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Recruiting notes and evaluations of Texas targets at The Opening Houston regional camp

Several Longhorns targets and rising 2020 and 2021 prospects put on a show at Legacy Stadium over the weekend.

Zachary Evans
SB Nation: Joe Hamilton

The Opening regionals reached the Houston-area this weekend, prompting some of the state’s premier prospects to flock to Legacy Stadium in Katy. Among the masses were a multitude of Texas targets and rising prospects, many of whom put an on absolute show on the big stage.

BON was on hand to take in the action and catch up with key Texas targets and prospects to keep an eye on.

2020 — Zachary Evans — 5-star RB — North Shore: The top-ranked running back in the nation proved exactly why he’s considered one of the best prospects to come out in the last decade, as he posted a 135.84 SPARQ rating during his efforts at The Opening, which is the second-best score in the country. Evans produced one of the quickest shuttle times you’ll see with a 3.84 and busted out a 4.51 40-yard dash. The elite back recorded a 4.40 in the 40 on his third attempt, but it wasn’t recorded. If anyone had questions about the type of athlete or tester Evans was, that was put to rest after this weekend.

As far as recruiting goes, you’ll see Evans make some unofficial visits and continue to take things slowly. He’ll be paying close attention to the way programs put together their 2020 classes, more importantly the offensive line. Obviously, Evans is the top priority for the Longhorns and will be the ultimate piece to a potentially groundbreaking #cloUT2020 class.

2020 — Demond Demas — 5-star WR — Tomball — Texas A&M commit: Demas is ranked as the the No. 24 prospect in the nation, according to 247Sports Composite, but that’s not enough for the insanely talented wideout who believes he’s the best prospect in the entire nation, and honestly has a case for that argument. He continued his off-season tear at The Opening regionals, as he torched defensive backs and finished as the camp’s fastest man with an unofficial 4.36 40-yard dash.

The Texas A&M commit told BON that he’s still 100-percent committed to the Aggies, but he still plans on making unofficial visits to Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, and Texas this spring and summer. His relationship with Texas signee Javonne Shepherd is instrumental and keeps the five-star receiver coming back to the Forty Acres.

2020 — Chad Lindberg — 4-star OT — Clear Creek: One of the biggest targets for Tom Herman and company during this cycle is no secret. Lindberg will be the most important target on the offensive line for the Horns and could help assemble a game-changing offensive line class. With the Longhorns remain in great position to land the Clear Creek standout, Georgia, LSU, and Stanford still remain threats. Lindberg attended The Opening, but didn’t compete in one-on-ones.

2020 — Vernon Broughton — 4-star DT — Cypress Ridge: Broughton remains a serious target for the Longhorns and he’s heavily considering Texas. His performance at The Opening wasn’t the greatest showcase he’s had this offseason, but Broughton is a determined prospect who is all about his grind — when the actual season comes around, you know what you’re going to get from him. Broughton plans on making it back to Austin in early May.

2020 — Troy Omeire — 4-star WR — Fort Bend Austin: Omeire was solid throughout his time at The Opening and had a top-10 rating among a talented group of wide receivers in Houston. During one-on-ones he didn’t shy away from taking reps and made some great grabs. With a recruit like Omeire, you realize that there is so much room for improvement, so it’s not worth getting stuck on where he is at the moment. As a 6’4, 217-pound wideout, you can’t help but marvel at his upside and room for growth as an overall player. The Longhorns remain one of Omeire’s top three schools right now.

2020 — Dameion George — 4-star OT — North Shore: Our first sighting of George this offseason was this weekend at The Opening and he clearly had to knock off some of the rust. Once George got in rhythm and picked up the flow of things, he was in total control against edge rushers in one-on-ones and moved much better than most expected versus defensive ends that possess more speed. However, George’s testing results were not open to the public after the camp.

The Longhorns are counting on George becoming another vital piece to the offensive line for this upcoming recruiting class. Texas is high on George’s list right now and he plans on making a visit to the Forty Acres in the near future. George and Evans are a package deal.

2020 — Princely Umanmielen — 4-star SDE — Manor: Umanmielen had the best overall camp out of all of the defensive linemen at The Opening this weekend. He posted the highest rating for a defensive lineman at the Houston regionals with a 96.30 score. Umanmielen was explosive off the ball, maintained great speed while using impressive pass-rushing moves, with powerful and quick hand usage.

The Longhorns are after Umanmielen hard at the moment. He likes Texas, LSU, and Oklahoma a lot, but he’ll be dropping a list of his top school’s this spring. We’ll have an update on Umanmielen and where Texas stands in his recruitment later this week.

2020 — Xavion Alford — 4-star S — Shadow Creek: Alford is coming fresh off a lengthy trip to the West Coast, where he made unofficial visits to Oregon, USC, and UCLA. Despite being away from home for some time, he made sure to come out and compete at The Opening regionals. The Texas target was fluid, relied on his mechanics, and came up with multiple pass break-ups during competition time. Alford recorded a blazing 4.55 during his 40 run and throughout the camp, he demonstrated the high character he always possesses. Texas remains in frequent contact with Alford. Texas is still a school to which he’s paying close attention.

