Football

The Dotted Line: Elijah Higgins, Jaylen Ellis provide recruiting updates before The Opening

Posted June 28th, 2018

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Stay updated on 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.


Elijah Higgins prepares to trim list

The Longhorns hold commitments from two wide receivers in the 2019 class in four-star prospects Jordan Whittington and Jake Smith. Both are best suited for the slot receiver position because of their size. Texas wants to sign four receivers in the cycle.

One UT target who brings a big body to the football field is Austin Bowie four-star Elijah Higgins. He’s fresh off an official visit to Ohio State and unofficial visits to a handful of SEC programs, including Florida.

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Elijah Higgins (left) and Garrett Wilson are the two top receivers in Austin for the 2019 recruiting class. (Mike Craven)

“Summer is the only time I’m free, so I had a gap of time to get out and visits schools. Seeing so many schools in a row gave me a good chance to compare them,” said the 6-2, 221-pound prospect. “It was my second time in Columbus. My whole family came for the official visit. Got to go to Urban Meyer’s house and go swimming with all the players, so it was a lot of fun and a great visit.”

Ohio State has been a constant recruiting presence in the state under Meyer. The Buckeyes signed three of the top five players on the 2017 Fabulous 55 and currently hold a commitment from Lake Travis five-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson, the No. 1 player in the state who is staying in the ear of Higgins.

“Garrett and I had a serious talk the other day about Columbus and Ohio State. I’ve been keeping up with him and he’s doing a good job recruiting me,” Higgins said. “They treat everyone like family and it has a different feel than most out-of-state schools. It’s an established program with one of the best coaches in the country.”

Higgins is one of 25 Texans set to compete at The Opening Final in Frisco starting on Saturday. The invite was a dream come true for Higgins, and a prophecy realized.

“I’m excited to be at The Opening. I always watched it on ESPN. My dad told me I was going to get my chance,” he said. “I won’t take it for granted. It’s going to be a great time and an incredible opportunity to learn and compete.”

Higgins hopes to trim his list to four schools once he’s back from The Opening. Expect Texas to make the list, but the Longhorns appear to be trailing programs like Florida, Ohio State and Stanford. Higgins is a Florida native, he’s taken two trips to Columbus and an unofficial visit to Stanford in May. He holds 38 offers.

“I want to shut everything down early in the season or before my senior season,” Higgins said. “I plan to narrow my list to four when I’m done with The Opening.”

Jaylen Ellis wants to prove himself right

The speedy wide receiver from Round Rock Cedar Ridge wasn’t always a high-profile prospect. He started the process as a three-star Baylor commitment who was viewed as underrated by Austin-area observers. A 10.4 time in the 100-meters at the district track meet changed it all. Ellis now holds 24 offers and was invited to The Opening after posting the best SPARQ score at the Dallas regional.

Jaylen Ellis of Cedar Ridge High School is among the Austin American-Statesman’s 2019 Fabulous 55 listing of top football prospects in Central Texas. (Mark Matson/for American-Statesman)

“I’ve been watching The Opening since eighth grade. It’s a dream come true and not everyone gets that opportunity,” Ellis said. “I’m going there with something to prove as one of the lower-rated recruits, but I also want to have fun. It’s important to find balance.”

Ellis remains committed to Baylor despite weighing his options and doing research on his latest offers. He plans to visit Oregon in July. He might go to Arizona and visit Kevin Sumlin’s new program. Texas, which offered in May, also is high on Ellis’ list because of the hometown factor. Of the trio of local wide receivers heading to The Opening, Ellis is the only native Texan. Higgins is originaly from Florida. Wilson was born in Ohio.

“Texas is Texas, and that’s always going to be a school that’s close to me and that I’ll consider,” Ellis said. “I wanted the process over with, but I’m OK with letting it go the distance now if I need the time. I still have five official visits I can take.”

Houston, Ohio State and Michigan are schools in the mix for official visits along with Baylor, Texas and Oregon.

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