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.

Texas commit David Gbenda in action as a senior. (Mike Craven)

Football

The Dotted Line: Five future Texas players headline Under Armour All-America Game

Posted December 31st, 2018

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The Under Armour All-America Game kicks off Thursday in Orlando and there are a handful of reasons for Texas fans to tune in. Practices take place throughout the week as all-stars from around the nation converge on Camping World Stadium. Longhorns like B.J. Foster and Keaontay Ingram participated in this game last year.

Grayson (Ga.) defensive back and Texas commit Kenyatta Watson II on a visit to Texas. (Mike Craven)

It’s a chance to finally see elite prospects take on other elite talents in true football settings. Pads aren’t used at the camps, and neither are 11-on-11 football. It’s the last chance for each of these players to suit up before embarking on their college journeys. Five of those have signed with Texas.

Four-star wide receiver Jake Smith will miss the game due to injury.

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The early period stole some thunder away from the all-star games. The push to sign early results in fewer live commitments and hat ceremonies. Instead, it’s a chance for players to celebrate their careers, begin a bond and compete one last time before millions of fans start watching on Saturdays.

Texas commits in Orlando

Kenyatta Watson II, cornerback, Buford (Ga.) Grayson

FYI: 6-2/182; 4 stars; No. 135-ranked prospect in 2019 class

Commitment status: Signed

Watson committed early and stuck to his guns throughout the recruiting process. The long, rangy cornerback can play multiple positions in the secondary. He shouldn’t be shocked by the talent in the game considering he plays at a football factory like Grayson. Watson will enrolls next summer and expects to push for playing time as a freshman with no Kris Boyd or Davante Davis in the secondary next season.

Roschon Johnson, quarterback, Port Neches-Groves

FYI: 6-1/192; 4 stars; No. 4-ranked dual-threat quarterback

Commitment status: Signed, enrolling early

Fab 55 ranking: 27

Texas wants to redshirt quarterbacks and successfully did so with Cam Rising and Casey Thompson in 2018. The play-now culture at the position means Tom Herman and company can’t count on the current numbers. The only known is Sam Ehlinger. Both freshmen are in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, and exploring the transfer portal doesn’t mean a transfer. Still, Johnson becomes an important commitment and will be on campus for spring practice.

David Gbenda, inside linebacker, Katy Cinco Ranch

FYI: 6-0/218; 4 stars; No. 15-ranked inside linebacker

Commitment status: Signed

Fab 55 ranking: 40

Gbenda doesn’t demand the headlines of some of the other signees in Texas’ class. He’ll get his chance to prove he belongs among the nation’s elite in Orlando. It’ll be a large step-up for Gbenda, and these all-star games aren’t built for linebackers to enjoy much success. The defense must play base and no blitzing is allowed. Gbenda is a speedy middle linebacker who covers a ton of ground.

Brayden Liebrock, tight end, Chandler (Ariz.)

FYI: 6-5/220; 4 stars; No. 5-ranked tight end

Commitment status: Signed

Texas wants to utilize the tight end position in the passing game and players like Liebrock hope to make that possible in 2019. Andrew Beck simply doesn’t provide the passing threat that Herman and offensive coordinator Tim Beck want at the position. Liebrock does, and the prolific tight end is college-ready as a receiver. He’ll need to add weight and continue to improve as a blocker to become an every-down player.

Marcus Washington, wide receiver, St. Louis (Mo.) Trinity Catholic

FYI: 6-2/191; 4 stars; No. 27-ranked wide receiver

Commitment status: Signed

Washington made the coaching staff, and fans, sweat his commitment in the weeks leading up to the early signing period. Texas won out over Missouri to gain the signature of one of the country’s best wide receivers. Like Liebrock, Washington helped lead his team to a state title as a senior. He was at The Opening Finals, but suffered an injury early and missed out on most of the action.

State prospects in Orlando 

Branson Bragg, center, Crandall

Commitment status: Signed with Stanford

Fab 55 ranking: 14

Erick Young, cornerback, Fort Bend Bush

Commitment status: Signed with Texas A&M

Fab 55 ranking: 18

Jeffery Carter, cornerback, Mansfield Legacy

Commitment status: Signed with Alabama

Fab 55 ranking: 9

Marquez Beason, cornerback, Duncanville

Commitment status: Signed with Illinois

Fab 55 ranking: 26

Cade York, kicker, Prosper

Commitment status: Signed with LSU

Fab 55 ranking: N/A

Kenyon Green, offensive tackle, Humble Atascocita

Commitment status: Signed with Texas A&M

Fab 55 ranking: 3

Isaiah Spiller, running back, Klein Collins

Commitment status: Signed with Texas A&M

Fab 55 ranking: 30

Brian Williams, safety, Dallas Bishop Dunne

Commitment status: Signed with Texas A&M

Fab 55 ranking: 10

Jamal Morris, safety, Fort Bend Bush

Commitment status: Signed with Oklahoma

Fab 55 ranking: 46

Lewis Cine, safety, Cedar Hill Trinity Christian

Commitment status: Signed with Georgia

Fab 55 ranking: 20

Baylor Cupp, tight end, Brock

Commitment status: Signed with Texas A&M

Fab 55 ranking: 13

Dylan Wright, wide receiver, Mesquite

Commitment status: Signed with Texas A&M

Fab 55 ranking: 19

Elijah Higgins, wide receiver, Austin Bowie

Commitment status: Signed with Stanford  

Fab 55 ranking: 24

Theo Wease, wide receiver, Allen

Commitment status: Signed with Oklahoma

Fab 55 ranking: 12

Arjei Henderson, wide receiver, Fort Bend Travis

Commitment status: Uncommitted  

Fab 55 ranking: 25

Tomorrow’s Dotted Line: A handful of UT commits and Bru McCoy are set for All-American action in San Antonio.

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