The 2021 Texas high school football season begins this weekend, and a huge chunk of the Texas Longhorns’ 2022 recruiting class will be playing their first games tonight and tomorrow. A pair of our-of-state commits opened their season last week, and the program’s two commits from Arizona are both scheduled to start their senior season next week.
The wave of the Delta variant of Covid-19 has disrupted a lot of schools and their athletic schedules mere weeks into the 2021-22 school year. The team of one Longhorn commit had an opponent cancel their Week One matchup for Covid-related reasons earlier this week, but it was able to find a new opponent to fill tonight’s spot on their schedule. Another commit has already had their originally scheduled game for next week canceled. As such, all game times, locations, and even scheduled opponents for the next few weeks should be considered subject to change.
If you plan on going to watch a high school game in person, you would he well advised to check the social media accounts of the schools involved first to make sure the game in question hasn’t been canceled or moved. For your convenience, I’ve provided links to the Twitter accounts for each commit, as well as those of their school’s football team or athletics department.
Below is this week’s schedule for UT’s 18 commits in what the Longhorn football social media accounts are calling the #22EFFECT class. The start times listed are according to Central Time.
2022 QB Maalik Murphy — Gardena (California) Junipero Serra
Friday, August 27 at 9:00, vs. Long Beach Poly
Note: Murphy’s Serra team opened its season last week with a 31-20 loss to Orange Lutheran. He completed 19 of 34 passes for 229 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions, and also carried the ball 6 times for 7 yards and one TD. This week’s opponent, Long Beach Poly, was the first team Serra played after California high schools began their belated 2020-21 season last March, so this will be the second time for Serra to played Poly within the last five months. In the teams’ March 12 meeting — which Poly won 27-21 in overtime — Murphy completed 18 of 32 passes for 252 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.
2022 RB Jaydon Blue — Klein Cain
Saturday, August 28 at 8:00, vs. Cypress Bridgeland
Note: The Cain-Bridgeland game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Bridgeland is led by senior quarterback Conner Weigman, a composite five-star recruit who is committed to Texas A&M. Jaydon Blue announced three months ago that he would opt out of playing in his senior season, and as of this writing there is still no indication that he will suit up in the 2021 season. A tweet Blue sent out to some of his Cain teammates on Tuesday implies he won’t be playing this week, at the very least.
Klein Cain Twitter account: @KLEINCAINFB
2022 RB Jamarion Miller — Tyler Legacy
Friday, August 27 at 7:00, at Lufkin
2022 WR Armani Winfield — Lewisville
Friday, August 27 at 7:00, at Arlington Bowie
Note: Lewisville reached the playoffs for a third consecutive season in 2020, the school’s longest such postseason streak since the Fighting Farmers advanced to the playoffs in 11 straight years from 1991 to 2001 and won a pair of state titles. Winfield may be facing a future teammate on Friday, as Bowie’s main attraction, recruiting-wise, is composite five-star senior OL and top Texas target Devon Campbell.
Current Longhorn offensive lineman Denzel Okafor is the only previous UT football letterman from Lewisville High.
2022 OL Cole Hutson — Frisco
Friday, August 27 at 7:30, at Sulphur Springs
Note: Frisco was originally scheduled to open its season with a non-district game against Garland Naaman Forest tonight, but Naaman Forest has canceled its entire non-district slate (three games) due to a Covid-19 outbreak at its school. Frisco was able to reschedule for week one and replace Naaman Forest with Sulphur Springs, which had its own first game canceled by Frisco Wakeland for similar reasons.
Frisco High School has played football for approximately a century, but Cole Hutson stands to be the school’s first-ever alum to earn a football letter at the University of Texas. In fact, current Longhorns Jaylan Ford (Frisco Lone Star) and Rafiti Ghirmai (Frisco Wakeland) are the only two Frisco ISD products to letter in football at UT.
