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Texas football commits: 2018 season recap

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Three future Longhorns won state championships in their senior season.

UT wide receiver signee Jordan Whittington (#3) carries the ball for Cuero during the Class 4A Division II state championship game on December 21.
Mike Craven - HookEm.com

The 2018 Texas high school football season came to a close with the University Interscholastic League (UIL) holding its slate of state championship games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington last week.

One Longhorn signee walked off the field in his final senior season game as a state champion, joining wide receiver signee Marcus Washington (Missouri) and tight end signee Brayden Liebrock (Arizona) as #fUTure19 members who will arrive in Austin with a state championship pedigree. More on that a bit later.

The games that count have all been played, but there are still two more chances to watch Longhorn signees in action before 2019’s Spring Game, as a pair of major All-American games will be held next week, and nine Longhorn signees are scheduled to take part in them. I’ll have the full list further on in this post.

Back to UIL’s state championship weekend. For the first time since 2014 there was only one first-time state champion crowned among the 11-man state finalists: Class 3A Division I champion Grandview, which had never previously advanced beyond the state quarterfinals. This was a marked contrast from the previous three UIL football seasons, in which a combined ten teams won their school’s first state title.

Last week mostly saw established powerhouse schools adding to already full trophy cases, as Aledo (5A Division II) won its eighth state title 20 years after winning its first, Highland Park (5A Division I) won its third straight championship and sixth overall, Mart (2A Division II) won its second straight title and sixth overall, and Newton (3A Division II) likewise repeated as state champions and took home its fifth championship trophy overall. Four schools that won state titles last week are among the eight winningest programs in Texas history: Highland Park (#1), Mart (#5), Cuero (#7), and Longview (#8).

But the weekend wasn’t all about the tradition-rich getting tradition-richer, as the games were not without drama, and there were some awesome storylines and game endings. Nearly 50,000 spectators were on hand for the 6A Division II state championship between Longview and Beaumont West Brook on Saturday afternoon, which ended with Longview winning 35-34 to claim its first state championship since 1937. Later that evening on the last play of the last game of the 2018 high school football season, Galena Park North Shore completed a 45-yard Hail Mary pass as time expired to stun Duncanville 41-36 and win the 6A Division I state crown.

Amongst all the excitement and star performances seen at AT&T Stadium that week, one player shone brighest of all: Texas wide receiver signee Jordan Whittington, who, in case you haven’t heard, is pretty good at football.

The last of the Longhorns’ commits/signees to turn in his equipment in 2018, Whittington closed out his senior season in the best possible way. He was dominant on both sides of the ball in last Friday’s Class 4A Division II state championship game, winning both Offensive and Defensive MVP awards, scoring six total touchdowns, breaking the UIL’s state championship game record for rushing yards (334), and leading his hometown Cuero Gobblers to their fourth state championship (and first since 1987) in a 40-28 win over defending champion Texarkana Pleasant Grove.

His 334 yards on 28 carries bested the previous UIL state championship game record of 325 yards, set in 2010 by former Longhorn Johnathan Gray in Aledo’s 69-34 win over La Marque in that season’s 4A Division II state final. I won’t give a full recap of Whittington’s performance beyond that, as I think it has already been sufficiently covered here by BON’s own Joe Hamilton, and in other outlets, but I will give a brief recap to his 2018 season — and those of his fellow #fUTure19 signees and the program’s two #cloUT2020 commits — later in this post.

Jordan and his brother Devin Whittington, a senior wide receiver, became the third and fourth members of the Whittington family to win a state championshp at Cuero; their uncle Arthur Whittington (who played running back at SMU and in the NFL) was a member of Cuero’s first state championship team in 1973, and their father Quincey Whittington was a sophomore on Cuero’s 1974 team that repeated as Class 3A champions.

Jordan Whittington is an early graduate who will enroll at Texas next month, and when he arrives in Austin he will be the 45th Longhorn football recruit since 1996 to have a UIL state championship on his resume. When I got in touch with UT’s Sports Information Department a year ago I was told that they did not keep records on Longhorn football players that were part of Texas high school state championship teams, but based on my own research, 1995 was the last season in which none of the UIL state championship teams had a future Longhorn on their roster.

Below is the full list of state championship teams since that year that included at least one future Longhorn. If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know in the comments.

