The Texas Longhorns will enter the 2019 season without one one of their biggest threats, as leading receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey announced on Tuesday that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL Draft:
Longhorn for life ❗️❗️❗️ pic.twitter.com/yHl9DINVTe— Lil'Jordan Humphrey (@LJ_Humphrey23) January 8, 2019
Prior to the Sugar Bowl, Humphrey was quiet about his evaluation from the Draft Advisory Committee, but shortly after the game 247Sports reported that he received a “third to sixth round NFL Draft projection.” Typically that projection is considered a “return to school” grade, but Humphrey decided he was ready for the NFL.
His junior campaign was a breakout year, eclipsing his total yardage from his first two seasons by the sixth game of 2018. He finished the year with 1,176 yards, becoming just the ninth player in school history with 1,000 yards in a single season, and puts him No. 3 on the single-season record list.
The Longhorns will now need to figure out how to replace one of their most effective playmakers and quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s favorite target.
Sitting behind Humphrey on the depth chart are talented freshmen Joshua Moore and D’Shawn Jamison. Moore recorded seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in October. Jamison, who is listed as both a wide receiver and a defensive back on the Texas roster. He was recruited by the Longhorns as the No. 16 corner back, and the No. 12 player in the state of Texas, in the 2018 recruiting cycle. However with a need for talented playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, Jamison found his name called on by the offensive coaching staff.
Entering the fold are 2019 signees Jake Smith and Jordan Whittington, who both are dynamic playmakers with the ball in their hands and will push for playing time early.
Smith was named the National Gatorade Player of the Year after leading his team to an Arizona Class 5A State Championship game, with a 64-reception, 1,112-yard and 22-touchdown senior campaign. He also chipped in on the ground, rushing for 741 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Not to be out-done, Whittington burst onto the national scene after his incredible performance to lead Cuero to a Class 4A State Championship in December. He amassed 377 all-purpose yards, breaking records held by Eric Dickerson and Jonathan Gray in the process. He’ll also be on campus this month as an early enrollee.
The Longhorns are not completely without experience at the wide receiver position, after Collin Johnson announced that he would return for his senior year just two days after the Sugar Bowl victory.