The Dotted Line: A trio of offensive prospects remain on Texas' 2021 recruiting board
Texas signed 18 players during the early period. Dallas Kimball cornerback Ishmael Ibraheem and Bryan Rudder wide receiver Keithron Lee plan, who are committed but did not yet sign, plan to join the class on national signing day.
The Longhorns, whose class ranks 17th nationally, hope to capture some recruiting momentum by closing strong under new head coach Steve Sarkisian. It wouldn't be surprising if he reaches out to uncommitted national prospects on defense, but there are three in-state offensive targets who would help round out UT's class:
LJ Johnson, RB, Houston Cypress-Fairbanks
FYI: 5-10, 204; four stars; No. 3-ranked running back
Top schools: Texas A&M, Texas
Johnson is the top-ranked uncommitted prospect left in Texas. A two-team race developed for his signature over the season between old rivals Texas and Texas A&M. He's a national top-50 prospect who ranks fifth on the Fabulous 55. He holds 40 offers. A&M is the clear-cut favorite.
Johnson burst onto the recruiting scene as a sophomore when he posted 1,139 yards and 20 touchdowns en route to District 17-6A offensive newcomer of the year honors. He was an all-state selection as a junior when he totaled 1,951 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2019. As a senior, he finished the season with 1,262 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Texas signed one running back in December — Jonathon Brooks, a three-star from Hallettsville who was recently named Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine. The Longhorns would love to pair Johnson with Brooks, adding both young prospects to a running backs room that already contains Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson.
Camar Wheaton, RB, Garland Lakeview Centennial
FYI: 5-11, 190; five stars; No. 2-ranked running back
Top schools: Committed to Alabama
Wheaton and Johnson are the top two backs in Texas. The Longhorns switched most of their focus to Johnson as Wheaton narrowed his list to Alabama and Oklahoma. With Sarkisian expected to bring some assistants with him from Alabama, the Longhorns also could get back into the mix with Wheaton. The five-star running back committed to Alabama in December but didn’t sign a national letter of intent.
Austin Uke, OT, Dallas Parish Episcopal
FYI: 6-4, 265; three stars; No. 47-ranked offensive tackle
Top schools: SMU, Houston, USC, Texas, Penn State
The 2021 cycle has been disappointing for Texas, and the biggest disappointments have come recruiting the offensive line. In a loaded year at the position within the state, the Longhorns failed to sign a single composite four-star prospect at tackle, guard or center. Texas did sign a pair of three-star tackles in Hayden Conner and Max Merril. Uke is an intriguing prospect because of his athleticism and upside. He can play tackle or grow into a guard.