2020 — Jerrin Thompson — 4-star S — Lufkin: Thompson doesn’t hold an offer from Texas, but he’s one of the nation’s most punishing safeties and just competes at a high level in every game or offseason event. He was one of the top defensive backs during The Opening and brought an intelligent edge to the secondary group. The #bEASTtexas product recently released his top eight schools that included Arkansas, Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma, Penn State, TCU, Vanderbilt, and Virginia Tech.

2020 — Collin Sullivan — 4-star WR — Round Rock: Sullivan has always been a prospect on the Longhorns radar, but has never been granted an offer. The four-star prospect had one of the more impressive performances out of a loaded wide receiver group as he gained everyone’s attention after running a 4.48 40-yard dash to start the camp. Sullivan showed that he’s more than a wideout with just potential, as he displayed the ability and willingness to go up and own the 50/50 ball at its highest point against defensive backs.

2021 — Shadrach Banks — 4-star WR — North Shore: Probably the most intriguing prospect in his class, Banks is just one of those different type of athletes that can flip the switch and ball out no matter the time nor day. He had an AAU basketball tournament Sunday morning, left there, and came straight to The Opening regionals. Banks was spectacular once again on the camp scene and made everything he did look effortless. Defensive backs stood no chance.

Oklahoma was the latest visit for Banks and he had an outstanding time in Norman. The Texas target is fond of the Longhorns and plans to visit soon. It’s still early in his recruiting process, so he’s taking in every school at the moment.

2021 — Donovan Jackson — 4-star OT — Bellaire Episcopal: The Houston regionals offensive line MVP went to Jackson, and he was well deserving of that honor. It’s obvious that most of the top prospects have the size and athletic ability, but deciphering who is consistent and willing to compete is crucial when it comes to analyzing them. Jackson has been the most consistent recruit in the state with his offseason performances. There’s no reason why Jackson should ever go unnoticed in an overly talented offensive line class.

Jackson and his family plan on taking a trip up to Ohio State soon and could possibly make a trip to Michigan. Texas is high on the Bellaire Episcopal prospect.

2021 — Bryce Foster — 4-star OT — Katy Taylor: Foster posted the highest rating for any offensive lineman in the country with a 99.42 at The Opening regional this past weekend. At 6’5, 318 pounds, and just a sophomore, Foster just might be the most athletic offensive lineman in the country. Aside from being an excellent football player, Foster is a track and field star, as he is one of the best in the nation at throwing the discus and shot put. The impeccable strength and specific technique it takes to thrive in those field events are also well represented in Foster’s football play. Foster finished as a top-five offensive lineman and brought a mean streak to the one-on-one battles. Texas offered Foster last September.

2021 — Hayden Conner — 4-star OT — Katy Taylor: Conner is one half of the fantastic offensive line duo at Katy Taylor. He finished as a top five offensive lineman alongside Foster and was phenomenal when competition time came. In a loaded offensive line class, at 6’6, and north of 300 pounds, Conner has the potential to be one of the top offensive lineman in the nation, though Fort Worth All Saints product and Texas legacy Tommy Brockermeyer is also in the mix. He garnered an offer from Texas mid-September of last year and remains a target for the Longhorns.

2020 — Ja’Lynn Polk — 3-star WR — Lufkin: Polk continued his incredible offseason showing at the at The Opening regionals and was once again one of the top wideouts during one-on-ones. Seeing Polk stretch the field and make acrobatic catches at 6’3 is a thing of beauty. Confidence might be one of Polk’s best traits. It doesn’t matter who you line up in front of the Lufkin wideout, his goal is to make defensive backs look silly every time, and he’s usually successful in doing so. Polk recently tweeted that he’s “open to every school.” He currently holds nine offers.

2020 — Parker Washington — 3-star WR — Fort Bend Travis: Washington did all of his testings at the combine on Saturday (didn’t plan on attending The Opening on Sunday), and posted the highest rating (125.70) of any wide receiver, including Demas. After putting up some of the nation’s best numbers, Washington made it back out to Sunday’s event and was simply unstoppable, as he made some of south Texas’ elite defensive backs look like amateurs. Everything Washington has done this offseason is no surprise to those acquainted to his abilities and it’s just a sneak peek of what he’ll do in his senior campaign.

With so much buzz surrounding his name, the route technician is beginning to receive the respect he deserves on the recruiting trail, but there’s still plenty of in-state programs and surrounding out-of-state schools that are overlooking Washington. Washington has the ability to be an “X-factor” week in and week out at the next level, and programs like Duke, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Penn State, and Wisconsin have realized that.

2020 — Corey Flagg Jr. — 3-star ILB — North Shore: Flagg has to be the hottest inside linebacker in the state at the moment, especially after his top-notch outing at The Opening regionals, where he was awarded the linebacker MVP. Just a day after an elite performance at Legacy Stadium, he picked up his biggest offer from Miami. He’ll see more opportunities like that come about as the offseason progresses. The North Shore standout has interest from Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and he’s hoping to get an offer from the Longhorns.

