National Signing Day is officially in the rear view mirror for the 2020 recruiting class, which means it is full steam ahead for the 2021 class. Texas put a bow on the 2020 class by landing Kelvontay Dixon and Alfred Collins, and despite the less than stellar season this past fall, they were able to pull in another top ten recruiting class.
The 2021 class is setting up to be an interesting one already with some top tier talent already committed in the form of recruits like Ja’Tavion Sanders, Billy Bowman, Jalen Milroe, and Hayden Conner. The state is absolutely loaded in the trenches on both sides of the ball and at the skill positions, but for other spots like linebacker it is going to be best for the staff to cast a wide net nationally as they try to maximize each spot in the class.
The cycle is setting up to be a big one for Tom Herman and his staff, as they are heading into a must win campaign both on and off the field. With Herman turning over a large part of his staff this off-season the pressure is certainly on to produce results with new voices and new philosophies now in the building in form of Chris Ash and Mike Yurcich.
Texas has already collected some good spokesmen early for 2021 and that should pay dividends throughout the cycle, but with the amount of talent in the region, the bar has more or less been set at having a top five class and there are plenty of blue chips to be had to get there if the Longhorns take care of business on the field.
A lot of offers have already gone out, as the staff has been aggressive and proactive this cycle as far as entering the fray for kids far and wide, so lets take a look at where things stand thus far by position group for the class of 2021.
*There may be a couple offers I am missing, but I tried my best to round up all of the offers that have been handed out thus far.
- Jake Garcia, Narbonne (Harbor City, CA) - USC
- Garrett Nussmeier, Marcus (Flower Mound, TX)
- Sawyer Robertson, Coronado (Lubbock, TX)
- Preston Stone, Parish Episcopal (Dallas, TX) – SMU
Jalen Milroe, Tompkins (Katy, TX)
Not many offers on the board at signal caller, as the staff focused their efforts early on Stone before segueing to Milroe and ultimately landing his commitment last year. Milroe has been a very vocal and effective recruiter for the Longhorns since joining the fold and he enjoyed a very productive junior season. We witnessed a bit of a curveball for the position once Yurcich was hired as the offensive coordinator, as the staff opted to extended offers to Nussmeier and Robertson. That move seems to signal that Yurcich wants to make this a two-quarterback class, thus thickening the plot a bit moving forward. It will be interesting to see how the staff navigates pursuing a second quarterback for the class, but the template for what Yurcich is looking for seems to be clear with the first two offers he has extended.
Texas signed Hudson Card and Ja’Quinden Jackson in 2020 and is set to lose Sam Ehlinger after the upcoming season, so it looks like the staff is making sure that the quarterback position room stays stocked with options when the time comes to replace Ehlinger in 2021.
- Jonathon Brooks, Hallettsville (Hallettsville, TX)
- Brandon Campbell, Lamar Consolidated (Rosenberg, TX)
- Donovan Edwards, West Bloomfield (West Bloomfield, MI)
- TreVeyon Henderson, Hopewell (Hopewell, VA)
- LJ Johnson, Cy-Fair (Cypress, TX)
- Phil Mafah, Grayson (Loganville, GA) – Clemson
- Will Shipley, Weddington (Matthews, NC)
- Camar Wheaton, Lakeview Centennial (Garland, TX)
Early in-state offers went out to Wheaton, Johnson, Brooks, and Campbell before the staff started sending out offers to elite national prospects. The Wheaton seems to be the most coveted of the group, but its been speculated that things between he and Texas cooled when Ra’Shaad Samples left for SMU. Texas was relatively early to the part on Johnson after offering him last summer and that could pay dividends given how his recruitment has taken offer over the past couple months. Wheaton and Johnson are certainly on the same tier talent wise and both are certain to be slogs on the recruiting trail considering who is in pursuit. Campbell was another early offer recipient, but things seem to be quiet between he and Texas, as he recently narrowed down his list of schools and left the Longhorns out. Brooks is another interesting early offer, as he currently only holds offers from Texas and Texas Tech, so it will be interesting to see how things develop on that front over the spring.
