With the advent of the early signing period, a new breed of prospects have emerged — players largely overlooked until schools have a chance to evaluate senior film and are forced to fill needs with roughly 80 percent of the available prospects already signed.
Duncanville cornerback Ennis Rakestraw is exactly that recruit from the current cycle and he picked up a big offer from the Texas Longhorns on Friday evening.
The offer to Rakestraw reads like a confirmation that Texas is close to announcing the hire of Jay Valai as the new cornerbacks coach as the 6’0, 170-pounder Rakestraw immediately becomes the most important target at the position for the Longhorns.
Texas only holds one signature from a cornerback among the 17 signees due to two decommitments during the fall.
A year ago, Rakestraw was turned away from an Under Armour camp because he was too small and entered his senior season without any Power Five offers. During his final year at Duncanville, however, Rakestraw locked down five-star prospect Rakim Jarrett and held Ohio State signee Jaxon Smith-Njigba to five catches for 37 yards in the state semifinal game. He didn’t allow a touchdown all season.
“I played corner in college, and I know what it takes. I wish I had half of some of the stuff that he has,” Duncanville defensive coordinator John Towels told the Dallas Morning News. “He has great ball skills, and he plays fast. The biggest thing that the successful corners have, that he has, is the attitude. He doesn’t feel that anybody can beat him. He has supreme confidence that he can play anyone.”
Since that performance against Smith-Njigba, Rakestraw has picked up offers from Kansas, UConn, Michigan State, Baylor, Miami, South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, and Alabama.
With all those recent offers, his recruitment is in a state of flux right now — he’s currently scheduled official visits to Miami, Missouri, and Michigan State for the three weekends between the end of the dead period and National Signing Day. But there are still plenty of moving pieces here, especially as Texas tries to get him on campus for an official visit, so he may change his plans a couple times..
A consensus three-star prospect, Rakestraw is ranked as the No. 1,307 player nationally and the No. 112 cornerback, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, but will likely see his rankings climb in the next several weeks.