Fort Bend Travis wide receiver Arjei Henderson committed to Oklahoma. (Mike Craven)

Football

The Dotted Line: Texas, Texas A&M chasing the same elite players in the 2019 class

Posted February 13th, 2018

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Story highlights
  • Jimbo Fisher will make an impact on the recruiting trail in 2019.
  • Texas and Texas A&M are already competing for a dozen recruits in 2019 class.
  • Texas must win the majority of these battles to end the 2019 cycle with the best class in the state.

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. 


The battle for Texas

It’s on. Texas and Texas A&M don’t fight battles on the field anymore. The rivalry is relegated to the recruiting trail. The Longhorns won with the 2018 class, but it wasn’t a fair fight. Tom Herman had a one-year head start on new Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher. The two will square off for the 2019 class and it won’t be as easy for Herman to claim an in-state recruiting championship again.

Bishop Dunne safety Brian Williams at the Future 50 Camp in Orlando. (Mike Craven/American-Statesman)

Texas A&M struck an early blow with the commitment of 5-star safety Brian Williams. The No. 4 player on the Fabulous 55 visited Texas A&M earlier in the month and committed after “feeling something new” on the visit. Williams said at a 7-on-7 tournament in Houston last weekend that he is 110-percent committed and is already helping recruit the top talent in the nation on a “daily” basis.

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A&M also holds a commitment from the top quarterback in the state, Grant Gunnell, and fellow Fab 55 members Kam Brown (WR) and Bobby Wolfe (CB). Wolfe and Gunnell hail from the Houston area, a region Herman dominated in the 2018 cycle.

Texas’ lone commitment in the class heading into junior days on Saturday and Sunday is from 4-star quarterback Roschon Johnson of Port Neches-Groves. Johnson is the No. 21-ranked player on our initial Fab 55.

The Longhorns and Aggies plan on recruiting at least a dozen of the same recruits. Here are 12 uncommitted in-state prospects who hold an offer from both. The team to land the most recruits from the list likely ends the 2019 recruiting cycle with the higher-ranked class.

No doubt a few of these players will end up at other schools; most hold offers from the top programs in the country. Still, with fewer players leaving the state in 2018 than in 2017, expect most of the 4- and 5-star talent to remain home.

Jordan Whittington, wide receiver, Cuero

FYI: 6-1/198; 4 stars; No. 1 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas

Whittington was recently named the No. 1 player in state on the Fab 55. Texas A&M already holds a commitment from one top wide receiver and leads on Allen’s Theo Wease Jr., who also holds a Texas offer. Whittington is a top target for the Longhorns and was recently on campus for an unofficial visit. He’s also close to a few of UT’ 2018 signees, including safety Caden Sterns. Whittington can play slot or on the outside.

Arjei Henderson, wide receiver, Fort Bend Travis

FYI: 6-1/179; 4 stars; No. 2 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas A&M

Henderson is expected to visit Texas for junior day on Saturday and mentioned Ole Miss, Texas and Texas A&M as schools beginning to stick out for him early. The safe money is on A&M, but don’t expect the Longhorns to give in even if Henderson pledges to the Aggies before his senior season. Henderson wants to commit in the spring.

Lake Travis Cavaliers wide receiver Garrett Wilson (5) unable to hold on to the ball on a forward pass during the district football game between the Lake Travis Cavaliers and the Hendrickson Hawks at Pflug Stadium on Friday, September 22, 2017. (John Gutierrez/For American-Statesman)

Garrett Wilson, wide receiver, Lake Travis

FYI: 6-0/185; 4 stars; No. 7 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas

There’s no guarantee that Texas or Texas A&M will land Wilson, a native of Ohio. The Buckeyes and Urban Meyer, along with other major programs, have a shot at him. The Lake Travis star is the best Austin-area prospect in a few classes and the Longhorns shouldn’t lose elite prospects in their backyard.

