The Dotted Line

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

Will Denton Ryan's Ja'Tavion Sanders play offense or defense for the Longhorns? The five-star prospect could help the Longhorns at either spot. (Jeff Woo/Denton Record-Chronicle)


The Dotted Line: Eleven Texas pledges set for football games across the state

Posted September 24th, 2020


Texas high school football starts for the majority of Class 5A and 6A programs this weekend, joining the smaller classification schools. Nine of Texas’ 11 in-state commitments in the 2021 cycle are in action on Thursday or Friday. Quarterback Charles Wright and cornerback Ishmael Ibraheem are on teams that are scrimmaging this week before starting the regular season over the first weekend of October.

Texas’ 2022 class holds three pledges, headlined by five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers. Two of those prospects start their season Friday with Lancaster wide receiver Phaizon Wilson scrimmaging on Thursday and starting his season next week:

Denton Ryan four-star athlete Billy Bowman stars on both sides of the football. (Jeff Woo, Denton Record-Chronicle).

In-state 2021 commits

Ja’Tavion Sanders, athlete, Denton Ryan


Denton Ryan vs. Arlington Martin, 4 p.m. Friday, AT&T Stadium, Arlington 

Sanders is Texas’ highest-rated 2021 commitment. He’s the lone five-star in UT’s class. Sanders is a two-way starter for Ryan. He’ll see action at wide receiver and defensive end. He was a first-team all-district selection in 2019 as a junior and the District 4-5A Division I newcomer of the year as a sophomore. 

Billy Bowman Jr., athlete, Denton Ryan

Denton Ryan vs. Arlington Martin, 4 p.m. Friday, AT&T Stadium, Arlington

Bowman is another two-way star for Ryan. He helped his squad reach the Class 5A Division I state championship game as a junior in 2019. He starred as a safety and wide receiver on that squad. Bowman started as a freshman. He registered 55 tackles and 54 receptions last season.  

Morice Blackwell, outside linebacker, Arlington Martin

Denton Ryan vs. Arlington Martin, 4 p.m. Friday, AT&T Stadium, Arlington 

Blackwell will be on the other side of his future teammates Sanders and Ryan in the season opener for both squads on Friday at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Blackwell shot up recruiting rankings in the offseason. He picked Texas over 13 other offers, including Alabama, Georgia and Baylor. Blackwell was the District 4-6A defensive sophomore of the year and the same district’s sophomore of the year in 2018. He has 240 tackles over the past two seasons.

JD Coffey, safety, Kennedale

Kennedale vs. Fort Worth Eastern Hills, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Kennedale High School

Kennedale’s status as a Class 4A program allowed the Wildcats to start the season earlier than the big schools. Kennedale is 2-0 entering the home contest against Fort Worth Eastern Hills. Coffey is starting at safety, where he’s been awarded all-district in the past. Kennedale appears destined for another playoff appearance. 

Jordon Thomas, defensive end, Port Arthur Memorial

Port Arthur Memorial at Port Neches-Groves, 7 p.m. Friday, Indian Stadium, Port Neches-Groves

Thomas missed his junior season with a leg injury. He returns as a senior with a road game against Port Neches-Groves, the school that produced current UT  running back Roschon Johnson. Thomas was a second-team all-district performer as a sophomore. 

Derrick Harris Jr., defensive end, New Caney

New Caney at Marshall, 7 p.m. Friday, Marshall High School

Harris enters his third season as a starter on a team predicted to win another district title. He arrived on the varsity scene as a sophomore when he recorded 83 tackles, including 21.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He was an all-district performer as a junior. Harris picked Texas before the start of his junior season. 

Hayden Conner, offensive tackle, Katy Taylor

Katy Taylor vs. Cypress Springs, 6 p.m. Thursday, Legacy Stadium, Katy

Conner and his Taylor teammates won the Region III championship in Class 6A Division I last season. The two-time all-district selection starts at left tackle. 

Jonathon Brooks, running back, Hallettsville

Hallettsville vs. Hempstead, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hallettsville High School

Brooks is off to a great start to his senior season. He’s led Class 3A Hallettsville to three consecutive wins following an opening loss to Shiner. Brooks and Coffey are the only two UT commits to have already played varsity games this season. Brooks has 750 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on 53 carries through four games. 

Juan Davis, athlete, Everman

Everman vs. Birdville, 7 p.m. Friday, Everman High School

Davis is expected to play tight end or defensive end once he arrives at Texas. He has spent time at wide receiver, quarterback and defense in his prep career. He was a first-team all-district selection as a wide receiver back as a sophomore in 2018. 


2021 commitments

Quinn Ewers, quarterback, Southlake Carroll

Southlake Carroll vs. Rockwall-Heath, 7 p.m. Friday Dragon Stadium, Southlake Carroll

Ewers enters his junior season with unrivaled expectations given his tag as the top-ranked quarterback in the country. He led Carroll to the Class 6A semifinals as a sophomore, falling to Duncanville and a healthy Ja’Quinden Jackson. Ewers was named the MaxPreps sophomore of the year and the District 5-6A overall MVP in 2019. 

Jaylon Guilbeau, cornerback, Port Arthur Memorial

Port Arthur Memorial at Port Neches-Groves, 7 p.m. Friday, Indian Stadium, Port Neches-Groves

Guilbeau is the latest player to pledge to Texas for either the 2021 or 2022 classes. The four-star cornerback is teammates with 2021 pledge Jordon Thomas. The pair start their season with a road game Friday night.