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The Dotted Line: Texas’ top defensive targets at each position in the 2020 class

Posted July 27th, 2018

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The 2020 class was started when four-star quarterback Hudson Card pledged to the Longhorns on May 25. The 6-foot-2, 167-pound athlete from Lake Travis is the No. 2-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the nation, per 247Sports Composite, an No. 16 on the Next 25. Card spent his sophomore season at wide receiver. He’ll become the starting quarterback for the Cavaliers in 2018.

The 2019 class is essentially halfway done as the dead period ends. Tom Herman’s program holds 13 commitments. The targets for the rest of the class, for the most part, are already identified and offered. The Longhorns are beginning to identify their top targets in the 2020 class. Here is an early look at the top defensive target at each position for 2020.

Cibolo Steele junior defensive back Jaylon Jones is picking up offers. (Mike Craven)

Prince Dorbah, defensive end, Highland Park

FYI: 6-4/210; 4 stars; No. 21 on the Next 25

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Offers: 6

Other targets: Vernon Broughton, Alec Bryant, Jaquelin Roy

Defenders take longer to develop than offensive stars, especially along the defensive line. To date, Texas has offered three defensive ends and just one defensive tackle. Dorbah is an intriguing prospect with upside and a proven track record at a state-champion caliber high school program. He wreaked havoc in the 2017 state championship game against Manvel and helped Highland Park win back-to-back Class 5A Division II state championships. Dorbah was named the District 15-5A defensive newcomer of the year as a sophomore after recording 84 tackles and 10 sacks. Broughton is the only other in-state defensive lineman with a Texas offer, but Bryant expects one soon. Roy, a Louisiana native favored to pick LSU, is the nation’s top defensive tackle prospect.

Justin Flowe, inside linebacker, Upland (Calif.)

FYI: 6-2/225; 5 stars; No. 1-ranked inside linebacker in nation

Offers: 28

Other targets: Derek Wingo

Texas defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Todd Orlando is picky when it comes to players at his position. Some of it is due to the Longhorns relying more on big safeties and versatile cornerbacks in the Lightning Dime package employed by the Longhorns. Texas needs fewer linebackers to be successful. Some of it is supply. It’s harder and harder to find true linebackers as football transitions to spread offenses throughout the prep levels in every state. It’s especially true in Texas, and that’s forced Herman to look elsewhere at the position. The only linebacker currently committed to the 2018 class is De’Gabriel Floyd, a four-star outside linebacker from California. Only two in-state linebackers picked up offers in the 2018 cycle, and no offers have been given to members of the 2020 class.

Jaylon Jones, cornerback, Cibolo Steele

FYI: 6-3/185; 4 stars; No. 10 on the Next 25

Offers: 10

Other targets: Dwight McGlothern, Elias Ricks, Myles Slusher

There are two elite cornerbacks in Texas for the 2020 class and both are high on the Longhorns. Jones and McGlothern could easily be considered the top priority at the position and signing the duo is the goal for Herman. Jones plays at the same high school that produced Caden Sterns, a Texas signee in the 2018 cycle. Jones and Sterns are similar players. Texas sees Sterns as a possible cornerback because of his size and athleticism. Jones is also a big cornerback with fluid hips. It’s possible he outgrows the cornerback position and becomes an elite safety prospect. McGlothern, a five-star prospect, will play his junior season at Cedar Hill Trinity Catholic after starting high school at New Caney.

Bryson Washington, safety, C.E. King

FYI: 6-2/196; 4 stars; No. 2-ranked safety in nation

Other targets: Darius Snow, Chris Thompson Jr.

The state of Texas is stacked with elite safeties in the 2020 class and Washington is emerging as the top-rated of the bunch by the national recruiting sites. He already holds offers from elite programs like Texas, Alabama and Georgia. He was an Associated Press Class 6A all-state first-team selection as a sophomore after returning four of his five interceptions for touchdowns. He also recorded 23 pass breakups. Snow is a big, physical safety who could grow into an outside linebacker. Thompson is a natural safety with cornerback coverage skills.

Ja’Quinden Jackson, Duncanville, athlete

FYI: 6-2/200; 4 stars; No. 8 on the Next 25

Offers: 16

Other targets: Joel Williams, Jovan Ferguson, Xavier Restrepo

Not every prospect transitions perfectly into a college position. Jackson is one of those players. He plays quarterback for a powerful Duncanville offense, though his college future is likely at receiver or in the secondary. He was the District 7-6A offensive MVP as a sophomore after accounting for touchdowns as a passer, rusher and a receiver. He also helps on defense. His size and play-making ability translate to the outside wide receiver position. Jackson is big enough to play safety and he doesn’t shy away from physicality. Williams could play running back or wide receiver, but he’s a player favored to stay in-state and choose LSU. Ferguson and Restrepo are out-of-state targets with offers from the Longhorns.

RANKPLAYERPOS.HIGH SCHOOLCOLLEGE
1. Zachary EvansRBGalena Park North Shore (6A)Undecided
2. Demond DemasWRHouston North Forest (6A)Texas A&M
3. Dwight McGlothernCBNew Caney (5A)Undecided
4.Chris Thompson Jr.SDuncanville (6A)Undecided
5.Chad LindbergOTClear Creek (6A)Undecided
6. Darius SnowSHebron (6A)Undecided
7. Jase Mclellan RBAledo (4A)Oklahoma
8. Ja'Quinden JacksonATHDuncanville (6A)Undecided
9.Alec BryantDEPearland Shadow Creek (6A)Undecided
10. Jaylon JonesCBCibolo Steele (6A)Undecided
11. RJ MickensCBSouthlake Carroll (6A)Undecided
12. Lorando Johnson CBLancaster (6A)Undecided
13.Drew SandersATHColleyville Heritage (5A)Oklahoma
14.Logan ParrOLSan Antonio O'Connor (6A)Undecided
15.Branard WrightDTDallas Carter (4A)Undecided
16.Hudson CardQBLake Travis (6A)Texas
17. James SylvesterDENewton (3A)Undecided
18.Courtland FordOTCedar Hill (6A)Undecided
19. Troy OmeireWRFort Bend Austin (6A)Undecided
20. Marvin MimsWRFrisco Lone Star (5A)Undecided
21.Prince DorbahDEHighland Park (5A)Undecided
22.EJ SmithRBDallas Jesuit (6A)Undecided
23.Collin SullivanWRRound Rock (6A)Undecided
24.Trent PullenOLWaco Connally (4A)Undecided
25. Jordan JeffersonOLNavasota (4A)Texas A&M

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