Texas added its 12th commitment when three-star cornerback Marques Caldwell pledged to the Longhorns. The cornerback from Alvin (Texas) was a one-time Oregon commit and received a Texas offer on May 18. Caldwell joins Kenyatta Watson II as cornerback commitments in the 2019 class. He was a second-team all-district selection as a junior.
At 6-foot-1, Caldwell fits the mold of Texas’ current defensive back preference. Assistant coach Jason Washington has focused on long, lean cornerbacks like Anthony Cook, Jalen Green and Caden Sterns since arriving from Houston with Tom Herman. Caldwell excels in man-to-man coverage because of his length and is a wiling tackler.
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“Texas has been a dream school of mine. I love what coach (Tom) Herman is doing,” Caldwell said. “Me and coach (Jason) Washington have a great relationship and it can only get better.”
Caldwell recorded 17 tackles and two interceptions in 2017. He also forced two fumbles, recovered one and registered his first sack on varsity. He picked up 32 tackles and eight pass breakups as a sophomore. He was largely untested as a junior.
Skill set: Caldwell is the new-age cornerback who looks like a safety and runs like a wide receiver. He enjoys playing man-to-man coverage and is quickly improving his technique as he gains experience at the position. is an excellent athlete with make-up speed and the length to give wide receivers issue at the line of scrimmage. Caldwell is still growing as a player and his best football is in front of him. The skills and natural athleticism is enough to make him elite once he becomes a polished prospect.
He flips his hips well for a tall cornerback and does a good job identifying and playing the football once he’s in the air. He’s an in-your-face cornerback with the swagger and attitude needed at the position. Caldwell is a fast, athletic player is yet to scratch his potential. He may not be as college-ready as Watson, but he possesses the same upside because of Caldwell’s frame and speed. Safety is also a possible position for Caldwell.
Immediate impact: It won’t be easy to earn early snaps in the defensive backfield at Texas come the 2019 season if the 2018 class lives up to expectations. Caldwell will arrive on campus, with Watson and any other cornerback commitment in this cycle, with players like Cook, Green, Sterns and Josh Thompson at the position.
That isn’t bad news for Caldwell. A redshirt season would serve him well, but it isn’t unfathomable for Caldwell to work his way into the rotation as a freshman because of his pure athleticism and versatility. The Longhorns want to be less reliant on young players as Herman builds the roster.
Fitting into the program: Caldwell won’t have a problem fitting into the defensive scheme at Texas. He’s a big, physical cornerback with long arms and length that allows him to play press-coverage. The Longhorns want cornerbacks who can be put on an island so the linebackers, and even safeties and the nickelback, can blitz the quarterback.
His commitment also represents a recruiting win for other reasons. The Longhorns flipped an in-state commitment to an out-of-state power. Caldwell is also another victory for Herman and the Longhorns in the Houston area.
Recruiting at the position: Watson and Caldwell give Texas a big, tall duo of cornerbacks to add with the 2019 class. It’s possible Texas shuts it down at cornerback to focus on the safety and nickel positions, though Herman would find room for a third cornerback if the right option came available late in the cyle. The top targets at safety are Jalen Catalon and Lewis Cine.
2019 Texas Longhorns recruiting class
Player Pos. School Stars Commitment date
Roschon Johnson QB Port Neches-Groves 4 July 21 (2017)
T'Vondre Sweat DE Huntsville 3 Feb. 28
Jordan Whittington WR Cuero 4 March 10
De'Gabriel Floyd OLB Westlake Village (Calif.) 4 March 31
Kenyatta Watson II DB Grayson (Ga.) 4 May 1
Brayden Liebrock TE Chandler (Ariz.) 3 May 8
Tyler Johnson OL Conroe Oak Ridge 5 May 25
Jared Wiley TE Temple 3 May 26
Jake Smith WR Notre Dame Preparatory (Ariz.) 4 June 3
Peter Mpagi DE George Ranch 3 June 16
Chris Adimora S Mayfair (Calif.) 4 July 1
Marques Caldwell CB Alvin 3 July 7
Demariyon Houston WR Millwood (Okla.) 4 July 7
Marcus Tillman Jr. OLB Jones (Fla.) 3 July 28
Javonne Shepherd OT North Forest 4 July 29
Derrian Brown RB Buford (Ga.) 4 Sept. 16