Just days remain until the final signing period of the 2019 cycle, and the Texas Longhorns will be presented with an ideal opportunity to close on a high note with Houston North Forest offensive tackle Javonne Shepherd and and Dodge City C.C. inside linebacker Lakia Henry — Texas’ top remaining targets — each in Austin for official visits this weekend.
Beginning with the talent already on board with the 2019 Texas class, Shepherd is a longtime Longhorns pledge who committed to Texas in late July. Of course, that was far from the end of Shepherd’s recruitment, as he’s since made multiple visits to Texas A&M — considered to be the only true threat to flip him from the Horns — with the most recent being an official visit on Jan. 11.
More recently, Shepherd made a two-stop official visit tour to Georgia and Alabama on Jan. 24 and Jan. 25, respectively, though neither of the two SEC powers appear primed to flip Shepherd.
As far as Texas is concerned, the news that Shepherd is, in fact, utilizing his final trip on a visit to the Forty Acres is not only encouraging in that he’s actually taking the visit, but the Horns having the last say should seemingly reduce the odds of him ultimately flipping, whether that be to Texas A&M or otherwise.
A four-star talent ranked as the nation’s No. 28 offensive tackle prospect, Shepherd will sign his national letter of intent on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 1:00 p.m.
Henry, on the other hand, actually arrived in Austin for his official visit on Thursday.
Henry recently became a very real target for Texas after decommitting from Tennessee on Jan. 5, but the Horns have their work cut out for them during his first trip to Texas.
Arkansas remains an option, as does Ole Miss, where Henry officially visited in mid-January. The Rebels are currently considered to be the frontrunner in this three-team recruitment, but it is possible that Texas can turn the tide in its favor just ahead of his signing day decision.
Henry hails from Dodge City C.C., the same program that produced former Longhorns linebacker Gary Johnson, so Texas will likely pitch Henry on the opportunity to provide a similar impact as a plug-and-play contributor.
Henry is ranked as the No. 3-ranked JUCO prospect and as the top-ranked JUCO inside linebacker, per the 247Sports Composite.