2014 Texas Longhorns Defensive Big Board: Junior Days Review

Lewisville (Tex.) Hebron DB Jamal Adams - Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)

A rundown of Texas' defensive commitments, offers & targets.

Both of the Texas Longhorns' February Junior Days have come and went. The Longhorns currently have 8 commitments in the 2014 class, with just 2 of those coming on the defensive side of the ball. Below, check out the commitments on board, which prospects have offers, and who might have Texas as a favorite.

Prospects' measurables are per 247 Sports. Star rating and national ranking are per 247 Composite.

DEFENSIVE END (Needs: 2-3)

Commitments (1)
Derrick Roberson (San Antonio Brennan | 6' 3.5" | 218 lbs | 4*, Top 100)
Outstanding Offers (9)
Solomon Thomas
(Coppell | 6' 3" | 251 lbs | 5*, Top 25)
Gerald Willis (New Orleans (LA) Edna Karr | 6' 2.5" | 246 lbs | 5*, Top 30)
Lorenzo Carter (Norcross (GA) | 6' 6" | 232 lbs | 4*, Top 75)
Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City (OK) Douglass | 6' 3" | 230 lbs | 4*, Top 100)
Myles Garrett (Arlington Martin | 6' 4" | 240 lbs | 4*, Top 100)
Denzel Ware (Opp (AL) | 6' 4" | 240 lbs | 4*, Top 150 | Committed to Kentucky)
Gerald Owens (Westville (NJ) West Deptford | 6' 2" | 240 lbs | 4*, Top 200)
Jarrett Johnson (Katy Seven Lakes | 6' 3" | 226 lbs | 4*, Top 450)
Jake McMillon (Abilene | 6' 3" | 240 lbs | 3*)
Other Potential Targets (5)

Andrew Williams (McDonough (GA) Eagle's Landing | 6' 4" | 231 lbs | 4*, Top 200)
Silvester Hayes (Dallas South Oak Cliff | 6' 2" | 212 lbs | 3*)
Sekou Clark (Denton Ryan | 6' 4" | 235 lbs | 3*)
Victor Evans (Dallas Skyline | 6' 3" | 220 lbs | N/A)
Obi Anozie (Dallas Bishop Lynch | 6' 2" | 215 lbs | N/A)

After not landing a single 2013 prospect at the position, Texas considers DE to be a high-priority in 2014, and the outstanding offers reflect just that. With 3 available spots, Texas has already filled one with Brennan's Derrick Roberson, a high ceiling terror rising up recruiting boards. Of the two nationally ranked Texans, the Longhorns are in good shape with Coppell's Solomon Thomas, who is also considering Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Stanford & UCLA. Conversely, it may be time to write-off Martin's Myles Garrett, who favors TCU over other schools not named Texas.

Of the national offers, Texas hosted Louisianan Gerald Willis, an LSU lean, at JD2. Others, like Lorenzo Carter, Deondre Clark, Denzel Ware, and Gerald Owens, are just token offers at this time. Besides the Willis visit, two real offers were extended at each of the Junior Days. At JD1, Seven Lakes' Jarrett Johnson came away with an offer, as did Abilene's Jake McMillon at JD2. With 3 spots available and one a placeholder for Thomas, Texas appears ready to take a pledge from Johnson or McMillon, or possibly both, if either chooses to commit soon.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE (Needs: 2-3)

Commitments (0)
Outstanding Offers (1)
DeShawn Washington
(Nederland | 6' 3" | 277 lbs | 3*)
Other Potential Targets (5)
Garrald McDowell (Covington (LA) | 6' 2" | 255 lbs | 4*, Top 300)
Zaycoven Henderson (Longview | 6' 1" | 280 lbs | 3* | Committed to TCU)
Cedric Johnson (Rowlett | 6' 2" | 265 lbs | 3*)
C.J. Reese (San Antonio Madison | 6' 4" | 260 lbs | N/A)
D.J. Williams (Lufkin | 6' 3" | 275 lbs | N/A)

Like DE, DT is a high-priority position after the Longhorns came up empty in 2013. Unfortunately, DT is considered to be in a heavy downyear in the state of Texas. Consequently, the Longhorns have extended just one offer so far, to JD2 attendee DeShawn Washington from Nederland. The rumor is that Longview's Zaycoven Henderson was in line for an offer as well, but he declined to attend JD2 and instead committed to TCU. Right now, this position is a head-scratcher.

LINEBACKER (Needs: 2-3)

Commitments (1)
Cameron Hampton (Dallas Carter | 6' 1.5" | 205 lbs | 4*, Top 200)
Outstanding Offers (8)
Hoza Scott (La Porte | 6' 2" | 220 lbs | 5*, Top 25 | Committed to Texas A&M)
Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville (GA) Liberty County | 6' 3" | 236 lbs | 5*, Top 25)
Zach Whitley (Houston North Shore | 6' 2" | 220 lbs | 4*, Top 100)
Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra (FL) | 6' 3" | 220 lbs | 4*, Top 150)
Edwin Freeman (Arlington Bowie | 6' 1" | 200 lbs | 4*, Top 150)
Josh Walker (Gilmer | 6' 1" | 220 lbs | 4*, Top 200 | Committed to Texas A&M)
Otaro Alaka (Houston Cypress Falls | 6' 3" | 205 lbs | 4*, Top 300)
Greg Miclisse (Bayside (FL) Palm Bay | 6' 1" | 229 lbs | N/A)
Other Potential Targets (5)
T'Kevian Rockwell (Wylie | 6' 0" | 202 lbs | 4*, Top 200)
Tay Evans (Allen | 6' 3" | 200 lbs | 3*)
Everett Williams (Mansfield Legacy | 6' 2" | 205 lbs | 3*)
Greg Roberts (Nacogdoches | 6' 4" | 225 lbs | 2*)
Cordell Dorsey (Abilene Cooper | 6' 2" | 190 lbs | N/A)

