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At the end of the day, Jackson is simply someone you want on your side.

After more than two months without movement, the Texas Longhorns have landed their highest rated prospect this cycle, adding a special talent on Monday evening in the form of Duncanville quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson.

With the addition of one of the nation’s very best athletes, the Longhorns are possibly acquiring the kind of dynamic playmaker that the program hasn’t had at the quarterback position in quite some time.

This what y’all been waiting for pic.twitter.com/EnBLTYLYj5

— Ja'Quinden Jackson (@JaayUpNext_) June 3, 2019

Since Jackson exploded onto the scene and proved his dominance on the high school level, questions have been in the air about whether he’d continue to be the dual-threat signal caller, or could he find a spot somewhere in an offense as a skill position, or if he’s a better fit on the defensive side of ball at the next level. Regardless of what position Jackson ends up playing or how the Horns decide to use him, the DFW standout will be bringing a great deal of versatility to Austin.

At 6’2, with a 219-pound frame, Jackson is already compact with an imposing stature that fits the mold of many different positions on the football field. You combine his salient size and sensational athleticism together and you can easily come up with at least seven different spots on the field where Jackson could be plugged in and potentially become a household name in the Big 12.

But, of course, the question is whether or not Jackson will remain at quarterback once his days at Duncanville are done. To that end, there’s certainly some evidence to support Jackson’s future behind center.

Tom Herman and his staff recruited Jackson as a quarterback and he’s expressed that’s what he wants to continue to play at the next level. Jackson is fully capable of doing so, as long as he continues to make it a priority to grow and develop as a quarterback and the offensive side of the Longhorns staff makes sure that he advances his mechanics and overall knowledge at the position. The arm strength, plus the discipline to keep his eyes downfield and having the ability to improvise in the pocket when pressure arrives, makes Jackson well suited to be a valuable option behind the center when it’s his time to touch the field. Jackson has a relaxed and smooth throwing motion and puts touch on short-to-intermediate passes.

You don’t see a ton of unnecessary movement from Jackson when he’s in the process of throwing the ball, but there are things he still needs to clean up technique-wise, but he’s a lot more fine-tuned than what many have given him credit for up to this point. Jackson has also shown that he has the gutsiness to put it all on the line and make the necessary plays with his arm or legs to put his team in position to be victorious. From the quarterback position, you want to have someone that has the moxie and tough backbone Jackson has in crunch-time situations.

The Longhorns’ latest verbal commit was largely why Duncanville amassed a 14-1 record last season and were seconds away from being crowned state champions.

Throughout his junior season, Jackson completed 63 percent of his passes and logged 1,580 yards and 15 touchdowns with just three interceptions. I think it’s safe to say this could be just the beginning for Jackson as a gunslinger.

Now Jackson’s greatest aspect of his game is when he tucks the ball away and takes off on defenders; that’s a reason why you see so many comparisons of whom he resembles the most or the multitude of positions he’s slated to flourish in at the next level. As most would agree, Jackson is at his best when he escapes from the pocket. The four-star prospect officially turns into a running back with tremendous vision, smooth change of direction, and a compelling burst that allows him to run past arm tackles swiftly and get to the last line of defense in a hurry showing off his 4.61 40-yard dash speed. Jackson brings that physical downhill running and punishing style to defenders at the point of contact, which helped him account for 1,497 yards on 10.1 yards per attempt and 23 rushing touchdowns.

Viewing how Jackson doesn’t shy away from contact with his prestige physique is why many project him being a linebacker or safety when it’s all said and done. Jackson’s speed and gritty style of play would definitely come in handy for the Longhorns defense, but all in all, Jackson could prove to be a fit as a quarterback in Tim Beck’s offense.

The dual-threat traits Jackson is equipped with are quite similar to current quarterbacks on the roster: Sam Ehlinger’s bruising style, Casey Thompson’s assertiveness in making the right play, and Roschon Johnson’s shiftiness. But former Longhorns quarterback-turned-wide-receiver, Jerrod Heard, is the player Jackson is comparable to the most as a prospect heading to Austin.

