Austin Bowie wide receiver Elijah Higgins remains a top priority for the Texas staff. (Austin American-Statesman)

Football

The Dotted Line: Handful of top Texas targets ready to showcase talent at Under Armour camp

Posted April 13th, 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.


Under Armour All-America Camp Series heads to Houston

A week after showcasing the talent in north Texas and the surrounding areas, the Under Armour All-America Camp Series arrives in Houston on Sunday. The Houston area is home base for Tom Herman and the Texas staff on the recruiting trail and the 2019 class is full of Houston-based talent with UT interest.

Sunday provides the talent on the third-coast to earn a trip to the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, which will take place in January. The talent pool at the Houston event will include Texas commit T’Vondre Sweat, a 3-star defensive end from Huntsville. He’s one of four UT commits in the 2019 class.

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Here are five prospects with Texas offers who are expected to participate on Sunday:

Marcus Banks, cornerback, Spring Dekaney

Spring Dekaney cornerback Marcus Banks at Texas’ junior day. (Mike Craven)

FYI: 6-0/170; 4 stars; No. 32-ranked cornerback

Texas offer? Yes

Top offers: Texas, LSU, Alabama

Banks remains the Longhorns’ top in-state cornerback target. Texas invested a lot of time recruiting him while gaining the signature of his former teammate, 2018 tight end signee Malcolm Epps. Banks became close with the staff and the Longhorns were believed to be the runaway leader for the 4-star cornerback early in the process. Banks is from Louisiana and has family in Baton Rouge, meaning LSU is in the running. It looks like a two-team race for the state’s top cover corner. He’s already earned an invite to The Opening Finals.

David Gbenda, inside linebacker, Katy Cinco Ranch

FYI: 6-0/212; 4 stars; No. 10-ranked inside linebacker

Texas offer? No

Top offers: TCU, Texas A&M, Baylor

Gbenda is the only in-state middle linebacker prospect in the 2019 class with a Texas offer. He’s the best middle linebacker from Texas in a year short on inside linebackers. Gbenda made a name for himself at The Opening regional in Houston and hopes to showcase his talents again at a high-profile camp. Texas is in good position for Gbenda, who can get sideline-to-sideline and cover in space as well as any middle linebacker in the state. He’s also a good tackler in the open field.

Elijah Higgins, wide receiver, Austin Bowie

FYI: 6-3/215; 4 stars; No. 44-ranked wide receiver

Texas offer? Yes

Top offers: Texas, Stanford, Notre Dame, Ohio State

Just because Higgins plays high school football down the road from Texas’ campus doesn’t mean the wide receiver is a lock to sign with the Longhorns. Stanford is very much in the race for the big-bodied receiver. Higgins is coming into his own as his body continues to mature. He’s too physical for most defensive backs and still possesses enough speed to threaten defenses vertically. Higgins does a great job of using his body to shield off defenders and could grow into a tight end or H-Back.

Makiya Tongue, athlete, University Lab (La.)

FYI: 6-2/210; 3 stars; No. 35-ranked athlete in country

Texas offer? Yes  

Top offers: Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Alabama

Tongue is a true athlete who can flourish as an outside linebacker or wide receiver. The Longhorns see his upside at linebacker, but Tongue prefers offense and would rather begin his career at wide receiver. Texas would provide him that opportunity and he’s become a legitimate target for the Longhorns. University Lab is a prospect factory and it would benefit Texas to build a reputation as a school who can close at a premier program in a talent-rich state.

Marcus Stripling, defensive end, Katy Mayde Creek

FYI: 6-3/265; 4 stars; No. 8-ranked strong side defensive end

Texas offer? Yes

Top offers: Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Florida

Texas A&M is the clear leader for Stripling, but recruiting can be surprising. A&M also led for defensive end Joseph Ossai at this time last year and he ended up signing with the Longhorns after a late push. Texas wants to sign five defensive linemen in the 2019 class and Stripling received an early offer from the staff. He also impressed at The Opening Regional in Houston earlier in the year and earned an invite to The Opening Final. He’s in the conversation for best pure pass rusher in the state for the 2019 cycle and he’s big enough to play defensive end or defensive tackle.

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