It was a matter of if, not when, Houston George Ranch defensive end Peter Mpagi would commit once an offer from Texas was extended on Thursday. It didn’t take long — three days, to be exact — for the three-star prospect to announce his decision on Saturday and become a future Longhorn, becoming the 10th member of Tom Herman’s 2019 class. He’s the Longhorns’ second defensive end, joining fellow three-star prospect T’Vondre Sweat of Huntsville.
Mpagi’s father went to Texas and his sister ran track at UT before she transferred to Rice.
“My family connections to Texas have made it a dream school,” Mpagi said. “… I was so excited when I finally got the offer. It was a long process, but a dream come true.”
Mpagi earned his offer after a strong showing at a summer camp on campus earlier in the month. He also impressed at The Opening regional in Houston and was quietly building a strong relationship with assistant coach Oscar Giles before the offer was made official. He chose Texas over programs like Stanford, Washington and Northwestern.
“My relationship has grown a lot with defensive line coach Oscar Giles. He showed clips to coach Herman and Herman talked to me a lot during camp,” Mpagi said. “They had a meeting after camp and talked about me. Coach Herman gave coach Giles the go to offer me.”
Skill set: Mpagi is a three-star prospect with plenty of potential. The 6-4, 224-pound end was a late bloomer on the football field. He only played half of his sophomore season on varsity after starting the year on junior varsity. He became a first-team all-district selection as a junior when he finished the 2017 season with 33 tackles and nine sacks.
He’s a long-armed pass rusher who can get under and around big offensive tackles. He’ll become a more well-rounded pass rusher as he gains weight and muscle mass. Mpagi held his own against the likes of Kenyon Green and Javonne Shepherd at elite camps like The Opening regional and the Under Armour All-American Camp Series.
His ranking as the No. 68-ranked weak side defensive end in the class is criminally low. Expect Mpagi to move up recruiting rankings as he shows off even more improvements as a defensive end during his senior season.
Immediate impact: The new rule allowing all players to participate in four games without losing eligibility means a player like Mpagi could get a chance to make an impression in a live-game scenario without losing a redshirt. He can be used as a situational pass rusher early in his career from end or as an outside linebacker. He’s raw and shouldn’t be expected to compete for an immediate spot on the two-deep.
Fitting into the program: Mpagi grew up wanting to be a Longhorn. His dad studied went to Texas to study business. His sister ran track for the Longhorns before transferring to Rice. It is in his blood and he was always honest about his love for Texas and what an offer would mean to him and his family. The offer came and Mpagi pounced. He’s another weapon for defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, who loves versatile defenders capable of rushing the quarterback from multiple spots on the field.
Recruiting at the position: Texas hopes to sign four defensive linemen in 2019 and is halfway there with Mpagi in the bag. The Longhorns hope to sign another end and a true defensive tackle. Candidates include Faatui Tuitele and Texas A&M commit DeMarvin Leal.
Texas signed five defensive linemen in the 2018 class, though Joseph Ossai is expected to move to outside linebacker. The same could happen with Mpagi because of his length and athleticism. He and Ossai share a similar build and skill set as pass-rushing specialists.
2019 Texas Longhorns recruiting class
|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|
|Tyler Owens||S||Plano East||4||Sept. 24|
|David Gbenda||ILB||Katy Cinco Ranch||4||Sept. 30|
|Peyton Powell||ATH||Odessa Permian||4||Oct. 23|
|Marcus Washington||WR||Trinity Catholic (Mo.)||4||Oct. 26|