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Burnt Ends: Junior Day Edition

Texas hosted their first Junior Day over the past two days, with 2019, 2020 and 2021 prospects making their way to Austin. Although Texas did not come away with any commitments, Tom Herman and company did a great job of building relationships with some of the top targets on their board.

Kids and parents raved about the relationships they have built with the coaching staff. Texas only extended two offers, one to Brock TE Baylor Cupp and the other to Arkansas tackle Stacey Wilkins. Let’s take a good at some key targets from Junior Day and what they had to say about the Longhorns:

QB Roschon Johnson

The lone commit in the 2019 spent much of his time interacting with fellow recruits and serving as the bellcow for the class.

“Main thing I want to do is just draw everybody around me, and in my class I got the best position to do that.” Johnson said.

California LB De’Gabriel Floyd was mentioned by name as someone who Johnson said he talked to a lot. Similar to 2020 Zachary Evans, Johnson was on campus last weekend as well, and met up with 2019 WR recruits Elijah Higgins and Garrett Wilson.

As for other schools recruiting him, Johnson said he hears every once in a while from LSU and Stanford.

RB Deondrick Glass

Another year, and another standout Running Back coming out of Katy. Glass has been on the Texas radar for a while, and running backs coach Stan Drayton has done an excellent job connecting with Glass.

“I can tell Coach Drayton isn’t fake, he wants to see me succeed and is willing to do whatever he can to get me to the next level,” Glass said.

Current Longhorn Kyle Porter, who also hails from Katy, has been recruiting Glass hard. In terms of making a decision, Glass said he is in no rush and wants to continue to enjoy the process. Ohio State, Georgia and Alabama were all schools he mentioned about visiting.

RB Zachary Evans (2020)

For the second straight weekend, the 2020 North Shore star visited Texas. As a sophomore this past fall, Evans rushed for all 1400 yards and 27 touchdowns. So what has stuck out with him on his recent visits to Austin?

“Film. Film and getting to talk to the coaches,” Evans said. “I feel like what is going to be big in my recruiting process is I got to be able to bond with the coach and the team, you can’t just commit to a coach”

Tom Herman and Stan Drayton have made a huge impression on Evans and his family. It is paying off too, as Texas is beginning to separate themselves in his recruitment.

“Texas has definitely separated themselves,” Evans said. “I know in the future of my recruiting process they are going to be able to break it down for me and keep it real with me throughout the process. I don’t want to just go to a school where they tell me what I want to hear.”

Evans recently listed Alabama and Texas as the two schools who are recruiting him the hardest. Texas seems to be pushing all the right buttons and has prioritized him as their prize RB take for the 2020 class. Texas is in a very good spot early, but this isn’t a recruitment that will be wrapped up soon.

“I am going to try to break down my top 15 heading into my junior year, so it should be coming in the next month,” Evans said when asked about a possible decision timeline.

Texas is a pretty safe bet to make the cut.

RB Darwin Barlow

The standout RB from Newton made his way to the 40 acres on Saturday and came away very impressed.

“It was nice. Top one so far.” Barlow said when asked about how the Texas visits ranks compared to others he has taken. “I just love the atmosphere and the coaches. It feels like home.”

Should Texas choose to take 2 RB’s in the 2019 class, the state champion who rushed for 2246 yards and 38 touchdowns would be a good take. Barlow said he plans to make some more visits this spring, with Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M all being possible destinations.

WR Garrett Wilson

The Lake Travis wide out is one of the biggest priorities of the cycle for the Texas coaching staff and he was absolutely treated like it with the red carpet treatment on Sunday. Wilson spent a lot of time with the staff and was the last recruit to leave the complex before heading back up the road.

Wilson told HornSports that the high points of the trip was getting to suit up in the icy whites with some of his boys (specifically mentioned Baylor commit Jaylen Ellis and Erick Young), as well as seeing how each player had individual plans to help them graduate.

Texas’ newly minted recruiting ace Bryan Carrington is hot on Wilson’s trail and has already spent plenty of time coaxing him into playing his collegiate career in Austin. WIlson says he and Carrington communicate daily and were actually talking when we were exchanging messages.