Kenyon Green, offensive tackle, Humble Atascocita

FYI: 6-5/315; 5 stars; No. 5 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas A&M

Green was a one-time LSU commit. Texas A&M has made up ground of late and is the current favorite. Green is the best offensive tackle in Texas and the Longhorns will have a shot to make a lasting impression during junior day. The Longhorns need to keep a stranglehold on the top players in the Houston area and Green might be the best player in the region.

Tyler Johnson, offensive tackle, Conroe Oak Ridge

FYI: 6-5/308; 4 stars; No. 15 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas

Texas helped itself with Johnson when it landed 4-star defensive lineman Joseph Ossai to cap the 2018 class. The two are teammates at Conroe Oak Ridge and Johnson is sure to hear from Ossai over the next semester and beyond. Johnson is one of the top offensive tackles in the state and a top priority for Texas in 2019. Johnson picking a destination outside of Austin would be a surprise.

Braedon Mowry, defensive end, Katy Taylor

FYI: 6-4/235; 4 stars; No. 40 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas A&M

Much like Texas was given an edge with Johnson by signing a teammate in the 2018 class, Texas A&M holds that advantage with Mowry after signing fellow Katy Taylor defensive lineman Max Wright. Mowry was an early offer from UT and is a high priority for the staff. Right now, the Aggies lead.

T’Vondre Sweat, defensive end, Huntsville

FYI: 6-3/249; 3 stars; No. 46 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas A&M

Sweat was another defensive end that Texas identified early for 2019 class that now appears to favor Texas A&M early in the cycle. Huntsville is a predominately maroon city. The Longhorn aren’t out of it, but the nearby Aggies are the favorites entering the spring.

DeMarvin Leal, defensive tackle, Converse Judson

FYI: 6-4/289; 4 stars; No. 3 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas

Leal is the best defensive lineman in the state. He’s big enough to play 1-technique and athletic enough to play a true defensive tackle position and even defensive end in an odd-man front. Texas has a chance to carve a real niche in San Antonio after nabbing Sterns in 2018 and offensive lineman Derek Kerstetter in 2017. Leal is a top priority for both Texas and Texas A&M as big, athletic defensive lineman are never easy to find.

Marcus Banks, cornerback, Spring Dekaney

FYI: 6-0/170; 4 stars; No. 12 on the Fabulous 55

The early guess: Texas

Texas signed one of Banks’ teammates when tight end Malcolm Epps chose the Longhorns in 2018. Banks is the top-rated cornerback in the state on the Fab 55 and holds offers from multiple P5 powers. Texas A&M holds a cornerback commitment from Wolfe and leads with fellow 4-star cornerback Erick Young. Landing Banks is a key for Texas. LSU might be the biggest competition for the Dekaney product.

Jeffery Carter, cornerback, Aledo

FYI: 6-0/180; 4 stars; No. 38 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas

Carter committed to Oklahoma during his sophomore season before recently backing off the pledge. Carter is now actively considering Texas and Texas A&M. The Longhorns expect him to attend one of the junior days and likes its chances with the 4-star cornerback. Despite signing three top corners in the 2018 class, the Longhorns need to sign at least two in 2019 to keep improving the depth.

Demani Richardson, safety, Waxahachie

FYI: 6-2/205; 4 stars; No. 24 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas

Texas signed the best three safeties in the state during the 2018 recruiting cycle. It’ll be impossible to pull off the same feat in 2019 with the early commitment of Williams to A&M. Richardson is a top-flight safety with offers and interest in both programs. He’s a hard-hitting safety who specializes in run support.

Marquez Beason, athlete, Dallas Bishop Dunne

FYI: 5-11/173; 4 stars; No. 14 on the Fab 55

The early guess: Texas A&M

Beason could end up on offense or defense. He mostly plays wide receiver at Bishop Dunne, but he fancies himself a star cornerback as well. Beason was high on Texas early in the process, but a recent commitment of 5-star safety Williams, a teammate at Bishop Dunne, might give the Aggies the edge they need to land his commitment.

Miss a previous edition of The Dotted Line? Get caught up here.

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