2022 OL Connor Robertson — Austin Westlake
Friday, August 27 at 7:30, at Temple
Note: Robertson and company will attempt to lead Westlake to its third consecutive state championship this fall, having won last year’s Class 6A Division I titles and the 6A Division II final in 2019. Westlake head coach and former UT quarterback Todd Dodge announced in July that the 2021 season would be his last as a coach. As a high school head coach, Dodge has a career record of 217-72 and has won six state championships (four at Southlake Carroll in the early 2000s, and two at Westlake, his wife’s alma mater).
None of Westlake’s current players were alive the last time Westlake failed to make the playoffs, which was in 1987. Westlake is led by Clemson commit Cade Klubnik at quarterback, and begins the season as the top-ranked team in Class 6A, according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine, and as MaxPrep’s #4 team in the nation.
2022 DL Aaron Bryant — Southaven (Mississippi)
Friday, August 27 at 7:00, at Jonesboro (Arkansas) Valley View
Note: Bryant became the 18th member of the Longhorns’ 2022 recruiting class when he committed on Thursday afternoon. His hometown, Southaven, is in far northwest Mississippi, with its city limits bordering Tennessee just south of Memphis. Southaven competes in Mississippi’s Class 6A and is one of that state’s five largest high schools, though in Texas its enrollment would put it among the larger schools in Class 5A Division II. The Longhorns have very little history with signing players from Mississippi; the only previous UT football lettermen who went to high school in the magnolia state were Donald Hawkins, Brandon Hodges, and Joshua Rowland, all three of whom passed through Austin within the past decade.
2022 DL Kristopher Ross — Galena Park North Shore
Friday, August 27 at 7:00, at Alvin Shadow Creek
Note: North Shore won back-to-back Class 6A Division I state championships in 2018 and 2019, and won its first 14 games in 2020 before losing 24-21 in the state semifinals to eventual champion Austin Westlake. In the past six seasons, North Shore has an overall record of 79-11 with three state championship wins. Talent-rich Shadow Creek won the Class 5A Division I state title in 2019 in only its second season of varsity football, but finished 6-4 and lost in the first round of the playoffs after being re-aligned in Class 6A in 2020. North Shore beat Shadow Creek 38-21 when the teams played in week one of the 2020 season. North Shore begins the 2021 season as the fourth-ranked team in Class 6A, and the 12th-ranked team in the country.
Texas has had seven previous football lettermen from North Shore, which isn’t a remarkable figure in itself. But what is notable is that all seven of those athletes were four-year lettermen: Lance Gunn, Joe Walker, Cory Redding, Chykie Brown, Barrett Matthews, Trey Hopkins, and Sedrick Flowers. So if history is any guide, Longhorn fans should expect four years’ worth of on-field contributions from Kristopher Ross.
2022 DL Zac Swanson — Phoenix (Arizona) Brophy Prep
No game this week
Note: Brophy Prep will play its first game next week.
2022 DE/LB Derrick Brown — Texarkana Texas
Friday, August 27 at 7:00, vs. Tyler
Note: The annual Texas vs. Arkansas game featuring the Texarkana high schools from either side of the state line was scheduled for September 3, but it has already been canceled due to a high number of Covid cases in the area. Whether Brown and his Texas High team end up playing tonight against Tyler or for the rest of their non-district schedule remains to be seen.
The Texas Tigers went 11-1 in 2020, going undefeated in the regular season and winning their first playoff game before losing 62-42 in the second round to eventual 5A Division II state finalist Crosby.
2022 LB Trevell Johnson — Arlington Martin
Friday, August 27 at 7:30, at Lake Travis
Note: Johnson has for several months been battling a hip injury that at one point was believed would require surgery and cost him his senior season. He hopes to be able to play in at least one game, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up sitting out most, if not all, of the 2021 season.
Tonight’s Lake Travis-Arlington Martin matchup features the #8 and #9 teams in Class 6A. The two schools opened the 2018 and 2019 seasons against each other and split those two meetings. Martin is currently on a 15-season streak of reaching the playoffs, the longest such run in Arlington ISD history. After reaching the postseason only four times in their first 23 seasons of varsity football and never advancing beyond the second round, the Warriors have not missed the playoffs since Bob Wager was hired as head coach in 2006 and have reached reached the third round nine times.
