Open Post | Weekend, March 1st – 3rd

Texas Offers Josh White | Visiting Upcoming
– Super K

When I stopped by to see 2020 linebacker, Josh White (Cy Creek) a couple weeks ago, Texas has not yet offered.

He held offers from Baylor, OSU, Oklahoma, LSU and others. But he Texas had maintained contact and Josh admitted that should the Horns offer they’d immediately move into one of his top spots.

The offer happened earlier this week…

White says he plans on visiting “As soon as possible. I got Oklahoma Saturday and they’ll by my next visit, either them or TCU”.

So whether he makes it to TCU first or Texas first, I think a March visit is very likely following the visit to OU.

Josh said about the offer, “It felt great. Coach Orlando told me to be patient and keep working when he offered it felt like all my work just payed off”.

I’ll have more on Josh’s background as a person and a football player, later this week.


Breakdown of 2020 Defensive Targets
– CJ Vogel

Texas is coming off a 2019 cycle that included some absolute freaks on the defensive side of the ball. Tyler Owens, De’Gabriel Floyd, Kenyatta Watson and David Gbenda will soon be all over the field for Todd Orlando’s defense. With that said, the 2020 defensive class is off to a slow start compared to the offensive side, however there is legit talent out there that is high on the Longhorns early on.


Defensive Line

  • Vernon Broughton (Cypress, TX)
  • Alfred Collins (Bastrop, TX)
  • Prince Dorbah (Highland Park, TX)
  • Princely Umanmielen (Manor, TX)
  • Alec Bryant (Pearland, TX)
  • Branard Wright (Dallas, TX)

To say this cycle’s defensive line talent is good would be a massive understatement. Texas is sitting in wonderful position with a good handful of the aforementioned names. In person, Vernon Broughton is one of the most physically intimidating prospects this cycle has to offer. Texas is sitting out front for Alfred Collins as well. Texas has gotten Dorbah and Umanmielen on campus quite frequently so far, however they will have to fight off Oklahoma and other regional schools for either of their services. Dallas Carter’s Branard Wright is one of the few true defensive tackles in this class, it appears that LSU is the clear leader for him at the moment, though he was on campus for the Junior Day last weekend.


Linebacker

  • Justin Flowe (Upland CA)
  • Brennan Scott (Dallas, TX)
  • Sav’ell Smalls (Seattle, WA)
  • Josh White (Cypress, TX)

Once again, the linebacker position is rather thin in the state of Texas for the 2020 cycle. Surely more targets will appear following the spring eval period, similar to how David Gbenda exploded on the scene last year. Five-star Justin Flowe is the best candidate to being this cycle’s Bru McCoy. Obviously, Flowe is pegged to USC early, but there is interest from both sides, but getting Flowe back on campus will be imperative to if there is a legit chance. Brennan Scott has visited a couple times this offseason, however he is high on Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Arkansas early on.


Cornerback

  • Joshua Eaton (Houston, TX)
  • Kelee Ringo (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • Dwight McGlothern (Duncanville, TX)
  • Jaylon Jones (Cibolo, TX)
  • Jalen Kimber (Mansfield, TX)
  • Ryan Watts (Little Elm, TX)
  • Fred Davis (Jacksonville, FL)

Texas is looking to put up a stellar class at the cornerback position for the third consecutive cycle, but they’ll need some help to do so. I am very high on Joshua Eaton early on, and he seems to be on the Longhorns. Eaton has been on campus two weekends in a row and is really starting to gain national interest. Five-star Kelee Ringo has Texas ties with his position coach Bryant Westbrook being an ex-Longhorn. As for Duncanville CB Dwight McGlothern, it’s been a weird up-and-down recruitment so far, but with that said, his recent Twitter activity indicates that Texas is squarely in it for his services. With Texas A&M snagging Jaylon Jones, Texas may up their interest on Jalen Kimber out of Mansfield. I fully expect more names to pop up after the spring evaluation season.


