Team Updates | Sourced | Quick-Hitters
– Super K
A few quick notes here about some of the young guys I’ve heard positive things about early on…
***As you know, the knock on Isaiah Hookfin was that he was playing around 265 lbs in high school. Super athletic but light.
Am told he came in to Texas this summer at 300 lbs and not a sloppy 300. Source said Hookfin came in ready.
***Was told to expect David Gbenda to play early. This could very well have something to do with the lack of depth at LB but it sounds like he’s one of the guys that gives the staff a good vibe.
***Was told the folks like the way Brayden Liebrock moves. Texas has TEs that can go but the more Arizona guys they can have that are successful, the better. That feels like a place Texas can make some money, especially with Tim Beck’s ties there.
***Didn’t really hear a ton on Marcus Washington other than that he runs routes well. Wasn’t sure what to glean from that but I imagine it’s probably just a bit too early.
***The guy there is a lot of excitement about is Jake Smith. Was told he is, “lightning fast…like fastest kid alive type fast”. Source compared him to Marquise “Hollywood” Brown who was the smaller wide receiver at Oklahoma who was drafted in the first round.
Funny thing was, I spoke to Bryson Washington yesterday (I’ll have that update up for you all) and he actually saw Jake Smith running routes when he was at Texas on Saturday. Bryson actually commented on Jake and how fast he looks.
Again, another Arizona kid that it would be nice to get on the field, get him some production and use it really plant a flag in Arizona.
Visitor News | 2020 DE Riyad Wilmot
– Charlie S
Texas is hosting to 2020 DL offer Riyad Wilmot out of St Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale Florida for an unofficial visit which began Wednesday and continuing until (Today) Friday.
Wilmot is at 6’3″ 250 lbs and he currently holds around a dozen offers from the likes of Kentucky, Pitt and Boston College to name a few.
Riyad let me know that he has already visited Pitt and Kentucky and he would ideally like to commit prior to the season.
When I asked him about his thoughts on Texas and the staff, Riyad said “Texas is fantastic. Coach Giles and I have been developing our relationship which is great.” He added, “I wanted to come to see the school and meet the rest of the coaching staff for myself, I’ve heard great things about it”.
I asked him where Coach Giles has talked about using him in their scheme and he said, ” They are looking at me as a versatile guy who can play multiple spots along the line.”
I plan on touching base with Riyad over the phone following the visit to get his reaction and thoughts.
Josh White | Quick-Update | Texas Still on the Case
– Super K
In the race for 2020 LB, Josh White (Cy Creek), Texas came in second to LSU for his commitment.
But behind the scenes, Texas hasn’t given up on the 4-star linebacker.
I have asked around and it sounds like Josh White plans on coming sometime soon for an official visit.
Josh has yet to confirm the trip but I’d imagine that is by design given his current commitment status. But again, I do believe he will get in for an official sometime before the summer dead period begins.
Brennon Scott | Top List | Visits & Decision
– Super K
Earlier this week, 2020 LB, Brennon Scott (Bishop Dunne) dropped his top five which included USC, Auburn, Kansas, Oregon and of course…Texas.
Scott was originally eying a fall decision but he tells me that he’d now like to get things wrapped up before the summer.
I asked him about visit schedule and when he’d be taking his official visit to Texas.
“I don’t know. Man, I was trying to go in July but I saw the dead period for them is from June 24th to July 24th. So, I may have to take it July 26th”.
I asked him why he doesn’t just take the visit in June but it appears he has some scheduling conflicts, “Well, this month has been hectic…and my first officials are USC on the 18th. Second is Kansas on the 21st and I’m trying to schedule Auburn for the 26th of June”.
So, it looks like he’s trying to knock out his out of state official visits first. This should work out in Texas favor as the Horns will likely get his last or second to last official visit.
I still like Texas to ultimately win this one but won’t have any certainty until after these official visits.
Official Visitor List | June 14th – 16th
– Super K
Texas will host four official visitors this weekend. We’ve already reported on them but wanted to have them all in one place.
***Prince Dorbah – Dorbah, I believe, still has his LSU visit scheduled for next weekend. So, this may be the last time Dorbah is on campus before he makes a decision. He’s eyeing a summer decision. My guess is to look for something no later than July. Would obviously be great if they could seal him up this weekend and ask him to team up with J Jackson and start building this class.
