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.
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.
Here are the top five in-state recruits since 2000 to land on the 40 Acres.
5. Johnathan Gray
Ranking (2012): 5 stars, No. 6 overall, No. 1 running back, No. 2 in Texas (Aledo)
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
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)
2. Sergio Kindle
Ranking (2006): 5 stars, No. 4 overall, No. 1 inside linebacker, No. 1 in Texas (Dallas Woodrow Wilson)
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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