In most states, the end of Week 8 marks the halfway point of the high school football season, including the playoffs. With half of the season in the rearview, here is how the Longhorns’ 2019 commits have fared:
Chris Adimora, Safety
Adimora, a July commit to the Horns, has seen an uptick in offensive production for Mayfield High in Lakeview, California. In seven games this season, Adimora has 18 receptions for 525 yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2018, he has nearly doubled his receiving touchdown numbers from last season (four in 2017, seven in 2018). On the defensive side of the ball, Adimora has 27 total tackles and 2 interceptions. Mayfield will play the final game of their regular season on Friday night against Bellflower before entering the playoffs.
Derrian Brown, Running Back
Four-star running back Derrian Brown out of Buford, Georgia has bolstered his 2018 production, leading one of the most prolific offenses in Georgia. In just five games, Brown has rushed for 839 yards and 11 touchdowns, and has added another 6 receptions for 75 yards and 1 receiving touchdown. Brown will play two more regular season games before leading Buford into the playoffs in November. In SEC country, Brown’s September commitment came as a surprise to some, but looks to be a hard commitment to the Longhorns.
Marques Caldwell, Defensive Back
From one burnt orange team to another, three-star Marques Caldwell out of Alvin, Texas has been sidelined since Week 3 with a torn labrum, and is not expected to return this season with Alvin well out of the playoff picture. What was supposed to be a season for Caldwell to prove doubters wrong (outside of top 500 overall players in all major recruiting databases) has now turned into a sideline watch for 2018. Texas fans will have to wait until next August to see what Caldwell can bring to the table.
De’Gabriel Floyd, Linebacker
Arguably the most productive commit in the 2019 class is Los Angeles product De’Gabriel Floyd. Floyd, a four-star linebacker who will enroll early to try and take over a wide-open starting linebacker role next season, has been absolutely dominant on the defensive side of the ball for Westlake Village all season. In eight games, Floyd has recorded 103 total tackles to go along with 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. In jumbo packs, Floyd has been used at running back and has three touchdowns on 75 yards. With Floyd set to enroll early, look for him to make a big impact in spring ball.
David Gbenda, Linebacker
David Gbenda out of Katy, Texas will provide some depth to a linebacker position that could be anyone’s in 2019. In seven games, Gbenda has matched his tackle and sack total from all of 2017 with 56 and 2 respectively. His presence in the backfield has been huge for Cinco Ranch this season, as he has recorded 10 tackles for loss. With Cinco Ranch not expected to make the playoffs, Gbenda will get three more games to have at it before playing in the burnt orange next season.
Demariyon Houston, Wide Receiver
Houston, the second best player out of the state of Oklahoma, does not have any accessible official stats for the season. His Millwood team, however, has steamrolled through their competition, sitting at 8-0 with an average margin of victory of 38 points. If Houston’s production has been anything like his last two years for the Falcons, expect big final tallies come December for this four-star.
Tyler Johnson, Offensive Tackle
The highest ranked recruit in Texas’ 2019 class, four-star OT Tyler Johnson (#34 overall), has had another dominating season for Conroe Oak Ridge. On 247Sports’ database, he is the highest ranked four-star in the country, and his 32 pancake blocks in 2018 in just seven games are a testament to that fact.
Roschon Johnson, Quarterback
Eyes have been surrounding four-star Roschon Johnson since his commitment in late July, and few have been turned away during his senior season with Port Neches Groves. In a season that has seen Johnson battle a nagging ankle sprain, the Under Armour All-American has put up 1304 yards while passing for 14 touchdowns to lead PNG to a 5-2 record. With the Indians expected to make a deep playoff run, Johnson is a name to keep an eye on throughout November and into December.
Brayden Liebrock, Tight End
Coveted as one of the top five tight ends in the 2019 class, Liebrock chose Texas over his home-state school Arizona State. For Chandler (Ari.) this season, the 6’5, 225 pound four-star has 37 receptions for 470 yards and 5 touchdowns. With Chandler being undoubtedly the best team in Arizona and a deep playoff run almost certainly in store, look for Liebrock to easily eclipse his 2017 total of 600 yards and 39 receptions.
Peyton Powell, Athlete
The most recent commit to the 2019 class is Odessa Permian’s do-it-all man Peyton Powell, who has sure done it all and then some for the Panthers this season. In seven games this season playing at QB, Powell has notched 1,010 passing yards and 10 touchdowns while rushing for 374 yards and 7 touchdowns. He has shown the versatility that power five programs around the country have flocked to see in 2018, and it gives Longhorn fans reason to believe he could be the most valuable recruit to the class when it’s all said and done. With Permian expected to go at least two rounds deep in the Texas 6A playoffs, Powell should have about 5-7 more games before exchanging his black and white uniform for burnt orange.
Javonne Shepherd, Offensive Tackle
Javonne Shepherd’s season with Houston North Forest has been nothing short of disappointing, as the Bulldogs are 1-6 and 0-3 in district play. With little playoff hope left, Shepherd’s high school career should end in early November. No official stats are available for Shepherd, but an unofficial visit was made to Texas A&M in early October for the four-star.
Jake Smith, Wide Receiver
When it comes to stats, Jake Smith out of the Notre Dame Preparatory School in Arizona is undoubtedly having the best season of anyone in the 2019 class. In nine games, Smith has 37 receptions for 836 receiving yards (22.6 avg.), 660 rushing yards, and 32 total touchdowns. With these numbers, expect his #86 overall ranking to rise in the 247 Sports 2019 rankings. The Saints team have waltzed through their competition, as they sport a 9-0 record and will look to draw more blood in the playoffs in November.
T’Vondre Sweat, Defensive End
The Huntsville Hornets have had an impressive first half of their season, standing at 6-1 with their only loss coming to the defending Texas 5A Division II state champions College Station, 20-7 in Week 3. T’Vondre Sweat has been a big part of their stellar defense, as they have taken down impressive offenses throughout the season with relatively little problem, including limiting Roschon Johnson’s Port Neches Groves to 14 points in Week 2. Despite Sweat being known for his pass rush, he also leads the team in interceptions with two on the year. Look for Sweat to make some noise once the Texas high school football playoffs get going in mid-November.
Jordan Whittington, Wide Receiver
The second highest rated recruit in Texas’ 2019 class according to the 247 Sports rankings is none other than Cuero’s star playmaker Jordan Whittington. In his senior season, Whittington has battled injuries and only participated in three games, but he has been nothing short of lethal while on the field. On the year, the four-star has 20 receptions for 369 yards and 6 touchdowns. With Whittington back on the field down the stretch for the top-ranked Gobblers, expect Texas’ future star to put up eye-boggling numbers in the playoffs.
Kenyatta Watson II, Cornerback
When it comes to Georgia’s elite, Grayson High School is always in the conversation, and Kenyatta Watson II is a testament to that fact. In eight games this season, Watson II has 19 tackles and an interception to lead the Grayson defense as they sit at #25 in the nation according to MaxPreps. With Grayson primed for another deep playoff run, look for Watson II to make some noise in the second half.
*No official stats available for DE Peter Mpagi, S Tyler Owens, LB Marcus Tillman Jr., and TE Jared Wiley
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