***Hudson Card – Card says he will take his official visit this weekend. Can’t hurt having him on campus to recruit three of the top players in the country.
***Lathan Ransom – I think Texas has a punchers chance here and I would not have said that a couple weeks ago before his unofficial visit. I’d make the priority here, coach Herman spending as much time with Ransom and his family as possible. He’s noted to me that he has a strong relationship with coach O at LSU and coach Day at Ohio State. I believe that matters to him.
***Jase McClellan – Really don’t know how much of a chance Texas has in this one. Again, every time I’ve spoken to Jase, he seemed solid to OU. But anytime you have an in-state kid, there’s a big card to play there. The fact that he’s taking an OV says something. In the past when he’d visit Texas, it always seemed like he was just going along for the ride with a friend. This is intentional. We’ll see what it means, if anything, after the visit.
***One other note, not about this weekend, but was able to confirm 2020 DB Kelee RIngo plans on being in Austin for the Pool Party on June 22nd.
Lathan Ransom Visit | Preview | Return Visit
– Super K
2020 DB, Lathan Ransom (Tucson, AZ) is one of the most highly coveted safeties in the country. He’s big, fast, versatile, violent but not reckless, and he’s intelligent.
As I’ve said before, if you asked me a few weeks ago, whether Texas had a chance in this race, I would have said, unlikely.
But I spoke with Lathan after his visit to Texas which took place only two weeks ago and my opinion has changed. In fact, if you ask Ransom, he’d tell you that he didn’t expect to like Texas as much as he did. I would know because I asked him exactly that and he said, “They did (surprise me). That’s exactly what it is”.
On his first trip to Texas, Caden Sterns and some of the other Texas DBs really helped with Ransom.
“The best part I took away with me was getting to pick Caden Sterns’ brain. He was in the same situation I’m in a couple years ago and what made him decide Texas and how he handled everything”.
“He said he really liked coach Herman a lot and he wanted to stay home and help turn to around Texas, get that name of top DBU again”.
Ransom says that ultimately his decision is going to come down to comfort and relationships, relationships with players on campus, coaches, etc.
“My decision is going to come down to a little bit as far as the campus but it’s really about whether I feel comfortable and fit in with the players”.
Ransom said that connecting with Caden, Brandon Jones, and Josh Thompson, “helped a lot…they treated me like I was one of them”.
In terms of Lathan’s relationships with position coaches, he says his relationships with position coaches at all of his top five schools (Ohio State, Texas, OU, Notre Dame and LSU). are about the same. He said no one really stands out in that regard.
Where LSU and Ohio State have been able to separate themselves is in terms of his relationship with head coach, Coach Orgeron (LSU) and coach Day (Ohio State).
“I definitely have a really close connection with coach Day and coach O for LSU. Those are definitely two of my close connections with head coaches. All the position coaches I’m really close with. No one is really pulling away in that aspect. I have a good relationship with pretty much all of them”.
So what is he looking for on this weekend’s visit to Texas?
“I’d like to build a better relationship with coach Herman. I know he’s on the offensive side of the ball but it still would be nice to build a little better relationship with him. And then probably get a little more time with the players and ask them a couple more questions. I got a really good vibe for the city of Austin. I saw a lot more than I expected on an unofficial. I definitely can’t wait to get back and see a little more”.
Ransom has taken his official visits to Oklahoma, LSU and Notre Dame. He will finish off the summer with this OV to Texas and then his last OV will be to Ohio State. He will be in Columbus next week.
After that, it sounds like the family will sit down and go over everything and I think we can expect to see a decision announced sometime in July.
As far who is standing out, I think of his top five Texas, Ohio State, Notre Dame and LSU are all running pretty close. OU is the one school that I sense has fallen behind a little.
When I spoke to Ransom after his first visit to Texas he was pretty candid about the fact that the upcoming official visits are going to have a pretty big impact on what he decides. As in, when it comes to those four schools I mentioned, they all have a real chance.
Texas needs a big performance this weekend. And, if I were Texas, I’d block off a lot of time for coach Herman to sit down with Lathan and his family.
Thirsty Thursday | Dynamic Duo, On Parr, New Offers & More
– Darius Terrell
Welcome back to another edition of Thirsty Thursdays! As always, I’m here to try to help quench your thirst for Longhorn Football in the drought of the offseason, along with other topics of interest in Longhorn sports this week.
