The Dotted Line

Stay updated on the latest Texas Longhorns recruiting news brought to you by Longhorns recruiting beat writer Mike Craven of Hookem.com. The Dotted Line will publish M-F at 10 a.m. each morning to provide Texas fans with an in-depth look at the latest for the Longhorns on the recruiting trail.

Football

The Dotted Line: The early signing period primer for Texas recruiting

Posted December 18th, 2018

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Texas will add another crop of players to the program on Wednesday when the early signing period begins. The three-day window started with the 2018 class. That group used the early period at a nearly 80 percent rate and the 2019 class should follow suit.

The bulk of the class around the country will sign national letters of intent by Wednesday afternoon.

Texas waltzed into the early signing period in 2018 with 21 commitments. Nineteen of those signed and the Longhorns finished with the No. 3-ranked class in the country after national signing day in February. Texas holds the same number of pledges heading into this year’s early signing period and most are expected to sign on Wednesday. Louisiana defensive end Myron Warren is the only current commit who has hinted at waiting until February.

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Rumors are also circling about the commitment status of four-star St. Louis wide receiver Marcus Washington. Texas lost pledges from wide receiver Demariyon Houston and athlete Peyton Powell this month. The Longhorns hope to replenish those ranks by Wednesday morning with Melissa wide receiver Kennedy Lewis set to announce his college destination and then sign with that school on Wednesday.

Austin Bowie wide receiver Elijah Higgins will pick between Stanford, Florida and Texas tonight at 7; he also plans to sign on Wednesday.

Texas’ class grew to 21 players on Monday night when three-star JUCO outside linebacker Caleb Johson of Fullerton College in California committed. He became the fourth linebacker to pledge to UT, joining De’Gabriel Floyd, Marcus Tillman Jr. and in-state four-star David Gbenda. Floyd and Tillman are among the six early enrollees that Texas expects to sign. The others are Jordan Whittington, Brayden Liebrock, Jared Wiley, Roschon Johnson and Peter Mpagi.

A handful of targets are still on the board entering Wednesday. The most-pressing is Lewis. The 6-3, 190-pound three-star is the No. 84-ranked wide receiver in the cycle and the No. 77-ranked player in the state, per the 247Sports composite. Both Jake Smith and Whittington are smaller receivers built to play slot and running back in certain sets. Lewis is a big-bodied prospect who can play outside.

Another target that Texas hopes to sign on Wednesday is Isaiah Hookfin. The 6-5, 270-pound offensive lineman was a late riser in recruiting circles. The Fort Bend Dulles product appears down to have narrowed his choice to either Baylor or Texas with the Longhorns holding the edge after a recent official visit. He’ll announce Wednesday.

Hookfin would form a strong trio with four star offensive tackles and fellow Fab 55 members Tyler Johnson and Javonne Shepherd.

The main event on Wednesday is the looming decision of five-star running back Trey Sanders. The IMG Academy product is the top-rated back in the nation and is seriously considering Texas in the final hours before announcing live on ESPN2 at 12:20 p.m.  Texas must beat out SEC programs like Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Five-star athlete Bru McCoy also might sign behind the scenes with either USC or Texas despite not announcing his commitment publicly until the All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 5. The Longhorns stood toe-to-toe with USC throughout the recruiting process for him and the Longhorns feel good about their position for the two-way star hoping to start at wide receiver and contribute at outside linebacker.

Four-star safety Jalen Catalon is one of the top targets in the nation that’s waiting until signing day in February. He’s set to announce on Jan. 19.

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 Ridge4May 25
Jared WileyTETemple3May 26
Jake SmithWRNotre Dame Preparatory (Ariz.)4June 3
Peter MpagiDEGeorge Ranch3June 16
Chris AdimoraSMayfair (Calif.)4July 1
Marques CaldwellCBAlvin3July 7
Marcus Tillman Jr.OLBJones (Fla.)3July 28
Javonne ShepherdOTNorth Forest4July 29
Derrian BrownRBBuford (Ga.)4Sept. 16
Tyler OwensSPlano East4Sept. 24
David GbendaILBKaty Cinco Ranch4Sept. 30
Marcus WashingtonWRTrinity Catholic (Mo.)4Oct. 26
Myron WarrenDEMany (La.)3Nov. 19
Jacoby JonesDEButler C.C.3Nov. 21
Caleb JohnsonOLBFullerton College (Calif.)3Dec. 17
Kennedy LewisWRMelissa3Dec. 18
Isaiah HookfinOTFort Bend Dulles4Dec. 21
Bru McCoyATHMater Dei (Calif.)5Jan. 25

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