AUSTIN (KXAN) — Christmas comes a few days early for college football programs with the early national signing period beginning on Wednesday.
The Texas Longhorns are poised to claim one of the top recruiting classes in the country, according to most recruiting experts. The early national signing period has become the main signing day for major college football programs.
“We feel really good about the class we signed and address a lot of the needs we have,” Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I don’t think we’re quite done yet, but we’ve got 24 recruits now and 13 of them are mid-years.”
The class is headlined by No. 1 overall recruit in the 2023 class, quarterback Arch Manning (New Orleans). The Longhorns received a commitment from Denton Ryan linebacker Anthony Hill last week to give Texas four 5-star commitments.
“There’s not a throw he can’t make,” Sarkisian said of Manning. “I started recruiting him three, almost four years ago. The process with the family was simple. When you remove their name, they’re great people and they support their son, nephew, grandson … they’re just another family.”
Manning is the nephew of former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning and the grandson of Archie Manning, also a former NFL quarterback.
Sarkisian said Manning “doesn’t want to be in the forefront all the time.”
“He wants to work,” Sarkisian said. “I can’t wait to get started.”
Running back Cedric Baxter Jr. from Orlando, Florida and wide receiver Johntay Cook II, fresh off of a state championship with DeSoto High School, are the other 5-star commitments for Texas.
Sarkisian mentioned linebackers were one of the priorities during recruiting since they’re losing so many to the NFL or graduation. He said the four they signed could make a big impact on the program moving forward.
Sarkisian said he hopes to add more signees in the early period that ends Friday, but the regular signing period stretches from Feb. 1 to April 1 and Texas could add more talent then. Texas has also signed two transfers: punter Ryan Sanborn from Stanford and Wake Forest cornerback Gavin Holmes. Sarkisian said he could envision taking 3-4 more transfers before the signing periods are over.
Last year’s class was ranked No. 5 overall by 247Sports. As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, 247Sports has the Texas class at No. 3 in the rankings, behind Alabama and Georgia.
Texas Longhorns National Signing Day recruiting class, as of Dec. 21
- Tausili Akana, Edge, Laie, Hawaii, 6-4, 220, 4-star
- Cedric Baxter Jr., RB, Orlando., Fla., 6-1, 211, 5-star
- S’Maje Burrell, LB, Fort Worth, Texas, 6-0, 220, 4-star
- Jaydon Chatman, OL, Harker Heights, Texas, 6-4, 305, 4-star
- Andre Cojoe, OL, Grand Prairie, Texas, 6-6, 353, 3-star
- Johntay Cook II, WR, DeSoto, Texas, 6-0, 175, 5-star
- Trevor Goosby, OL, Melissa, Texas, 6-7, 280, 3-star
- Derion Gullette, LB, Marlin, Texas, 6-3, 225, 4-star
- Anthony Hill Jr., LB, Denton, Texas, 6-3, 230, 5-star
- Gavin Holmes, CB, New Orleans, La., 5-11, 175*
- Payton Kirkland, OL, Orlando, Fla., 6-6, 370, 3-star
- Liona Lefau, LB, Laie, Hawaii, 6-1, 220, 4-star
- Arch Manning, QB, New Orleans, La., 6-4, 220, 5-star
- Sydir Mitchell, DL, Paterson, N.J., 6-6, 352, 4-star
- Malik Muhammad, DB, DeSoto, Texas, 6-0, 175, 4-star
- Ryan Niblett, WR, Houston, Texas, 5-10, 165, 4-star
- Will Randle, TE, New Orleans, La., 6-4, 225, 3-star
- Ryan Sanborn, P, San Diego, Calif, 6-3, 175**
- Spencer Shannon, TE, San Clemente, Calif., 6-7, 237, 3-star
- Connor Stroh, OL, Frisco, Texas, 6-7, 355, 3-star
- Colton Vasek, Edge, Austin, Texas, 6-5, 230, 4-star
- Billy Walton III, Edge, Grand Prairie, Texas, 6-3, 215, 3-star
- Derek Williams Jr., New Iberia, La., 6-2, 190, 4-star
- Tre Wisner, RB, Glenn Heights, Texas, 6-0, 188, 3-star
- * Denotes transfer from Wake Forest
- ** Denotes transfer from Stanford
Central Texas Signing Day
Edge rusher Colton Vasek from Westlake High School is the only Texas commitment from the Austin area. Last year, Westlake edge rusher Ethan Burke signed with the Longhorns and has played in 10 of their 12 games this season.
Four other Chaparrals signed their letters of intent during a ceremony Wednesday morning.
- Will Courtney, Air Force
- TJ Shanahan, Texas A&M
- Keaton Kubecka, Kansas
- Jaden Greathouse, Notre Dame
Vasek plans to early-enroll at Texas and Shanahan will do the same at Texas A&M.
Thirteen of UT’s commitments are from the state of Texas and there is room for some late additions to the class.
Dripping Springs quarterback Austin Novosad had originally made a verbal commitment to Baylor, but as the recruiting cycle unfolded, he changed his mind. He signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Oregon Ducks, and he tweeted his commitment Wednesday morning.
LBJ’s Sedrick Alexander is set to sign his letter of intent with Vanderbilt University, a Southeastern Conference school in Nashville, Tennessee, at 10:30 a.m. Alexander broke the Austin ISD career rushing record this season with 5,268 yards. He ran for 1,986 yards with 26 touchdowns this season.
Linebacker Latraveon McCutchen made his commitment to Houston during the ceremony and offensive lineman John Bragg signed with Louisiana.
Manor running back Quinten Joyner signed with Southern California, defensive lineman Jayden Cofield signed with Texas Tech, tight end Devin Scura signed with UTSA, linebacker Ike Esonwune signed with Oklahoma State and defensive lineman Prince Umanmielen signed with Nebraska.
This story will be updated with the latest developments from National Signing Day.