. (4)Landon JacksonDETexarkana Pleasant Grove (3A)LSU
10. (15)Camar WheatonRBGarland Lakeview CentennialUncommitted
11. (7)Savion ByrdOLDuncanville (6A)Uncommitted
12. (10)Jalen MilroeQBKaty Tompkins (6A)Alabama
13. (17)JoJo EarleWRAledo (5A)LSU
14. (11)Marcus BurrisDTTexarkana Pleasant Grove (3A)Texas A&M
15. (38)Shemar TurnerDEDeSoto (6A)Uncommitted
16. (21)Demetrius DavisQBGalena Park North Shore (6A)Auburn
17. (9)Shadrach BanksWRGalena Park North Shore (6A)Texas A&M
18. (8)Preston StoneQBParish Episcopal (TAPPS)SMU
19. (14)Quay DavisWRDallas Skyline (6A)USC
20. (NR)Garrett NussmeierQBFlower Mound Marcus (6A)LSU
21. (16)Latrell McCutchinCBAustin LBJ (4A)Oklahoma
22. (18)Ishmael IbraheemCBDallas Kimball (5A)Texas
23. (20)Reuben Fatheree IIOLRichmond Foster (5A)Texas A&M
24. (28)Ketron JacksonWRRoyse City (5A)Arkansas
25. (22)Sawyer RobertsonQBLubbock Coronado (5A)Mississippi State
26. (24)Theodore KnoxWRThe Woodlands (6A)Mississippi State
27. (25)Jordon ThomasDEPort Arthur Memorial (5A)Texas
28. (30)Eli StowersQBDenton Guyer (6A)Texas A&M
29. (29)Landyn WatsonDEHutto (5A)TCU
30. (NR)Andrew MukubaSAustin LBJ (4A)Clemson
31. (21)Dametrious CrownoverTEGrandview (3A)Texas A&M
32. (32)JD CoffeySKennedale (4A)Texas
33. (NR)Kaidon SalterQBCedar Hill (6A)Tennessee
34. (35)Behren MortonQBEastland (3A)Texas Tech
35. (26)Derrick Harris Jr.DENew Caney (5A)Texas
36. (44)Kyron DronesQBAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)Baylor
37. (27)Kendrick BlackshireILBDuncanville (6A)Alabama
38. (31)Hayden ConnerOLKaty Taylor (6A)Texas
39. (36)Hunter WashingtonCBKaty (6A)Florida State
40. (NR)Elijah ArroyoTEFrisco Independence (5A)Miami
41. (51)Jordan JenkinsRBLindale (5A)Baylor
42. (39)Jaeden RobertsOLGalena Park North Shore (6A)Auburn
43. (41)Cisco CatsonSWeatherford (6A)Baylor
44. (47)Terrence CooksOLBAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)Texas
45. (40)James BrockermeyerOLFort Worth All Saints (TAPPS)Alabama
46. (NR)Morice BlackwellOLBArlington Bowie (6A)Texas
47. (46)Deuce HarmonCBDenton Guyer (6A)Texas A&M
48. (52)David AbiaraDEMansfield Legacy (5A)Notre Dame
49. (55)Byron Murphy IIDTDeSoto (6A)Baylor
50. (34)Cullen MontgomeryOLBellaire Episcopal (TAPPS)Oklahoma
51. (33)Brandon CampbellRBLamar Consolidated (5A)USC
52. (37)KJ LigginsWRDenton GuyerUncommitted
53. (49)Cam'ron ValdezRBRockdale (4A)Texas Tech
54. (42)Bryson GreenWRAllen (6A)Oklahoma State
55. (50)Matthew WykoffOLMagnolia (5A)Texas A&M