2018: Cuero (Jordan Whittington)
2017: Carthage (Keaontay Ingram)
2016: Lake Travis (Cade Brewer and Cameron Dicker) and Carthage (Keaontay Ingram)
2015: Katy (Kyle Porter)
2014: Aledo (Ryan Newsome) and Gilmer (Kris Boyd and Demarco Boyd)
2013: Denton Guyer (Jerrod Heard) and Aledo (Ryan Newsome)
2012: Katy (Kyle Porter) and Denton Guyer (Jerrod Heard)
2011: Aledo (Johnathan Gray)
2010: Cibolo Steele (Malcolm Brown and Erik Huhn), Aledo (Johnathan Gray), Carthage (Kendall Thompson), and Daingerfield (Steve Edmond)
2009: Aledo (Johnathan Gray), Carthage (Kendall Thompson), Daingerfield (Steve Edmond and Chris Jones), and Cayuga (Traylon Shead)
2008: Lake Travis (Garrett Gilbert and Paden Kelly), Sulphur Springs (Bryant Jackson), Carthage (Kendall Thompson), and Daingerfield (Steve Edmond and Chris Jones)
2007: Euless Trinity (Eryon Barnett) and Lake Travis (Garrett Gilbert and Paden Kelly)
2006: Southlake Carroll (Tre Newton), Cedar Hill (Thomas Ashcraft and Jarvis Humphrey), and La Marque (Aundre McGaskey)
2005: Southlake Carroll (Tre Newton) and Wimberley (Buck Burnette)
2004: Southlake Carroll (Tre Newton) and Kilgore (Michael Huey, Eddie Jones, and Britt Mitchell)
2003: Galena Park North Shore (Chykie Brown) and La Marque (Rashad Bobino)
2002: Southlake Carroll (Adam Ulatoski), Texarkana Texas (Nathan Jones and Chris Brown), Denton Ryan (Derek Lokey), and Corrigan-Camden (Eric Foreman)
2001: Mesquite (Marco Martin)
2000: Midland Lee (Cedric Benson)
1999: Midland Lee (Cedric Benson), Stephenville (Kendall Briles), and Mart (Quan Cosby)
1998: Midland Lee (Cedric Benson) and Stephenville (Kendall Briles)
1997: Texas City (Jermaine Anderson, Ervis Hill, Tyrone Jones, and Everick Rawls)
1996: Austin Westlake (Adam Hall and Brett Robin)

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Texas Longhorn signees slated to play in All-American games

If you didn’t get a chance to see Jordan Whittington’s record-breaking performance last week, it will likely be re-aired multiple times on Fox Sports Southwest in the coming weeks and you should have chances to watch or DVR another airing of it.

Aside from that, fans will get one more chance to see Whittington in a helmet and pads before he moves to Austin, as he is one of three Longhorn signees who will take part in the All-American Bowl (formerly the U.S. Army All-American Bowl) at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday, January 5. Linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd and defensive back Tyler Owens will join him on the West squad, as will another potential future Longhorn in five-star wide receiver/athlete Bru McCoy (Mater Dei - Santa Ana, California). McCoy has Texas as one of his two finalists (USC is the other), is currently the #7 overall recruit on the 2019 247Sports Composite rankings, and is scheduled to publicly announce his commitment during the game, which will kick off at or shortly after noon Central Time and will be broadcast live on NBC.

Two days before that, six Longhorn signees will suit up for the Under Armor All-America Game on January 3 in Orlando. Tune in to ESPN2 that day and you may catch a glimpse of some recruits whose names should be quite familiar to regular readers of BON: quarterback Roschon Johnson, wide receivers Jake Smith and Marcus Washington, tight end Brayden Liebrock, linebacker David Gbenda, and cornerback Kenyatta Watson.

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Texas Longhorn commits/signees 2018 season in review

2020 QB Hudson Card (Lake Travis)

In his first season as Lake Travis’s starting QB after primarily playing wide receiver for its 2017 state finalist team (which lost to Allen in that year’s 6A Division I championship), Card helped lead the Cavaliers to a 12-2 overall record and into the 6A Division I state semifinals, where they were soundly beaten 51-10 by eventual state champion Galena Park North Shore. He completed 68% of his passes and threw for 3,448 yards, 49 TDs and 5 interceptions, and also had 103 carries for 591 yards and 8 TDs. He was one of two QBs named to the all-district first team out of District 25-6A.

