Oak Ridge defensive end Joseph Ossai is approaching 30 scholarship offers. (Mike Craven)

Football

Texas’ ‘Stars at Night’ recruiting event bringing 2018 and 2019 talent to Austin

Posted July 21st, 2017

Story highlights
  • Texas is set to host a number of commitments and a handful of top 2018 targets Friday night.
  • With the 2018 class halfway done, Texas' recruiting focus is shifting towards the 2019 class.
  • A number of talented 2019 prospects are expected to visit Texas for Stars at Night event.

Tom Herman enjoys playing host. And the Longhorns aren’t missing chances to promote the future of Texas football under the new head coach.

The latest of this summer’s showcase events for recruits is called Stars at Night, a Friday event at Royal-Memorial Stadium that’s expected to feature several 2018 pledges, including Oklahoma quarterback Casey Thompson, Houston Lamar wide receiver Al’vonte Woodard, Seminole offensive lineman Reese Moore, Cibolo Steele safety Caden Sterns and Fort Worth Eastern Hills linebacker Byron Hobbs.

Texas also is hosting several potential commitments, most importantly on the defensive line. The Longhorns sit at 12 pledges. None of them are on the line. So it’s a need spot.

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Unlike cornerback, where Texas feels good about landing prospects like Jalen Green, D’Shawn Jamison and Anthony Cook, the picture is cloudy along the defensive line.

Expect extra attention to be paid to these particular linemen on Friday night:

Spring Westfield four-star Keondre Coburn is the top-rated defensive tackle in Texas. (Mike Craven)

 

Keondre Coburn, defensive tackle, Spring Westfield

FYI: 6-1/330; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

The Longhorns lead for Coburn, a big-bodied defensive tackle with enough strength and athleticism to play defensive tackle or nose tackle. He lacks height, but so does current UT nose tackle Poona Ford. Coburn is familiar with the Texas staff and is from the same high school that produced Ed Oliver, whom Herman signed at Houston. Texas also signed running back Daniel Young from Westfield last cycle. Coburn has not yet committed, but it’s easy to get the feeling that he’s Texas’ to lose.

Bobby Brown, defensive tackle, Arlington Lamar

FYI: 6-4/275; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

The Longhorns identified Brown early in the cycle and he’s starting to receive more attention from the staff. Brown, at 6-4 and 275, is a physical specimen with little body fat. He can move for a big man and can play defensive tackle or strong-side defensive end. The rub with Brown was his junior film; he took plays off and wasn’t as dominant as his skill and size would suggest. If he learns to turn on the switch, he’s a top defensive line prospect. Alabama is chasing him hard.

Shabazz Dotson, defensive tackle, Cedar Hill

FYI: 6-3/271; 3-stars

Texas offer: No

Dotson doesn’t hold a Longhorns offer, but he’s still making his way to Austin for Friday night’s event. He’s a productive player for Cedar Hill, one of the state’s top Class 6A programs. Dotson is a big, physical lineman with solid athleticism at his weight. He could earn an offer later in the cycle.

Jordan Redmond, defensive tackle, Osceola (Fla.)

FYI: 6-0/292; 3-stars

Texas offer: No

It’s never bad to keep options open with multiple players at a position. Texas wants a closer look at Redmond, a raw defensive tackle prospect from Florida. He holds 30 offers and is ranked the No. 100 defensive tackle in the nation, per 247Sports’ composite.

Conroe Oak Ridge defensive end Joseph Ossai holds a Texas offer. (Mike Craven)

Joseph Ossai, defensive end, Conroe Oak Ridge

FYI: 6-4/217; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Ossai is an interesting prospect. He started playing football later in life and emerged as a junior at Oak Ridge after spending most of his sophomore year playing junior varsity. He’s still raw, but his upside is unlimited as an end or edge-rushing outside linebacker. Texas A&M has been considered the leader, but the Longhorns are making up ground and any time Ossai is on campus allows them to build a better relationship.

2019 becomes a priority

The Longhorns are halfway to the goal of 22 commitments for 2018. They’ve identified the prospects to finish off the class, so the rest of the cycle becomes more about personal connections than scouting reports.