2020 — John Gentry — 3-star RB — North Shore: No high school in the state is more stacked with talent than North Shore, defending 6A-DI state champions. With Evans as the squad’s big headliner, Gentry doesn’t necessarily get the attention he’s deserving of. The three-star running back took rep after rep at The Opening regional, ran an impressive 4.56 40-yard dash, and exploded with a 38.5 inch vertical. Arkansas is Gentry’s biggest offer at the moment. He has great interest in TCU.

2020 —Chris “Deuce” Vaughn — 3-star RB —Cedar Park: There was no one more explosive in running back drills versus linebackers than Vaughn. He’s an electric quick-twitch back that’s impossible to contain in open space. Vaughn has a shorter stature, but his ability to accelerate in and out of cuts is something that shouldn’t go unnoticed, and it hasn’t. Schools like Arkansas, Kansas State, Missouri, and South Florida have offered.

2020 — Reggie Brown Jr. — 3-star TE — Legacy School of Sports & Science: Brown might be the craftiest route runner in the state as far as the tight end position goes. The big-bodied prospect just finds ways to get open and create separation. He did that Sunday afternoon, even splitting wide against some of the more respected defensive backs in the state. Brown is a Texas A&M legacy and wishes to land an offer from the Aggies. He’s also very fond of the Longhorns.

2022 — Kam Dewberry — Unranked OT — Atascocita: Outside of the nation’s No. 1 running back, Dewberry was probably the most intriguing prospect in action at The Opening regional. To be only a freshman in high school and handle some of the nation’s best defensive linemen the way he did is just unreal. Dewberry already has remarkable size, he has the mindset, and understands the technical functions early on. We’ve said it before on here, but we’ll reiterate it again — Dewberry will probably be the state’s top prospect in his class when it’s all said and done.

Since this weekend, Dewberry has garnered offers from Houston and Texas A&M. Dewberry has talked with the Horns before and should be in great position to land an offer at some point.

2020 — Daniel Jackson — 3-star WR — Cibolo Steele: Jackson looked the part, was solid as a route runner, and had for sure hands in one-on-ones. At 6’3, 190 pounds, the Cibolo Steele recruit holds offers from programs like Arizona State, Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, and TCU.

2020 — Jalen Paxton — 3-star WR — Manvel: Paxton is a slim wideout with speed out of Manvel that gets forgotten about in the Houston area, but can ball with the best of the best. He was silky smooth in his route running at The Opening. Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Wisconsin, and Yale have offered Paxton.

2021 — Brandon Campbell — Unranked RB — Katy Taylor: One of the best athletes in the Houston-area is Campbell from Katy Taylor. He posted the second-highest rating of the weekend with a 126.33. After running a 4.58 40 and a 4.07 shuttle, Campbell caught the attention of many. Illinois State and William & Mary have offered Campbell, but he should expect that list to grow.

2020 — Nick Booker-Brown — Unranked DL — Spring Westfield: Booker-Brown has made the most noise this off-season for a player who had absolutely no momentum on the recruiting trail. He’s won defensive line MVP at the Under Armour camp and The Opening. The high-motor Spring Westfield product is on the rise, as he’s notched offers from Florida International, Louisiana Lafayette, and Rutgers.

Rest of the best:

2020 — Jaylon Jones — 4-star CB — Cibolo Steele — Texas A&M commit: Jones was once a heavy Texas target, but after he made a decision to verbally commit to the Aggies in early February, he’s been solid to the maroon and white.

2020 — Akinola Ogunbiyi — 4-star OG — Fort Bend Kempner: Ogunbiyi holds a Texas offer and was in contact with Herb Hand during the season. After his decommitment from Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Georgia seem to really have his attention. Ogunbiyi had an overall good performance Sunday and is developing as a pass blocker this offseason.

2020 — Drake Dabney — 3-star TE —Cypress Ranch: Dabney is a 6’6 prospect who is a nightmare for linebackers and safeties because of his big frame and soft hands. He grabbed a South Carolina offer after his performance this past weekend.

2020 — Chidozie Nwankwo — 3-star DT — Richmond Foster: Nwankwo continued displaying his grown man strength at The Opening regional. With 18 offers on the table, Nwankwo would still love to see Texas jump in the mix.

2020 — Perry Wells — 2-star CB — North Shore: Wells had to make this list after his gutsy showing and great coverage skills Sunday afternoon. He walked away as the defensive back MVP and earned it. Wells isn’t equipped with the size most FBS programs have grown accustom to recruiting, but there is no denying his heart.

2020 — Nate Dyman — Unranked LB — Westbury Christian: At 6’2, 221 pounds, Dyman had interesting testing numbers at The Opening. Dyman ran a 4.74 40, produced a 4.27 shuttle, and jumped a 34.4-inch vertical.