The Utes were able to pry defensive end Van Fillinger and all-purpose back Ty Jordan away from the Longhorns this month. On Thursday, Texas returned the favor by flipping and signing Frisco Lone Star linebacker Jaylan Ford.
“We’re thrilled to be adding Jaylan to our December signing class,” Texas head coach Tom Herman said. “He’s a player who performed at a really high level throughout high school, comes from a terrific program in Lone Star that advanced to the state semifinals and has a really bright future. His coaches, and everyone we talked with, just raved about his character and leadership qualities. He checks all the boxes and will be a great fit in our program.”
Flipping Ford from the Utes gives the Longhorns their first true off-the-ball linebacker for the 2020 class. Ford had an extremely productive senior season — 142 tackles (115 solo), including 11 tackles for loss, one sack, six pressures, one interception, one pass breakup, and one forced fumble after a junior season in which he totaled 105 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, with eight pass breakups, three forced fumbles, and three interceptions. Not too shabby.
This is a recruitment that clearly flew well below the radar and, just like with Longview defensive tackle Sawyer Goram-Welch, seems to be the byproduct of the Longhorns staff doing a great job creating relationships with players and making them feel the love even though an offer hasn’t been extended.
For Ford, it looks like he was destined to end up a Longhorn given the colors he sported during his youth playing days.
Ford’s commitment pushes the Longhorn class up to 17 signees as they head into the home stretch of the cycle and also pushes them to 9th overall ranked class in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings.
With a few spots left to fill, the Longhorns will have a chance to improve that ranking in January as they try to close out the cycle on a high note.