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: What needs to happen for Texas to end up with a top-five class?

Posted December 17th, 2018

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Texas’ 20-man class for 2019 currently rests at No. 7 in the country. The fireworks won’t stop until Wednesday — the first day of the early signing period — as the Longhorns expect plenty of movement between now and then. Tom Herman signed the third-best class in the nation in his first full cycle and UT’s 2018 class paid dividends immediately on the field.

This class isn’t as star-studded as that 2018 group, but that could change if Herman and his staff can close with top targets remaining on the board. Doing so would give Texas another top five class. It won’t be easy, however. Texas would need to finish with Bru McCoy and Trey Sanders to vault ahead of the current classes ranked above the Longhorns.

Mater Dei (Calif.) wide receiver and outside linebacker Bru McCoy at The Opening Final. (Mike Craven)

The SEC is dominating the cycle. Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU are the top four classes, respectively. Texas also trails Oregon and Clemson. The margin between the fourth-ranked LSU group and Texas at No. 7 is tight, per the 247Sports composite. Two five-star studs like Sanders and McCoy would push Texas into the conversation for the third-ranked spot on the list.

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Within the past week, Texas lost two commitments in Odessa Permian athlete Peyton Powell and out-of-state receiver Demariyon Houston. The Longhorns might lose another receiver if four-star pledge Marcus  Washington chooses to stay home and switch his commitment to Missouri rather than sign with Texas on Wednesday. McCoy is the No. 1-ranked athlete in the country and will play wide receiver. Texas is also still in the hunt for Elijah Higgins and Kennedy Lewis.

Texas wants to add a pair of Houston-based offensive linemen to the fold before the early signing period ends. Isaiah Hookfin (Fort Bend Dulles) and Andrew Coker (Katy Taylor) took visits to Texas last weekend. They’re both members of the Fabulous 55 and are four-star prospects who would provide another recruiting bump for Texas in the rankings.

Hookfin is a more likely candidate as Coker indicated after the trip that he’d remain committed to TCU. A late addition at JUCO or from the graduate transfer ranks wouldn’t be surprising. Expect the Longhorns to continue recruiting at offensive line after the early signing period if they strike out on the remaining targets.

The defensive side of the football is awaiting the decision from JUCO target Caleb Johnson. He’s set to decide today between Texas, Oregon and Colorado. The Longhorns are in good position for the three-star outside linebacker.

Keeping four-star safety Chris Adimora committed and adding a playmaker like Jalen Catalon remain the priority for the secondary coaches. Texas is likely to access its roster situation after the bowl game and act accordingly between the early period and national signing day in February.

Sanders and McCoy remain the swing prospects for the cycle. Texas’ group is a top 10 class even if it doesn’t close with the nationally-recognized prospects. Landing one, or both, puts an exclamation mark on a class filled with talent from across the country. Ten of Texas’ 20 current commitments play outside of the Lone Star State.

Sanders is set to pick a school Wednesday on ESPN. McCoy plans to announce at the All-American Game in San Antonio on Jan. 5. Lewis announces Tuesday and plans to sign on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at the classes that are currently ranked ahead of Texas:

1. Alabama

No. of commits: 24

Top pledges: Daxton Hill (S), Antonio Alfano (DE), Pierce Quick (OT)

2. Georgia

No. of commits: 19

Top pledges: Nolan Smith (DE), Clay Webb (C), Travon Walker (DT)

3. Texas A&M

No. of commits: 24

Top pledges: Kenyon Green (OL), DeMarvin Leal (DL), Brian Williams (S)

4. LSU

No. of commits: 19

Top pledges: Derek Stingley (CB), John Emery Jr. (RB), Kardell Thomas (OG)

5. Oregon

No. of commits: 20

Top pledges: Kayvon Thibodeaux (DE), Mykael Wright (CB), Mase Funa (ILB)

6. Clemson

No. of commits: 24

Top pledges: Andrew Booth (CB), Frank Ladson (WR), Joe Ngata (WR)

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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