In the Texas AP Sports Editors all-state team for Class 6A, Card was an honorable mention honoree at QB.

QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves)

Johnson led his team to a 9-4 record and the championship of District 12-5A Division II. PN-G reached the third round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs before they fell to fourth-ranked Fort Bend Marshall 53-14. Johnson was voted his district’s MVP for the third straight season, and he finished his decorated high school career with 12,610 total yards, 85 touchdowns passing, and 85 touchdowns rushing. The Texas AP Sports Editors named him an honorable mention Class 5A all-state QB. He will play in the Under Armor All-America Game on January 3.

RB Derrian Brown (Buford, Georgia)

Senior highlights
Buford finished the season with an overall record of 10-3, falling short of the state semifinals for the first time since 2006. Derrian Brown, in his first year as Buford’s undisputed starter at running back after spending his sophomore and junior years backing up a pair of 2018 three-star recruits, finished his senior season with 246 carries for 1,908 yards (7.8 yards/carry) and 28 TDs, and also added a receiving TD and one on a punt return.

Brown was named the Offensive Player of the Year on the Gwinnett Daily Post All-County Football Team, and Gwinnett Prep Sports published a good article on him and his senior year success on Christmas Eve. He was one of two running backs named to the Class 5A all-state team, and he was a second team running back on the 2018 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Georgia Football Team, which was comprised of players from all classifications in the state.

Brown’s Buford team went into Georgia’s 5A playoffs as the 2nd-ranked team, but lost 23-20 in the third round to a Cinderella-like Bainbridge squad that had gone 5-5 in the regular season (including losses to a 3A and 2A team) but caught fire in the postseason. Bainbridge beat the #8 and #4 teams in its first two playoff games before eliminating #2 Buford in the quarterfinals, then #6 Stockbridge in the semifinals, and finally #3 Warner Robins in Georgia’s 5A state championship game. Warner Robins (which advanced to the state championship with a 45-28 upset win in the semifinals over a Rome team USA Today had ranked 13th in the country that week) had beaten Bainbridge 38-0 when the teams played on October 19, but Bainbridge avenged that defeat by topping Warner Robins 47-41 in triple-overtime in the state championship.

Buford had multiple chances to beat Bainbridge in their 23-20 loss back on November 23, and its players will no doubt be wondering what might have been had they pulled out the win that night, as the Bainbridge team they lost to needed three overtimes to win its state championship matchup and won its semifinal game by just one point. In its final 2018 poll, taken after the conclusion of the playoffs, the Georgia Sports Writers Association ranked Buford fifth among Class 5A schools.

WR Kennedy Lewis (Melissa)

Senior highlights
Lewis committed to Texas on December 18 and signed with the Longhorns the following day. He had previously been a TCU commit for four months, before re-opening his recruitment in October. According to the Dallas Morning News’s stats, Lewis finished the 2018 season with 47 catches for 753 yards and 10 TDs, and he was the top receiving target of four-star 2020 QB prospect Brendon Lewis (no relation). The two Lewises helped lead Melissa to a 8-4 overall record. Kennedy Lewis was one of five receivers named by the coaches of District 7-4A Division I to the all-district first team.

WR Jake Smith (Notre Dame Prep - Scottsdale, Arizona)

Smith finished his senior season with over 1,800 yards from scrimmage and scored 39 total TDs. He helped lead his Notre Dame Prep team to Arizona’s Conference 5A state championship game for the second year in a row, but they were defeated by a dominating Peoria Centennial team, 60-7.

Smith was honored as the 2018 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year. He was named the first team all-purpose offensive player on the 2018 All-USA Arizona Football Team, and he will play in next week’s Under Armor All-America Game.

WR Marcus Washington (Trinity Catholic - St. Louis, Missouri)

Senior highlights
Washington’s Trinity Catholic team began its 2018 season with consecutive losses to highly-ranked out-of-state opponents Colquitt County (Georgia’s top-ranked 7A team for much of the season) and East St. Louis (an Illinois 7A team), then reeled off 13 consecutive wins to finish the season and claim its first state football championship.

Washington caught three TD passes in the Titans’ 45-19 win over local rival Cardinal Ritter in the Class 3 state championship game on December 1. He was one of two wide receivers named to the Class 3 All-State first team, and he will play in next week’s Under Armor All-America Game.

