The Dotted Line

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

Shadow Creek linebacker Terrence Cooks (33) pursues Hutto running back Mekhi Kimble (22) during a playoff game on Nov 22, 2019 in Waller. [JOHN GUTIERREZ/FOR STATESMAN]

Football

The Dotted Line: Seven members of the 2021 Fabulous 55 remain uncommitted

Posted November 4th, 2020

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With six weeks to go until the early signing period, only seven of the 55 prospects of the 2021 Fabulous 55 remain uncommitted. The recruiting cycle was interrupted in March when the NCAA shut down visits by players to colleges and college coaches to high schools. Five of the seven prospects who are still trying to pick a home rank inside the top 15. Texas is on the outside looking in for most of these players:

Cy-Fair running back LJ Johnson is the highest-rated uncommitted prospect on the 2021 Fabulous 55. (Mike Craven/American-Statesman)

LJ Johnson, RB, Houston Cypress-Fairbanks

FYI: 5-10, 204; four stars; No. 4-ranked running back

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Fab 55 rank: 4th

Top schools: Texas, Texas A&M, LSU

Texas was the favorite to land Johnson heading into the 2020 season, but Texas A&M has lapped the Longhorns thanks to a strong start coupled with some early struggles for UT. The form of Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller gives head coach Jimbo Fisher an example of how Johnson would be used if he chose the Aggies. Texas head coach Tom Herman hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher yet as a head coach. 

Johnson was the District 17-6A newcomer of the year in 2018 as a sophomore and an all-state selection as a junior. Johnson entered his senior season with 3,090 career rushing yards and 57 touchdowns on the ground. He’s also a solid receiver out of the backfield. Cy-Fair is currently ranked in the top 20 of Class 6A. Johnson hasn’t announced when he’ll announce his decision or if he’ll wait until national signing day in February in hopes that visits can happen early in 2021. 

Prediction: Texas A&M

 

Bryce Foster, G, Katy Taylor

FYI: 6-4, 315; four stars; No. 4-ranked guard

Fab 55 rank: 8th

Top schools: Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas

Foster’s top four is Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas, but most see his recruitment as a two-team race between the Aggies and Sooners. I’ll give the Sooners the advantage, but this could change if Foster takes a couple of visits on his own dime before signing. He’s scheduled to announce and sign with a school during the early signing period. His teammate, fellow offensive lineman Hayden Conner, is pledged to Texas.

Prediction: Oklahoma 

 

Camar Wheaton, RB, Garland Lakeview Centennial

FYI: 5-11, 190; five stars; No. 1-ranked running back

Fab 55 rank: 10th

Top schools: Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma

Wheaton is considered the state’s top running back by some, and even the best in the nation by a few recruiting experts, including the 247Sports composite rankings. Wheaton’s top three is Alabama, LSU and Oklahoama; the Sooners are considered the favorites. Wheaton entered his senior season with 3,128 career rushing yards and 40 touchdowns. He also stars in track and field, in the 100- and 200-meters. 

Prediction: Oklahoma 

 

Savion Byrd, OT, Duncanville

FYI: 6-5, 265; four stars; No. 6-ranked offensive tackle 

Fab 55 rank: 11th

Top schools: LSU, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas

Byrd keeps his recruitment behind the scenes. Oklahoma and SMU appear to be in a two-team race to land the four-star tackle. He’s an athletic big man with experience playing defensive tackle. He’s helped Duncanville reach consecutive Class 6A Division I state championship games. Oklahoma would be the safe bet, but don’t rule out SMU. The Mustangs are playing well, it’s his hometown team and there are connections between the Duncanville and SMU coaching staff. 

Prediction: SMU

 

DeSoto defensive end Shemar Turner is among Texas’ top targets in the 2021 cycle. (Mike Craven/American-Statesman)

Shemar Turner, DE, DeSoto

FYI: 6-3, 282; four stars; No. 117-ranked nationally 

Fab 55 rank: 15th

Top schools: LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Texas A&M

Turner is the best defensive prospect in Texas left uncommitted. He’s a big-bodied lineman who plays defensive end now, but he could grow into a three-technique defensive tackle. Turner began making an impact at DeSoto as a sophomore when he was named District 7-6A’s co-defensive sophomore of the year. He was a first-team all-district selection as a junior. A two-team race is brewing between Texas and Texas A&M with the Aggies holding a slight advantage. 

Prediction: Texas A&M

Terrence Cooks, OLB, Alvin Shadow Creek

FYI: 6-2, 210; three stars; No. 25-ranked outside linebacker 

Fab 55 rank: 44th

Top schools: Baylor, LSU, Texas

Cooks might be the only prospect left on the Fab 55 to pick Texas. The three-star defender is a long-time target of the Texas defensive staff. He was labeled as the top target at the position on Texas’ recruiting board back in the spring. Cooks is close with a few UT commits and current players, which is good news for the Longhorns. Texas needs to improve at linebacker. He’d be pledged to Texas if it was a slam dunk, however. Baylor and LSU are legit players in Cooks’ commitment. 

Prediction: Texas

 

KJ Liggins, ATH, Coppell

FYI: 5-11, 185; three stars; No. 139-ranked wide receiver 

Fab 55 rank: 52nd

Top schools: Texas A&M, Arkansas, Mississippi State, SMU

Liggins is at Coppell for his senior year after helping Denton Guyer reach the Class 6A Division I state championship game as a junior. Some see him as a wide receiver, others as a safety. Either way, the two-way star is among the most impactful players in Texas. 

Prediction: Arkansas

RANK (PREV.)PLAYERPOS.HIGH SCHOOLCOLLEGE
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

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