Safeties

  • Chris Thompson (Duncanville, TX)
  • Xavion Alford (Shadow Creek, TX)
  • Bryson Washington (Houston, TX)
  • Darius Snow (Hebron, TX)
  • Jerrin Thompson (Lufkin, TX)
  • Lathan Ransom (Tucson, AZ)

It’s going to be an exciting cycle at the safety position this year. Chris Thompson is one of the best safeties in the country and has very high interest in the Longhorns. Xavion Alford was on campus for Texas’ Junior Day and has had some very impressive outings at recent camps. Bryson Washington will commit in July which plays well for the Longhorns who are right at the top of his list. Lathan Ransom is another out of state guy to watch, he is also tight with Kelee Ringo as well.


Athlete

  • Ja’Quinden Jackson (Duncanville, TX)

The quarterback of the 6A State Runner-Up is one of the most athletic players in this cycle. Ja’Quinden Jackson could very well play a number of positions at the next level. Jackson is electric with one of the best ballcarriers in the state.


Upcoming Weekend Visitors
– Super K

***Father of 2020 CB, Jalen Kimber (Mansfield Timberview) tells me that they will be visiting Texas this upcoming weekend for an unofficial visit.

Kimber was offered by the Horns back in December and about a month he dropped a top ten which included Texas.

Kimber’s the son of a former college track sprinter, Art Kimber. So, he has the speed genetics. He’s a bigger corner and very technically sound.

***Also, Texas will host Georgia Tech grad transfer offensive lineman, Parker Braun, this upcoming weekend.

As you know JUCO OL Willie Tyler and Virginia Grad Transfer RJ Proctor visited Texas recently but our sense is that UT would prefer to get Braun in the boat. He seems to be the highest priority offensive line target at this point.


Injury Update | Brandon Jones
– Will Baizer

As first reported by Anwar Richardson, our sources confirmed that Longhorns’ senior safety Brandon Jones successfully underwent surgery to repair a high ankle sprain. It does look like he will miss a good majority if not all of Spring football, but will be ready for Summer ball and Fall camp.


Thirsty Thursdays | Texas RBs/LBs, Defensive notes from UA Camp, Analyst Hires
– Darius Terrell

Welcome to the first edition on Thirsty Thursdays! Here to quench your thirst for Texas Longhorn sports.

Continuing our look at each position group heading into Spring Football practices beginning soon, this week we preview the Running Backs and Linebackers.

* The only Freshmen that will be included in the preview are Freshmen that are early enrollees and participating in Spring Football practices.

Offense

*Running Backs*

Starter:

Keaontay Ingram (6’0 205) Sophomore

Projected Backup(s):

Daniel Young (6’0 230) Junior

Jordan Whittington (6’1 205) Freshman

Reserve:

Kirk Johnson (6’0 220) Senior

What We Know: Sophomore RB Keaontay Ingram was a breath of fresh air for Texas fans during a Freshman season that saw Ingram log action in 13 games (2 starts) and rush for 708 yards on 142 attempts (5.0 ypc) and 3 touchdowns. Ingram also proved to be a reliable option in the passing game by bringing in 27 receptions for 170 yards and 2 scores. Ingram and departed Cal Grad Transfer Tre Watson formed a solid 1-2 punch for the Longhorns last year on the way to the program’s first 10-win season since 2009. Texas will be looking to another reliable contributor in the running game in 2019 to pair with Ingram. Junior RB Daniel Young saw action in all 14 contests last season but the presence of Watson relegated him to primarily reserve status and mop-up duty. Young carried the ball 42 times and only managed a 3.6 per carry average. Senior RB Kirk Johnson has battled injuries his entire career at Texas, primarily due to setbacks to a knee that he injured late in the 2015 season. Johnson, who is one of the more well-liked and respected players on the team, worked his way back to log action on Special Teams in 10 games in 2018. In addition to Watson exhausting his eligibility, Texas lost Sophomore RB Toneil Carter, Junior RB Tristian Houston, and Junior RB Kyle Porter to transfer.