WR Jordan Whittington (Cuero)

As stated earlier, Whittington put on a record-breaking show in the 4A Division II state championship, leading Cuero to a 40-28 win over Texarkana Pleasant Grove and the school’s fourth state title. Whittington missed Cuero’s first four games due to a groin injury that had bothered him since at least the spring. The Gobblers went 3-1 in his absence, suffering their only loss in a 30-20 defeat on September 7 against Yoakum, a solid team that would finish 12-3 and advance to the Class 3A Division I semifinals, where they lost 28-14 to eventual state champion Grandview.

When Whittington finally took the field, his contributions helped kick an already strong Cuero offense into another gear. In the 12 games in which Whittington played, the Gobblers averaged just under 54 points per game and were held under 40 points only once. Whittington played receiver, got some handoffs in the backfield and on sweeps, threw a long TD pass to his brother in a tight state semifinal win over Silsbee, gained nearly 1,800 yards from scrimmage, and had a hand in 31 total TDs on the year.

On defense he intercepted five passes (returning two for TDs), made over 60 tackles, and showed why some analysts have long thought safety was the position in which his upside is highest. It was actually at defensive back and not receiver where he received second team Class 4A all-state honors from the AP. He is scheduled to compete at next weekend’s All-America Bowl in San Antonio.

TE Brayden Liebrock (Chandler, Arizona)

Senior highlights
Liebrock finished his senior season with 65 catches for 784 yards and 11 TDs, and his Chandler Wolves won Arizona’s Conference 6A state championship for a third straight season, and for a fourth time in five years. Chandler began its season with a 35-13 loss to nationally-ranked Corona (California) Centennial, a team whose only loss in 2018 came at the hands of Mater Dei, USA Today’s Super 25 National Champion. But Chandler never lost again and was seldom challenged in its final 13 games, which it won by an average margin of 36 points.

Liebrock was on the receiving end of his team’s most important play of the season, a two-point conversion catch in overtime in the state semifinals that gave Chandler a 36-35 victory over Gilbert Highland and sent the team to its third straight state final.

He was named the first team tight end on the 2018 All-USA Arizona Football team. He will play in next week’s Under Armor All-America Game.

TE Jared Wiley (Temple)

Senior highlights
In his first and only season as Temple’s starting quarterback (he played tight end as a junior and was Temple’s punter and backup QB as a sophomore), Jared Wiley led the Wildcats to wins in their first eight games, before they stumbled in the season’s final weeks and lost their last three games.

Temple was beaten in the first round of the playoffs 45-38 by Mesquite Horn. It was the first time the Wildcats had a first round playoff exit since 2013, when they lost 39-35 in bi-district play to eventual 5A Division II state champion Cedar Hill. Mesquite Horn had played a nightmarish schedule to open the season (which included two eventual state champions and four teams that went undefeated in the regular season) and lost its first seven games, but had a late-season turnaround and won five straight games and reached the third round of the playoffs, where they were eliminated by Spring Westfield by a score of 35-16.

Jared Wiley shared District 12-6A’s offensive player of the year honor with two other players. The district’s postseason honors announcement listed him as 6’7” and 230 pounds!

OL Isaiah Hookfin (Fort Bend Dulles)

Senior highlights
Hookfin was both a late recruiting target and a late early signee for the Longhorns. He signed with Texas on December 21, two days after the first National Signing Day and nearly seven weeks after being offered by UT on November 3, at which point he already held several other P5 level offers. Hookfin’s Dulles team finished third in District 20-6A and qualified for the playoffs for the first time in six years, but lost to Katy Taylor in the first round, 28-13. Dulles finished 8-3 overall, posting its best season since an 8-3 finish in 2006. Hookfin was one of four offensive tackles named to the all-district first team.

OL Tyler Johnson (Conroe Oak Ridge)

Senior highlights
Johnson’s Oak Ridge team finished 5-5 overall and did not qualify for the Class 6A playoffs. Tyler Johnson was one of twelve (12!) offensive linemen voted to the all-district first team from District 15-6A. In the six games for which his team reported blocking stats to MaxPreps, Johnson was credited with 50 pancake blocks. He was one of five offensive linemen named to the first team of the 2018 All-USA Texas Football Team, which was comprised of players from every classification.