LB is as much a source of frustration as DT; are you sensing a theme in defensive recruiting? Texas has already missed on La Porte's Hoza Scott and Gilmer's Josh Walker, with both nationally regarded prospects headed to Texas A&M. A third, North Shore's Zach Whitley, has already cut Texas from his list and favors the Aggies. And a fourth, Bowie's Edwin Freeman, has shown little interest in coming to Austin. That will irk a Burnt Orange fanbase, all right.

Luckily for Texas, Texas A&M told Skyline's Cameron Hampton it was no longer recruiting him, and Hampton subsequently became the only prospect to commit at a Junior Day when he pledged to Texas at JD1. There was hope that rising prospect Otaro Alaka from Cypress Falls would commit at JD2, but he left without an offer. That was quickly rectified today, when Alaka got a call from the Texas coaching staff and hung up with a committable offer. Whether the late offer comes back to bite Texas or not remains to be seen. A trio of national prospects--Raekwon McMillan, Dillon Bates and Greg Miclisse--have offers that could "turn committable" if they visited.

CORNERBACK (Needs: 2-3)

Commitments (0)
Outstanding Offers (6)
Tony Brown (Beaumont Ozen | 6' 0" | 185 lbs | 5*, Top 10)
Ed Paris (Arlington Mansfield Timberview | 6' 1" | 190 lbs | 5*, Top 10)
Nick Harvey (Richmond Travis | 5' 9" | 175 lbs | 4*, Top 50 | Committed to Texas A&M)
Nick Watkins (Dallas Bishop Dunne | 6' 1" | 180 lbs | 4*, Top 75)
Darrion Johnson (Brenham | 5' 9" | 175 lbs | 4*, Top 200)
Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine | 5' 9" | 175 lbs | 4*, Top 350)
Other Potential Targets (1)
Nick Foster (Keller Fossil Ridge | 5' 10" | 170 lbs | 4*, Top 450 | Committed to TCU)

If there's one truth of 2014 Texas recruiting, it's that the state is absolutely loaded with DBs, with a few prospects considered hybrids at either position. The Longhorns are currently drawing a blank at both corner and safety. But boy, are there a lot of offers out.

At CB, the diaper dandies are two five-stars, Tony Brown from Ozen and Ed Paris from Mansfield Timberview. Unfortunately, both players are considered heavy leans to LSU, though Texas did well to get them onto campus for JD1. A third, Nick Harvey, is already committed to Texas A&M. There was a rumor that, despite the A&M commitment, Harvey asked to attend JD1, though nothing ever materialized.

For now, Texas is now looking at lower ranked but still highly regarded prospects. At JD1, Brenham's Darrion Johnson visited and left with an offer. A possible Longhorn lean, Johnson had planned to return for JD2 until a family emergency forced him to cancel his plans. JD2's visitors included Bishop Dunne's Nick Watkins, who already possessed a Texas offer, and Louisianan Jermaine Roberts, who received one at the event. Both really like Texas but don't appear to be imminent commitments, with Watkins on record as wanting to wait until closer to Signing Day.

SAFETY (Needs: 2-3)

Commitments (0)
Outstanding Offers (3)
Jamal Adams (Lewisville Hebron | 6' 0" | 185 lbs | 4*, Top 50)
Dylan Sumner-Gardner (West Mesquite | 6' 1" | 193 lbs | 4*, Top 150)
John Bonney (Houston Lamar | 6' 0.5" | 175 lbs | 3*)
Other Potential Targets (5)
Brandon Simmons (Arlington Mansfield Timberview | 6' 0" | 175 lbs | 4*, Top 150)
Derrick Dixon (Dallas Skyline | 5' 10" | 175 lbs | 4*, Top 400)
Jyaz Jones (Dallas South Oak Cliff | 6' 0" | 175 lbs | 4*, Top 400)
Deandre Scott (Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep | 5' 8" | 180 lbs | 3*)
Jacob Bragg (Nacogdoches | 6' 3" | 290 lbs | N/A)

The Longhorns hold two safety prospects, nationally ranked Jamal Adams from Hebron and Dylan Sumner-Gardner from West Mesquite, in high regard. Adams couldn't make either Junior Day, but plans on coming in early March and considers Texas a favorite. Sumner-Gardner came in for JD2. He's a former Clemson commitment who now has Texas A&M amongst his top suitors. A third prospect, Lamar's John Bonney, received a JD1 offer. Between CB and S, the Longhorns have a lot of cards in play and hope to see some commitments come aboard to provide clarity to the backfield.

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