What We Hope: Keaontay Ingram gets bigger, stronger, faster in the off-season and makes the expected natural development from his Freshman to Sophomore season. Ingram has displayed very good patience, balance, and the ability to protect the football. He was also surprisingly solid in pass protection as a True Freshman. The Texas coaching staff knows what they have in #26 and that they can trust him. The concern comes from what is (or what is not) behind him following three transfers from the position in the past few months. Texas needs Daniel Young to revert back to a Freshman season in which he flashed a powerful running style and ability to pick up yardage after contact as well as the ability to catch the football out of the backfield. Kirk Johnson has not received a carry in a game since 2015, but will appear to be about to receive every opportunity to compete with Young and others for a chance to contribute to the running game next fall. A healthy Johnson would bring an element of explosiveness to the backfield that Texas sorely lacked in 2018.

What to Watch For: Early enrollee Jordan Whittington from Cuero, Texas, was a composite 5-star recruit as an “Athlete” and will get his first opportunity to make his mark for the Longhorns playing in the backfield in what has been described as an “Alvin Kamara” type role for the Longhorns. After Whittington put together a historic performance that was seen across the state on Fox Sports Southwest, Texas fans are chomping at the bit to see the Texas Offense’s newest toy in action. I fully expect Whittington to be in contention for Big XII Offensive Newcomer of the Year next season if he is able to remain healthy. Although there hasn’t been much to report on the grad transfer front as far as Running Backs are concerned for Texas, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get involved with a grad transfer RB if the right one becomes available before the summer. We will continue to keep 2019 Texas RB signee Derrian Brown of Buford, Georgia, and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Defense

Before I get started on the Linebackers, last week I included the B-Backer position with the Defensive Linemen. The B-Backer in Todd Orlando’s defense is a hybrid athlete that has the ability to rush the passer and drop in coverage in certain situations. The B-Backer comes off of the field and is replaced by the JOKER (which we will discuss next week) when Texas matches up to certain looks.  

Today we will focus on the MIKE and ROVER positions. The MIKE lines up on the strength side of the offense, or wherever whichever side of the Offense chooses to have the most bodies on inside of the box. The ROVER lines up to the offense weak side of the Offense, or side that they have fewer bodies on inside the box. Your MIKE has to be a thumper that engages lead blockers regularly while still being able to make a play on the ball. The ROVER is usually a more agile guy, whose job is to pursue the ball from the backside and generally should deal with less traffic to the football than the MIKE does on a play-by-play basis.

*Linebackers*

Starters:

MIKE: Ayodele Adeoye (6’1 250) RS Freshman OR De’Gabriel Floyd (6’1 240) Freshman

ROVER: Jeffrey McCulloch (6’3 250) Senior

Projected Backups:

Mike: De’Gabriel Floyd (6’1 240) Freshman OR Ayodele Adeoye (6’1 250) RS Freshman

Rover: Caleb Johnson (5’11 225) Sophomore OR Marcus Tillman (6’0 220) Freshman

What We Know: Texas comes into the spring light on numbers and experience at the Linebacker position after losing its two leading tacklers from 2018 when 2nd team All-Big XII selection Gary Johnson (90 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 2 FF, 1 FR) and Anthony Wheeler (87 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 4 sacks) graduated from the program. Texas has a tall task in front of itself in finding replacements for those two with a group of players behind them that are talented, but lacking virtually any experience at this level outside of Senior Jeffrey McCulloch. Early enrollees De’Gabriel Floyd, Caleb Johnson, and Marcus Tillman all arrive on campus with opportunities to earn immediate playing time. Junior LB Demarco Boyd is still with the program but appears to remain suspended pending the outcome of his trial and is unlikely to participate in spring practices. Senior LB Cameron Townsend appears to be moving on from football.

