At long last, the Texas Longhorns have landed their first safety pledge this cycle, as Kennedale safety JD Coffey brought his recruitment to a close with his commitment to Tom Herman’s program on Monday afternoon, he announced on Twitter.
At the same time, his friend and 7-on-7 teammate, Dallas Kimball cornerback Ishmael Ibraheem, also committed to the Longhorns.
A four-star talent who owns upwards of 30 offers, including invitations from Coffey’s other final options in Oregon, Washington, Michigan, LSU, and Baylor. Nevertheless, despite any allure of heading Northwest to suit up for Oregon or Washington, which each hosted Coffey for unofficial visits in March, or taking his talents to the defending National Champions in Baton Rouge, Coffey’s recruitment was largely without drama or uncertainty down the stretch.
It was expected that when Coffey’s commitment day came he would don burnt orange, as evident by each of his Crystal Ball picks favoring Texas.
Of course, the expectation is now reality and thus, Herman and his staff — albeit a rebuilt staff this time around — have hauled in yet another highly-touted safety talent, with Coffey currently ranked as the nation’s No. 7 safety and No. 173 player overall.
As a junior, Texas’ latest pledge tallied 71 tackles, including six tackles for loss and two sacks, and added a pair of interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.
Film analysis — Daniel Seahorn
JD Coffey has a habit of always being in the right place at the right time and in the game of football that is a good thing more times than none. Coffey possesses solid measurables at solid athleticism for the position, but what stands out to me most on tape is his ability to put himself in position to make plays, his ball skills, and his physicality.
Time and time again Coffey shows the knack for victimizing opposing quarterbacks in the passing game by making plays on tips, overthrows, and underthrows. Coffey consistently is able to read the eyes of the quarterback, anticipate and get himself into position to make plays on the football and more times than none he is able to come away with it.
Coffey’s ball production over the past three seasons is outstanding (14 interceptions) and even at times when he is in a trail position on receivers, he shows he has enough recovery speed to get back into the play. Coffey looks very comfortable patrolling the deep middle of the field as a ball hawk, but he also shows he can be an enforcer when coming downhill.
Coffey shows on tape that he is very physical as a tackler, as he often arrives to ball carriers with purpose and a bad attitude. Whether it is against a receiver going over the middle or filling the alley on an outside run, Coffey consistently closes on his target in a hurry and more times than none he stops them in their tracks or knocks them back off their feet.
On top of being a very a productive defender, Coffey also shows on tape that he could potentially add value on special teams, as he is utilized as a returner. While I have questions on whether Coffey’s athleticism would play up in that role at the collegiate level it at least shows that he could be a viable option and that he could potentially be a threat. Coffey found the end zone several times as a returner and also pitched in on offense at times, which in my opinion shows me that he is a team player and is willing to shoulder a bigger load to help the team.
Coffey and Ibraheem are now the 12th and 13th members of Texas’ 2021 class, which remains atop the Big 12 and jumps to No. 9 nationally.