AUSTIN, Texas — Early signing day has arrived for college programs and high school players across the country, and the Texas Longhorns family is getting a little bigger.
On Wednesday, the Longhorns added 19 players, including 5-star defensive end Ja'Tavion Sanders, graduate transfer Darion Dunn and local quarterback Charles Wright.
It ends Herman's streak of three straight top-10 recruiting classes and, excluding seasons that included a coaching change, is the lowest-ranked Texas class in 20 years.
"These are all guys that fit our profile of not just the tangible makeup of height, weight, 40 [yard dash] time, vertical jump and all that good stuff, but also who are they?" Herman said. "What's their character? Are they team captain? Are they from a winning program? All of the above. These guys really check the box."
Here's a look at the players who have signed with Texas so far.
- Five-star defensive end/wide receiver from Denton Ryan High
- Highest-rated recruit in class of 2021
"You're going to run out of superlatives talking about JT," Herman said. "We are extremely excited about him and the versatility he brings on both sides of the ball."
- Three-star quarterback from Austin High
- Only quarterback in the 2021 class
- Flipped from original Iowa State commitment in August
"Charles isn't just a body," Herman said. "We expect Charles to be a starting quarterback here at Texas some day."
- Graduate transfer from McNeese State
- Flipped commitment from North Carolina State to Texas Wednesday morning
- 4-star cornerback from John Muir High in Pasadena, California
- Senior season was moved to the spring due to COVID-19, but will skip it and enroll early at Texas instead
- Four-star wide receiver from Monarch High in Pompano Beach, Florida
- Three-star tight end from Cherry Creek High in Englewood, Colorado
- Highest school team recently won its second straight state championship
- Three-star wide receiver from Warren Easton High in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Four-star defensive end from Memorial High in Port Arthur
- Three-star athlete from Everman High in Fort Worth
- Four-star linebacker from Martin High in Arlington
- Three-star offensive lineman from Strake Jesuit High in Houston
- Three-star offensive lineman from Taylor High in Katy
- "Longest-tenured" commit from 2021 class, according to Herman
- Three-star running back from Hallettsville High
- High school team is in 3A-1 state championship game
“We believe and have believed for a long time that he belongs in the elite class and tier of running backs in this class of 2021,” Herman said.
- Four-star safety from Kennedale High
- Four-star defensive end from New Caney High
- Missed all of senior year due to injury
“I know in my time at Texas, probably in my time as a coach, he’s probably the first signee we’ve had that is a competitive swimmer,” Herman added.
- Four-star defensive lineman from Desoto High
- Four-star linebacker from Shadow Creek HS in Pearland
- Three-star defensive end from Holy Cross HS in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Three-star punter from ProKick Australia
- Follows in the footsteps of Australian punters Michael Dickson and Ryan Bujcevski at Texas
Recruits have not been able to take official visits due to the NCAA enacting a recruiting dead period amid the coronavirus pandemic since March.
Herman estimated he hadn't met four or five of his signees in person because of this.
This 2020 season marks the fourth year college football has held an early signing period. A vast majority of recruits are expected to sign in the three-day window, though Texas is likely to add between eight and nine more players to their 2021 class on National Signing Day in February.
"This is just the beginning of the class of 2021," Herman said. "I would imagine there would be some more additions throughout January and February in that spring signing period as well."
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