New Texas Longhorns head coach Chris Beard took an important first step in filling out a depleted roster on Thursday, landing a commitment from Plano East John Paul II forward Jaylon Tyson just hours after Tyson requested a release from his National Letter of Intent with the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
The 6’6, 185-pounder signed with the Red Raiders last November, six months after committing to Beard at Texas Tech. A consensus four-star prospect, Tyson pledged to Tech over offers from Creighton, Houston, Oklahoma, SMU, TCU, Texas A&M, and others.
“They showed love from the jump and didn’t hop on the wave after and showed mad love ever since,” Tyson said in a release from the school. “Also always gives me ways to get better. Tech has the best head coach, assistants, trainers and strength coach in the country. I’m looking forward to winning a national championship.”
As a junior, Tyson led John Paul II to its first TAPPS state championship while averaging 24.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
“Chris Beard and his staff have proven, once again, to be ahead of the curve when it comes to Jaylon Tyson. They identified him early in the recruiting process and have landed a big wing who can shoot from distance or attack the rim. Tyson has been improving at a rapid pace over the last year and is a player who should thrive once he arrives in Lubbock,” 247Sports National Basketball Director Eric Bossi wrote.
Tyson is known as a versatile player who can make plays for himself with three-level scoring ability while making the right passes to his teammates, as well as guard multiple positions on the defensive end.
“We signed who we think — no disrespect to anyone else — is the best player in the state of Texas, one of the best players in the country,” Beard said of Tyson in November, noting his “special family” and coaching development at Plano John Paul II. “He’s played at a high level in the summer circuit, played for some of the best coaches in grassroots basketball, and he’s also taken advantage of individual training.”
Beard is adamant that the players he recruits know how to play hard when they arrive on campus and Tyson fits that mold, according to the new Texas head coach, noting that “it kind of starts with his love of basketball — he’s addicted to not only the game, but the process of getting better.”
“He’s a positionless player,” Beard added. “He’s going to play all over the floor. He’ll have a chance to be an NBA guard one day with his length and athleticism.”
Ranked as the No. 38 player nationally and the No. 8 small forward, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Tyson joins the two remaining holdovers in the 2021 recruiting class from the Shaka Smart era, guard Emarion Ellis and forward Keeyan Itejere.