BLOG: Longhorns try to hold on to 2021 recruiting class on National Signing Day

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The early national signing period has become the main signing day for the major college football programs, but the Texas Longhorns will have work to do over the next two months to fill its class.

The early signing period for 2021 opens Wednesday morning.

Texas has 18 commitments reportedly ready to sign on the dotted line, which leaves the program plenty of room to add new prospects before the 2021 season gets underway. The Longhorns will likely add players in a variety of ways, adding graduate transfers, other transfers and high school seniors.

Recruiting has been dealt several blows by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing most high school players to commit to programs without much in-person contact with their future coaching staffs.

In November, the NCAA extended its recruiting dead period until April 2021, meaning coaches are not allowed to have in-person visits or one-on-one time with prospects.

Current Longhorns commitments (247 Sports)

  • Jaden Alexis | Wide Receiver | Signed
  • Morice Blackwell | Linebacker | Signed
  • Jonathon Brooks | Running back | Signed
  • Casey Cain | Wide Receiver | Signed
  • JD Coffey | Safety | Signed
  • Hayden Conner | Offensive lineman | Signed
  • Terrence Cooks | Linebacker | Signed
  • Juan Davis | Tight End | Signed
  • Derrick Harris Jr. | Defensive End | Signed
  • Gunnar Helm | Tight End | Signed
  • Ishmael Ibraheem | Cornerback
  • Jamier Johnson | Cornerback | Signed
  • Max Merril | Offensive lineman | Signed
  • Byron Murphy II | Defensive Tackle | Signed
  • Isaac Pearson | Punter | Signed
  • Ja’Tavion Sanders | Athlete | Signed
  • Barryn Sorrell | Defensive end | Signed
  • Jordon Thomas | Defensive End | Signed
  • Charles Wright | Quarterback | Signed

Follow along for updates throughout National Signing Day in this live blog.

Live Blog

7:30 a.m. | Texas has its first wave of official signees. The Longhorns announced, through its social media accounts, that Derrick Harris, Jr., Byron Murphy, Isaac Pearson, JD Coffey and Charles Wright have made their commitments official.

Charles Wright, the Austin High School starting quarterback, is the only quarterback currently in this class. He is planning to do a signing day ceremony at House Park at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, which KXAN will cover.

Wright, who flipped from Iowa State to Texas in August, said being a Longhorn was always a “dream.”

7:45 a.m. | Hallettsville running back Jonathon Brooks is definitely a player to keep an eye on during his time in burnt orange. Brooks put together an unbelievable performance in the 3A state semifinals against Llano.

Brooks wasn’t on the recruiting radar until later in the his high school career, but the Longhorns believe they have something special in the running back.

Brooks is officially a Longhorns, signing his commitment around 7:35 a.m. Wednesday. Brooks says he’ll do a signing ceremony at a later date due to the 3A state championship game Thursday.

8:15 a.m. | Hutto defensive end Landyn Watson is a Horned Frog. The 3-star pass rusher signed with TCU on Wednesday morning with family and his coaching staff on hand.

Watson picked TCU over a long list of suitors, including Baylor, Arkansas and Arizona State.

8:30 a.m. | The top piece to the Longhorns recruiting class has officially signed his Letter of Intent to Texas. Ja’Tavion Sanders is a 5-star from Denton Ryan that projects to the defensive side of the ball, but he is an all-around athlete.

Just check out this one-handed catch he made three weeks ago.

Sanders committed to Texas during the 2019 football season, and he’s stayed loyal to the Longhorns for over a year. This is a prospect Texas couldn’t afford to lose.

9 a.m. | We fully expect Texas to be active with graduate transfers, looking to fill in the gaps for the 2021 roster.

Darrion Daniels, a graduate transfer defensive back from McNeese State, announced his commitment to the Longhorns on Wednesday.

In a post on Twitter, Daniels flipped his pledge from North Carolina State to Texas. “To Texas, I look forward to meeting you all and all of the future success we are going to have,” the post reads.

9:20 a.m. | The highest rated offensive player in the Longhorns class has signed his Letter of Intent. Receiver Jaden Alexis, out of Florida, is a 4-star and the 15th commit to sign on the dotted line Wednesday morning.

Texas is still waiting on three signees — Ishamel Ibraheem, Jamier Johnson and Terrence Cooks.

Check out Jaden Alexis’ Hudl video here.

9:55 a.m. | California defensive back Jamier Johnson has signed his Letter of Intent for Texas. The Longhorns are down to two unsigned prospects, who are currently committed to the 2021 class.

Justin Wells from Inside Texas reports Dallas cornerback Ishmael Ibraheem will not sign a Letter of Intent on Wednesday.

10:45 a.m. | All of the expected Longhorns signatures are in possession of the Texas coaching staff. Shadow Creek linebacker Terrence Cooks sent his Letter of Intent, becoming the 17th official member of the 2021 recruiting class.

12 p.m. | Westwood quarterback RJ Martinez finished off his four-year high school career with a scholarship to Northern Arizona.

His high school coach, Anthony Wood, posted Martinez’s stats along with a congratulatory note on the signing.

12: 20 p.m. | Desoto High School defensive tackle Byron Murphy II shared photos from his signing day ceremony. There’s no doubting Murphy’s school of choice.

The table is fully decked out in Longhorns gear.

1:35 p.m. | Two of the most prominent players in Central Texas high school football signed at LBJ High School Wednesday afternoon. Defensive backs Latrell McCutchin and Andrew Mukuba signed with Oklahoma and Clemson, respectively. Both players are 4-star prospects.

Mukuba picked Clemson over Texas in October. McCutchin has been solid and loyal to OU since July.

2 p.m. | Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman is expected to meet with the media at some point on Wednesday to break down the current list of Longhorns signees.

We will keep you updated when Herman is ready for his Zoom press conference.

3 p.m. | Austin High quarterback Charles Wright celebrated his commitment and Letter of Intent to Texas Wednesday afternoon with an outdoor event at House Park with family and friends.

Wright continues the run of local quarterback, coming to UT. Sam Ehlinger from Westlake in 2017 and Hudson Card from Lake Travis in 2020.

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