Second-year Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian takes his second big recruiting step in reshaping the Longhorns program in his image on Wednesday as the vast majority of the 21 commits in the 2023 recruiting class are expected to ink their National Letters of Intent and a handful of targets make their decisions on Early Signing Day.
Compared to last year, the Longhorns haven’t experienced the monster lead up to the early signing period, which is an admittedly high bar. Whereas the final weekend before ESD in 2021 included the commitments of Ohio State transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers and three huge pledges along the offensive line — Kelvin Banks, Cam Williams, and Neto Umeozulu — the last few days were much more quiet for Texas.
There was the monumental addition of the nation’s No. 1 linebacker in Denton Ryan’s Anthony Hill Jr. last Thursday while Sarkisian and members of his staff held an in-home visit with the Hill family and an important recruiting weekend that featured several key targets, but certainly fewer fireworks.
As the day begins, the group ranks No. 4 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12, according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings, following the expected decommitment of four-star defensive end Dylan Spencer on Monday. The Houston CE King product flipped to Texas Tech.
Other than Spencer, however, Texas has been able to keep the majority of the class intact despite several recruits taking late visits and others continuing to receive interest from high-level programs.
Wednesday’s top decisions to watch include Louisville wide receiver commit Deandre Moore, Vanderbilt tight end commit Ke’Morreun Pimpton, and Mableton (Ga.) Pebblebrook cornerback Tyler Scott, as well as the significant decision of Texas safety commit Derek Williams about whether he wants to sign during the early period or wait and take next official visits next month.
- New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman quarterback Arch Manning — 7:28 a.m. Central
- Denton Ryan linebacker Anthony Hill Jr. — 10:28 a.m. Central
- Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater running back Cedric Baxter Jr. — 11:20 a.m. Central
- DeSoto wide receiver Johntay Cook — 7:44 a.m. Central
- South Oak Cliff cornerback Malik Muhammad — 12:15 p.m. Central
- Austin Westlake edge Colton Vasek — 7:26 a.m. Central
- Teague edge Derion Gullette — 7:51 a.m. Central
- Harker Heights offensive lineman Jaydon Chatman — 7:57 a.m. Central
- Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic defensive tackle Sydir Mitchell — 6:45 a.m. Central
- Kahuku (Hawaii) linebacker Liona Lefau — 12:30 p.m. Central
- Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips offensive tackle Payton Kirkland — 6:51 a.m. Central
- Frisco Wakeland offensive tackle Connor Stroh — 7:25 a.m. Central
- Mansfield Timberview offensive lineman Andre Cojoe — 8:01 a.m. Central
- New Iberia (La.) Westgate safety Derek Williams — 7:17 a.m. Central
- Aldine Eisenhower wide receiver Ryan Niblett — 7:35 a.m. Central
- Lehi (Utah) Skyridge edge Tausili Akana — 4:31 p.m. Central
- Fort Worth North Crowley linebacker S’Maje Burrell — 7:41 a.m. Central
- Melissa offensive tackle Trevor Goosby — 10:38 a.m. Central
- South Oak Cliff edge Billy Walton — 12:22 p.m. Central
- DeSoto running back Tre Wisner — 8:05 a.m. Central
- Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei tight end Spencer Shannon — 9:18 a.m. Central
- New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman tight end Will Randle — 8:17 a.m. Central
- Former Wake Forest cornerback Gavin Holmes — 1:08 p.m. Central
- Former Stanford punter Ryan Sanborn — 12:42 p.m. Central
Bellfower (Calif.) St. John Bosco wide receiver DeAndre Moore (Louisville commit) — With Texas sitting at only two wide receiver pledges in a class the staff wanted to take three or four prospects, Moore has emerged as the top target in recent weeks despite his longtime pledge to Louisville. The 6’0, 185-pounder also took an official visit to Georgia in early November in addition to an official visit to Texas the following week and an unofficial visit to the Forty Acres last weekend. Since the Cardinals just hired a new coach in Jeff Brohm, Moore’s decision to visit Austin instead of Louisville may be a strong indication of which way he’s leaning in the final hours. Bosco is holding a signing day ceremony at 11 a.m. Central.
[11:39 a.m. Central update]: Moore is not expected to sign during the early period.
Fort Worth North Crowley tight end Ke’Morreun Pimpton (Vanderbilt commit) — A late-rising prospect in the 2023 recruiting class, Pimpton had a big-time senior season. After originally committing to Vanderbilt in July, Pimpton saw his stock take off, landing an offer from LSU in October and an offer from Texas in early December. Both schools received visits in recent weeks and represent higher-profile programs with better proximity. So the question is whether Pimpton will stay loyal to the school that offered him months earlier.
[12:40 p.m. Central update] — Pimpton signed with LSU.
Lehi (Utah) Skyridge edge Tausili Akana — The younger brother of Texas libero Keonilei Akana, the nation’s No. 102 prospect didn’t make it to the Forty Acres after taking an official visit for the Alabama game, but plenty of buzz surfaced surrounding the Longhorns late Tuesday evening and into Wednesday morning. Down to Colorado, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, and Utah, Akana will announce his decision at 3:00 a.m. Central on 247Sports.
[3:07 p.m. Central update]: Akana is joining his sister on the Forty Acres.
Mableton (Ga.) Pebblebrook cornerback Tyler Scott — Like Pimpton, Scott’s senior season helped elevate his stock considerably. Scott picked up his offer from Texas in late October and eventually took official visits to Alabama, Auburn, and USC in addition to taking in the Forty Acres last weekend. The Tigers are considered the favorite, but Scott won’t announce officially until the All-American Bowl next month.
There will also be plenty of coverage in other places. The @TexasFootball Twitter account will announce the new signees as the National Letters of Intent roll in and Longhorn Network also typically has coverage in the morning and early evening. And Sarkisian is set to meet with the media during the afternoon to discuss the class.