Texas was able to land a five star back in Bijan Robinson this past cycle, but they will need to continue to plug away this cycle and continue to fluff the depth chart so they don’t find themselves in a similar position as did this past season in regards to depth.
- Shadrach Banks, Galena Park North Shore (Houston, TX) – Texas A&M
- Marcus Burke, Trinity Christian (Jacksonville, FL)
- Beaux Collins, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA) - Clemson
- Dekel Crowdus, Frederick Douglass (Lexington, KY)
- Quay Davis, Skyline (Dallas, TX)
- JoJo Earle, Aledo (Aledo, TX)
- Troy Franklin, Menlo-Atherton (Menlo Park, CA)
- Blaine Green, Allen (Allen, TX)
- Bryson Green, Allen (Allen, TX)
- Agiye Hall, IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)
- Cody Jackson, Foster (Richmond, TX) - Oklahoma
- Theodore Knox, The Woodlands (The Woodlands, TX)
- Christian Leary, Edgewater (Orlando, FL)
- Chauncey Magwood, Lee County (Leesburg, GA)
- Latrell Neville, Fort Bend Hightower (Missouri City, TX)
- Destyn Pazon, Edna Karr (New Orleans, LA)
- Julien Simon, Lincoln (Tacoma, WA)
- Troy Stellato, Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
- Mario Williams, Plant City (Plant City, FL)
At one-point Texas was on the board at wide out before Quay Davis opted to open things back up, but it seems like things are trending favorably for the Longhorns once again and he could join the class. The staff pursued North Shore’s Shadrach Banks heavily before he opted for Texas A&M and despite being the early leader for Jojo Earle, the staff is now working from a trailing position for the dynamic Aledo wide out. Pazon is a blazing speedster from New Orleans that netted an offer after recently visiting and Stellato is another fleet footed prospect that the staff is working to get on campus this spring. This is another position where the staff has been aggressive early with offers nationally and given some of the trends in-state that is probably the correct decision.
Wide receiver was a sore spot for missed targets in 2020 and is absolutely a spot that needs the pantry restocked going forward. The depth chart isn’t bare by any means, but the staff needs inject some elite talent into this position group this cycle and give their future signal callers some championship caliber pieces to work with.
- Elijah Arroyo, Indepedence (Frisco, TX)
- Cane Berrong, Hart County (Hartwell, GA) – Notre Dame
- Dametrious Crownover, Grandview (Grandview, TX)
- Var’Keyes Gumms, Spring Dekaney (Houston, TX)
- Sam Hart, Cherokee Trail (Aurora, CO) – Ohio State
- Landen King, Atascocita (Humble, TX)
- Moliki Matavao, Liberty (Henderson, NV)
- Lake McRee, Lake Travis (Austin, TX)
Juan Davis, Everman (Everman, TX)
The tight end position has been an interesting situation to monitor in more ways than one as the staff took two early commitments from Lake Travis’ Lake McRee and Everman’s Juan Davis. McRee missed all of his junior season due to injury and recently re-opened his recruitment and Davis has spent majority of his snaps lining up at quarterback, which makes for an interesting evaluation moving forward.
With McRee rumored to be looking around and the staff turning over, it was no surprise the staff started handing out a few more offers at the position. Arroyo and King both landed offers recently after taking an UOV visit to campus and Arroyo in particular has really started to blow up. While Arroyo isn’t in the mold of your traditional tight end, but his potential as a threat down the field in the passing game jumps out at you on tape.
With new coaches in the saddle in Austin you have to wonder if there will be a reboot of sorts at the position as the staff tries to reshuffle their big board.
- James Brockermeyer, All Saints (Fort Worth, TX)
- Tommy Brockermeyer, All Saints (Fort Worth, TX)
- Jager Burton, Frederick Douglass (Lexington, KY)
- Savion Byrd, Duncanville (Duncanville, TX)
- Erick Cade, Braswell (Aubrey, TX)
- Reuben Fatheree, Foster (Richmond, TX)
- Bryce Foster, Taylor (Katy, TX)
- Donovan Jackson, Episcopal (Bellaire, TX) – Ohio State
- Jonah Miller, Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, AZ)
- Jaeden Roberts, Galena Park North Shore (Houston, TX)
- Nolan Rucci, Warwick (Lititz, PA)
- Bram Walden, Saguaro (Scottsdale, AZ)
- Matthew Wykoff, Magnolia High (Magnolia, TX)
Hayden Conner, Taylor (Katy, TX)
The amount of talent in the offensive line group this year is absolutely staggering to the point that there is really no excuse to not land a great group of players. The pool of players is so deep that the staff might not even have to leave the state to meet their needs, though they may end up having to for one reason or another. The staff got off to a nice start when they landed a surprise commitment from Conner following Milroe’s commitment last year, but now they must put fill out the rest of the position group and lay the foundation for the class.
