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.

Five-star athlete Bru McCoy is officially a Longhorn after transferring from USC. (Mike Craven)

Football

The Dotted Line: Grading Texas’ 2019 offensive recruiting class

Posted February 8th, 2019

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The 2019 class is officially in the rearview mirror now that national signing day came and went with a whimper. The bulk of Texas’ class signed in December during the early period with Bru McCoy’s transfer from USC and the signing of four-star offensive lineman Javonne Shepherd taking place this year. McCoy transferred in January while Shepherd elected to not sign early and take some official visits before ultimately sticking with Texas.

Here are the offensive grades for this year’s class. We’ll grade the defensive signees at noon.

Port Neches-Groves quarterback Roschon Johnson rushes for a touchdown in a playoff win.

Quarterbacks: B+

Signings: Roschon Johnson

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Nothing wrong with signing the best dual-threat quarterback in the state. Texas identified Johnson as its priority at the position early and earned his commitment back in July 2017. It was a down year for quarterbacks in Texas and around the country. Johnson wasn’t as highly regarded as Cameron Rising was in 2018, but that doesn’t mean a thing once a prospect is on campus.

Running backs: Unknown

Signings: Derrian Brown

Brown is a legit prospect worthy of his four-star status. He’s the No. 13-ranked running back in the nation and played at a major prep program in Buford, Ga. The disappointment was missing out on both Trey Sanders and Noah Cain of IMG Academy. Cain picked Penn State. Sanders is headed to Alabama. None of that matters, however, if Brown doesn’t recover fully from surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain.

That leaves the Longhorns in a bind because the numbers aren’t great at running back. Only Keaontay Ingram and Daniel Young return with any real experience. Expect Jordan Whittington to get some backfield carries, and it might even be correct to include the Cuero five-star as a running back in this year’s class.

Wide receivers: A+

Signings: Jordan Whittington, Jake Smith, Kennedy Lewis, Marcus Washington, Bru McCoy

Texas managed to sign a strong five-man wide receivers group despite the lost commitments of guys like Demariyon Houston (Nebraska) and Peyton Powell (Baylor). Texas also missed out on local prospects like Garrett Wilson (Ohio State) and Elijah Higgins (Stanford). Whittington is a stud and Smith won Gatorade’s national player of the year award after recording more than 2,000 yards of total offense as a junior and a senior. Lewis is a well-rounded athlete with a 6-3 frame and Washington was named MVP of the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando after scoring two touchdowns.

McCoy’s transfer made this wide receivers class move from good to great. Whether he can play in 2019 or 2020, he brings a level of physicality and explosiveness that is hard to find in prep athletes. He may spend some time on defense, but his primary position will be receiver where he can work the slot or play outside.

Tight ends: A

Signings: Brayden Liebrock, Jared Wiley

The Longhorns were masterful recruiting at tight end. Liebrock is a polished receiving threat who can flex out and create mismatches whether he lines up against smaller cornerbacks or slower safeties and linebackers. He’s also a known winner from his time at Chandler High in Arizona. Wiley is more of a project after spending time at quarterback in high school. Texas wants to utilize its tight ends more in the passing game and both guys excel at that part of the position.

Offensive line: A-

Signings: Tyler Johnson, Isaiah Hookfin, Javonne Shepherd

The offensive line was almost a real concern when Texas managed just one signature on Wednesday. Johnson is a four-star prospect and the best tackle Herman has signed since taking the job in Austin, but Texas needed multiple players at the position. The potential meltdown started when Javonne Shepherd chose not to sign in December, adding more smoke to the rumors of a potential flip to Texas A&M. The concerns heightened when four-star tackle Isaiah Hookfin appeared headed to Baylor instead of Texas.

Hookfin postponed his planned decision on Friday — the final day of the early period — but eventually signed with Texas that night. It gave Texas a strong pair of in-state tackles and the chance to convince Shepherd to stick with the Longhorns. Shepherd signed on Wednesday to close out the class. The Longhorns are still expected to pursue graduate transfers along the line.

RELATED: The Dotted Line: Grading Texas’ 2019 defensive recruiting class

RELATED: Grading the Big 12’s signing classes: Texas, OU dominate as new coaches scrambled

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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