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.

Defensive coordinator Chris Ash answers questions from the local news media on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Football

The Dotted Line: Texas begins its search for the next generation of defensive backs

Posted February 19th, 2020

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Texas inked 19 players in the 2020 class, which ended with national signing day. Texas’ class ranked ninth in the nation and first in the Big 12. The Longhorns have more scholarships for the 2021 cycle and hope to land a top-five class.

As the coaching staff switches its full attention to 2021, we continue to look at where the Longhorns stand at each position, continuing with offensive linemen. We’ve broken down the outlook at quarterback, running back, offensive line, defensive line and linebacker in previous editions of The Dotted Line.

 

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Tyler John Tyler’s Kitan Crawford makes a touchdown in the fourth quarter in their football game against Texas High at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium on Friday Sept. 27, 2019. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Cornerbacks

Already on campus: Jalen Green (jr. this fall), D’Shawn Jamison (jr.), Anthony Cook (jr.), Kenyatta Watson II (fresh.), Josh Thompson (sr.), Kobe Boyce (jr.), Marques Caldwell (fresh.)

2020 signees: Kitan Crawford (4 stars) 

2021 commitments: None

Top in-state targets: Ishmael Ibraheem (4), Dallas Kimball; Hunter Washington (4), Katy; Latrell McCutchin (4), Austin LBJ

Other offers: Tony Grimes (5), Virginia Beach (Va.) Princess Anne; Avante Dickerson (4), Omaha (Neb.) Westside; Jaylin Davies (4), Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei; Jordan Hancock (4), Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett; Nyland Green (4), Covington (Ga.) Newton; Omarion Cooper (4), Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh Senior; Jamier Johnson (4), Pasadena (Calif.) Muir; Malik Williams, Buford, Ga.

The players from Texas’ 2018 class that included Green, Jamison and Cook — all cornerbacks — will be juniors in the fall. That means it’s time for the Longhorns to reload at the position. Green and Jamison are the expected starters with Cook battling with Thompson for the starting spot at nickel. Young guys like Watson and Caldwell are also hoping for more action in their second seasons. 

Texas didn’t do a great job recruiting the position in the 2020 class, signing only Crawford, who may end up at safety or nickel. The Longhorns lost commitments from Ethan Pouncey and Joshua Eaton during the last cycle. Herman’s squad also lost out on Duncanville’s Ennis Rakestraw when the three-star chose Missouri. 

The Longhorns might need to get creative in 2021 because the in-state talent at cornerback isn’t on par with the last few cycles. McCutchin is the state’s best and is already committed to Alabama despite attending high school in Austin. Ibraheem and Washington are high-priority targets for the new defensive staff. Texas might be required to head out of state to fill its cornerback needs. 

 

Safeties

Already on campus: Caden Sterns (jr. this fall), B.J. Foster (jr.), Chris Brown (sr.), Chris Adimora (soph.), Tyler Owens (soph.), Montrell Estell (jr.)

2020 signees: Xavion Alford (4), Jerrin Thompson (4)

2021 commitments: None

Top in-state targets: J.D. Coffey (4), Kennedale; Isaiah Nwokobia (3), Dallas Skyline; Romario Noel (3), Houston Cypress Ranch

Other offers: Kaine Williams (4), Marrero (La.) John Enret; Terrion Arnold (4), Tallahassee (Fla.) John Paul II; Solomon Buchanan, Garden City C.C. (Kans.)

Texas appears poised for success at safety under the new staff with Sterns and Foster entering their junior seasons and a new crop of talent like Adimora and Owens waiting in the wings. The young players at the position were forced into action early in 2019 because of injuries and each grew as a player as the season progressed. Sterns and Foster are both former five-star prospects with NFL potential. 

The Longhorns added to their existing depth by signing Alford and Jerrin Thompson in 2020. Alford is already on campus and healthy after missing his senior season with a knee injury. 

Texas can be picky at safety and focus its defensive back efforts to the cornerback position. Only three in-state safety prospects hold UT offers. Four-star commit Billy Bowman Jr. might end up at safety, but he’s listed as an athlete because of his ability to play wide receiver. 

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