With the Longhorns securing commitments from Duncanville QB Ja’Quinden Jackson and Dallas (Skyline) WR Quaydarius Davis, a lot of attention and credit has been given to Assistant WR Coach Ra’Shaad Samples, and rightfully so.
Similar to Texas Director of Recruiting Bryan Carrington, Samples is very young with a ton of energy, he’s disarming and personable, he’s a minority coach in a sport that has flush with minority athletes, and he has a great reputation in the city that he is from. Without Samples on staff, Texas doesn’t have commitments from the aforementioned young men.
In 2018, it was Carrington that had a tremendous influence on a class that was dominated by the Longhorns in-state with an influx of top talent hailing from the Houston-area, where Carrington is from. It is very plausible that Texas does not land all of Jalen Green, Anthony Cook, D’Shawn Jamison, Brennan Eagles, Joseph Ossai, and Malcolm Epps without Carrington’s presence on staff.
Texas has a bit of a dynamic duo brewing and they have roots in the two of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country. What Texas has done with Samples makes me wonder if it is something that we will see become more common in major College Football.
About a decade ago, College Basketball developed a problem. Universities were hiring the AAU or High School coaches of top prospects in order to secure their commitments. Eventually, the NCAA put a rule in place that eliminated that practice. What Texas Head Coach Tom Herman did by holding on to Samples, who was just finishing his playing career at Houston, was a move that I could see becoming the norm for major college programs.
What better way to develop relationships with major High School programs than having a family member of the coach on staff? Will coaches begin to target the sons of prominent High School coaches that may have an interest in coaching? It’s a win-win for the school. You get to bring a young mind on board with football pedigree and you get to gain a substantial advantage in building your roster.
Currently, there is nothing in the rule book that says that this is illegal and I appreciate Texas finding ways to be proactive and creative in a recruiting landscape that is as tough as it has ever been inside the borders of the Lone Star State. Things are about to heat up soon and Longhorn fans should be very excited.
Catching up with Logan Parr
After doing a similar piece on Jake Majors a few weeks ago, I thought that this week would be a great time to check in on Texas 2020 commit OL Logan Parr and pick his brain for an update.
You committed last October during your Junior season, how does the recruiting process for you compare now to how it was before you announced your decision?
“Before I committed back in October, the recruiting process for me was very stressful. Every night, it seemed like I was Facetiming or calling and talking to 5 or 6 coaches on top of trying to prepare for games during the season. After I committed, I got to focus on being the best person and athlete that I can be heading into college.”
Why Texas? What sold you on the program?
“Prior to making my decision, I created a journal that listed every offer that I had received with the pros and cons listed next to each one. I had every member of the coaching staff listed in the journal as well as the academic rankings for each university. After going through all of the data and information, I saw that Texas was clearly on top of the other schools on my list. I had a great connection with Coach Beck, Coach Hand, and Coach Herman and I really liked how personable each of them were.”
What do you think your strengths are as a player? What are some things that you believe you need to continue to work on?
I believe that my strengths as a player are being a smart, technically-sound Offensive Lineman that “gameplans” before each rep. I evaluate my competition and what the guy lined up across from me is giving me and what he has done prior in a game or at a camp. I really enjoy making Defensive Linemen wonder what I’m going to come at them with instead of allowing them to control how the rep is going to go.
Going into this summer, I need to continue to work on becoming stronger and faster. I feel like my upper body strength is stronger than what I have shown on the field (to this point), so I need to be able to translate that into my punch and pass set.”
Did things change for you socially at all after you committed? Do you feel any pressure to be a leader or stand out even more?
“Being committed to Texas brings a lot of attention and pressure to be the best on the field on every play, as well as being a great leader in my hometown. It’s really cool to see the community looking up to you, wishing you the best in the future, hoping that you make it big and standing beside you no matter what happens. The fan base of the University of Texas is incredible and it seems like almost no matter where I go I run into 5 or 6 people who know who I am and who wish me luck.”
Are you planning to be in town next weekend for the big pool party and is there any chance that you’ll be an early enrollee?
“I will be at the Heat Wave Pool Party next weekend and I will be a spring enrollee.”
Thoughts on clout#2020 and what’s to come?
“I believe that the 2020 class is picking up and is adding some key recruits who are going to be great at Texas. I can’t wait to go to college with them.”