The 2019 class is ready to draw most of the staff’s attention and a good crop of players are expected in Austin on Friday, including members of our Next 25 with Texas offers:

Roschon Johnson, quarterback, Port Neches-Groves

FYI: 6-0.5/192; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

It’s clear that Texas has identified the dual-threat quarterback as its top quarterback target for 2019. He’s one of two 2019 quarterbacks that have been offered by the Longhorns; the other, Spencer Rattler, is already committed to Oklahoma. Johnson has already made several trips to Austin this offseason, making Texas the clear leader early in his recruitment.

Grant Tisdale, quarterback, Allen

FYI: 6-1/204; 4-stars

Texas offer: No

Tisdale’s stock will rise as a junior this fall when he takes over as the starting quarterback at the state’s largest high school. Tisdale could be special due to his combination of size, arm strength and athleticism. Allen always wins football games and he’ll get a chance to play quarterback in marquee games during his final two high schools seasons. He also visited Texas for a camp in the summer.

Marquez Beason, wide receiver, Dallas Bishop Dunne

FYI: 5-11/173; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

The 2019 class is loaded with playmakers and Beason is one of the players Texas wants on campus. He’s listed as an athlete by most recruiting services and could play running back or wide receiver in college. He already holds 30 offers and was once committed to Nebraska.

Theo Wease, wide receiver, Allen

FYI: 6-3/189; 5-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Wease is arguably the best receiver in the state and is a candidate for five-star status. He’s long, fast and consistent. He and Tisdale will form a productive quarterback/wide receiver duo for Allen these next two seasons. He was the District 6-6A offensive newcomer of the year as a sophomore. He was a one-time Oklahoma commit.

Cuero athlete Jordan Whittington participates at The Opening in Houston. (Mike Craven)

Jordan Whittington, wide receiver, Cuero

FYI: 6-1/198; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Whittington recently included Texas in his top four and it’s clear the Longhorns are in hot pursuit of the do-everything offensive talent from Cuero. Whittington scored touchdowns as a runner, receiver, defensive back and returner as a sophomore. He’s the type of player a program gets on campus and then figures out which position to line him up at later.

Arjei Henderson, wide receiver, Fort Bend Travis

FYI: 6-1/179; 5-stars

Texas offer: Yes

If Wease isn’t the top in-state receiver in the 2019 class, that honor goes to Henderson. The No. 2 prospect on The Next 25 is a highlight machine already capable of putting up monster numbers at the prep level. He recorded 100 catches for 1,401 yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Tyler Johnson, offensive lineman, Conroe Oak Ridge

FYI: 6-5/293; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

The state of Texas rebounds along the offensive line in 2019. Johnson is one of a handful of elite offensive line prospects in the state. He was offered by Texas early and attended the Orange-White game in the spring. He’s also teammates with Ossai, a top 2018 defensive end target for Texas.

EJ Ndoma-Ogar, offensive lineman, Allen

FYI: 6-2.5/305; 4-stars

Texas offer: No

There isn’t a shortage of 2019 talent at Allen, and the Longhorns want to tap into that pipeline. Wease is the lone Allen prospect with a current UT offer, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Texas eventually offer Tisdale and Ndoma-Ogar. Ndoma-Ogar spent his sophomore year at IMG Academy in Florida.

Brian Williams, safety, Dallas Bishop Dunne

FYI: 6-0/185; 5-stars

Texas offer: Yes

The state’s No. 1 player in 2019 is expected to make it to Austin on Friday. Williams is a five-star safety with interest from nearly every program in the country. His brother, Rawleigh Williams III, was a star running back at Arkansas. Williams is a big, rangy safety with the coverage skills of a cornerback.

Marcel Brooks, outside linebacker, Flower Mound Marcus

FYI: 6-3/200; 4-stars

Texas offer: Yes

Texas is in the mix for one of the top edge players in the state for 2019. Brooks can play outside linebacker or eventually grow into a three-down defensive end. Either way, his ability to run is rare for a prep player of his size. Brooks isn’t without a shortage of suitors, so Texas is in for a recruiting fight.

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