For the new-look recruiting strategies of the Texas Longhorns, looking ahead to the 2015 class throughout the spring and summer just wasn't enough -- in late June, the first offer went out to a 2016 prospect, Alvin (Texas) Manvel's Reggie Hemphill, a wide receiver set to enter his sophomore season. On Tuesday evening, the 6'1, 170-pounder decided that his first offer was the only one that he needed and committed to the Longhorns.
Of course, there aren't yet any rankings out for the 2016 class at this stage and there won't be for months, but Hemphill has had a significant amount of buzz ever since summer 7on7 started and he stood out with teammate Deontay Anderson, another 2016 prospect who plays defensive back.
Hemphill was approved for his offer after a strong performance at the Texas 12 camp when he visited in late June on an unofficial visit. Last season as a freshman, he was second-team All-District and made his impact felt -- he racked up 400 yards on only 10 catches and scored six touchdowns, adding 100 yards on the ground on 10 carries.
Manvel head coach Kirk Martin broke down Hemphill for Orangebloods:
He's got great speed. He's got really good hands. He catches the ball well in traffic. He can run all the routes. He's a great jailbreak screen runner which takes courage. And all this was done for me as a freshman.
He's only going to get better and better. He's also great student, an A-B student. He's a great leader. He's the total package in my opinion. You're never ever going to hear about him getting in trouble. He's a guy that's going to represent the University of Texas well.
A part-time quarterback who may end up playing the position for Manvel later in his career, Hemphill would benefit from some growth with his frame, especially in terms of his shoulder width, but he has solid size to project as an outside receiver, the position he plays for Manvel.
As his coach mentioned, he's effective on jail break screens, showing solid vision on those plays, but also has the capability to separate deep against high school defenders and flashes the hands to make difficult fingertip catches. Some of the film evaluation is just repeating what his coach said, but Hemphill does at least have good speed, even though he doesn't seem to be the most dynamic player in short areas in terms of elusiveness, which isn't as much of a requirement for an outside receiver as it is for a player working out of the slot. That being said, there is some evidence that he can stick his foot in the ground and change direction.
Hemphill is a long way from the first rankings for the 2016 class, much less enrolling at Texas, but he does flash a skill set that should make him one of the top receivers in the state when all is said and done. If he can tap into some of his upside, he could be a really special prospect. Right now, he's definitely exceptional for his age.
Reggie Hemphill 2012 highlights (via DenetriaMApps)