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The Dotted Line: Texas can cherry-pick running backs in the 2021 recruiting cycle

Texas inked 19 players in the 2020 class, which ended last week with national signing day. Texas’ class ranked ninth in the nation and first in the Big 12. The Longhorns have more scholarships for the 2021 cycle and hope to land a top-five class.

As the coaching staff switches its full attention to 2021, we’re looking at where the Longhorns stand at each position. We’ve already broken down the quarterbacks and defensive linemen.

 

2021 running back prospect Camar Wheaton is a five-star Texas target. (Mike Craven/American-Statesman)

Running backs

Already on campus: Keaontay Ingram (jr. this fall), Roschon Johnson (soph.), Derrian Brown (fresh.) 

2020 signees: Bijan Robinson (5 stars)

2021 commitments: None

Top in-state targets: LJ Johnson (4), Houston Cypress Fairbanks; Camar Wheaton (5); Garland Lakeview Centennial; Brandon Campbell (4), Lamar Consolidated; Jonathon Brooks (3), Hallettsville

Other offers: Donovan Edwards (5), West Bloomfield, Mich.; Phil Mafah (4), Loganville (Ga.) Grayson

Texas enters the 2020 season with its best stable of running backs since back when 10-win seasons were the norm. The long-term depth at the position was boosted by the announcement that converted quarterback Roschon Johnson is staying put at running back after an impressive freshman campaign. Add in the growing confidence and durability of Ingram, and Texas is primed to improve on its rushing game. I expect Brown to redshirt after his return from brain surgery. He’ll be able to apply for a medical redshirt to cover the 2019 season. 

The wild card is Robinson, the only five-star recruit to sign with a Big 12 program in 2020. The Tuscon native rushed for more than 2,000 yards in each of his final three prep seasons, earning all-state honors as a junior and a senior. The 6-foot, 200-pound prospect is set to arrive this summer and is undoubtedly part of the plan for the 2020 season. He didn’t come to Texas to redshirt. The path was cleared when Tom Herman announced that Jordan Whittington is moving back to receiver. 

Texas can get picky in 2021 at running back. LJ Johnson is the top target, and the feeling is that the Longhorns want to sign two players at the position after signing only Robinson in the 2020 class. Robinson is a three-year rental if he lives up to the hype and Ingram will be a senior by the time the 2021 signees arrive on campus.

Johnson is a speedy playmaker with durability. Look out for Brooks. The three-star might emerge as the top choice to become the second running back pledged to the class if the Longhorns lock up Johnson. 

PLAYER POS. HIGH SCHOOL STARS COMMITMENT DATE
Jalen Milroe QB Katy Tomkins 4 July 21
Hayden Conner OT Katy Taylor 4 July 23
Juan Davis WR/TE Everman 3 July 26
Billy Bowman ATH Denton Ryan 4 July 31
Derrick Harris Jr. OLB New Caney 4 Aug. 3
Ja’Tavion Sanders ATH Denton Ryan 4 Sept. 8


Source: HookemPlus.com