Wilson also spent time with both Drew Mehringer and the newly reassigned Corby Meekins during the visit and the trip ended with a sit down with Tom Herman. The message to the elite pass catcher was clear: “Represent your state”. On top of that, the staff conveyed that they planned to move him around and play him both on the outside and in the slot.

The staff did an excellent job keeping the state’s elite talent home this past cycle and the message is not changing for 2019. While Texas is home for Wilson he also has roots in Ohio, and he made it clear that he would make the best decision for himself when it came down to it. Wilson went on to say he always feels comfortable when he visits Texas, which is always an important thing, and that he would be keeping an eye on how the passing game continues to develop this year since that directly impacts him.

As far as his spring schedule goes, Wilson says he want to go see Arkansas, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and TCU, but didn’t rule out another visit to Texas for the spring game as long as his schedule permits.

WR Ke’Andre Street

The 6’3 wideout from John Tyler showed up to Austin a little under the weather, but it didn’t stop him from enjoying his time.

“It was good,” Street said. “I talked to Coach Herman. It was a great experience being here, love the place, why not be in Austin, Texas?”

Street is currently hearing frequently from Houston, Texas Tech, North Texas and Southern Miss. Wide Receivers coach Drew Mehringer expressed Texas’ interest in the talented wideout, and there is a possibility an offer could be extended down the line.

“Their interest level is very high. I think they are waiting to get some track times in,” Street said.

WR Elijah Higgins

Higgins has continued to blow up with offers over the course of the past month, but the star Austin Bowie wideout said he is continuing to take the process slowly and soak it all in. Higgins said he enjoyed being able to be the on the Texas campus for the first time since he was offered.

“It was a lot of fun hanging out with all the guys, Garrett Wilson, Jaylen Ellis and all of them”, said Higgins.

Stanford has already extended an offer, so Higgins is focused on a lot more than just life on the football field. He said Texas did a great job of telling them about their sports medicine program, which Higgins is interested in majoring in.

So where does Texas stand at the moment? The Longhorns are definitely in a good spot for the 6’3 wideout. 2019 QB commit Roschon Johnson threw passes to Higgins and Garrett Wilson last weekend, and the trio has discussed the possibility of playing together at the next level.

TE Logan Compton

Compton was quick to point out how good of a relationship he has with the Texas staff.

“I had a great relationship with Coach Meekins,” Compton said. “He told me to call him the day he found out he wasn’t going to be the tight ends coach, and gave me Coach Warehime’s info. I was talking to Coach Meekins every day.”

Texas has yet to offer, but the 6’4 TE could be in line for one down the road.

“They’ve seen I’ve got a lot bigger, which they really like. They are going to come watch me in the spring.”

TE Jalen Wydermyer

The 6’4 tight end from Dickinson made his way to Austin for Sunday’s junior day. Wydermyer said he enjoyed getting to interact with new tight ends coach Derek Warehime, who stressed to him how Texas loves to utilize the tight end.

Despite not holding an offer, Wydermyer said Texas is up there on his list of schools.

“This would be one of my top schools,” Wydermyer said when asked where Texas stands in his recruitment. “I really have a good connection with coach Meekins and coach Warehime.”

An offer would be in the works down the line, and Texas would be in a good spot if one was extended. Wydermyer grew up in nearby Del Valle, so he is no stranger to Austin.

OL Stacey Wilkins

Wilkins was the first new offer given out on Junior Day. The Arkansas native immediately named Texas one of his top schools and cited many reasons as to why he came away impressed from his time in Austin.

“The coaches and what they have planned for the players, academics and relationship with the coaches”,Wilkins said. “Coach Hand is one of the best OL coaches in the country.”

Wilkins also has Oklahoma, TCU and Arkansas at the top of his list, and is planning on visiting the Razorbacks this upcoming weekend. Texas has a very good chance of hosting him on an official visit at some point during the spring. When asked about the idea of playing his college career away from his home state, Wilkins said it is something he could be comfortable with.

“I’m okay with getting out of state. As long as it fits me best and I have a good relationship with the coaching staff.”

