Lost in the news of Saturdayâ€™s loss to Baylor was the re-commitment of 2016 Manvel (TX) wide receiver Reggie Hemphill. Hemphill was previously committed to Mack Brown, but decommitted when Charlie Strong took the job. The young wideout wanted to reassess his options before pledging to the new coaching staff. Hemphill has been to Austin multiple times this year and gave his pledge to Coach Strong shortly before the Horns kicked off against Baylor.
Hemphill joins Collin Johnson as the second pledge in the 2016 class. He chose Texas over offers from Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and UCLA. The commitment represents positive momentum for a coaching staff that has struggled with premier offensive players on the recruiting front.
Hemphill adds to a list in the next two classes that will have Texas loaded at the wide receiver position. Hemphill ranks as a 4 star by most recruiting services, and is in the Rivals 250 for 2016.
Hemphill stands 6â€™1, 174 pounds and has the frame to add a little weight. He has long arms and is an incredibly smooth player. Although Hemphill doesnâ€™t show elite game speed, his top end is plenty fast with great short distance quickness and an understanding of the position.
Hemphill shows good hands at the line of scrimmage to beat press coverage and the ability to accelerate smoothly in and out of his breaks to create separation. Heâ€™s a natural hands-catcher who excels after the catch and is dangerous in the open field. He also shows the ability to pose a threat on special teams and is a willing blocker when lined up out wide.
He is a bit raw in his route running and could use some work tightening that up. Hemphill plays with a lot of confidence and really embraces being the big play threat on the field.
Wide receiver is always a difficult position to project, but Hemphill has all the tools to be a better than average player in the Big 12. Hemphillâ€™s ceiling is that of an all conference player who could project to be a high round draft pick. He has the size and speed to contribute early in his career, and could be a big boost for a Texas offense that currently lacks playmakers.