The headliners of this list of course are the double Texas legacy Brockermeyer twins. Both Tommy and James have seen just about every elite program in the country, but of course they been to Austin more than any other school to date. Texas holds a lot of advantages in this one, but with teams like Alabama, Clemson, and LSU pushing hard they are much less of a slam dunk, which won’t thrill Texas fans.
Donovan Jackson was one of the most impressive prospects at The Opening last summer and he went off the board last month to Ohio State after the Buckeyes notched another Big 10 title and made another playoff run. Texas was in the thick of the recruitment, but once things got sideways during the season the Longhorns faded.
Foster is yet another elite in-state talent for this class and Texas recently made the cut for his top five schools along with LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas A&M. Foster is an A&M legacy, but Texas has certainly been hitting the right notes in this recruitment and with Foster being an elite thrower of the shotput and discus, having a top throwing program could be a deciding factor down the road.
The options and talent are plentiful in this group and I can only imagine that Herb Hand is salivating sifting through the options for this class.
- Tunmise Adeleye, IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)
- Aaron Armitage, Blair Academy (Blairstown, NJ)
- E’maurion Banks, Rider (Wichita Falls, TX)
- Dylan Brooks, Handley (Roanoke, AL)
- Marcus Burris, Pleasant Grove (Texarkana, TX)
- Noah Collins, Grayson (Loganville, GA) – UCF
- Ethan Downs, Weatherford (Weatherford, OK) – Oklahoma
- Travion Ford, Lutheran North (St. Louis, MO)
- Korey Foreman, Centennial (Corona, CA) - Clemson
- Landon Jackson, Pleasant Grove (Texarkana, TX)
- Payton Page, Dudley (Greensboro, NC)
- Tyreak Sapp, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL) - Florida
- Maason Smith, Terrebonne (Houma, LA)
- Jordon Thomas, Memorial (Port Arthur, TX)
- Shemar Turner, DeSoto (DeSoto, TX)
- JT Tuimoloau, Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, WA)
Ja’Tavion Sanders, Ryan (Denton, TX)
Texas was fortunate to get on the board early with a stud like Sanders early, because he absolutely put on a show during his junior season and showed that he is going to be in the conversation among the elite edge rushers in the country. Sanders’ athleticism was on full display this year as he moonlighted as a tight end/wide receiver on offense and proved to be pretty dang effective to the point some wondered if he would consider making that his full-time position. Edge rushers of Sanders’ caliber don’t grow on trees, so I imagine the Texas defensive staff will be ready to throw down if any offensive coaches try to get in his ear about catching touchdowns in Austin.
The biggest priority on the board as things sit now looks to be Landon Jackson, as the Longhorns are on the prowl for elite edge rushers as the move to a four-man front. Jackson was an absolute terror off the edge this past season, as he helped lead Pleasant Grove to a state championship. Jackson is fond of the Longhorns, but he is an A&M legacy and will certainly be a tough pull.
Jordon Thomas missed last season due to injury, but still continues to be a big priority for the staff and that was reiterated when he recently made a trip to Austin. Texas has also been hard after Tunmise Adeleye for awhile now, but he recently announced his transfer to IMG Academy and also left Texas off his recent top schools list.
