Texas’ 2021 recruiting class grew back to 17 members Saturday when three-star quarterback Charles Wright of Austin High flipped from Iowa State. His commitment replaces four-star Jalen Milroe , who recently flipped from Texas to Alabama. Texas’ class ranks 15th in the nation and now second in the Big 12, trailing Oklahoma. Texas has signed the top-rated class in the conference since the 2018 cycle.
The offensive spots are almost full. The Longhorns can be picky considering players won’t use a year of eligibility if the fall season goes off successfully. That means everyone from the 2020 squad could return for the 2021 season, including the seniors.
Tom Herman’s program wants to finish off the class with a few big-play threats, including the state’s top-rated prospect at running back. Here are four players the Longhorns hope to sway to Austin before national signing day:
LJ Johnson, RB, Houston Cypress-Fairbanks
FYI: 5-10, 204; four stars; No. 4-ranked running back
Fab 55 rank: 5th
Top schools: Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma
Johnson is the state’s top-rated back on the recently updated 2021 Fabulous 55. He arrived on the varsity scene as a sophomore, earning District 17-6A offensive newcomer of the year after the 2018 season when he rushed for 1,139 yards and 20 touchdowns. He backed that up with 1,951 yards and 37 touchdowns as a junior, earning district MVP honors and Texas AP Class 6A second-team all-state honors.
Texas is the leader. The Longhorns prioritized Johnson before COVID-19 travel restrictions, hosting the four-star back for junior day in February alongside the state’s top targets. Texas already holds a commitment from three-star back Jonathon Brooks. Camar Wheaton, the other top-rated running back in Texas, recently eliminated the Longhorns from contention with Oklahoma favored.
Ketron Jackson, WR, Royse City
FYI: 6-2, 186; four stars; No. 26-ranked wide receiver
Fab 55 rank: 24th
Top schools: Texas, Arkansas, TCU
Texas wants three receivers and Jackson is the safest bet to join pledges Casey Cain and Jaden Alexis. Jackson is a big, strong prospect with enough size to play outside receiver. He moved to Royse City from Lancaster prior to his junior year. He caught 61 passes for 889 yards and six touchdowns as a junior at Royse City, earning first-team all-district honors.
Another name to know at wide receiver is JJ Henry, a slot receiver from McKinney North.
Bryce Foster, G, Katy Taylor
FYI: 6-4, 315; four stars; No. 4-ranked guard
Fab 55 rank: 8th
Top schools: Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas, Oregon
Foster is a bully at the point of attack, overwhelming defenders with his brute strength and ability to win leverage battles. He’s also a potential state champion in the shot put and discus. Throwers tend to do a great job as college offensive linemen, and that puts Texas firmly in play because of the Longhorns’ quality track program. Foster’s teammate, Hayden Conner, is pledged to the Longhorns, as is childhood friend Jalen Milroe.
Jack Leyrer, OT, Highland Park
FYI: 6-6, 275; three stars; No. 77-ranked offensive tackle
Fab 55 rank: Not ranked
Top schools: Texas, Stanford, Northwestern, USC
Leyrer is the most recent offer for Texas on offense. The Highland Park product picked up his offer on Aug. 14. He’s an under-the-radar offer for the Longhorns. Texas entered the cycle hoping to add five-star tackles Tommy Brockermeyer and Savion Byrd. The success along the line hasn’t gone to plan, leaving Texas scrambling to find options. Leyrer is a long, athletic player with the frame required to reach 300-plus pounds after a redshirt season. He also throws the shot put and discus for the track team.