Texas offers 2021 In-State RB
Late Monday evening, Texas made the move to make just their 2nd offer to a Running Back in the 2021 class within the borders. Cy Fair RB LJ Johnson, Jr. was the recipient of the offer and I was able to get in contact with LJ to get his thoughts on the offer:
“It was very exciting and shocking to get an offer from Texas because it was very unexpected.”
How did you find out about the offer?
“I found out about the offer when I was on the phone with Coach Drayton and Coach Tom Herman.”
What are some of your strengths as a player? What are some things that you need to work on?
“I think that some of my positives as a player are my ability to hit the hole and my vision. As far as things to work on, playing at one speed and becoming a better leader for my team are two things.”
Johnson, who already holds offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, TCU, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Michigan, told me that he has a visit planned to UT this weekend, so the mutual interest is definitely there. He told me that he’s originally from Louisiana and was an LSU fan as a youth, but says that that isn’t really the case any longer.
Johnson barely missed to cut on my initial Texas Top 25 for 2021, but he was extremely productive as a Sophomore and it is no surprise at all to see him getting so much early attention. Here was my initial write-up on him a few months ago when I previewed the RBs in 2021:
“His statistics brought me to his tape, as Johnson rushed for over 1100 yards and 23 touchdowns as a Soph. His school still uses a lot of “I” Formation and a Fullback, which was fun to watch. His running style reminds me a bit of former Texas RB and current LA Rams RB Malcolm Brown. Top-end speed may be a slight concern.”
My Take: Johnson has some big-time offers and the staff clearly thinks very highly of him for them to make him only the second back that they’ve offered so far in the class. He was very excited about picking up the UT offer and will be in town to visit soon. This one looks really good for the Longhorns early.
Getting Ahead of the Curve
Many fans are already aware of the big pool party and recruiting event that Texas is hosting next weekend for many members of the 2020 and 2021 recruiting class. Paying attention this week and last, I noticed a healthy amount of offers going out to younger prospects, which is a different approach to what Texas has done in the past. Here is a list of prospects that have been offered in the past week and names to follow moving forward:
2021 CB Ishmael Ibraheem, Dallas (Kimball)
2021 S JD Coffey, Kennedale
2021 CB Latrell McCutchin, Austin (LBJ) (Committed to Alabama)
2021 RB LJ Johnson, Houston (Cy-Fair)
2021 DL Marcus Burris, Texarkana (Pleasant Grove)
2021 LB Clayton Smith, Texarkana (Texas High)
2022 DB Christian Driver, Argyle (Liberty Christian)
Texas will also play host this weekend to these three names to watch:
2021 RB Brandon Campbell, Pearland
2022 S Bryce Anderson, Beaumont (Westbrook)
2022 ATH/RB Jaydon Blue, Klein (Cain)
More on 2022 Stars
Over the course of last weekend, Texas hosted a number of talented recruits. A particular trio made their way to town with a lot of attention from the Texas staff awaiting them. Bishop Dunne standouts LB Jordan Crook and DB Landon Hullaby made their way to Austin with Hullaby’s older brother and current 2020 Texas commit, Jaden Hullaby.
I was able to catch up with Crook, who already hold offers from the likes of USC, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, and Missouri and is being touted by some as the top LB in the nation for his class, to get his thoughts on the trip.
“I loved the atmosphere of Texas and the showed a lot of love for this to be my first time in Austin. I could tell right off that they seemed very interested in me.”
Who invited them out?
“My coach got (myself) and Landon a visit set up with Coach Warehime. We toured the campus and then we had a photo shoot. From there we went out to watch camp for a bit. Before we left, they invited us back out to the pool party in two weeks.”
Crook told me that he and Hullaby intend to be present at the pool party next weekend and they will be accompanied by 2022 Fort Worh (Nolan Catholic) RB Emeka Megwa, who already holds an early offer from the Longhorns.
Crook also told me that he has trips planned to USC and Georgia Tech later this summer, two schools that have already offered him and made him a priority.
My Take: It’s extremely early to be talking about anything too serious with prospects that won’t sign until 2 ½ years from now, but Texas is doing a tremendous job of laying the groundwork early with some studs in the 2022 class which could pay off big-time in the future. All three players, Crook, Hullaby, and Megwa, figure to be National prospects and it sure doesn’t hurt Texas that they have an ace up their sleeve in Jaden Hullaby.