Grading Texas' 2018 recruiting class: Defense

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Story highlights
  • Longhorns added the best five players in the state, all on defense
  • Texas added two out-of-state defensive ends to the class
  • Tom Herman hit a home run at safety

Posted February 9th, 2018

Longhorns load up with defensive stars

Texas’ 2018 recruiting class finished third in the nation and first in the Big 12, in large part because of the amount of sheer talent Tom Herman assembled on the defensive side of the ball. The Longhorns added the best five players in the state, per the Fabulous 55, and each of them plays defense.

Herman and his staff signed 27 players in the class. Thirteen play defense and two are specialty players in place-kicker Cameron Dicker and punter Ryan Bujcevski. Every in-state commitment for Texas was ranked on the Fabulous 55. We graded the offensive signees earlier in the day.

Spring Westfield defensive tackle Keondre Coburn signed with Texas on Wednesday. (Mike Craven/American-Statesman)

Defensive linemen

Signings: DT Keondre Coburn; DT Moro Ojomo; DE Michael Williams (La.); DE Daniel Carson (Mo.)

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2019 needs: 3 or 4

Grade: A-

Defensive line was the concern for Texas after the early signing period. The Longhorns failed to sign a single defensive lineman in December despite owning a commitment from Spring Westfield’s Keondre Coburn, the top defensive tackle in the state. Coburn flirted with Miami and TCU before signing with the Longhorns on national signing day. Texas added depth to the tackle position with Katy’s Moro Ojomo, who won’t turn 18 until the start of his sophomore year.

Texas added two out-of-state ends to the class in Daniel Carson and Michael Williams. Carson, the bigger of the two, could play in Chris Nelson’s spot or the 4i position occupied by Charles Omenihu and Malcolm Roach. Williams is destined for the 4i position.

Conroe Oak Ridge defensive end Joseph Ossai chose Texas over Texas A&M on national signing day. (Mike Craven/American-Statesman)

Linebackers

Signings: ILB Ayodele Adeoye (Fla.); OLB Byron Hobbs; OLB Joseph Ossai

2019 needs: 2 or 3

Grade: A-

Texas let out a sigh of relief when Adeoye faxed in his letter late on Dec. 20. He was a key piece to the class and is needed to compete for snaps at middle linebacker next to Gary Johnson as a freshman since Malik Jefferson is headed to the NFL draft. Oklahoma made a late push for Adeoye.

Hobbs is a raw outside linebacker with huge potential on the edge because of his length at 6-4 and his natural athleticism. He thrives as a pass rusher and can play in space against the run and the pass.

Ossai played defensive end at Conroe Oak Ridge but will move to outside linebacker in college. His priority will remain getting after the quarterback. Ossai was an in-state win for Herman over Texas A&M.

Cornerbacks

Signings: Anthony Cook; Jalen Green; D’Shawn Jamison

2019 needs: None

Grade: A+

The Longhorns capped off an illustrious defensive backs class by gaining the pledge of 4-star Houston Lamar cornerback Anthony Lamar on Dec. 20, joining Jamison, a fellow Houston Lamar prospect. Cook and Green are the best two outside cornerbacks in the class and Jamison is a nickel specialist who also excels as a kick returner.

Cook is already on campus. He and Green ranked in the top five of the final Fabulous 55 of the 2018 cycle.

Texas signees BJ Foster, D’Shawn Jamison and DeMarvion Overshown at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando. (Mike Craven/American-Statesman)

Safeties

Signings: BJ Foster, DeMarvion Overshown, Caden Sterns

Remaining needs: None

Current grade: A+

Texas hit a home run at safety and locked in the trio of stars early. Foster, a 5-star, was a ringleader for the class and enrolled early to compete for snaps. DeMarvion Overshown is a hybrid defender who can play linebacker or safety, while Caden Sterns, a 5-star from Cibolo Steele, was a one-time LSU commit. Sterns enrolled early too. He was given his fifth star on the final rankings update of the 2018 class.

For our grades on the offensive side of the ball for the 2018 signing class, click here.

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

 

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