Texas head coach Tom Herman cheers on his team during warm ups before an NCAA college football game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Football

Commitment 101: Texas adds an offensive weapon in Bishop Dunne three-star Jaden Hullaby

Posted March 30th, 2019

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Texas’ 2020 recruiting class is up to five members with the Saturday afternoon addition of three-star running back Jaden Hullaby of Bishop Dunne. The 6-2, 205-pound prospect was offered March 11 and picked the Longhorns over 24 other offers. He moved from Mansfield Timberview before his junior season. He posted 1,181 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, adding 33 catches and five touchdowns out of the backfield.

Jordan won’t impact the recruitment of five-star running back Zachary Evans, who is an every-down back. Texas will keep a spot open for Evans the entire cycle, but it was logical that the Longhorns needed to sign at least two running backs in this class. It’s possible that Hullaby winds up at wide receiver or H-Back rather than become a true running back because of his skills as a pass catcher.

All five of the current commits in the cycle play offense. The first pledge was Lake Travis quarterback Hudson Card. The next three were offensive linemen Logan Parr, Jake Majors and Jaylen Garth. Texas finished with top-3 recruiting classes in the nation the past two cycles, including the best class in the Big 12 both years.

Skill set: Hullaby is a TAPPS product, which is becoming a hotbed for recruiting talent in Texas over the past few cycles. Bishop Dunne churns out football talent and Hullaby is next in line with a diverse set of skills available for Tom Herman and Tim Beck to unleash in coming years. He’s a big-bodied player who can move and has just enough wiggle in the open field to keep defenses guessing.

Hullaby is a physical force at running back and when he gets out of the backfield as a receiver. His skills suggest a number of possibilities for him in Burnt Orange, including fullback. He’s big enough to block and athletic enough to squirt out of the backfield. He can also play some tight end or even wide receiver on third down and in the red zone.

Immediate impact: Hullaby won’t be expected to make an immediate impact on the team. He’s not a five-star prospect ready to contribute right away, though his body makeup is strong and he could fill a roll currently void on the Texas roster if he can truly play fullback and H-Back. Expect Hullaby to build his body in the weight room and fine tune his skills at whatever position the Longhorns put him in for his first year or two on campus.

A redshirt is not a negative for a player with as much untapped potential and upside as Hullaby, especially considering a new position must likely be learned.

Fitting into the program: Texas loves big, fast offensive weapons who can play multiple positions. It’s also a recruiting win in the DFW area and that’s huge for Herman in the 2020 class after focusing mostly on Houston in 2018 and out of state in 2019. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is ripe with talent in the 2020 and 2021 class, so it is important for Texas to build pipelines into the area under Herman, who was based in Houston as a head coach before arriving in Austin.

Recruiting at the position: The commitment of Hullaby won’t impact much on the recruiting trail in terms of how Texas approaches the running back position in the 2020 cycle. The top priority remains Evans, the No. 1 player on the 2020 Fabulous 55 and the best prep running back from Texas in nearly a decade. It’s also likely Texas pulls a scat-back type of player if Mookie Cooper doesn’t rejoin the fold. Current targets for that position include Ty Jordan and Kelvontay Dixon, who is the younger brother of current Longhorn running back Keaontay Ingram.

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