2020 OL Logan Parr (San Antonio O’Connor)

Junior highlights
Parr’s O’Connor team went undefeated in the regular season for a second straight year, but lost to San Antonio Reagan 30-7 in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs on November 16. Parr was one of five offensive linemen (the perfect number, in this writer’s opinion) voted onto District 28-6A’s all-district first team. He was listed at 6’4” 280 on the all-district list. Parr was also an honorable mention selection to the AP’s Class 6A all-state team, and this week he was named to the second team of the 2018 All-USA Texas Football Team.

OL Javonne Shepherd (Houston North Forest)

North Forest qualified for the 4A Division I playoffs but lost in the bi-district round to Splendora on November 16 by a score of 47-19. North Forest finished 4-7. Javonne Shepherd was one of four offensive tackles voted to the all-district first team out of District 12-4A Division I. As of this writing he is the only 2019 Longhorn commit who has not signed his letter of intent.

DE Jacoby Jones (Butler Community College - El Dorado, Kansas)

Jones helped lead his Butler squad to an 8-4 record and a 34-30 win over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in the Midwest Classic Bowl to conclude its season on December 2. Jones finished the 2018 season with 58 total tackles, 10.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and three pass break-ups, and he was named to the All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference first team at defensive end. He also earned NJCAA Second Team All-America honors.

DE Peter Mpagi (Richmond George Ranch)

Senior highlights
George Ranch went 4-6 this season and did not qualify for the Class 6A playoffs. Peter Mpagi was one of three defensive ends voted to the all-district first team out of District 23-6A.

DE T’Vondre Sweat (Huntsville)

Senior highlights
Sweat was named to the Class 5A all-state team as an honorable mention defensive lineman, and earlier in the month he was voted the MVP of District 10-5A Division II. He helped lead his Huntsville team to a 12-2 overall record and into the fourth round (the regional final) of the 5A Division II playoffs, where they lost to unbeaten and fourth-ranked Fort Bend Marshall in heartbreaking fashion on a last-minute 47-yard TD pass. Marshall went on to lose 55-19 to Aledo in the Class 5A Division II state championship. Last week, Sweat was named to the AP’s Class 5A all-state team as an honorable mention defensive lineman.

DE Myron Warren (Many, Louisiana)

Senior highlights
Warren’s Many team went into Louisiana’s Class 2A playoffs as the top overall seed and reached the state semifinals, but lost 28-21 to #5 seed Welsh on November 30. Welsh, the defending 2A state champion, went on to lose 47-20 to #2 seed Amite in the state championship game on December 7. According to the stats in Warren’s senior highlight video, he finished the 2018 season with 85 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, and 14 sacks.

LB De’Gabriel Floyd (Westlake - Westlake Village, California)

Senior highlights
Floyd transferred to Westlake after playing his junior season at Golden Valley High School in Santa Clara. He was declared eligible to participate in football shortly before the season began, and he helped lead Westlake to a 7-4 record before the Warriors ended their season with a 19-14 loss to Los Alamitos in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs on November 2. Full season stats are not available, but for the eight games for which Westlake’s stats were reported to MaxPreps, De’Gabriel Floyd was credited with 103 tackles (72 solo), 3 sacks, 2 interceptions (one returned for a TD), and 4 rushing TDs. He also returned a punt for a TD early in the season. Floyd was named the Marmonte League’s Co-Linebacker of the Year along with Oaks Christian’s Josh Calvert, a four-star Washington signee. This week he was one of three first team linebackers named to the 2018 All-USA California Football Team.

Next week he will play the last game of his high school career when he suits up for the West team in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

LB David Gbenda (Katy Cinco Ranch)

Senior highlights
Cinco Ranch finished 3-7 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005, but David Gbenda couldn’t be blamed for his team’s misfortunes, as he was credited with 79 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 blocked punt, and he rushed for 5 TDs on 13 carries in short-yardage situations. He was a unanimous all-district first team selection at linebacker and was also voted the Defensive Player of the Year for District 19-6A. Last week he earned honorable mention Class 6A all-state honors from the AP, and this week he was named to the second team of the 2018 All-USA Texas Football Team. Next week he will take part in the Under Armor All-America Game.

