Football

Commitment 101: Texas adds big play potential in four-star wide receiver Jake Smith

Posted June 3rd, 2018

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Texas added another offensive playmaker when four-star wide receiver Jake Smith joined the 2019 recruiting class on Sunday night. The future slot receiver recorded more than 1,000 yards rushing and receiving as a junior, becoming the first player in Arizona to do that since Christian Kirk. Smith is the second commitment for Texas at wide receiver in the cycle, joining fellow four-star Jordan Whittington. Smith is Texas’ fourth out-of-state commitment in the cycle and the ninth overall.

The 6-foot-1, 189-pound prospect from Notre Dame Preparatory (Ariz.) is the No. 104-ranked overall player in the class and the No. 17-ranked wide receiver, per 247Sports Composite. He’s expected to play slot receiver in college and held 32 offers. His commitment inches the Longhorns towards another top 10 class under Tom Herman.

Skill set: Smith caught 33 passes for 1,055 yards and 15 touchdowns as a receiver. He added 1,135 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Smith is also adept in the return game and will draw comparisons to former Longhorn great Jordan Shipley. Both are similar in size and big-play ability. Like Shipley, expect Smith to play multiple positions on offense and immediately become a candidate to help as a punt or kick returner.

Smith is an advanced route-runner who understands how to use his frame to defend receivers from the football. He’s lightning quick in small spaces, making him the ideal slot receiver in Herman’s offense, which is built largely on the success of slot receivers. Smith possesses consistent hands and averaged nearly 20 yards every time he touched a football as a junior.

Immediate impact: Texas lacked big plays under Herman in year one and the Longhorns hope to address the issue through recruiting. Texas expects more big plays this season and a player like Smith, and even Whittington, are instant recipes for big plays if given a package of plays. Wide receivers tend to need a year to truly develop and learn the complex nature of college passing games and option routes. Smith is a high IQ football player who can make an early impact with the right package of plays and a role on special teams.

Fitting into the program: Expect Texas to sign a large haul of out-of-state prospects in the 2019 class. Smith is the fourth from outside of the Texas borders. The Longhorns now hold pledges from linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd (Calif.), tight end Brayden Liebrock (Ariz.), Kenyatta Watson II (Ga.) and now Smith. That number is expected to grow past four with the Longhorns in the mix for targets like Noah Cain and Chris Adimora.

Recruiting at the position: The future slot receiver took an official visit to Texas over the weekend and left a future Longhorn. Texas would like to add at least two more wide receivers in the 2019 class with the top targets being Elijah Higgins, Jaylen Ellis, Peyton Powell and Dylan Wright. Texas signed three wide receivers in the 2018 class. Higgins and Ellis are hometown prospects, while Wright has a long-standing relationship with Texas assistant Drew Mehringer. Powell received an offer on May 26.

2019 Texas Longhorns recruiting class

PlayerPos. SchoolStarsCommitment date
Roschon Johnson QBPort Neches-Groves4July 21 (2017)
T'Vondre Sweat DEHuntsville3Feb. 28
Jordan Whittington WRCuero4March 10
De'Gabriel Floyd OLBWestlake Village (Calif.)4March 31
Kenyatta Watson IIDBGrayson (Ga.)4May 1
Brayden Liebrock TEChandler (Ariz.)3May 8
Tyler JohnsonOLConroe Oak Ridge5May 25
Jared WileyTETemple3May 26
Jake SmithWRNotre Dame Preparatory (Ariz.)4June 3
Peter MpagiDEGeorge Ranch3June 16
Chris AdimoraSMayfair (Calif.)4July 1
Marques CaldwellCBAlvin3July 7
Demariyon Houston WRMillwood (Okla.)4July 7
Marcus Tillman Jr.OLBJones (Fla.)3July 28
Javonne ShepherdOTNorth Forest4July 29
Derrian BrownRBBuford (Ga.)4Sept. 16
Tyler OwensSPlano East4Sept. 24

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