That same dynamism, explosiveness, breakaway ability, savviness, and overall strength as a passer, and those very same questions that came about him being a quarterback at the next level are nearly identical to what Heard encountered coming throughout the 2014 cycle and the remainder of his career. While Jackson and Heard ran two different offenses in high school and Jackson has the edge on Heard in the weight department, both of their skill sets match up well and both received supreme notoriety as top recruits. Jackson is currently the No. 48 prospect in the nation, while Heard was ranked the No. 67 overall prospect for his class, according to the 247Sports Composite. Heard was expected to be the next big thing at quarterback for the Horns, as he was recruited by Mack Brown at first, went through the Charlie Strong era, and caught the front end of the Herman regime. The former Longhorn had moments when he shined behind center, most notably torching Cal with 527 total yards, but ultimately Heard struggled to play the quarterback position at a consistently high level before losing his starting role and never really receiving an opportunity to develop at the position he was so highly rated at coming out of Denton Guyer.

For Jackson, Texas boasts much deeper quarterback room with more raw talent on hand, but also an overall greater situation than what Heard had, as Jackson almost certainly won’t be forced into the fire as a true freshman. Jackson will have a leader in Sam Ehlinger to look up to and learn from, and most of all he’ll have a staff that looks to be set in stone for a while now, which is exceptionally important.

With Jackson now committed, Texas has two more potential replacements for Ehlinger coming in with Lake Travis standout Hudson Card being the first member of #cloUT2020. Should Ehlinger return for his senior season, as expected, the Longhorns will obviously have their starter set in stone, but Thompson and the true freshman Johnson will looking to carve their roles in the quarterback room before Jackson and Card arrive. It’s safe to say that Jackson will have his work cut out for him, but he has the intangibles and raw athletic ability to climb the depth chart faster than anybody at the position.

If Jackson ultimately moves away from the quarterback position, he’ll probably be best suited for the defensive side of the ball competing at outside linebacker and being brought in on offense for specialized packages as a wildcat quarterback.

At the end of the day, Jackson is simply someone you want on your side.

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We also take a look at what the Ja’Quinden Jackson commitment means to the 2020 class.

The #cloUT2020 class got a major boost Monday evening as Duncanville quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson committed to the Texas Longhorns. The 6-foot-2, 219-pound star for the Panthers becomes the highest-ranked player in the 2020 class and potentially adds another talented signal caller in that room. Where does Jackson fit in the grand scheme of Longhorn quarterbacks and what impact does this have on DFW recruiting?

Now that the Bru McCoy transfer back to the USC Trojans is official, we wanted to take a look at it from the USC angle. Dina Colunga of Conquest Chronicles answered our questions about the impact McCoy’s move had on the USC program.

We continue our 2019 schedule preview with the LSU Tigers and welcome in Billy Gomila, managing editor of And the Valley Shook to give us an insider’s view of LSU.

Connect with the show on Twitter and Facebook.

Intro and Outro: Earth, Wind, Fire (Ryan Little / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

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The IMG Academy product was forced to take on a heavy bulk of early playing time after an injury to starting SS David Hamilton.

Moments after reports surfaced about Bryce Reagan entering the transfer portal, the freshman shortstop confirmed the rumors himself via his personal twitter account.

Wishing the best of luck to my boys down in Texas. I will not be returning and reopening the recruiting process pic.twitter.com/h4JIcQuERo

— ⓡⓔⓐⓖⓢ (@B10Reags) June 3, 2019

Reagan was a well respected prospect out of the IMG Academy but after being rushed into a starting role early in the season, Reagan struggled to piece things together.

The Amherst, New Hampshire native hit just .220 and committed eight errors in the field over the course of 30 games played.

Best of luck kid, and thank you for all of your hard work within the program.

And thanks for reminding teams that Horns always go up. For that alone you earned the respect of Longhorn nation.

We were tied once. Then @B10Reags hit his first career jack. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/hRwF7JO5Rs

— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) February 23, 2019

Reagan joins Jack Neely, who is transferring to San Jacinto and Community College, and Nico O’Donnell as players to enter the transfer portal.