What We Hope: Jeffrey McCulloch arrived on campus as a consensus National 100 recruit. McCulloch has had to wait his turn behind some talented players (Malik Jefferson, Gary Johnson) but has been productive when he has had the opportunity for extended action. McCulloch enters 2019 with an opportunity for a breakout season statistically and will be relied upon to be the leader for the Linebacker unit. Ayodele Adeoye generated a lot of excitement last spring as an early enrollee before suffering an injury in fall camp that would limit him to 4 games of primarily Special Teams duty during the 2018 season. The expectation is that he or Floyd can take the reins in the middle of the defense.

What to Watch For: One of the most interesting position battles to watch this spring will be the one for the starting MIKE position opposite Senior ROVER Jeff McCulloch. While his physicality isn’t in question, there are some concerns about Adeoye’s ability to play in space in the pass-happy Big XII. De’Gabriel Floyd was a standout at the All-American Game in San Antonio and appears to arrive on campus much more comfortable playing in coverage than Adeoye did as a recruit. JUCO transfer Caleb Johnson, who has 4 years to use 3 years of eligibility, will be limited in the spring due to him recovering from shoulder surgery that he underwent in the fall while at Fullerton College. He was already going to have his hands full competing with Freshman Marcus Tillman, a converted Safety out of Orlando, Florida, even if he were 100% healthy. Both Johnson and Tillman’s calling cards is their speed as they are both considered undersized by prototypical metrics. It will be fascinating to watch it all sort itself out on the field.

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I posted a notebook on Monday from the Under Armour All-American Camp in Dallas that talked about some of the standouts on the Offensive side of the ball. I’ll use this section today, to share some of my thoughts on some of the Defensive players that were in attendance that are targets on the Texas board or will be in the future:

2020

Kitan Crawford, CB/NB (Tyler, TX) John Tyler HS, 2020

Crawford picked up a Texas offer a few weeks ago and was a prospect of major interest for us at TFB. At an event that was loaded with big-name prospects, we felt like Crawford was the best DB in attendance. Crawford doesn’t have the height (5’11 175) that is a trend now for Cornerbacks but makes up for a lack of prototypical height with jackhammer feet, explosive athleticism, and football instincts that can’t be taught. Crawford is extremely patient in coverage which I believe is a byproduct of understanding that he is the best athlete on the field and knowing that he doesn’t have to gamble or guess in order to make a play. Crawford possesses the hips and COD ability to play the Nickel and I have not seen a better option so far in 2020. If you turn on his HUDL highlights you will see a guy that craves contact in the run game and is also used as a RB on Offense for a talented and respected John Tyler program in East Texas. Crawford is one of my favorite prospects in the class and should be mentioned in anytime the topic of top Defensive Backs in Texas are being discussed.

Ryan Watts, CB/S (Little Elm, TX) Little Elm HS, 2020

First things first, Watts is every bit of 6’2 and has the long arms to match. He has good hips and is quicker than most guys at this stage that are as long as he is. He combines good hips with solid top-end speed. Watts is at his best in “Off” coverage when he can key the Quarterback’s drop and anticipate what route may be coming his way. He has very good ball skills and I think he could be a turnover machine in a system that requires their DBs to play a lot of zone. Watts is high on Texas.

Prince Dorbah DE/EDGE (Dallas, TX) Highland Park HS, 2020

Dorbah won’t be every school’s cup of tea playing along the defensive front due to a lack of prototypical size (measured 6’2 210 at camp). Dorbah’s value comes in his ability to rush the Quarterback, which is an invaluable trait to have. Dorbah is explosive rushing off of the edge with ankle flexibility and natural bend that cannot be taught. He has an array of moves to go along with heavy hands that he has clearly received good coaching on how to properly place. I would love to one day see Dorbah try his hand in coverage at Linebacker in one of these camp settings. Texas is in a very good spot in this recruitment.

