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.

Cibolo Steele defensive back Jaylon Jones is is the best defender in Texas. (Mike Craven)

Football

The Dotted Line: Who will be this year’s top senior football player in Texas?

Posted December 6th, 2019

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The approaching early signing period and the winding down of the high school season in Texas translates to an upcoming update to the 2020 Fabulous 55. Our last update was done before the season. Don’t expect a ton of major changes or an influx of new names, but we did learn more information from the 2019 season. 

Who takes home the top spot as the No. 1-ranked player of the 2020 class? Here are five options:

Five-star running back Zachary Evans at the Under Armour camp in Houston. (Mike Craven)

Zachary Evans, running back, Galena Park North Shore

FYI: 5-11/200; 5 stars; not committed

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Current Fab 55 ranking: 1st

Evans is the safest bet to end the cycle as the state’s top-ranked player. If he does, he’ll be the first player to remain at No. 1 throughout the entire cycle since I started running the Fabulous 55 in the 2017 class. Evans is big, fast, and possesses insane balance and excellent vision. He helped lead his North Shore team to a Class 6A Division I title last year as a junior and the program is back in the regional semifinals. The favorite to land him remains LSU, but he did postpone his expected commitment date this week. 

Drew Sanders, athlete, Denton Ryan

FYI: 6-5/232; 5 stars; committed to Alabama

Current Fab 55 ranking: 5th

Sanders picked Alabama over Oklahoma last April and has never wavered from that pledge. The former quarterback could translate to a big tight end or, more likely, linebacker or defensive end at the college level. He was a first-team all-district selection at linebacker when he played at Colleyville Heritage as a sophomore. He made an immediate impact at Denton Ryan last year as a junior, earning district MVP honors after posting 119 tackles and eight sacks as well as two interception returns for touchdowns. No one in the state possesses more upside than Sanders due to his combination of size and athleticism. 

Demond Demas, wide receiver, Tomball

FYI: 6-3/196; 5 stars; committed to Texas A&M

Current Fab 55 ranking: 2nd

Demas is a freak athlete who does backflips with ease and could probably win most dunk competitions. The future Aggie is undoubtedly the best wide receiver in the state. Unfortunately, he missed his senior season after the UIL blocked his transfer from North Forest, an inner-city school in Houston, to Tomball over the summer. Still, Demas will remain in the top five after spending his offseason torching the nation’s best defensive backs at various camps across the country. 

Jaylon Jones, cornerback, Cibolo Steele

FYI: 6-1.5/190; 4 stars; committed to Texas A&M

Current Fab 55 ranking: 3rd

We’re not supposed to have favorites in this business, but the dirty secret is that each recruiting writer has a few kids in every class that catch their eye early. It’s fun watching those specific players blossom into elite talents, and that’s how I feel with Jones. He first came to my attention as a backup sophomore when current UT safety Caden Sterns, a former teammate of Jones’ at Cibolo Steele, tipped me off to the long, athletic underclassman. The rest is history. Jones is a borderline five-star talent with the athleticism to stick at corner and the size to move to safety.

Duncanville quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson at The Opening regional in Dallas. (Mike Craven)

Ja’Quinden Jackson, athlete, Duncanville 

FYI: 6-2/219; 4 stars; committed to Texas

Current Fab 55 ranking: 4th

Jackson sits outside the top five for most of recruiting services despite being a mainstay in the top five of our rankings throughout this recruiting cycle. The reason is simple: He’s the best player on every field he’s ever graced, including the North Shore state title game that included roughly 30 future college football players. Jackson is a dual-threat quarterback with a unique blend of size, talent and sheer will of force. He’s an alpha male who gets others to follow. I don’t care what position he plays in college. I just know he’s a football player, and one of the best five in Texas. 

