Five ESD Thoughts | Defense
– Andrew King
Some of my main thoughts on the offensive class Texas signed during the early signing period in the 2019 class.
1. Out of state stars lead the way.
Texas’ 2019 defensive class is led by a pair of out of state recruits, and both fit exactly what Texas wants. The first is Westlake (CA) linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd. At 6’2 240, Floyd is big enough to play inside linebacker in the Big 12. Also add to the fact he’s enrolling early, he’ll add more good weight in Yancy McKnight’s weight program in January. Like graduating linebacker Gary Johnson, Floyd can really run for his size too. He played running back and returned kicks and punts in high school.
The other is Grayson (GA) cornerback Kenyatta Watson II. A long corner at 6’2 has good speed and change of pace for his size. He’s also a freak athlete, who has a 45 inch vertical. Cornerback coach Jason Washington likes bigger corners, and Watson will be the biggest one on the Texas roster once he enrolls. He’s a bit slim right now at 180, but give it time. He’ll be 6’2 200 pounds sooner rather than later and will be a physical specimen out at corner.
2. Underrated defensive lineman could surprise
We’ve talked about Many (LA) defensive end Myron Warren and how it was huge for Texas to lock him up at the early signing period. With Tennessee pushing for an official visit and LSU lurking in the background. And I’m excited to see Warren in Austin. But the guy I’m really interested to see is Huntsville (TX) defensive end T’Vondre Sweat. He’s the perfect fit for Todd Orlando’s 3-4 defense. He’s big enough to hold his own in the run game, but can move well enough at his size to play at the strong-side defensive end position. He told me he’s 6’3 280 right now. Think of Ta’Quon Graham as a comparison for Sweat.
3. JUCO additions at positions of need.
The defensive line and linebacker are the two spots where Texas is losing the most in 2019. All three defensive line starters in Charles Omenihu, Chris Nelson and Breckyn Hager are graduating. And linebackers Gary Johnson and Anthony Wheeler are leaving as well. Texas did a good job at adding two of the best junior college players at those positions to help with the loss of those previously mentioned players.
Butler CC (KS) strong side defensive end Jacoby Jones is the #2 JUCO player at his position. And Fullerton College (CA) outside linebacker Caleb Johnson is the #3 JUCO player at his position. Both are early enrollees and will be in Austin later in January.
4. 2018 DB class hurt in 2019, cycle but a star could be in the fold.
Texas’ historic defensive back class hurt them in the 2019 cycle. That’s not surprising, when you land elite recruits like Anthony Cook, Jalen Green, Caden Sterns, BJ Foster, D’Shawn Jamison (yes I know he played wide reciever this year), and DeMarvion Overshown in the same position group. It’s going to be hard to back that up in the following class. I already talked about Kenyatta Watson earlier, but Texas could’ve landed a future star in this defensive back class.
Plano East (TX) safety Tyler Owens has all the tools to become the next great Texas defensive back. He’s already 6’2 200+, runs a 10.34 100 meter dash. He may not see the field a ton as a true freshman, but I’d peg him as someone who will be a special teams star for the Longhorns in 2019.
5. Best player available approach going forward.
12 of the 21 signees for Texas are defensive recruits. So outside of Mansfield Legacy (TX) safety Jalen Catalon, Texas is in a spot to take the best player that comes available for any remaining 2019 defensive spots. They’ve signed four linebackers, four defensive backs, and four defensive lineman.
Lakia Henry | Quick Hitter
– Andrew King
Dodge City C.C. linebacker Lakia Henry
The #1 JUCO linebacker has taken two official visits so far, to Tennessee and Arkansas. Henry just told me he plans to officially visit Texas on January 19th.
Arkansas has felt pretty good about their chances to flip Henry. But getting Henry on campus is huge, and he’s from the same junior college as Gary Johnson. So Texas will have a real shot in this one.
Bru McCoy to USC
– Will Baizer
We’ve been hinting at it for quite a while now. 5-star ATH Bru McCoy committed to USC and signed his papers two weeks ago.
It’s been over for quite a while.
We are also aware of the Kliff Kingsbury drama (AD Lynn Swann blocking NFL teams from speaking with him about their head coaching positions). Sources tell us how that plays out will have no effect on Bru and USC. He is a Trojan and will remain as such.