- Kendrick Blackshire, Duncanville (Duncanville, TX)
- Morice Blackwell, Martin (Arlington, TX)
- Reid Carrico, Ironton (Ironton, OH) – Ohio State
- Terrence Cooks, Shadow Creek (Pearland, TX)
- Raesjon Davis, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) - LSU
- Jonathan Flowe, Upland (Upland, CA)
- Branden Jennings, Sandalwood (Jacksonville, FL) – Florida State
- Smael Mondon Jr., Paulding County (Dallas, GA)
- Clayton Smith, Texas High (Texarkana, TX)
Derrick Harris Jr., New Caney (New Caney, TX)
The linebacker position has been one of the more perplexing groups to monitor for the Longhorns over the past few cycles and it is currently one of the bigger sore spots on the roster to date. Much like with the wide receiver position, the staff absolutely has to hit on this position this cycle and inject the program pipeline with some long-term talent, so they don’t have to keep finding stop gap solutions.
Fortunately for the new defensive staff, Derrick Harris Jr. committed early and has the makings of stud that will be able to play off the ball at the next level, but they will need to add at least a couple more to the class before it is all said and done. Texas rolled the red carpet out for Shadow Creek linebacker Terrence Cooks during his recent visit to Austin and he looks to be a major priority for the staff moving forward.
Morice Blackwell and Smael Mondon Jr. were among those who netted an offer from the new defensive staff earlier in the month, with Mondon being a target that new linebacker coach Coleman Hutzler pursued during his time at South Carolina.
Clayton Smith was a long-time target of the previous defensive staff and it will be interesting to see how the new staff views him within their scheme.
- Omarion Cooper, Lehigh Senior (Lehigh Acres, FL)
- Jaylin Davies, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA)
- Avante Dickerson, Westside (Omaha, NE)
- Nyland Green, Newton (Covington, GA)
- Tony Grimes, Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, VA)
- Jordan Hancock, North Gwinnett (Suwanee, GA)
- Ishmael Ibraheem, Kimball (Dallas, TX)
- Jamier Johnson, John Muir (Pasadena, CA)
- Latrell McCutchin, LBJ (Austin, TX) - Alabama
- Hunter Washington, Katy High (Katy, TX)
- Malik Williams, Buford (Buford, GA)
Billy Bowman, Ryan (Denton, TX)
Texas struck gold early when they were able to get Billy Bowman in the boat, as he is easily one of the most dynamic two-way players in the country. Bowman excels in the secondary and at wide out for Denton Ryan, and while his skills would probably translate to offense at the next level he is going to start out on defense. Bowman has the potential to be a difference maker and he will likely make an impact early on special teams when he hits campus due to his ability to return kicks.
Outside of Bowman, only three other offers have gone out to in-state players to date in Katy’s Hunter Washington, Austin LBJ’s Latrell McCutchin, and Dallas Kimball’s Ismael Ibraheem. I expect that will change in the near future when cornerback coach Jay Valai hits the road this spring and is able to get his eyes on more players since he arrived in Austin not too long ago. For now, the staff is content to take a national approach as it continues to thoroughly evaluate all in-state options.
- Terrion Arnold, John Paul II Catholic, (Tallahassee, FL)
- Calen Bullock, John Muir (Pasadena, CA)
- JD Coffey III, Kennedale (Kennedale, TX)
- Romario Noel, Cypress Ranch (Cypress, TX) - Baylor
- Isaiah Nwokobia, Skyline (Dallas, TX)
- Kaine Williams, John Ehret (Marrero, LA)
The list of safety offers is even shorter than the offers at corner and 95% percent of them have gone out over the past several weeks. Just like with the corner position, I anticipate many offers will be going out over the course of the evaluation period.
Coffey has the longest standing offer of the bunch to date and that was handed out by the previous defensive staff, so it will be interesting to see if both parties connect and interest is still mutual. There hasn’t been a lot of action at this spot just yet, but that will likely change pretty soon.
- Denzel Burke, Saguaro (Scottsdale, AZ)
- Jantzen Dunn, South Warren (Bowling Green, KY)
- Emeka Egbuka, Steilacoom (Steilacoom, WA)
- Jaylin Smith, Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills, CA)
- Kamar Wilcoxson, IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) – Florida
The staff is once again casting a wide net here and currently has nothing but OOS offers extended, with Egbuka being the biggest fish of the bunch. Egbuka is a composite five star that has every school in the country beating down his door and just like the rest of the names in this group, the Longhorns will have to get him on campus before there is any reason to focus on that recruitment.