In late May, Galena Park North Shore running back Zach Evans dropped a bombshell on the burnt orange faithful, eliminating the Texas Longhorns from consideration with the release of his top five. Considering how many times Evans made it to the Forty Acres and the importance of landing a top prospect at the position in the 2019 recruiting class, the news from Evans was a huge blow.
A little more than two weeks later, Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic product Bijan Robinson is emerging as the key target for the Longhorns at the position as Stan Drayton attempts to salvage a recruiting reputation that has taken a hit during his time in Austin.
Robinson received his offer from Texas in early January and became a legitimate target when he took an unofficial visit for the Orange-White game in April, then reportedly scheduled his official visit with the Longhorns for June 21, the same weekend that head coach Tom Herman and his staff will host top recruits for the annual pool party.
A second trip to Central Texas for the nation’s No. 22 prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, will come at an important time in Robinson’s recruitment — he’s taking an official visit to Ohio State this weekend and there are rumblings that he could make a decision in the near future.
And he also reportedly named Texas his leader during an Instragram Live video this week.
A 2,000-yard rusher in each of the last two seasons, Robinson is known for his vision, burst, and ability to make defenders miss in the open field, attributes that combine to justify his lofty rankings and pursuit from more than 20 programs nationally.
Just as important for Texas is the fact that there isn’t a strong consensus on where he’ll end up when he makes his decision — two 247Sports Crystal Ball picks are in favor of UCLA, while the most recent, from Mike Roach of Horns247, is for Texas.
Increasing the significance of Robinson to the 2019 Longhorns recruiting class is his connection to teammate Lathan Ransom, the nation’s No. 4 safety, who is taking an official visit to Austin this weekend, and fellow Arizona product Kelee Ringo. Once considered the leader for Ringo, Texas is attempting to hold off a recent surge from Georgia, though Ringo did notably suggest on Instagram that all three prospects could end up in Austin.
Accomplishing that feat will be difficult for Texas, even with the recent success recruiting the state last cycle, but, at the least, Drayton needs to take advantage of Robinson’s seemingly wide-open recruitment to add some much-needed depth and talent to the running back room.