Connally's Jahdae Barron. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Football

Commitment 101: Jahdae Barron was an unexpected gift for the Texas Longhorns

Posted April 30th, 2020

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Turns out Texas wasn’t done adding to its 2020 recruiting class despite national signing day being nearly three months in the rear-view mirror. The Longhorns signed 19 players and a class that wound up ranking ninth in the nation and first in the Big 12.

Pflugerville, TX; Connally Cougars defensive back Jahdae Barron is heading to Texas after originally signing with Baylor. [JOHN GUTIERREZ/FOR STATESMAN]
That class was improved Thursday afternoon when Jahdae Barron, a four-star cornerback out of Pflugerville Connally, announced his intention to enroll at Texas a month after being released from his national letter of intent to Baylor, which lost head coach Matt Rhule to the NFL following the early signing period. Barron was given his full release by Baylor and can play as a true freshman at Texas. 

“I had built a connection with the previous Baylor staff. It was weird getting to know the new group,” Barron said. “A few days after I was free from Baylor, Texas hit me up. It was an easy decision.”

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Texas’ previous staff never offered Barron. The new staff pounced since defensive coordinator Chris Ash recruited Barron while Ash was at Rutgers.

“It ended up being a blessing. I love coach Ash and that group,” he said. “They want me to play all over the secondary.”

The Longhorns need youth at cornerback after signing just one prospect at the position in 2020. Barron is a 5-11, 175-pound cover corner who was avoided by opponents throughout his varsity career. He signed with Baylor back in December. Barron ranked 31st on the 2020 Fabulous 55

Skill set: Barron is a wiry, quick cornerback who excels in man and press coverage. He’s also a willing tackler despite his lack of weight, which he’ll add once he’s in a dedicated weight and conditioning program at Texas. He rose up the recruiting rankings as a senior, showing off coverage skills that few prep athletes are capable of without college tutoring. Barron recorded two interceptions as a junior, but most teams Connally played against decided to run the football or throw to the other side of the football field. 

Immediate impact: Barron impacts Texas in multiple ways. First, he’s an extra body in the secondary to use for depth and on special teams in 2020. I’d expect Barron to redshirt due to the amount of depth at cornerback with the likes of Jalen Green, D’Shawn Jamison and Anthony Cook, but Texas fans learned in 2019 that injuries can force young players onto the football field. Barron’s addition also hurts Baylor. He was among the Bears’ top-three recruits in the 2020 class. 

Fitting into the program: Texas needs to improve its ability to lockdown the Austin-area as it continues to put more elite prospects into college football on a yearly basis. It looked like Barron was another Austin-area talent headed to another program until Rhule left for the NFL. The Longhorns must sign, and feature, those Austin-area kids if it wants to build a wall around the city’s talent. Barron is a hard-nosed, high-football IQ prospect from all accounts, which should be the ideal player for the new defensive coaches. 

Recruiting at the position: Texas only signed Kitan Crawford at cornerback in the 2020 class and he might end up at safety or nickel. The depth at cornerback becomes thin once the 2018 signees like Green and Jamison run out of eligibility. Barron gives the Longhorns more breathing room and confidence in the depth built at the position. It takes some pressure off of signing an elite class of cornerbacks in the 2021 cycle, but expect Texas to still push for talents like Ishmael Ibraheem. 

2020 Fabulous 55 - Winter edition

The updated 2020 55 following the 2019 season.
RANK (PREV.)PLAYERPOS.HIGH SCHOOLCOLLEGE
1. (1)Zachary EvansRBGalena Park North Shore (6A)TCU
2. (3)Jaylon JonesDBCibolo Steele (6A)Texas A&M
3. (5)Drew SandersOLBDenton Ryan (5A)Alabama
4. (2)Demond DemasWRTomball (5A)Texas A&M
5. (4)Ja'Quinden JacksonQBDuncanville (6A)Texas
6. (20)Jaxon Smith-NjigbaWRRockwall (6A)Ohio State
7. (11)RJ MickensSSouthlake Carroll (6A)Clemson
8. (9)Jase McClellanRBAledo (5A)Alabama
9. (7)Vernon BroughtonDTCy Ridge (6A)Texas
10. (18)Jalen KimberCBMansfield Timberview (5A)Georgia
11. (10)Haynes KingQBLongview (5A)Texas A&M
12. (8)Hudson CardQBLake Travis (6A)Texas
13. (17)Nate AndersonOTFrisco Reedy (5A)Oklahoma
14. (45)Jalin ConyersTEGruver (2A)Oklahoma
15. (12)Quentin JohnstonWRTemple (6A)TCU
16. (52)Garrett HayesOTAthens (4A)TCU
17. (19)Prince DorbahOLBHighland Park (5A)Texas
18. (26)Seth McGowanRBMesquite Poteet (5A)Oklahoma
19. (15)Xavion AlfordSAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)Texas
20. (14)Alfred CollinsDTBastrop Cedar Creek (5A)Uncommitted
21. (35)Devon AchaneWRFort Bend Marshall (5A)Texas A&M
22. (40)Marvin MimsWRFrisco Lone Star (5A)Oklahoma
23. (23)EJ SmithRBDallas Jesuit (6A)Stanford
24. (34)Jerrin ThompsonSLufkin (6A)Texas
25. (6)Chad LindbergOTClear Creek (6A)Georgia
26. (13)Jaylen GarthOTPort Neches-Groves (5A)Texas
27. (25)Malik HornsbyQBFort Bend Marshall (5A)Arkansas
28. (32)Jahari RogersCBArlington (6A)Florida
29. (33)Collin SullivanWRRound Rock (6A)Purdue
30. (27)Logan ParrOGSan Antonio O'Connor (6A)Texas
31. (NR)Jahdae BarronCBPflugerville Connally (5A)Texas
32. (41)Josh WhiteOLBCy Creek (6A)LSU
33. (22)Princely UmanmielenDEManor (5A)Florida
34. (30)Jake MajorsOCProsper (6A)Texas
35. (21)Alec BryantOLBAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)Virginia Tech
36. (NR)Andrej KaricOTSouthlake Carroll (6A)Texas
37. (NR)Loic FouonjiWRMidland Lee (6A)Texas Tech
38. (44)Kitan CrawfordCBJohn Tyler (6A)Texas
39. (47)Parker WashingtonWRFort Bend Travis (6A)Penn State
40. (46)Kevontre BradfordRBLancaster (6A)LSU
41. (48)Akinola OgunbiyiOGFort Bend Kempner (6A)Texas A&M
42. (38)Bryson WashingtonSC.E. King (6A)Oklahoma
43. (31)Lorando JohnsonCBLancaster (6A)LSU
44. (49)Ryan WattsCBLittle Elm (5A)Ohio State
45. (51)Avery HelmCBFort Bend Marshall (5A)Florida
46. (50)Michael HendersonATHCarrollton Ranchview (4A)Oklahoma
47. (24)Chris Thompson Jr.SDuncanville (6A)Auburn
48. (16)Troy OmeireWRFort Bend Austin (6A)Texas
49. (55)Trent Pullen OGWaco Connally (4A)Oklahoma State
50. (36)Darius SnowSCarrollton Hebron (6A)Michigan State
51. (37)James SylvesterDENewton (2A)Baylor
52. (NR)Kelvontay DixonWRCarthage (4A)Texas
53. (53)Chandler MorrisQBHighland Park (5A)Auburn
54. (42)Brennan ScottOLBBishop Dunne (TAPPS)UNLV
55. (43)Ty'Kieast CrawfordOTCarthage (4A)Kilgore College (JUCO)

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