Posted February 8th, 2018
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.
Austin-area wide receivers put city on map
A trio of Austin-area wide receivers headline the first Fabulous 55 of the 2019 cycle. Lake Travis’ Garrett Wilson, Cedar Ridge’s Jaylen Ellis and Bowie’s Elijah Higgins are racking up college offers and shooting up rankings lists across the recruiting services.
Their goal is simple: Put the city of Austin on the map as a recruiting hotbed. And to open the eyes of college scouts and hope their talents provide opportunities for overlooked prospects across the city.
“There are a lot of good players here,” said Higgins, who checks in at No. 39 on the initial Fab 55. “We’re helping put Austin back on the map and maybe by us getting more looks it will help the other players in the city get watched by college coaches. We’re bringing ATX back on the map. It really means a lot to us and we take it seriously.”
[anvplayer video=”4315799″ station=”Cox Newspaper – Austin”]
The highest-rated of the trio is Wilson, a 4-star prospect who helped lead Lake Travis to a state championship. His offer list is 27-teams deep and includes power programs like Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, Alabama and Oklahoma. He ranks at No. 7 on the Fab 55. He caught 98 passes for 1,773 yards and 26 touchdowns in his junior year. Wilson also helped as a rusher, a returner and on defense.
“Austin is definitely slept on in recruiting and it takes our guys longer to get offered than players in Houston and Dallas,” Wilson said. “We go under the radar, and I don’t know why because this city is always sending teams to state to play on the biggest stage.”
Imports bring new talent to area
Wilson and Higgins are imports to the area. Both moved to Austin around middle school, Wilson from Ohio and Higgins from Florida. Ellis, who has committed to Baylor, is the only home-grown player among them. He recorded 56 catches for 1,248 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. Ellis is No. 32 on the Fab 55.
Cedar Ridge reached the fifth round of the state playoffs for the first time in school history.
“It feels good being compared to the best players in the state. We all get together and talk to each other,” Ellis said. “They’re all good guys and we learn a lot from each other, whether it be about football or life, or even what is going on in recruiting. We become a fraternity at these camps and in 7-on-7.”
Life changes for most top prospects during their junior season. Coaches come calling. Expectations grow. Media members call. It all becomes worth it when the first offer is presented. A future home to play football and earn a college degree is the dream for most football players.
“Baylor was my first offer,” Ellis explained. “Getting off the phone with head coach Matt Rhule was unbelievable. My family was going crazy. I was going crazy. It was a big weight off my shoulders knowing I had a place to keep playing football.”
Texas in the mix for Wilson, Higgins
Wilson and Higgins have received Texas offers. Ellis is on Texas’ radar and is in contact with UT receivers coach Drew Mehringer and defensive backs coach Jason Washington. The Longhorns have offered 10 receivers in the 2019 class.
If 2018 was the year of the defensive back in the state — there were 11 cornerbacks or safeties on the Fab 55, including the top five-rated prospects — then 2019 is the year of the receiver; 10 receivers are on the initial 2019 list, including the top two overall (Cuero’s Jordan Whittington and Fort Bend Travis’ Arjei Henderson) and four of the top seven.
— Elijah Higgins (@ehigggz) January 29, 2018
“The Texas offer was amazing,” Higgins said. “I moved here six years ago from Florida and have grown to love the vibe of the city. It is a great fan base and they love Texas. It means a lot and all the support from Austin and my friends is amazing.”
Wilson isn’t worried about distance, but Texas being his new hometown team will play a factor. He plans on attending Texas’ junior day in mid-February. There is a list of qualities Wilson wants in a school.
“Tradition is important to me, and that makes schools like Ohio State and Texas high on my list,” he said. “The important thing is finding a school with the balance of great academics and football. I’m also looking for a place to play early.”
