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.

Katy Tompkins four-star quarterback Jalen Milroe is among the top prospects in 2021. (Mike Craven)

Football

The Dotted Line: Texas’ recruiting strategy continues to evolve in a changing landscape

Posted July 23rd, 2019

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Tom Herman and his staff made a recruiting decision for the 2021 cycle: Strike early and often.

The directive is working. The Longhorns moved to three commits in the class on Sunday night when four-star Katy Tompkins quarterback Jalen Milroe joined Dallas Skyline wide receiver Quay Davis and Lake Travis tight end Lake McRee

This is a new tactic from Texas under Herman, who preferred to wait until after a player’s junior season to pounce because that allowed him and his staff as much time as possible to gather information. The only players Texas allowed to commit before the start of their junior years prior to the 2021 class were quarterbacks Roschon Johnson in 2019 and Hudson Card in 2020. 

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“With how the recruiting process is going now, and me feeling the connection with Texas, I didn’t feel there was a need for me to continue considering other schools,” Milroe said Monday.

Texas head coach Tom Herman flashes the “Hook ‘Em Horns” sign before the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Georgia on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]
Milroe is on that same level. The 6-1, 194-pound prospect picked Texas over 18 other schools, including Alabama, Texas A&M, and Florida. He led Tompkins to its first-ever playoff appearance as a sophomore after passing for 1,420 yards and 10 touchdowns, adding 609 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. 

“As a football player, Jalen makes everyone around him better. His leadership on and off the field (is impressive),” said Katy Tompkins head coach Todd McVey. “He is also very humble and appreciative of where he is on the field and in life.” 

McVey credits his young star’s maturity to a strong support system. 

“He has a great supporting cast at home with his mom and dad,” McVey said. “They are good people who keep things in perspective.” 

Herman’s first full class at Texas was in 2018. He’s only taken three commitments before the end of their junior season in the past three cycles. One was Johnson in 2019, the other two were Card and offensive lineman Logan Parr in the 2020 class. The Longhorns already hold that many in 2021. 

The move was a reaction to the realities of modern-day recruiting. The early signing period coupled with juniors taking official visits in the spring sped up an already quickened process. More than half of the 2020 Fabulous 55 is already committed. Texas fell behind in 2020 by waiting longer than Oklahoma and Texas A&M to pull the trigger. 

The Longhorns hold 10 pledges for 2020. Oklahoma has 15. Texas A&M has 16. Alabama, LSU, and Ohio State already have more than 20. 

Milroe is a big piece for Texas’ future. He’ll help the Longhorns recruit in the 2021 class, especially in the Houston area. It’s akin to the pledge of Duncanville’s Ja’Quinden Jackson in the 2020 class. Milroe is building a lasting legacy at Tompkins. 

“Texas is getting an elite playmaker who’s been developing his craft since he was young. He’s a tremendous person and young man,” said teammate and 2021 UT defensive end target Tunmise Adeleye. “He knows how to have a good time and joke with everyone, but at the same time he knows when to dial it up a notch and get serious when a game is on the line.” 

Don’t expect Texas to stop adding 2021 commitments prior to the start of the season. Adeleye says the commitment of his teammate does nothing but help the Longhorns with his own recruitment. 

“Their chances have gotten a lot better,” he said. 

PLAYERPOS.HIGH SCHOOLSTARSCOMMITMENT DATE
Lake McReeTELake Travis3July 9
Jalen MilroeQBKaty Tomkins4July 21
Hayden ConnerOTKaty Taylor4July 23
Juan DavisWR/TEEverman3July 26
Billy BowmanATHDenton Ryan4July 31
Derrick Harris Jr.OLBNew Caney4Aug. 3
Ja'Tavion SandersATHDenton Ryan4Sept. 8

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