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Texas Longhorns offer S Jamile Johnson, JUCO OTs Brandon Hodge, Martinas Rankin

Charlie Strong extends new offers in hopes of expanding 2015 recruiting class.

Jamile Johnson at the 2014 Dallas NFTC
Jamile Johnson at the 2014 Dallas NFTC
Student Sports

Taking advantage of a bye week before playing the Kansas Jayhawks, the Texas Longhorns extended three known 2015 offers on Tuesday.

One went out to former Oklahoma commit Jamile Johnson, a consensus three-star safety out of South Oak Cliff. The teammate of Texas running back pledge Jordan Stevenson committed to North Carolina on August 19, two weeks after decommitting from Oklahoma.

The offensive tackle offers both went out to prospects currently playing in Mississippi. Martinas Rankin plays at Mississippi Gulf Coast CC and is considered a consensus three-star prospect, while unranked Brandon Hodge plays for East Mississippi CC.

Texas already has two safety commits in the 2015 class in Converse Judson's Keivon Ramsey and Rockwall-Heath's DeShon Elliott, but Elliott has been talking about taking official visits to other schools and could grow into a linebacker. And the dismissal of redshirt freshman safety Chevoski Collins before the season has also increased need there, which also helps explain the offer to Johnson.

Ranked as the No. 23 safety nationally and the No. 52 player in the state of Texas by 247Sports, Johnson is a 6'0, 188-pounder with the build of a true safety. His strength development is further along than most players of his age, so his size and frame are both impressive.

Like current Texas freshman Jason Hall, Johnson isn't known for his pure speed and opted not to go through testing at the Dallas NFTC this year. However, 247Sports believes that his closing speed is his best attribute, along with his tackling ability and ball skills.

To be sure, Johnson can hit with a great deal of force, aided by his mass and an ability to sink and explode through his hips. Since he also spends some time at cornerback for South Oak Cliff, he has some of the versatility that Hall showed in high school as well.

Playing mostly in off coverage, Johnson consistently makes opponents pay for attempting to completely short passes in front of him. The guess here is that opposing receivers quickly lose the desire to even have those balls thrown in their direction.

Like Elliott, however, Johnson could potentially grow into a linebacker or hybrid defender, though a good playing weight in college for him is probably the 210-pound range. He's also listed at 6'1 and 194 pounds on his 247Sports page, but he measured 6'0 and 188 pounds at the Dallas NFTC, so he's a bit on the short side for a linebacker.

Will Johnson seriously consider the Horns? The proximity to home could weigh in his favor and North Carolina is hardly a recruiting powerhouse, so Strong and his staff should at least have an opportunity to make their pitch to Johnson and the speed with which he schedules a potential visit will provide some indication of his interest level.

Of the two junior-college tackles, Rankin is obviously the more well-known since he's actually rated by the services at this point. A 6'5, 300-pounder, Rankin is the No. 10 junior college offensive tackle nationally and the No. 45 overall junior college recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

He currently holds offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Ole Miss, among others. The Sooners and Bulldogs are currently thought to be the leaders according to his 247Sports profile, though the Rebels hold all three of his Crystal Ball predictions. He recently took a visit to Norman.

The 6'5, 295-pound Hodges is still seeing his recruitment take off, as his only offers at this time are Georgia State, Texas State, and Western Kentucky, making him the more likely of the two prospects to end up in burnt orange.

The eligibility status of both will be important, too, as enrolling in the spring is much more preferable to a summer enrollment.

It's not exactly a secret that the Horns are struggling to find tackles to contribute and even though there are already several prep high school offensive tackles committed, these offers indicate that offensive line coach Joe Wickline is on the prowl for instant-impact tackles.

Without any film on Hodges and only limited film on Rankin, it's difficult to say if the latter would indeed be a much bigger coup than Hodges or whether Rankin is significantly further ahead in his development. Suffice it to say that landing either would be a significant development for the short-term outlook at the position.

The play on the field hasn't done Texas any favors through three games, so this week provides a major opportunity for the staff to get out, build relationships, and sell the prospect of potential early playing time.

Hopefully the offensive tackles are ready to buy what the staff is selling, an area in which Wickline has already had a tremendous amount of success in a short period of time.