|1.||Jordan Whittington||WR||Cuero (4A)||Texas|
|2.||Arjei Henderson||WR||Fort Bend Travis (6A)||Oklahoma|
|3.||DeMarvin Leal||DL||Converse Judson (6A)||Texas A&M|
|4.||Brian Williams||S||Bishop Dunne (TAPPS)||Texas A&M|
|5.||Kenyon Green||OT||Humble Atascocita (6A)||Uncommitted|
|6.||Theo Wease Jr.||WR||Allen (6A)||Oklahoma|
|7.||Garrett Wilson||WR||Lake Travis (6A)||Ohio State|
|8.||NaNa Osafo-Mensah||DE||Fort Worth Nolan Catholic (TAPPS)||Notre Dame|
|9.||Grant Gunnell||QB||St. Pius X (TAPPS)||Uncommitted|
|10.||Austin Stogner||TE||Prestonwood Catholic (TAPPS)||Oklahoma|
|11.||Jalen Curry||WR||St. Pius X (TAPPS)||Uncommitted|
|12.||Marcus Banks||CB||Dekaney (6A)||Uncommitted|
|13.||Marcus Stripling||DE||Mayde Creek (6A)||Uncommitted|
|14.||Marquez Beason||ATH||Bishop Dunne (TAPPS)||Illinois|
|15.||Tyler Johnson||OT||Conroe Oak Ridge (6A)||Uncommitted|
|16.||Kam Brown||WR||Colleyville Heritage (5A)||Texas A&M|
|17.||Marcel Brooks||LB||Flower Mound (6A)||Uncommitted|
|18.||Deondrick Glass||RB||Katy (6A)||Uncommitted|
|19.||Jalen Catalon||S||Mansfield (6A)||Uncommitted|
|20.||Nelson Ceaser||DE||Fort Bend Ridge Point||Uncommitted|
|21.||Roschon Johnson||QB||Port Neches-Groves (5A)||Texas|
|22.||Erick Young||CB||Fort Bend Bush (6A)||Uncommitted|
|23.||EJ Ndoma-Ogar||OT||Allen (6A)||Oklahoma|
|24.||Demani Richardson||S||Waxahachie (6A)||Texas A&M|
|25.||Hunter Spears||DT||Sachse (6A)||Notre Dame|
|26.||Brannon Brown||OG||San Antonio O'Connor (6A)||TCU|
|27.||Grant Tisdale||QB||Allen (6A)||Ole Miss|
|28.||Isaiah Spiller||RB||Klein Collins (6A)||Uncommitted|
|29.||Jonathan McGill||S||Coppell (6A)||Uncommitted|
|30.||Tamauzia Brown||ATH||Newton (3A)||Uncommitted|
|31.||Javonne Shephard||OT||North Forest (4A)||Uncommitted|
|32.||Jaylen Ellis||WR||Round Rock Cedar Ridge (6A)||Baylor|
|33.||Steven Parker||DE||South Oak Cliff (5A)||Texas Tech|
|34.||Jamal Morris||S||Fort Bend Bush (6A)||Oklahoma|
|35.||Gilbert Ibeneme||DE||Pearland (6A)||Uncommitted|
|36.||Josh Ellison||DT||A&M Consolidated (5A)||Texas A&M|
|37.||David Ugwoegbu||DE||Katy Seven Lakes (6A)||Uncommitted|
|38.||Jeffery Carter||ATH||Aledo (4A)||Uncommitted|
|39.||Elijah Higgins||WR||Austin Bowie (6A)||Uncommitted|
|40.||Braedon Mowry||DE||Katy Taylor (6A)||Texas A&M|
|41.||Branson Bragg||C||Crandall (4A)||Uncommitted|
|42.||Titus Swen||RB||Haslet Eaton (5A)||Uncommitted|
|43.||David Gbenda||LB||Katy Cinco Ranch (6A)||Uncommitted|
|44.||Trejan Bridges||WR||Carrollton Hebron (6A)||Oklahoma|
|45.||Deion Hankins||RB||El Paso Parkland (5A)||Uncommitted|
|46.||T'Vondre Sweat||DE||Huntsville (5A)||Texas|
|47.||Kori Roberson||DE||Manvel (5A)||Oklahoma|
|48.||Bobby Wolfe||CB||Houston Madison (6A)||Uncommitted|
|49.||Dylan Wright||WR||West Mesquite (5A)||Uncommitted|
|50.||Velton Gardner||ATH||Dallas Skyline (6A)||Uncommitted|
|51.||Anfernee Orji||S||Rockwall (6A)||Uncommitted|
|52.||Darwin Barlow||RB||Newton (3A)||Uncommitted|
|53.||Jayden Jernigan||DT||Allen (6A)||Uncommitted|
|54.||Trevor Roberson||OT||Wellington (2A)||Uncommitted|
|55.||Carl Williams||DT||Lufkin (5A)||Uncommitted|
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