Texas recruiting notebook: New pledges J'mond Tapp, Jaray Bledsoe on why they picked UT
The Texas trenches have become a hot spot in the world of recruiting.
On Monday, Texas secured commitments from four-star defensive linemen J'mond Tapp and Jaray Bledsoe. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Tapp attends Ascension Catholic in Louisiana. Bledsoe, who stands 6-4 and weighs 270 pounds, is a senior at Marlin.
Bledsoe and Tapp become the 19th and 20th members of UT's 2022 class. Aaron Bryant, a four-star defensive lineman from Missouri, pledged to the Longhorns last week.
Bledsoe and Tapp have seen their senior seasons stall. After transferring to Marlin from Bremond, Bledsoe was ruled ineligible by the UIL last week. Ascension Catholic's season has been put on hold as Louisiana recovers from the damage caused by Hurricane Ida.
Tapp and Bledsoe both chatted with the American-Statesman this week about their decisions to commit to Texas.
J'Mond Tapp, Ascension Catholic
What about Texas stood out?
I suppose the love. Just first (how they treat) you as a person. They're real cool.
Is it hard for a Louisiana kid to leave the state when LSU has offered a scholarship?
(Laughing) I guess I'm going to find out.
How would you describe how you play?
Fun and enthusiastic.
What do you know about Texas assistant coach Bo Davis?
I know the way he coaches. He'll get on you, but that's all coaches. Now him as a person, he's just cool. He's smooth and laid-back.
I need to know the story about why a defensive lineman is wearing a single-digit number.
So, No. 7. When I was a freshman, nobody got No. 7 because it's a bad-luck number. The previous years, the people who wore No. 7, it never turned out good for them. They got kicked off the team; they got in trouble; they quit; they got injured. Something happened with No. 7, so people just stopped getting it. So I got it.
Has the No. 7 worked out for you?
They say I lifted the curse.
Jaray Bledsoe, Marlin
Early on in my recruiting process, I gained a good relationship with Coach Davis. When I visited, I liked their facility. It made me feel at home.
What do you like about Coach Davis?
I like the way he (handles his business). I like his personality.
How would you describe the way you play?
What is the class of 2022 building?
I think it's just getting started. I think we're going to do pretty good on the recruiting side.
I know you're in a weird spot with the UIL right now. How are you staying motivated since you can't play?
While you were calling me, I was working out. I'm working out right now. Just getting ready to be able to play my role the best I can.
Johnson's season ends: The next tackle of Trevell Johnson's career will probably be recorded at Texas.
The Arlington Martin linebacker and UT commitment announced this week that he'll miss the rest of his senior season. Johnson played in the Warriors' opener at Lake Travis on Aug. 27. But The Dallas Morning News later reported that he needs surgery to repair a hip labral tear.
In a tweet, Johnson explained that "it is in my best interest to do what’s best for me right now and that is to focus on my physical health, school and future."
The three-star prospect totaled 109 tackles, four sacks and three forced fumbles last season for Martin, which reached the third round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs. Fellow Martin linebacker Morice Blackwell, who's now a freshman at Texas, had 95 tackles on that team.
Texas in Thompson's top three: Spearman receiver Brenen Thompson revealed last month that Texas is among the three schools he's still considering, along with Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.
Thompson is the country's 11th-ranked receiver prospect in 247Sports' composite ratings. Lewisville's Armani Winfield, who currently is Texas' only committed receiver, is 24th.
Thompson also is a standout on the track. In the spring, he won a state title in the Class 3A 200-meter dash and was second in the 100.