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The Lake Travis standout will now decide whether he will head to the majors or stay in Austin and head to the Forty Acres

Brett Baty has Longhorns seamheads chomping at the bit for the 2020 baseball season. The third baseman from Lake Travis High School is as coveted as they come, but as many know, in college baseball, the Major League Baseball draft is a hurdle all its own and Baty is no exception. Ranked as the No. 15 prospect by Baseball America, the 6-foot-3, 218-pound power hitter was projected to be a first-round pick heading into this year’s MLB draft, and those projections proved true, as Baty was selected by the New York Mets with the No. 12 overall pick.

With the 12th pick of the 2019 #MLBDraft, the @Mets select @LTCavBaseball 3B Brett Baty: https://t.co/OHooNe2EPu pic.twitter.com/8lt5f949gh

— MLB Draft (@MLBDraft) June 4, 2019

Baty’s size gives him the kind of strength needed to succeed in The Show, in addition to his bat speed. One of Baty’s greatest attributes is his ability to get the barrel across the plate in a hurry.

Defensively, that’s where some scouts have identified the few weaknesses Baty possesses at third base — poor footwork being chief among them. However, because of his incredible power at the plate, none of the knocks on Baty were enough to stop a team from taking him early. His ability to send the baseball over the wall in any direction is impressive for a high school talent and when all is said and done, it’s that presence in the batter’s box and his ability to change a game offensively every time he’s at the plate, that locked him in as a sure-fire first round pick.

Many believe Baty, who will turn 20 years old in November, will head to Major League Baseball, rather than travel the collegiate route and take his talents to Texas

Baty’s career stats at Lake Travis in 72 games played: .505 BA, .625 OBP, 95 hits, 82 RBIs

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The Lake Travis standout will now decide whether he will head to the majors or stay in Austin and head to the Forty Acres

Brett Baty has Longhorns seamheads chomping at the bit for the 2020 baseball season. The third baseman from Lake Travis High School is as coveted as they come, but as many know, in college baseball, the Major League Baseball draft is a hurdle all its own and Baty is no exception. Ranked as the No. 15 prospect by Baseball America, the 6-foot-3, 218-pound power hitter was projected to be a first-round pick heading into this year’s MLB draft, and those projections proved true, as Baty was selected by the New York Mets with the No. 12 overall pick.

With the 12th pick of the 2019 #MLBDraft, the @Mets select @LTCavBaseball 3B Brett Baty: https://t.co/OHooNe2EPu pic.twitter.com/8lt5f949gh

— MLB Draft (@MLBDraft) June 4, 2019

Baty’s size gives him the kind of strength needed to succeed in The Show, in addition to his bat speed. One of Baty’s greatest attributes is his ability to get the barrel across the plate in a hurry.

Defensively, that’s where some scouts have identified the few weaknesses Baty possesses at third base — poor footwork being chief among them. However, because of his incredible power at the plate, none of the knocks on Baty were enough to stop a team from taking him early. His ability to send the baseball over the wall in any direction is impressive for a high school talent and when all is said and done, it’s that presence in the batter’s box and his ability to change a game offensively every time he’s at the plate, that locked him in as a sure-fire first round pick.

Many believe Baty, who will be 20 later this year, will head to Major League Baseball, rather than travel the collegiate route and take his talents to Texas

Baty’s career stats at Lake Travis in 72 games played: .505 BA, .625 OBP, 95 hits, 82 RBIs

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The top-50 national prospect and one of the nation’s more electric athletes is now a member of the Longhorns’ 2020 class.

For the first time since late March, Tom Herman’s 2020 class has added another member, as dynamic Duncanville quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson brought his recruitment to a close on Monday evening and announced his commitment to the Texas Longhorns.

