Texas Longhorns (32) Johnathan Gray fights for yardage against Texas Tech in the NCAA college football game at Jones AT&T Stadium Saturday, Nov 1, 2014. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN- STATESMAN)

BEVO BEAT Football

Countdown to Signing Day: Texas’ 5 highest-rated in-state recruits since 2000

Posted January 26th, 2017

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Editor’s note: All recruiting rankings based on the 247Sports.com composite unless otherwise noted.

Tom Herman wants to build a wall.

No, not that kind of wall. The new Texas coach hopes that by strengthening relationships with high school coaches and players around Texas, the best recruits will see no need to go elsewhere.

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The plan makes perfect sense. In a state as rich in talent as Texas, there really is no need to go elsewhere. Of the Longhorns’ highest-rated recruits since 2000, 19 of the top 20 came from in state. Many of those were cornerstones on great Texas teams.

RELATED: Top 5 recruits on Texas’ 2005 national championship team

Here are the top five in-state recruits since 2000 to land on the 40 Acres.

5. Johnathan Gray

Aledo's Johnathan Gray avoids a Lake Travis tackle while scoring early in the second quarter of Friday night's game.
Aledo’s Johnathan Gray avoids tackle while scoring early in the second quarter of a 2011 game against Lake Travis.

Ranking (2012): 5 stars, No. 6 overall, No. 1 running back, No. 2 in Texas (Aledo)

RELATED COVERAGE: All eyes on Johnathan Gray

Perhaps the greatest high school player to ever play for the Longhorns, Gray holds the national record for career touchdowns with 205 during his days at Aledo. He came to Texas with monstrous expectations, but injuries ended up being the story of his career. He finished with 2,610 yards and 17 TDs on 577 carries (4.5 average). Turf toe shortened his senior season and his second Achilles tendon tear came when he was preparing for the NFL Draft. As of September, he still hadn’t given up on his NFL dream.

Fun fact: Gray is the only player on this list who wasn’t the top player from Texas in his class. Denton’s Mario Edwards ranked ahead of him in both the 247Sports composite and the Austin American-Statesman Fab 55. Edwards went on to win a national championship at Florida State and currently plays for the Oakland Raiders.

4. B.J. Johnson

Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman Texas' B.J. Johnson runs past Texas Tech's Ricky Sailor after catching an 84 yard pass from Chris Simms in the fourth quarter. Johnson scored on the run but Texas still lost to Tech 42-38 in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, November 16, 2002.
Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman Texas’ B.J. Johnson runs past Texas Tech’s Ricky Sailor after catching an 84 yard pass from Chris Simms in the fourth quarter. Johnson scored on the run but Texas still lost to Tech 42-38 in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, November 16, 2002.

Ranking (2000): 5 stars, No. 7 overall, No. 2 wide receiver, No. 1 in Texas (South Grand Prairie)

Johnson was the headliner of a ridiculous Texas wide receiver class that included three five-stars. Roy Williams and Sloan Thomas were the others, and all three finished with at least 1,300 receiving yards in their careers. Johnson led the Longhorns in receptions with 41 for 698 yards as a freshman. While Williams out shined him at every step, Johnson still sits seventh on Texas’ all-time receiving list with 2,389 yards. As Joe Harrington pointed out here, Johnson and Williams now make vodka together.

3. Jackson Jeffcoat

Ranking (2010): 5 stars, No. 5 overall, No. 1 strong-side defensive end, No. 1 in Texas (Plano West)

Jeffcoat makes his third appearance in this series, as he was one of Mack Brown’s highest-rated signings, the No. 1 player at his position and lived up to the hype.

2. Sergio Kindle

Rodolfo Gonzalez AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 09/19/09; 19 SEPTEMBER 2009- AMERICAN-STATESMAN/RODOLFO GONZALEZ- Texas' #2, Sergio Kindle makes a big hit on Texas Tech's #15, Taylor Potts causing a fumble and Potts to lose his helmet during action held at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on the University of Texas at Austin, on Saturday, September 19, 2009. Texas defeated Texas Tech 34-24.
Rodolfo Gonzalez AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 09/19/09; 19 SEPTEMBER 2009- AMERICAN-STATESMAN/RODOLFO GONZALEZ- Texas’ #2, Sergio Kindle makes a big hit on Texas Tech’s #15, Taylor Potts causing a fumble and Potts to lose his helmet during action held at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on the University of Texas at Austin, on Saturday, September 19, 2009. Texas defeated Texas Tech 34-24.

Ranking (2006): 5 stars, No. 4 overall, No. 1 inside linebacker, No. 1 in Texas (Dallas Woodrow Wilson)

Kindle was another player who was ranked No. 1 at his position who was recruited by the Longhorns under Mack Brown and lived up to his lofty ranking by starring on a national runners-up defense.

1. Vince Young

Ranking (2002): 5 stars, No. 1 overall, No. 1 dual-threat quarterback, No. 1 in Texas (Houston Madison)

You know the rules. This is a recruiting list. Now enjoy Young’s top 10 plays and refer to the links above if you still need a recap of his career.

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