2The class continues to add top-end talent with the addition of four-star cornerback Malik Muhammad.
The 2023 recruiting class for the Texas Longhorns continues to add impact defenders with the Wednesday commitment from South Oak Cliff cornerback Malik Muhammad, who pledged to the Longhorns over his two other finalists, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas A&M Aggies.
The 6’0, 170-pounder is a highly-coveted defender, holding 43 offers across all Power 5 conferences, but recently narrowed his list to the three finalists. Muhammad ultimately took just two visits during the June open period, coming to Texas for an official visit the same weekend as quarterback Arch Manning and several other priority targets and taking an unofficial visit to College Station. He’d previously visited Alabama in April.
As a key piece of the Golden Bears’ run at a 5A state championship, Muhammad amassed 68 tackles, three interceptions, and six pass breakups in 14 games played as a junior in 2021. After winning their district opener via forfeit, the SOC defense allowed just 31 points in eight games.
A consensus four-star prospect, Muhammad is the No. 43 player overall, the fourth top-50 commit in the class, and the second top-50 defender, joining safety Derek Williams, who comes in at No. 37 overall. He also becomes the second Golden Bear to join the class, alongside teammate Billy Walton, who flipped from the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the flurry of commitments following Manning’s pledge in June. Muhammad is ranked as the No. 5 cornerback nationally — making him the highest-rated cornerback landed by the Longhorns since Gilmer’s Curtis Brown in 2007 — and the No. 7 player in Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
With the commitment from Muhammad, the Longhorns now have 19 pledges in the 2023 class, which ranks No. 3 nationally. Four of those pledges, including Muhammad, rank in the top-50 prospects, the most for the Horns in a single cycle since 2010.
Analysis (by Daniel Seahorn):
Muhammad is a multi-year starter for the defending state champions at South Oak Cliff. Possesses a long, wiry frame at 6’0, 170 pounds that will allow for him to add more mass as he continues to mature and develop. Multi-sport athlete (football, track and field) who ran on all three relay teams (4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m) this spring, as well as the high jump, long jump, and triple jump. Notched a PR on of 43’6.5 on the triple jump this spring. Muhammad has logged snaps in all three phases of the game the past two seasons at SOC (wide receiver, defensive back, and returner). While projected as a cornerback at the next level, Muhammad showed on tape that he is capable at lining up at multiple spots in secondary, as he logged snaps at outside corner, slot corner, and safety. Shows comfort playing press man as well as playing farther from the line of scrimmage in off coverage at corner and safety. Does a good job of using his length when playing through blocks and shows some pretty violent hands. Does a good job of getting extension and shedding receivers. Shows good suddenness and closing speed on ball carriers and is a sure tackler, who will wrap up and get guys to the ground. Shows good mental processing and is decisive with his decision making. Read and reacts well in coverage and when coming down hill in run support and doesn’t waste movement. Shows good, fluid movement when back pedaling and shows loose hips when having to turn and run with receivers. Possesses good ball skills and shows the ability to attack the ball in the air with arms extended on both sides of the ball. Had good ball production in 2021 with six PBUs and three interceptions, with one being returned for a touchdown. Adds value on special teams and could potentially being a guy who sees the field early at the next level either as a returner or someone who runs down to cover kicks.