This what y’all been waiting for pic.twitter.com/EnBLTYLYj5

— Ja'Quinden Jackson (@JaayUpNext_) June 3, 2019

Regarded as a top-50 prospect nationally, per the 247Sports Composite, Jackson provides the Horns’ 2020 class with the new headliner, and Texas can largely thank wide receivers assistant Rashaad Samples for this significant recruiting coup. Samples, the son of Duncanville head coach Reginald Samples, served as the primary tie between Jackson and Texas, which helped the Longhorns separate themselves as the team to beat throughout the vast majority of Jackson’s recruitment.

Prior to his pledge, each of Jackson’s nine Crystal Ball picks favored Texas. His commitment to Texas comes over 25 other offers, with LSU, Texas A&M, TCU, Alabama, and Oklahoma representing some of the other headliners in his recruitment.

pic.twitter.com/rxlw8zfoUB

— Ja'Quinden Jackson (@JaayUpNext_) March 17, 2019

Now committed to Texas, the biggest question surrounding the 6’2, 219-pound Jackson becomes which position the nation’s No. 4 athlete prospect ultimately plays when his days at Duncanville are done, as detailed by 247Sports Barton Simmons:

“Powerfully built, athletic, rocked up athlete. High school quarterback that is good enough to play quarterback effectively in college. Athletic traits offer more upside at other positions, most notably on defense as a safety or linebacker. Usually looks like the best player on the field in Texas’ highest classification. Has outstanding competitive temperament. Shows feel and patience as a runner finding holes and creating big plays. Will finish runs with toughness. Lack of experience playing other positions creates significant unknown to his transition. Likely hybrid linebacker that should be able to parlay quarterback instincts into playmaking ability on the next level. Too talented to not become an impact power five talent at some position with early to mid-round NFL Draft upside.”

As his film reveals and 4.61 40-yard dash speed reveals, Jackson is nothing short of an electric talent with the ball in his hands, which paved the way for the dual-threat talent to amassed 1,497 yards and 23 touchdowns on 147 rushing attempts last season. But as Simmons noted, Jackson is good enough to play quarterback effectively in college and at the very least, Jackson plans to continue on that path as a passer.

“I’ve played nothing but quarterback since I’ve been in high school, so it’s no point in trying to change my position now,” Jackson expressed to BON months ago.

Texas recruited Jackson accordingly, so with Austin Lake Travis star Hudson Card already committed, the Longhorns are likely set at the quarterback position this cycle.

Ja'Quinden Jackson - 2018 Highlights - YouTube

With Jackson on board, Texas’ six-man 2020 class climbs to No. 22 in the national rankings and No. 2 in the Big 12.

  • Ja’Quinden Jackson — 4-star ATH — Duncanville
  • Hudson Card — 4-star QB — Austin Lake Travis
  • Jaylen Garth — 4-star OT — Port Neches Groves
  • Jake Majors — 4-star OC — Prosper
  • Logan Parr — 4-star OG — Helotes O’Connor
  • Jaden Hullaby — Dallas Bishop Dunne
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The Longhorns star gunslinger is set to grace the cover of the annual football preview magazine.

Following a record-setting sophomore campaign, Texas Longhorns junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger is now the feature face of the 2019 summer edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine, the publication announced on Monday.

REVEALED: The cover of the 2019 summer edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, featuring Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger!

GET YOUR COPY: https://t.co/DFx3TCfkcV pic.twitter.com/fUghLFhkCr

— Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com (@dctf) June 3, 2019

Ehlinger enjoyed a breakout season in 2018, totaling 3,292 yards and 25 touchdowns through the air with only five interceptions, while adding another 482 yards and 16 touchdowns as a key rushing threat. Ehlinger’s 16 rushing scores now stands alone as a single-season record for the most by any quarterback in school history, and his 41 total touchdowns finished as the second-best effort in school history, trailing only Colt McCoy’s 45 scores in 2008.

Largely as a result of Ehlinger’s efforts, Texas enjoyed capped the program’s first 10-win season since 2009 with a 28-21 Sugar Bowl victory over No. 5 Georgia.

The 2019 summer edition unveiling marks the second time Ehlinger will be featured in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine. In 2016, then a senior in high school, Ehlinger shared a secondary cover with Austin Westlake head coach Todd Dodge.