RANK (PREV.)PLAYERPOS.HIGH SCHOOLCOLLEGE
1. (1)Zachary EvansRBGalena Park North Shore (6A)Uncommitted
2. (3)Demond DemasWRTomball (5A)Texas A&M
3. (5)Jaylon JonesCBCibolo Steele (6A)Texas A&M
4. (2)Ja'Quinden JacksonATHDuncanville (6A)Texas
5. (6)Drew SandersOLBDenton Ryan (5A)Alabama
6. (4)Chad LindbergOTClear Creek (6A)Georgia
7. (8)Vernon BroughtonDTCy Ridge (6A)Texas
8. (15)Hudson CardQBLake Travis (6A)Texas
9. (7)Jase McClellanRBAledo (5A)Oklahoma
10. (18)Haynes KingQBLongview (5A)Texas A&M
11. (10)RJ MickensSSouthlake Carroll (6A)Clemson
12. (39)Quentin JohnstonWRTemple (6A)Texas
13. (11)Jaylen GarthOTPort Neches-GrovesTexas
14. (13)Alfred CollinsDEBastrop Cedar Creek (5A)Uncommitted
15. (31)Xavion AlfordSAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)Texas
16. (9)Troy OmeireWRFort Bend Austin (6A)Texas
17. (25)Nate AndersonOTFrisco Reedy (5A)Oklahoma
18. (14)Jalen KimberCBMansfield Timberview (5A)Georgia
19. (19)Prince DorbahOLBHighland Park (5A)Texas
20. (29)Jaxon Smith-NjibaWRRockwall (6A)Ohio State
21. (21)Alec BryantDEAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)Uncommitted
22. (28)Princely UmanmielenDEManor (5A)Uncommitted
23. (20)EJ SmithRBDallas Jesuit (6A)Uncommitted
24. (12)Chris Thompson Jr. SDuncanville (6A)Auburn
25. (16)Malik HornsbyQBFort Bend Marshall (5A)Uncommitted
26. (23)Seth McGowanRBMesquite Poteet (5A)Oklahoma
27. (24)Logan ParrOGSan Antonio O'Connor (6A)Texas
28. (22)Courtland FordOTCedar Hill (6A)Uncommitted
29. (17)Dwight McGlothernCBKlein Oak (6A)Uncommitted
30. (27)Jake MajorsCProsper (6A)Texas
31. (26)Lorando JohnsonCBLancaster (6A)LSU
32. (32)Jahari RogersCBArlington (6A)Florida
33. (34)Collin Sullivan WRRound Rock (6A)Purdue
34. (45)Jerrin ThompsonSLufkin (6A)Texas
35. (40)Devon AchaneWRFort Bend Marshall (5A)Texas A&M
36. (37)Darius SnowSCarrollton Hebron (6A)Michigan State
37. (35)James SylvesterDENewton (2A)Baylor
38. (30)Bryson WashingtonSC.E. King (6A)Oklahoma
39. (33)Branard WrightDTDallas Carter (4A)Uncommitted
40. (36)Marvin MimsWRFrisco Lone Star (5A)Oklahoma
41. (47)Josh WhiteOLBCy Creek (6A)LSU
42. (38)Brennan ScottOLBBishop Dunne (TAPPS)Kansas
43. (44)Ty'Kieast CrawfordOTCarthage (4A)Arkansas
44. (49)Kitan CrawfordCBJohn Tyler (6A)Texas
45. (NR)Jalin ConyersTEGruver (2A)Oklahoma
46. (NR)Kevontre BradfordRBLancaster (6A)Uncommitted
47. (48)Parker WashingtonWRFort Bend Travis (6A)Penn State
48. (51)Akinola OgunbiyiOGFort Bend Kempner (6A)Texas A&M
49. (50)Ryan WattsCBLittle Elm (5A)Oklahoma
50. (43)Michael HendersonATHCarrollton Ranchview (4A)Oklahoma
51. (54)Avery HelmCBFort Bend Marshall (5A)Florida
52. (46)Garrett HayesOTAthens (4A)TCU
53. (NR)Chandler MorrisQBHighland Park (5A)Uncommitted
54. (42)Ken SealsQBWeatherford (6A)Vanderbilt
55. (55)Trent PullenOGWaco Connally (4A)Oklahoma State

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