The top-rated prospect in the 2017 Texas Longhorns recruiting class is no longer committed to head coach Tom Herman and his staff, as former Liberty-Eylau defensive lineman Lagaryonn Carson informed Justin Wells of Inside Texas of his change in status on Tuesday.
The decision, which was likely a mutual parting of ways, has been building for some time. There were previous reports of academic and behavioral issues with the 6’4, 260-pounder, who was suspended from his high school team in late September for a second time in the 2016 season.
So it’s been clear for months that Carson was unlikely to be able to qualify to enroll at Texas even if the other off-field issues that resulted in his repeated suspensions were not a factor.
The issues aren’t just a disappointment for Texas, which could have used Carson’s playmaking ability and upside along the defensive line in the future, it’s a disappointment for Carson, who now faces a difficult road to playing college football in a Power Five conference.
The junior college route is the most likely option for him at this time, but he’ll also have to mature significantly as a person.
Carson originally committed to the Longhorns in October of 2015, representing an early recruiting win for former tight ends coach Jeff Traylor, who leveraged his deep East Texas ties to secure the big pledge.
A consensus four-star prospect, Carson is ranked as the No. 64 player nationally, the No. 3 strong side defensive end, and the No. 8 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Texas currently holds a commitment from another strong side defensive end in Temple’s Taquon Graham, but now needs to secure his commitment — Graham is planning on taking an official visit to Oklahoma in January, so his recruitment is once again contested.
The top option right now among offered prospects is Baton Rouge (La.) Madison Prep standout Bryan Jones, the former teammate of Malcolm Roach who was once committed to Ole Miss. Jones plans on taking an official visit to Austin on January 27, one week after tripping to College Station. The Aggies are currently considered the runaway favorite to land his services.