Fort Worth Eastern Hills linebacker Byron Hobbs is a top target for Texas.

Football

Finishing off Texas’ ideal 2018 recruiting class: Defense

Posted July 12th, 2017

Story highlights
  • Defensive line and cornerback remain Texas' biggest needs on the defensive side of the ball.
  • B.J. Foster, Caden Sterns and DeMarvion Overshown give Texas the best safety trio in the country.
  • Texas appears done at linebacker if the current commitments sign on national signing day.

This was the recruiting cycle for Tom Herman to put his stamp on the Texas football program. So far, so good.

The Longhorns ended the July dead period with 11 commitments, halfway to the estimated 22 signees for the 2018 class. They’re already in good shape at several positions, including quarterback, running back, linebacker and safety. They have work to do at tight end, offensive line, defensive line and cornerback.

Herman and his staff are in solid position for multiple remaining prospects. Expect Texas to start the 2017 season with a few more pledges and maybe a new name or two on the radar at need positions that are lacking in-state talent.

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Texas’ class ranks seventh nationally per 247Sports’ composite ratings.

This is how the Longhorns would like to finish their 2018 class. We’ll finish with the defense. The offensive side can be found here.

Four-star defensive end Joseph Ossai at Oak Ridge football practice. (Mike Craven)

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Texas’ needs: 2 or 3

Best-case scenario: Keondre Coburn; Joseph Ossai; Ronnie Perkins

Others to watch: Bobby Brown; Max Wright

Defensive line is one of two positions on defense without a single commitment for the 2018 class. The switch to a three-man front in Todd Orlando’s scheme means the Longhorns don’t need quantity at either position. Texas is searching for quality, however.

The top target at tackle is Keondre Coburn, a four-star from Spring Westfield. The Fabulous 55 member was coached by Texas assistant Corby Meekins as a freshman and is currently coached by Meekins’ brother. He’s considered a Texas lean heading into his senior season.

The Longhorns also are in pursuit of Arlington Lamar tackle Bobby Brown, though he’s also become a top target of Alabama at the position.

Defensive end is tricky. The state’s best prospect, Max Wright, is committed to Texas A&M. The next best player, Ossai, is a Texas A&M lean but included the Longhorns among his top three. Ronnie Perkins, a four-star prospect from Missouri, plans on visiting Texas and is friends with UT linebacker pledge Ayodele Adeoye.

LINEBACKERS

Texas’ needs: 2

Best-case scenario: Byron Hobbs (committed); Ayodele Adeoye (committed)

Others to watch: N/A

Texas appears done at linebacker unless a transfer, de-commitment or early departure occurs between now and national signing day. Texas needed two linebackers and gained commitments from two before the summer dead period with in-state talent Byron Hobbs and Missouri’s Adeoye. Hobbs is an outside linebacker, while Adeoye is the No. 4-ranked middle linebacker in the 2018 recruiting class, per 247Sports’ composite. Texas offered seven linebackers for 2018 and all seven are committed to a school.

Texas commit B.J. Foster competes at The Opening Final in Oregon. (Mike Craven)

SAFETIES

Texas’ needs: 3

Best-case scenario: B.J. Foster (committed); Caden Sterns (committed); DeMarvion Overshown (committed)

Others to watch: Trey Dean

Safety is another position at which the Longhorns are set, barring a de-commitment. The Longhorns have assembled the best safety class in the nation with the trio of Foster, Sterns and Overshown. Sterns can play cornerback or nickel while Overshown is big enough to move to linebacker if he outgrows the safety position. All three are top-10 in-state talents.

CORNERBACKS

Texas’ needs: 3

Best-case scenario: Anthony Cook; Jalen Green; D’Shawn Jamison

Others to watch: N/A

It’s a good year to need cornerbacks. Texas would like to sign three of them and the trio of Cook, Green and Jamison remain at the top of the Longhorns’ wish list. All three impressed at The Opening Final. Jamison and Cook are teammates at Houston Lamar, the high school that produced Texas cornerbacks like Rod Babers and Holton Hill.

Green is emerging as the best cornerback prospect in the state because of his combination of size and speed. The Longhorns are in position to sign all three.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Texas’ needs: 1

Best-case scenario: Cameron Dicker (committed)

Others to watch: N/A

Herman decided a scholarship kicker was available in his backyard and extended an offer to Dicker, who quickly committed. The Lake Travis product won a state championship as a junior and is an accomplished prep soccer player.

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