Javonne Shepherd | Visit Plans
– Andrew King
The only Texas commit that didn’t sign during the early signing period was North Forest (TX) offensive tackle Javonne Shepherd. We have the latest on his visit plans as the final stretch of his recruitment begins.
Shepherd will take an official to Texas A&M this weekend. And to be clear, this is the main school that Texas should be worried about. Shepherd is friends with some of the Aggie signees, including 5-star offensive tackle Kenyon Green.
Shepherd plans to visit Georgia and Alabama during the following two weekends. Those visits are something to watch, but I don’t think they’re as big of a threat to Texas right now.
I’d also expect Texas to try and get Shepherd back on campus before signing day. They’ve done a good job consistently getting him back on campus throughout the season. We’ll know a lot more in terms of this recruitment after his A&M visit this weekend.
Notebook | 2020 Texas Targets | UA Future 50
– Super K
Last week I was in Orlando for the Under Armour Future 50 camp. Under Armour invited 50 of the most talented 2020 prospects from around the country to participate.
Below are some of my notes from the camp on prospects that or of great interest to Texas.
***Texas QB commit, Hudson Card was on hand. Because of the sheer number of talented players, I did not spend much time watching Card but the little I saw, he looked fantastic. Quick release, timely release and he was accurate. He isn’t the biggest guy but he can move. He talked to me about his desire to add muscle to his frame in order to be ready for college and specifically for what he will be asked to do in Herman’s offense as not just a thrower but a runner.
While there has been some talk that Card could end up being more an ATH at Texas, he told me that Texas has made it very clear he is a quarterback to them. From the little I saw, I’m not surprised.
Card told me he’s working on recruiting a number of prospects to Texas but none more than 2020 4-star offensive lineman, Chad Lindberg.
***Chad Lindberg and Card roomed together at the UA event. They had plenty of time to bond and talk Texas. Although he hasn’t said it, I do believe Texas is Lindberg’s leader and given the type of prospect is, that is very good news.
Lindberg really does appear to be an elite offensive linemen. His size is elite. He’s thick and powerful but has great feet and knee bend. Also, very sharp young man. Really what I would consider a near can’t miss prospect.
***Zach Evans is a bit of a must land guy in the state. Evans was also at the UA Future 50 camp. Last time I saw Evans was at a North Shore scrimmage just before the season started. This young man keeps getting taller and bigger. He really stood out a physical specimen over the other backs at the camp.
Despite his size, Evans is a fluid, smooth runner. Another can’t miss type prospect.
I asked Evans about his scheduled upcoming visits and it doesn’t sound like he has any planned out just yet. As many of you know, his brother is a big Texas fan and I spoke to him for a while. The Longhorns can count on him to at least be a Texas voice but I do get the sense that Zach will ultimately make this decision and a big factor in his decision is going to be the offensive line play and talent of the particular school he chooses.
Of note, I sat right in front of Zach on the flight back to Houston and he was wearing a Texas Longhorns jacket.
***Got a look at 2020 ATH, Ja’Quinden Jackson (Duncanville). Man, that young man can play any position on the field. Jackson moves like a safety and appears to be a natural at the position but is certainly big enough to play in the fron seven as well. He also has a nice arm and is being considered by some schools as a quarterback.
I asked him what position Texas is recruiting him as and he responded very candidly saying, “I really don’t know. They didn’t say”.
Jackson said he’s being recruited by Texas QC Ra’Shaad Samples.
***Another Duncanville prospect who was in attendance was Texas safety offer, Chris Thompson. Thompson is a great looking prospect who, compared to the other attendees, is much more polished in his functional movement and technique. Given his size, Thompson is more suited for real football than these camp settings but overall he did a nice job. He struggled a bit closing the gap on out routes but I don’t take much stock in that given the advantage wide receivers have in these situations and given the type of physical downhill safety he is in real football.
***A few other Texas targets on hand were OL Justin Rogers (Detroit) and CB Fred Davis (Jacksonville).
I didn’t get to watch much of Rogers but Davis is a guy I like. I saw Davis in practice last fall and he reconfirmed what I thought at the time – that he’s one of the best off cover corners you’ll find. His press technique needs refining but he’s a devastating off coverage guy. Closes space faster than most. I can see why Texas has prioritized this out of state prospect.
Grad Transfer | Quick-Hitter
– Super K
A possible grad transfer to keep an eye on is Rice
I spoke with Zach yesterday and he’s receiving quite a bit of early interest from schools like Penn State, Iowa and others. He tells me that he plans on speaking with Texas this evening.
I don’t know if Texas has a significant enough on the interior part of the defensive line but it’s something we’ll watch.
Brandon Jones returning for senior season
– Will Baizer
Junior safety Brandon Jones announced that he will return to school for his senior season on Thursday. A native of Nacogdoches, Jones played in 10 games and totaled 70 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry in 2018.
Statement from Brandon Jones:
“I got really good feedback from the NFL, but with my injury I felt I had more to prove not only to myself, but to my team as well. I see where this team is headed and I want to be a part of something great. Getting my degree from The University of Texas was a huge thing to both myself and my mom, and I know that will take me further in life than football. I’m so very grateful for the opportunity to play at such a prestigious level and want to finish what we’ve started.”
– Super K
***Am told that Texas QB, Cam Rising is currently on a visit to Utah. Nothing has been decided but it does sound like Utah has offered Rising.
***The latest I’ve heard from my sources regarding Casey Thompson is that he is considering returning to Texas despite having put his name in the NCAA transfer portal. We are working to confirm that this weekend.
***I can tell you that the Sugar Bowl win and Texas’ ability to get certain young players on the field was big for them with certain young players. There were rumblings of a few higher profile freshmen who were considering a transfer but now that issue seems to have been assuaged. There is still one player who I am awaiting word on as to whether he will return. If I hear that he won’t be, I’ll pass the name along.
***Also, I can continue to hear that coach Jason Washington would like to bring Texas A&M DB, Jordan Moore on as a transfer. No final word on whether Herman will ok the transfer but Moore is wanted by certain members of the staff.
***With Deondrick Glass no longer visiting for an official this weekend, I would imagine Texas is going to be on the lookout for a grad transfer running back. I’ll see if I can find some names on that front.
***Also, I know there was some talk of Alabama offensive lineman, Alex Leatherwood following a couple Texas staff members and whether that means he may transfer. On Wednesday evening I asked a source to check the transfer portal and was told Leatherwood, at that time, was not listed.