The only Martin Warrior to letter in football at Texas is former walk-on tight end Michael Wilson, but between Trevell Johnson and 2021 signee Morice Blackwell, that number could triple very soon.
2022 LB Eoghan Kerry — Santa Ana (California) Mater Dei
Friday, August 27 at 7:00, at Duncanville (Texas)
Note: The season-opening matchup between MaxPreps national #1 Mater Dei and #13 Duncanville features a pair of teams that have a combined 44 players with at least one reported FBS offer. The Texas Longhorns have had no less than 36 football lettermen from California, but none previously from Mater Dei, which has been a longtime football powerhouse and has produced two Heisman Trophy winners and dozens of NFL players. UT did land Mater Dei star Bru McCoy in the 2019 class, but he transferred without ever playing in a game.
2022 DB Bryan Allen — Aledo
Friday, August 27 at 7:00, vs. Weatherford
Note: Aledo won a state-record 10th state championship in 2020, and this fall the Bearcats will be aiming for their fourth straight crown. Aledo has not only reached the playoffs in 25 consecutive seasons, it has advanced to the third round or further in 21 of those seasons. The team is ranked #1 in Class 5A Division II going into the season.
Bryan Allen could become the fifth Aledo grad to earn a football letter at Texas, after Kyle Hix, Michael Wilcoxon, Johnathan Gray, and Ryan Newsome.
2022 DB Austin Jordan — Denton Ryan
Saturday, August 28 at 2:00, at Longview
Note: Denton Ryan is the defending Class 5A Division I state champion. The Ryan Raiders have been dominant in recent years, compiling an overall record of 85-5 over the past six seasons, with their only losses in that time coming deep in the playoffs and against the eventual state champions. Three Ryan Raiders have earned football letters at Texas, and Jordan’s former teammate Ja’Tavion Sanders, a current true freshman tight end, will likely be next.
The Ryan Raiders are the top-ranked team in Class 5A Division I.
2022 DB Ronald Lewis — New Orleans (Louisiana) Warren Easton
Friday, August 27 at 7:00, at New Orleans (Louisiana) Landry-Walker
Note: The Texas Longhorns have had at least 23 football lettermen from Louisiana high schools, but only one previously who came from Warren Easton. That would be Fred Brechtel, who served in the navy during World War II and who spent time at both Southwestern and Rice in 1944, before being transferred to Texas in 1945 and serving as one of the team’s top halfbacks. The World War II years were probably college football’s craziest period for transfers before the recent advent of the transfer portal.
2022 ATH Anthony Jones — Las Vegas (Nevada) Liberty
Friday, August 27 at 9:00, vs. North Las Vegas (Nevada) Canyon Springs
Note: Jones began his senior season last week, as Liberty beat cross-town opponent Las Vegas Arbor View 42-14. Jones played both ways in the game and finished with 4 receptions for 28 yards and a TD, 8 total tackles and a sack. He also added points to his team’s ledger by scoring on three two-point conversion tries, once on a run and twice on receptions.
If Jones signs with Texas and sees the field for the Longhorns he will become just the second Nevada high school product to letter at Texas, after former linebacker Robin Sendlein, who went to Western High in Las Vegas before earning four letters at UT (1977-80), and whose sons Austin and Lyle also both played for the Longhorns in the early 2000s.
In two weeks, Anthony Jones’s Liberty team is set to face Eoghan Kerry’s Mater Dei team in the Polynesian Football Classic on September 10.
2022 K Will Stone — Austin Regents School
Friday, August 27 at 7:00, vs. Tyler Grace Community
Note: Stone, one of the top-ranked kicking prospects in the 2022 class, stands to be the second Regents School product to earn a letter with the Longhorns following the recently-graduated Russell Hine, a former walk-on turned scholarship linebacker who appeared in 10 games between the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
2022 LS Lance St. Louis — Gilbert (Arizona) Williams Field
No game this week
Note: Williams Field will open its season next week.