Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman watches as his team warms up before an NCAA college football game on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in Austin, Texas. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

Football

Commitment 101: Texas goes out of state to land three-star wide receiver Jaden Alexis

Posted August 8th, 2020

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Texas’ 2021 recruiting class added three-star wide receiver Jaden Alexis on Saturday. The product of Monarch Prep in Pompano Beach (Fla.) is the 17th member of Texas’ class and the second wide receiver, joining Casey Cain. They are two of five out-of-state commitments for the Longhorns. Texas’ 2021 recruiting class ranks 12th in the nation and first in the Big 12. 

Skill set: Alexis (5-11, 175) is a speedster. He was credited with a 4.41 laser-timed 40-yard dash. He also competes in the 100- and 200-meters. He’s the student class president at Monarch. He played both ways as a junior, but his collegiate upside is at wide receiver where he caught 49 passes for 894 yards and eight touchdowns. He held 36 offers, including Alabama and recent offers from Wisconsin and Purdue. 

Alexis comes from a proven football bloodline as the son of Rich Alexis, who starred for the Washington Huskies before playing for several teams in the NFL. His speed and size suggests long-term success as a slot receiver. 

A player doesn’t amass that many offers without talent and upside. Jaden is considered a national top-400 player and the 60th-ranked wide receiver in the country. He’s also the 60thd-ranked prospect in Florida by 247Sports’ composite ratings. That’s a higher national ranking than 2020 UT signee Dajon Harrison, the Hutto athlete who is considered by many in-state as a potential sleeper in Texas’ previous class.   

Immediate impact: Wide receiver is a tough position to earn immediate playing time as a freshman because it requires more than knowing how to run and catch. The college game requires receivers to understand coverages enough to run option routes, and no college coach is putting out a young player who isn’t willing or able to block on the edge. Texas should possess enough depth to allow Alexis to redshirt. 

Fitting into the program: Alexis committed to Texas without ever stepping foot in Austin. That’s the new reality in recruiting under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Keeping him committed once visits are allowed will be the true challenge for the coaching staff, as it will with any commitment, but especially those so far away from campus. 

As a player, Alexis should fit in perfectly. He was raised in a house that understands what it takes to get to the NFL, and he is clearly a young man of character considering his status as his school’s class president. 

Recruiting at the position: Texas now holds commitments from two wide receivers in Alexis and Cain, both hailing from outside the state. The risk of de-commitments in a cycle in limbo is a real concern. Texas should continue to pursue wide receivers with vigor until the staff can get Cain and Alexis on campus to gauge their true interest. The need for more receivers depends on whether the Texas staff views Billy Bowman Jr. and/or Ja’Tavion Sanders as receivers or defensive players.

Texas’ top remaining target at the position is four-star Ketron Jackson of Royse City High School. The Longhorns also hope to flip Aledo’s JoJo Earle, a long-time target who is currently pledged to LSU. 

PLAYERPOS.HIGH SCHOOLSTARSCOMMITMENT DATE
Hayden ConnerOTKaty Taylor4July 23 (2019)
Juan DavisWR/TEEverman3July 26 (2019)
Billy BowmanATHDenton Ryan4July 31 (2019)
Derrick Harris Jr.DENew Caney4Aug. 3 (2019)
Ja'Tavion SandersATHDenton Ryan5Sept. 8 (2019)
Jordon ThomasDEPort Arthur Memorial4May 2
Morice BlackwellOLBArlington Martin4May 10
Jonathon BrooksRBHallettsville3May 15
Casey CainWRWarren Easton (La.)3May 15
Isaac PearsonPProKick AustrailiaNRMay 29
Ishmael IbraheemCBDallas Kimball4June 15
JD CoffeySKennedale4June 15
Jamier JohnsonCBJohn Muir (Pasadena, Calif.)4July 3
Gunnar HelmTECherry Creek (Englewood, Colo.)3July 27
Michael MyslinskiCBishop Kennedy (Jacksonville, Fla.)3Aug. 6
Jaden AlexisWRMonarch Prep (Pompano Beach, Fla.)3Aug. 8
Charles WrightQBAustin3Aug. 22
Max MerrilOTStrake Jesuit3Sept. 25

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