The Texas Longhorns are shifting their focus to fall camp, but a number of their top recruiting targets are set to make decisions soon.
Steve Sarkisian and company have laid the groundwork for potential recruiting wins over the next two months. Now we will see if it comes to fruition.
Three targets are set to make announcements in the next seven days. Derion Gullette plans to commit Friday, August 5. The following day, August 6, Braylan Shelby is set to post his college choice.
Next week, elite running back Cedric Baxter shares his college plans on Wednesday, August 10.
A few other players will commit soon, but these three are the closest decisions we are aware will occur. Let’s take a look at where these players and a few others may commit.
Derion Gullette, August 5 – Texas
You cannot convince me this recruitment is a lock, and the cynical part of me wants to pick Texas A&M. Gullette visited College Station but missed his trip to Austin this past weekend. On top of that, it appears the Aggies made a strong pitch in academics as well as football. That said, Gullette is a need for Texas this cycle, not because of his position but because he’s a great football player. His relationship with Texas players wins out.
Braylan Shelby, August 6 – USC
If you expect Shelby to pick Texas, don’t get your hopes up. Shelby is likely headed to USC. That’s fine IF Texas wins out for Gullette. Texas brought in four edge players in the last recruiting cycle, all of which were good high school players. Shelby would be a massive win for Texas and would no doubt help the defense’s chances of making consistent stops. But with a miss here, Texas will need to recruit edge rusher well in 2024.
Cedric Baxter Jr, August 10 – Texas
The Aggies have been great at fourth quarter Hail Mary attempts in recruiting, but it will be difficult to sway the Florida target. Baxter appears to be set to choose Texas, which would only bolster an already incredible running back room. Steve Sarkisian has shown he’ll play up to four or five running backs, so Baxter will likely get carries early regardless of whether or not he starts.
Jalen Hale, September 7 – Texas
From the looks of things, it’s Texas vs. Alabama with an outside chance of Texas A&M. It would be unwise to rule out Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher, who are great recruiters regardless of their tactics. Texas has the scheme advantage with the more exciting offense and best play caller of the three. I think Hale stays in Texas and picks the Longhorns.
Jordan Matthews, mid-August or later – Texas
Alabama may be out of this one, making it potentially a Texas vs. Battle of Tennessee. I’ll take Texas. The elite cornerback from Baton Rouge would make this a very good cornerback class.
Javien Toviano, when you least expect it – LSU
I have no idea what to make of Toviano’s recruitment, so I won’t pick Texas. Toviano visited LSU last and the Tigers could use another cornerback. Texas could still win the recruitment, but so could a handful of other teams.