DE Marcus Stripling

Heading into Saturday, Texas was hoping to make headway in the recruitment of 4 star DE Marcus Stripling. The Longhorns accomplished just that, with Stripling leaving impressed with what Tom Herman and defensive line coach Oscar Giles had to show him.

“It was a great today at Texas,” Stripling said. “Very outstanding show Coach Herman put on. I learned a lot about Austin. Me being the #1 defensive end in Texas, just keeping everything in Texas sounds pretty good. Good scheme Coach Herman is drawing up in there. Austin’s just a great place to be”

Stripling is hearing from schools all over the country, so where exactly does his recruitment stand at this time?

“I’m open all the way up. I haven’t really decided yet. I am still just taking my time”

The Mayde Creek product says he plans on making it back to Austin again at some point during the spring.

“Of course. Everytime I come visit, it gets better and better. High hopes for Texas.”

DT DeMarvin Leal

Perhaps the biggest priority on defense in the 2019 class, Leal left junior day rocking a Texas shirt. The Converse Judson standout was impressed with the coaching staff and enjoyed getting to talk to some current players.

“The love of the coaches. They really love the student athletes,” Leal said when asked what stood out about the day. “I talked to a couple of the freshman, B.J Foster and Caden Sterns. They just talked about the positive and negative of the school, there’s really no negatives. They just talked about how they loved it.”

Leal said the visit definitely helped Texas and that he enjoyed interacting with Tom Herman and Oscar Giles. As far as what’s next, Leal said he is in the process of getting his some spring official visits lined up. He said there is a possibility he could make a commitment in August. Regardless, Texas has positioned themselves nicely for one of the top defensive tackles in the country.

LB De’Gabriel Floyd

The story of the day was California LB De’Gabriel Floyd. Floyd spoke extremely favorably about Texas and it appears Texas made a huge impression.

I love the hospitality here,” Floyd said. “It felt like every coach was my best friend. It was just a great visit.”

Floyd said all his questions were answered without him even having to ask. So where does Texas stand in his recruitment?

“Real high,” Floyd said. “The atmosphere of me coming down here, and I have family down here. It was just real comfortable, I didn’t feel out of place. It felt like I was at home. I got my top schools in mind, and Texas is up there.”

Floyd said he enjoyed hanging out with freshman LB Ayodele Adeoeye and QB Cameron Rising, who is a fellow California native. Floyd has a very close relationship with Todd Orlando, and Texas appears to be a legitimate player for one of the top outside linebackers in the country.

In terms of a possible timeline on a decision, it will be a while. Floyd said he could see himself announcing on early signing day or during an All-Star game. He still plans on visiting UCLA, USC and possibly Oregon.

CB Marcus Banks

The Dekaney High School corner is a high priority for Texas. Banks said Tom Herman and cornerbacks coach Jason Washington showed him a lot of love during his visit.

“The talk with Coach Herman. We had a very good talk and reached out with building a relationship, especially with my mother,” Banks said when asked what stood out. “They (Herman and Washington) showed a lot of love.”

Banks was originally slated to announce his decision on March 3rd, but announced he is pushing his decision back. Nevertheless, Texas definitely made a big impression on the 4-star.

“This visit opened my eyes more, they are very high on my list.”

CB/S Erick Young

Prior to his visit, Young said he was not too interested in Texas, but the Longhorns made a big impression of the Fort Bend Bush standout.

“It was a really good visit, it opened my eyes a lot,” Young said. “I wasn’t really feeling Texas, but after today I really like Texas.”

Texas did an excellent job of making up ground in his recruitment, and a big reason is safeties coach Craig Naivar.

“Coach Naviar,” Young said when asked what stood out about the visit. “He said he wants to sign a good class again to win a national championship.”

Young proclaimed afterwards that Texas was squarely back in the mix in his recruitment, naming them to his top 5. He expects to take official visits this spring and announce a final decision during his senior season. Texas and Texas A&M are two teams who are high on his list.

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Jameson McCausland is a senior Sports Management major at the University of Texas. He is originally from Frisco, Texas, where he grew up a Longhorn fan. His two favorite sports are football and baseball, both of which he covers for HornSports. He enjoys spending time with family and friends in his spare time.

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