Texas won’t be passive in the 2021 class. The Longhorns are attacking the cycle with vigor and added another high-profile recruit to the fold on Tuesday morning when four-star Katy Taylor offensive tackle Hayden Conner picked Tom Herman’s program. He’s already the fourth pledge of the 2021 cycle, joining quarterback Jalen Milroe, wide receiver Quay Davis, and tight end Lake McRee.
“Texas is the total package,” Conner said following his commitment. “They’ve got a top aerospace program, they’ve got one of the best college cities, and an outstanding football program.”
Conner is a 6-5.5, 317-pound bully. He’s also one of the smartest kids in the state, planning on majoring in aerospace engineering once in college. Conner plays tackle in high school, but could stay on the edge or move inside to guard once at Texas. He’s the 20th-ranked offensive tackle in the 2021 cycle.
“I chose to commit now because I feel now is the best time to start recruiting my class to build a national championship team,” he said.
Skill set: Conner was a first-team all-district player as a sophomore and quickly found himself considered one of the top young offensive line prospects in Texas for a loaded 2021 cycle. Conner plays with the mean-streak coveted by offensive line coaches. He’s a big, athletic prospect who can stick at right tackle or move to guard. His massive frame and strength provide him with the ability to handle defensive tackles. He’s also agile enough to move to the second level and knock down linebackers.
Immediate impact: Texas wants to redshirt offensive linemen when possible and the Longhorns have done a good job recruiting at the position well enough to provide the year of weight training. Conner will be no different unless he shows up on campus significantly better than the options already at Herb Hand’s disposal. Every offensive line signee in the 2018 class took a redshirt last season.
Fitting into the program: Conner is a massive commitment for Texas, literally and figuratively. Katy Taylor is known as a Texas A&M pipeline after signing Max Wright in the 2018 class and Braedon Mowry last cycle. Conner gives Texas a foothold within a booming area and at a high school that includes top offensive guard prospect Bryce Foster. The two play together in high school, and they also played youth league football with Milroe, who committed to Texas on Sunday night.
Recruiting at the position: The 2021 offensive line class is spectacular. Conner is one of a handful of elite prospects from Texas. The Longhorns are chasing DFW offensive tackles Tommy Brockermeyer and Savion Byrd. The Houston-area is home to targets like Foster, Donovan Jackson, and Reuben Fatheree II. Expect Texas to take at least five players up front in the cycle.
|PLAYER||POS.||HIGH SCHOOL||STARS||COMMITMENT DATE|
|Lake McRee||TE||Lake Travis||3||July 9|
|Jalen Milroe||QB||Katy Tomkins||4||July 21|
|Hayden Conner||OT||Katy Taylor||4||July 23|
|Juan Davis||WR/TE||Everman||3||July 26|
|Billy Bowman||ATH||Denton Ryan||4||July 31|
|Derrick Harris Jr.||OLB||New Caney||4||Aug. 3|
|Ja'Tavion Sanders||ATH||Denton Ryan||4||Sept. 8|