The Texas Longhorns are projected to lose significant receiving talent to the NFL this offseason and need to reload their room, doing just that by officially adding Ryan Wingo to the class on Early Signing Day.
The Longhorns secured the services of the elite pass-catcher from Saint Louis (Mo.) in late October over the in-state Tigers, who made him one of their top priorities. Wingo prioritized four schools in his recruitment, the Longhorns, the Missouri Tigers, the Georgia Bulldogs, and the Michigan Wolverines, making official visits to all four schools during the busy June visit window.
Coincidentally, that June 16 visit netted the two top offensive commitments for Texas in the 2024 class — Wingo and five-star offensive tackle Brandon Baker were both on campus for that weekend. Wingo took another visit to Austin during the season and ultimately committed to Texas in October in something of a surprise decision after taking multiple trips to Columbia with Missouri seemingly surging into the lead during that stretch.
“I think just the Sarkisian offense and how they utilize receivers because it’s different, they get the ball out to their receivers and you want to go play somewhere they get receivers the ball. And they’ve got the quarterbacks,” Wingo said after his decision.
At the time of Wingo’s pledge, the expectation was that the Longhorns might have a battle to hold off the Tigers, but the 6’2, 205-pounder remained steady until the final moments, taking a final visit to Austin before he signed in what appeared to be a drama-free finish to his recruitment until some Signing Day eve buzz surrounding Missouri and a delay in Wingo sending his National Letter of Intent to Texas, reportedly because he was sleeping.
I’m up lol— Ryan Wingo (@_Ryanwingo1) December 20, 2023
Still, it was more than 90 tense minutes until the news broke that Wingo was finally signing his paperwork.
Analysis (by Daniel Seahorn):
Playmakers make plays. And Ryan Wingo is a playmaker, folks. Wingo is listed between 6’1-and 6’2 and weighs in around 205-210 pounds. Those are good measurables for the position and he also possesses a really solid build that will continue to mature as he transitions into college. Want some more measurables? Wingo has verified track times that show up on the film when you watch. He logged a 10.55 100m dash time as a sophomore and also logged a 21.46 wind-legal 200m time. Wingo shows the burst and explosiveness on film and has the ability to erase angles from defenders when he has the ball in his hands. Wingo already shows on tape that he isn’t a one-trick pony as a route runner and has the competency levels for running multiple routes on the tree at this stage in his development. He shows good acceleration in and out of his breaks and shows that he doesn’t have throttle down much. He is able to get on top of defensive backs in a hurry and often leads to them being in chase mode. Shows some savvy and explosiveness in his route running that consistently leads to him getting separation from defenders. Does a very good job of tracking the ball in the air down the field and does a good job of catching the ball away from his body. He is very elusive in the open field for his size and is very tough to get to the ground. He is an explosive play waiting to happen due to his ability to generate yards after the catch. Flexes his versatility and playmaking ability by lining up in the Wildcat as a ball carrier and stretching defenses horizontally by taking snaps on jet sweeps. Adds additional value as a plus punt returner and it wouldn’t surprise me if he is able to get on the field early in his career on special teams. Overall, Wingo is the kind of talent that will not have to wait long to see the field once he transitions to college. Steve Sarkisian has done well when it comes to assembling talent at the skill position and he now has another high-end talent on the way.
With the graduation of Jordan Whittington, as well as the likely departures of Xavier Worthy and Adonai Mitchell, Texas needs to reload the wide receiver room quickly with elite talent.
The five-star receiver from St. Louis University, who is ranked No. 12 nationally and No. 4 among wide receivers, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, is the highest-rated receiver to sign with Texas since Mike Davis in the 2009 class, three points better than Xavier Worthy three cycles ago. The opportunity is there for Wingo to come in and play early, much like Worthy did in the 2021 season en route to Freshman All-American and Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. Wingo is even getting a jump on his early enrollment, practicing with the Longhorns in the leadup to the College Football Playoffs.
Wingo leads a versatile and deep receiver group that includes Freddie Dubose and Parker Livingstone rounding out the high school players in addition to Houston transfer Matthew Golden from the portal as position coach Chris Jackson rebuilds his room.