LB Caleb Johnson (Fullerton Community College - Fullerton, California)

Juco highlights
Johnson, a former Iowa State commit, signed with Texas on December 19. The California native made 120 tackles and 6 sacks as a senior at Vista Murrieta High School in 2015, then signed with Fullerton Community College.

At Fullerton he redshirted as a true freshman in 2016, was credited with 41 tackles (fourth on the team), 8.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 13 games played in 2017, and sat out the 2018 season with a medical redshirt.

During his one Juco season in which he played, Johnson was named an All-Southern Conference first team outside linebacker, and helped Fullerton to an undefeated record and a California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) state championship, though Fullerton was later forced to forfeit several games from the 2017 season and all games from the 2018 season due to rules violations, which vacated the team’s 2017 championship.

LB Marcus Tillman (Jones - Orlando, Florida)

Senior highlights
Tillman’s Jones team had a record of 10-2 and ended its season with a 30-27 loss on November 16 to Cardinal Gibbons in the second round of the FHSAA Class 5A playoffs. Cardinal Gibbons beat defending state champion American Heritage the following week and went on to win the 5A state championship on December 7.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Jones finished the season with 109 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 2 interceptions (one of them a pick-six). He was one of three linebackers named to the All-Sentinel Varsity football team, which was made up of players from larger schools in the Sentinel’s coverage area.

Yesterday, Tillman was named a second team linebacker on the 2018 All-USA Florida Football Team.

DB Chris Adimora (Mayfair - Lakewood, California)

Senior highlights
Adimora’s Mayfair team went 9-3 overall and its season ended with a 31-28 overtime loss on November 10 to Oxnard Pacifica in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 6 playoffs. Chris Adimora, who made his presence felt at both safety and wide receiver, was voted the MVP of the Suburban League.

DB Marques Caldwell (Alvin)

Caldwell suffered a torn labrum and missed much of his senior season. Alvin, which had a historically points-generous defense, was outscored by 42 points per game, finished 0-10 for the first time since 2007, and did not qualify for the Class 6A playoffs.

DB Tyler Owens (Plano East)

Senior highlights
Owens’s Plano East team finished 8-3 and achieved its best win total since 2006. The Panthers lost 35-25 to Sachse in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs on November 16. Sachse went on to lose 56-28 the following week to Waco Midway. Owens was one of three safeties named to the all-district first team for District 9-6A. Next week he will join Jordan Whittington and De’Gabriel Floyd on the West squad in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

DB Kenyatta Watson (Grayson - Loganville, Georgia)

Senior highlights
Watson’s Grayson team, which was loaded with future FBS players and was highly-ranked all season, lost to Lowndes 20-15 in the quarterfinal round of the GHSA Class 7A playoffs on November 23. Lowndes lost 28-17 the following week in the semifinal round to eventual state champion Milton. Grayson was ranked sixth in the final Georgia Sports Writers Association poll for Class 7A. Yesterday, Watson was named to the second team on the 2018 All-USA Georgia Football Team. He will play in next week’s Under Armor All-America Game.

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And that’s a wrap on my weekly 2018 recaps/previews of games involving Longhorn commits! This is the fourth season I’ve covered UT’s commits in this manner, and this was by far the longest series of posts yet, owing partly to the Longhorns having so many total commits to report on compared with the previous three seasons, and also because so many of their out-of-state pledges began the 2018 season two weeks before Texas high schools did, necessitating a few extra posts compared with most years.

Thanks to everyone who followed along and read or commented on this and the 19 previous weekly posts tracking the #fUTure19 and #cloUT2020 recruiting classes. It was a fun group to follow and report on, with several share-worthy highlights being produced in any given week, many of the players achieving all-state or all-American status, and three finishing their high school careers as state champions.

All of the major outlets that cover UT recruiting now publish weekly articles and updates that cover similar ground, but I’d like to think that through my weekly hours of often meticulous research and preparation (and lost sleep) I’ve been able to give BON readers a bit more on that front than what our competitors typically provide.

If you read each of my first 19 posts this fall and have gotten as far as this paragraph in the final one, you’ve read over 98,000 words’ worth of Texas Longhorn football commit coverage and information, which altogether made this season’s saga across 20 posts some 3,000 words longer than The Hobbit and a mere 1,000 words shorter than Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, a factoid I point out in case anyone reading this has made a New Year’s resolution to read more books in 2019.

Happy New Year to all, and have a pleasant offseason!