Manvel wide receiver Reggie Hemphill-Mapps signed his National Letter of Intent today officially making him a member of the Texas Longhorns.
Hemphill-Mapps, a four-star talent, ranks as the nation's No. 381 overall prospect, No. 62 wide receiver, and No. 56 player in Texas, according to 247Sports composite rankings. The long-time Texas pledge has been committed to Charlie Strong and the Longhorns dating back to October 2014, in which he chose Texas over Ole Miss, Baylor, and Texas A&M, among others.
There's never really been much drama in Hemphill-Mapps' recruitment. He's essentially been all in on Texas from day one, taking only one unofficial visit to Ole Miss that never generated any steam, and doing his best to play recruiter following his commitment to the Longhorns, hence the newfound nickname "Recruiter Reggie."
The 6-1, 172-pound Hemphill-Mapps joins a receiving corps with a bevy of options entering 2016, but with only one solidified starter in sophomore John Burt. The expectation is for early enrollee, 4-star receiver Collin Johnson, and will-be junior Armanti Foreman, to emerge as consistent big-play threats with Texas transitioning to a true spread offense, but there's uncertainty beyond that point - Texas' next leading wide receiver from 2015 is Lorenzo Joe, with four catches for 73 yards and a TD. With great acceleration and quickness, decisive route-running instincts, sure hands, and the ability to make plays in open space, there's a role in the slot that could be Hemphill-Mapps for the taking.
Hemphill-Mapps will need to bulk up a bit from 172 pounds, and improve his true speed - he registered a 4.62 40 time - to strengthen his case for consistent field time as a true freshman. But the skill-set he provides suggests he would be an ideal replacement with Texas losing playmakers, Daje Johnson and Marcus Johnson. Hemphill-Mapps demonstrates a good understanding of how to play the position, in regards to route running, knowing how to find space, and manipulating defensive backs to get open.
The Longhorns need playmakers and deep threats for Jerrod Heard, or whomever, to pitch to in 2016. Hemphill-Mapps is as good a candidate for reps as any.
Hemphill-Mapps amassed 2,251 yards and 35 TDs on 105 career receptions as a four-year varsity member for Manvel.