Texas Spotlight: Five biggest 2020 commitments since NSD
To put it bluntly, Texas is loaded with top-shelf talent in the class of 2020.
Forty of the Lone Star State’s prospects are currently ranked as four-stars or better by Rivals, and five have given verbal commitments since National Signing Day on Feb. 6. We take a look at some of the biggest names in Texas that have made their decisions early on in this recruiting cycle and why their commitments are so impactful.
Texas A&M’s Super Bowl Watch Party turned into an instant success last month when Jimbo Fisher’s team landed two of the best defensive backs in the Southeast. That event yielded verbal pledges from Baton Rouge three-star cornerback Major Burns and Rivals100 cornerback Jaylon Jones, who announced his decision right before halftime of the big game.
Jones, who jumped almost 100 spots in the updated Rivals rankings to No. 98 in the country, was also the Defensive Back MVP at the RCS Houston stop. Over the past month, he’s been lights out in coverage in multiple settings, standing out with his length, his ability to shadow opposing receivers and his play against elite competition. It's no wonder the Aggies are excited to add such a coveted prospect to their secondary.
Jones picked Texas A&M over Texas, Ohio State and Florida, among others. He’s already considering shutting his recruitment down altogether, which is a very encouraging sign for the Aggies. He’ll be back in College Station for the spring game for an official visit and a closer look at a secondary he’ll have a chance to help out sooner rather than later.
Another huge riser in the updated Rivals rankings last month was Majors, who grabbed a fourth star and a spot inside the top 200 of the Rivals250. Majors committed to the Longhorns days after returning to The Forty Acres for a junior day visit.
Majors’ tape speaks for itself. He’s a very quick big man who drives defensive linemen well past the second layer of the defense. He blocks with a chip on his shoulder, which is always a telling sign. Major is also very athletic and very agile, not to mention powerful.
The four-star offensive tackle becomes another cornerstone up front for the Longhorns, who signed a trio of four-stars in Javonne Shepherd, Tyler Johnson and Isaiah Hookfin to close out the 2019 cycle. The addition of Majors helps Herb Hand shore up Texas’ depth in the trenches and begins to solidify what was once an area of concern in Austin.
Graham could not even wait until National Signing Day to give Lincoln Riley and company a commitment in the class of 2020. The four-star wide receiver popped on Signing Day Eve, giving the Oklahoma staff a reason to celebrate even earlier on Feb. 6.
Graham, who has the ability to play both wide receiver and cornerback in the Big 12, is a member of the Rivals250. He’s rated as a wide receiver because of his knack for creating huge vertical plays downfield for his high school. He also shines by making difficult grabs in traffic and with his ability to run crisp routes. However, he has 4.5 speed and doesn’t shy away from contact, so he’s a candidate to switch over to the defensive side of the ball in Norman if need be.
Graham picked the Sooners over LSU, Notre Dame and Texas, and he became the third wide receiver in the 2020 recruiting class and the fifth prospect out of Texas to join the fray early on. After signing a trio of five-star wide receivers from the 2019 class Oklahoma seems poised to continue adding more and more talented pass-catchers to its arsenal this go-round.
Texas’ top-ranked weak-side defensive end will be playing his college ball outside the state. After a visit up to Baton Rouge, Bryant gave a commitment to LSU and became a much-needed weapon off the edge for coach Ed Orgeron as the Tigers look to restock their defense for after the 2019 football season.
Bryant was a candidate right on the border of making the Rivals250 and landed just outside of it - for now. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder is destined to be a B-linebacker for Dave Aranda to potentially succeed K’Lavon Chaisson down the road. Whether it’s with a hand in the dirt or a stand-up rusher, Bryant has a quick initial burst off the ball and is excellent in pursuit of the quarterback, with elite closing speed. He’ll be an exciting player to watch on Saturdays in the SEC.
The four-star edge-rusher made the move to commit to LSU over Oklahoma, TCU and Nebraska, among others. Neither the Longhorns or the Aggies extended an offer to the Houston-area prospect, which opened the door for LSU to snatch up his commitment and be a part of what should be a rather sizeable defensive line crop in 2020.
Like the aforementioned Majors, Garth made the call to commit to the Longhorns after multiple stops in Austin for junior days after National Signing Day. It was a big get for Herman, who signed Garth’s high school quarterback, Roschon Johnson, just a few weeks earlier.
Garth was another big mover in the updated Rivals rankings for 2020. He added his fourth star and ascended from being unranked to No. 35 in the state. Despite missing a handful of games due to injury as a junior, Garth’s film highlights his stout pass protection, quick feet and his ability to reach the second level of the defense as a run-blocker.
An early commitment from Garth was another power move for Texas, which holds verbals from three four-star offensive linemen in March. The Longhorns beat out Alabama, LSU and Ohio State for the talented tackle. Tom Herman is assembling his 2020 recruiting class from the trenches and at quarterback on out, and Garth is a huge part of that.