Jahari Rogers CB/NB (Arlington, TX) Arlington HS, 2020

Rogers plays Quarterback for Arlington High and is one of the most exciting players to watch in the DFW metroplex. However, he will be transitioning over to the offensive side of the ball in college playing Defensive Back. Rogers is 6’0 180 and was able to run with every WR in attendance on Sunday. Where Rogers struggled some was at the LOS but I believe that can/will be remedied once he dedicates himself fully to the position in college. Rogers has an abundance of upside at the next level and could end up being one of the top performers from the 2020 class in a few years. I do think he will need a little bit of time to adjust at the next level.

2021 Quick-Hitters

Shemar Turner DE (DeSoto, TX) DeSoto HS, 2021

Turner is a new name to file away and start getting to know for Texas fans. Turner measured in at 6’4.5 260lbs and was an All-District selection in one of the toughest 6A districts in the state as a Sophomore. He fits the mold of athlete that Texas has been recruiting for their “B-Backer” position and is more than athletic enough to remain standing and play in space. However, I believe that Turner has an opportunity to grow into a special DL prospect that can play the 5 or 3-tech like Demarvin Leal and Vernon Broughton. Turner already holds offers from Baylor and Oklahoma State. I was able to chat with Turner following the camp and he is a young man that Texas will be a very strong contender for. He was on campus a few weeks ago for Junior Day and was able to meet the coaches for the first time. In addition to his offers from Baylor and Oklahoma State, Turner told me that “LSU, Texas, and North Carolina” as his favorite schools growing up. In a loaded 2021 class in-state, Turner will likely finish as a consensus top-10 prospect.

Kaleb Higgins CB (Austin, TX) Bowie HS, 2021

File away the name Kaleb Higgins as a potential candidate as a DB target for Texas in 2021. Higgins is the brother of 2019 Stanford signee Elijah Higgins and like his brother, plays in Texas’ backyard. Higgins is every bit of 6’1 and although he was not one of our main targets of focus coming into the day, I kept seeing a #23 in my notes when I reviewed my material from the day. I will be following him closely this upcoming season and will make it a point to meet up with him and pick his brain the next opportunity that I get.

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In case it was missed, yesterday Texas announced the hiring of four coaches who will work as analysts for the program in 2019. In a trend that Nick Saban started, Texas added coaches with experience at major universities, the biggest name former North Carolina Head Coach being Larry Fedora. For those that don’t remember, Fedora’s name was being mentioned more than a few places as a candidate for Texas’ Head Coaching vacancy in 2014 when Texas was in search of Mack Brown’s replacement.

The new analysts are as follows:

  • Larry Fedora, former North Carolina Heach Coach
  • Dillon Fedora, former North Carolina Quality Control Assistant
  • Paul Williams, former Houston Defensive Backs Coach
  • Andre Coleman, former Kansas State Offensive Coordinator

There also remains a possibility that former Kansas Head Coach David Beaty can/will join the program in some capacity as well. Stay tuned.


Willie Tyler Offered | His Plans Moving Forward
– Super K

As you all know JUCO OT, Willie Tyler (Iowa Western) visited Texas earlier this month. However, at that time he did not walk away with an offer.

That has now changed…

Blessed to recieve my 6th offer from
THE University Of Texas at Austin!#HookEm 🤘🏽🧡 pic.twitter.com/qo7H4surDS— Willie Tyler III™️ (@TheWillieTyler) February 28, 2019

I spoke on the phone with Tyler and asked him how he felt, “I’m shocked. Two weeks ago, right after the Texas visit I was a little stressed. I didn’t think I was going to get it. But the O line coach kept telling me the be patient and that they liked me and that I made a good impression”.

Willie just got the offer so he’s still processing things but for right now he says he won’t do anything, at least until after this weekend when he’s set to visit West Virginia.

The other team lurking here is Oklahoma who has tentatively set up an official visit with Tyler for March 8th.

In case you missed and are interested in more background information about Tyler please see our pre-visit full write up about him here.