The past two weeks allowed me chances to watch four different Texas commits, including three from the 2021 class. Texas’ 2021 class consists of 17 pledges, while the 2022 cycle already has three highly-ranked players. Scouting reports from the games I attended in September can be found here.
Hayden Conner, offensive tackle, Katy Taylor
FYI: 6-5, 317; four stars; No. 323 nationally
Game: Oct. 15 vs. Richmond George Ranch
Conner is a steady, reliable figure on the Taylor line. He’s been contributing on the varsity level since his freshman year. That experience provides him with immense confidence. The game has slowed down for him and he was dominant in the win over George Ranch. Taylor fields one of the best lines in the state with Taylor and four-star guard Bryce Foster headlining the group. Conner will enroll at Texas in January. He can play tackle or slide inside to guard. Right tackle feels like his most likely landing spot. He should be given a redshirt season to mold his body and adjust to the speed of edge rushers at the college level.
Jordan Thomas, defensive end, Port Arthur Memorial
FYI: 6-3, 240; four stars; No. 224 nationally
Game: Oct. 8 at La Porte
Thomas’ motor is the most impressive part of his game. He’s still raw, and it didn’t help missing last season with an injury, but his willingness to play hard on every snap suggests that he’s more than capable of learning the fundamentals. Thomas was fantastic in Memorial’s road win over La Porte, collecting six tackles, 1.5 sacks and forcing a fumble. He also blocked a punt. He played exclusively at defensive end but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play occasionally at defensive tackle before his college career concludes. He’s a big kid who could easily reach 280 pounds after a year or two in college.
Jaylon Guilbeau, cornerback, Port Arthur Memorial (2022)
FYI: 5-11, 175; four stars; No. 143 nationally
Game: Oct. 8 at La Porte
Guilbeau wasn’t tested often in the win over Memorial. He broke up a pass and recovered a fumble, but there weren’t many snaps to truly judge his level of play against an overwhelmed La Porte squad that was struggling to complete a pass. Guilbeau is a long, confident prospect who seemed to relish one-on-one opportunities. He was left on an island for most of the contest. The four-star from the 2022 class was a willing tackler. I’d like to see him in a camp setting against other top prospects.
Max Merril, offensive tackle, Houston Strake Jesuit
FYI: 6-4, 273; three stars; No. 87-ranked offensive tackle
Game: Oct. 9 vs. Pearland
Merril was the biggest and baddest dude on the field in the contest between Strake Jesuit and Pearland. He absolutely looks the part of a future college offensive lineman with his big size and ability to move and bend relatively well for a teenager approaching 300 pounds. None of that weight looked like bad weight, which is somewhat rare at the prep level. I came away impressed in my first time watching him play. He’ll undoubtedly receive a year to redshirt in 2021.