The Longhorns football team give fans a glimpse of what to expect in the upcoming season during the 2016 University of Texas Orange-White Game April 16. 04/16/16 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Commitment 101: Texas nabs a speedster on the outside with four-star Demariyon Houston

Posted July 7th, 2018

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Slow and steady wins the race. At least, that’s what Tom Herman and the Longhorns are hoping to prove on the recruiting trail in the 2019 recruiting cycle. Rivals like Texas A&M and Oklahoma are off to blazing starts. Texas hopes to narrow the gap in July and with a late push during the season. The addition of four-star wide receiver Demariyon Houston will help.

The product of Millwood (Okla.) became the 13th member of the 2019 class on Saturday night when he chose Texas over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Houston is the sixth out-of-state prospect to pick the Longhorns this cycle. A stark contrast to the 2018 class when Texas ran the Lone Star State and signed the top five players on the Fabulous 55. Jordan Whittington and offensive lineman Tyler Johnson are the only players in the top 10 of the 2019 Fabulous 55 committed to the Longhorns.

Skill set: Houston is a blazer with big-play ability. He’s a natural vertical threat and plays bigger than his height suggests because of his leaping ability and wingspan. He was recruited to play outside receiver for the Longhorns and will step on campus hoping to fill the void left by John Burt. Houston keeps a defense honest with his speed, occupying the deep safety. That opens the game up for running backs and underneath routes. Texas lacked big plays in year one under Herman and he hopes players like Houston help make the Longhorns an offensive threat.

Immediate impact: There is always room on the field for a wide receiver who can run the roof off a defense, even as a decoy. That is the type of speed Houston brings to the field and why he’s the No. 2-ranked player from Oklahoma in the 2019 recruiting class, per 247Sports Composite. Texas signed a crop of talented wide receivers in 2018, including Brennan Eagles. Texas is on pace to sign another group of potential playmakers in the 2019 cycle. Houston won’t need to make an early impact, and wide receivers tend to struggle with consistency as true freshmen, but his speed could allow him on the field for certain packages or in the return game.

Fitting into the program: Houston won’t feel like an outsider within the locker room. Texas signed Oklahoma-native Casey Thompson in the 2018 class, who also hailed from just outside Oklahoma City. Houston is one of six out-of-state products currently committed to Herman in the 2019 cycle. Texas signed eight players from outside the state in 2018 and could approach double-digits with targets like Bru McCoy, Trey Sanders, Noah Cain, Rian Davis and Makiya Tongue still on the board.

Recruiting at the position: Texas wanted at least four wide receivers in the 2019 cycle and now the Longhorns are one player from achieving the goal. It isn’t out of the question for Texas to take five prospects at the position if the right handful come available. With Houston, Smith and Whittington all lacking the ideal height for an outside receiver, Texas will focus much of its attention at the position on landing Dylan Wright, a 6-foot-3 prospect from West Mesquite. Round Rock Cedar Ridge wide receiver Jaylen Ellis and Austin Bowie product Elijah Higgins are also in the mix.

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