Entering Wednesday morning, the first day of the December signing period that is now referred to as Early Signing Day, the Texas Longhorns have the nation’s No. 17 recruiting class — and the Big 12’s No. 2 class — according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Of the 18 commits in the class, the majority of the pledges are expected to sign Wednesday, including the nation’s No. 21 prospect, Denton Ryan athlete Ja’Tavion Sanders. Dallas Kimball cornerback Ishmael Ibraheem is not expected to sign after he was arrested and booked at the Dallas County jail early on Saturday morning. The 6’1, 175-pounder is the highest-rated recruit in the class after Sanders.
After head coach Tom Herman signed three consecutive top-10 classes, including the third-ranked classes in 2018 and 2019, the current class ranking is the lowest since Herman’s transition class ranked No. 25 in 2017.
An 8-5 record in 2019, including a 5-4 record in conference play, hurt Texas during a critical period as the class started coming together. Firing seven assistant coaches, including both coordinators, left the staff struggling to catch up with rival programs whose coaches had spent more time building relationships with recruits.
And then the pandemic hit, forcing coaches to recruit virtually and keeping the new staff from having in-person contact with recruits on campus or going on the road to evaluate potential targets.
Multiple decommitments hurt, too — the nation’s No. 2 athlete, Denton Ryan’s Billy Bowman, will sign with Oklahoma on Wednesday and the nation’s No. 4 dual-threat quarterback, Katy Tompkins’ Jalen Milroe, will sign with Alabama.
The big decision to watch on Wednesday will come from New Orleans (La.) defensive end Barryn Sorrell, who is favored to commit to Texas over Arizona State, Louisville, Vanderbilt, and Virginia. There could be some other surprises, as well, but don’t expect any good news from Duncanville’s Savion Byrd. He is an offensive lineman, after all.
This is your one-stop shop for all of the developments on what should be a relatively quiet Early Signing Day for Herman and his staff, unless there are recruits who decide not to sign during the early period. The bolded prospects indicate the players who have signed, with a link to their signing piece.
The early enrollees
- Austin High QB Charles Wright — 7:16 a.m. Central
- Pompano Beach (Fla.) Monarch WR Jaden Alexis — 8:46 a.m. Central
- Englewood (Co.) Cherry Creek TE Gunnar Helm — 7:13 a.m. Central
- Katy Taylor OL Hayden Conner — 7:38 a.m. Central
- New Caney LB Derrick Harris Jr. — 7:26 a.m. Central
- Pearland Shadow Creek LB Terrence Cooks — 10:19 a.m. Central
- Kennedale S JD Coffey — 7:32 a.m. Central
- McNeese State grad transfer CB Darion Dunn — 9:18 a.m. Central
- ProKick Australia P Isaac Pearson — 7:07 a.m. Central
The early signees
- Hallettsville RB Jonathon Brooks — 7:34 a.m. Central
- New Orleans (La.) WR Casey Cain — 8:08 a.m. Central
- Houston Strake Jesuit OT Max Merril — 7:42 a.m. Central
- Port Arthur Memorial DE Jordon Thomas — 7:56 a.m. Central
- New Orleans (La.) Holy Cross DL Barryn Sorrell — 12:54 p.m. Central
- DeSoto DT Byron Murphy II — 7:23 a.m. Central
- Arlington Martin LB Morice Blackwell — 7:43 a.m. Central
- Pasadena (Calif.) Muir CB Jamier Johnson — 9:37 a.m. Central
- Denton Ryan ATH Ja’Tavion Sanders — 8:26 a.m. Central
- Everman ATH Juan Davis — 7:56 a.m. Central
There will also be plenty of coverage in other places. The @TexasFootball Twitter account with announce the new signees as the National Letters of Intent roll in. Longhorn Network also typically has coverage in the morning and early evening. And, as usual, Herman will meet with the media during with the afternoon to discuss the class.