The Dotted Line: Texas' safety depth is lacking; two targets in 2022
Texas’ depth at safety is lacking following the departure of Caden Sterns to the NFL and Xavion Alford to the transfer portal. The Longhorns do return plenty of highly-rated prospects, including a former five-star safety from Tom Herman’s first full class of 2018. A pair of prospects are beginning to emerge as Texas leans in the 2022 cycle.
Chris Adimora, sophomore
FYI: Four-stars, from Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair; ranked 190th nationally, No. 17 safety in 2019
Texas went into California for a few exports during Herman's tenure, and while Adimora wasn’t as highly touted as Bru McCoy, Cameron Rising or DeGabriel Floyd, he’s been the most productive of any of the Longhorns' Golden State signees. He was a two-way star at Mayfair, earning league MVP honors as a junior and senior because of his play as a wide receiver and defensive back.
Adimora played in all 13 games as a freshman in 2019, tallying 10 tackles mostly on special teams. He emerged as a consistent starter at the Spur position in 2020, starting in each of Texas’ 10 games as the nickel back. He recorded 46 tackles and an interception as a sophomore.
B.J. Foster, junior
FYI: Five-stars, from Angleton; ranked 24th nationally, No. 3 safety in 2018
Foster was Herman's first major recruiting win at Texas. The five-star safety anchored the 2018 class, helping the Longhorns secure an elite defensive backs group that included Sterns, Anthony Cook, D’Shawn Jamison and DeMarvion Overshown. Foster was an elite high school running back expected to easily make the transition to full-time safety in college.
But that adjustment wasn’t as easy for Foster, who has dealt with shoulder injuries throughout his career. He registered 46 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception as a freshman, starting in six of the 13 games he played in 2018. He started eight games as a sophomore, logging 34 tackles. Last year, he started just two of the nine games he played in, adding 41 tackles to his career total.
Jerrin Thompson, freshman
FYI: Four-stars, from Lufkin; ranked 183rd nationally, No. 14 safety in 2020
It was Thompson who slid into the starting free safety spot for Texas’ final two games when Sterns opted out to begin preparing for the NFL draft. Thompson played in all 10 games and started against Kansas State and Colorado. He looked like a future star in those performances, intercepting a pass at Kansas State and leading the team with six tackles against Colorado.
Other safeties expected on campus for 2021: Montrell Estell, Tyler Owens, JD Coffey (2021)
Bryce Anderson, safety, Beaumont West Brook
FYI: 5-11, 187; four-stars, No. 4-ranked safety
Anderson was a one-time LSU commit who is now trending toward Texas after the Longhorns added Blake Gideon to the coaching staff. The 5-11, 187-pound Anderson is the top-rated safety in the state. He checks in as the 66th-ranked overall prospect in the 2022 cycle, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He holds 40 offers and is a borderline top-10 prospect on the 2022 Fabulous 55. He clocked a 10.79 in the 100-meters in the spring of 2020.
Landon Hullaby, Mansfield Timberview
FYI: 6-0, 185; four-stars; No. 18-ranked safety
Hullaby is no stranger to the Longhorns. His older brother, Jaden, signed in 2020 as an athlete who's now listed as a linebacker. Hullaby has emerged as a commitment candidate for the Longhorns over the past two weeks. He began his prep career at Dallas Bishop Dunne before transferring to Mansfield Legacy as a sophomore. He was named the District 6-5A's Division I newcomer of the year in 2019. He’s a rangy safety with coverage skills and the physicality to help in run support.
Other offers: Chace Biddle, Bryan Allen Jr., Cristian Driver, Kamari Wilson