This time around, Ehlinger becomes just the eighth Longhorn to be featured solo, front and center on the magazine’s cover, as noted by Danny Davis of the Austin American-Statesman. Colt McCoy (2009), Roy Williams (2003), Steve McMichael (1979), Glen Gaspard (1973), Steve Worster (1970), James Street (1969), and Jackie Collins (1960) were each previously featured on a solo cover.

The 2019 summer edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine is set to retail in July.

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The coveted prospect out of Missouri is already eyeing official visits.

On Sunday evening, the Texas Longhorns staff once again looked beyond that state’s borders in search of top-tier talent, with an offer going out to Hazelwood (Mo.) Lutheran North outside linebacker Antonio Doyle, he announced on Twitter.

Blessed to receive an offer from The University of Texas @TexasFootball #Longhorns #big12 #HookEm God keep working pic.twitter.com/4rcqtrbXFF

— Antonio Doyle Jr (@GoatOpportunity) June 3, 2019

Texas becomes the the four-star prospect’s 30th offer, as the Longhorns join Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, LSU, and TCU in the mix, among numerous others. Texas A&M and Oklahoma have been projected as Doyle’s early landing spots, per his Crystal Ball. Doyle was recently in Norman for an unofficial visit in early May, and his has official visits scheduled to Missouri and Texas A&M on June 8 and June 22, respectively.

Of course, given that the nation’s No. 12 outside linebacker, per the 247Sports Composite, is already kicking off his official visit tour, Texas arrived to the party a bit late and will need to prioritize Doyle in order to emerge as a legitimate threat to some familiar recruiting rivals.

The 6’4, 230-pound Doyle becomes the 10th outside linebacker prospect to add a Texas offer. Dallas Highland Park star Prince Dorbah and Dallas Bishop Dunne standout Brennon Scott have been the priorities at the position to this point, though Doyle is more highly regarded as far as rankings are concerned, currently slotted at No. 176 nationally.

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The Longhorns offered the local product in a unique way, but their work in this recruitment is just beginning.

Austin LBJ cornerback Latrell McCutchin has been a Texas Longhorns offer candidate for quite some time. The local class of 2021 prospect camped with the Longhorns last summer, returned to the Forty Acres for the USC game, and more recently, McCutchin was on hand for the Orange-White spring game in April — all without an offer in hand.

On Sunday evening, in an attempt to kick McCutchin’s June off on a high note, the home-town Longhorns finally offered.

“It was shocking. Coach Washington is someone who always surprises people when he offers, so when I got the offer he surprised me and made it different and memorable,” McCutchin told BON. “He called me and put on ‘First of the Month’ by Bone Thugs and Harmony. It was funny and surprised me. I was confused at first but he began to sing along with the song and said: ‘it’s the first of the moooonnnntthhh ... and we’re offering youuuuu!’”

The Longhorns offer is just his latest, but McCutchin is already quite familiar with the Texas football program. Aside from already having made the short trek to the Forty Acres multiple times, McCutchin said his entire family loves Texas.

McCutchin, too, likes the Longhorns, but aiming to be different, McCutchin’s fandom fell with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Just weeks ago on May 13, McCutchin earned an offer from his favorite program, with Alabama sparking a stretch of incoming offers that also included Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, and Missouri. Of those programs, Alabama, which hosted the four-star corner in late March, has unsurprisingly established an early presence in McCutchin’s recruitment.

“Everything about the Tide stands out to me,” McCutchin said. “They’re outstanding on the field as we all know, they have great facilities, and it always feels like home when I’m there.”

McCutchin is set to return to Tuscaloosa on Saturday, and he’s planning for a pair of return trips to Texas as part of a visit-filled summer to the various programs in pursuit of his services.

In fact, that pursuit is arguably, in and of itself, the defining factor in McCutchin’s recruitment — in short, which school wants him the most?

“I’m going wherever I feel I have been recruited the hardest,” McCutchin said. “There’s nothing like being at a place where everyone wants you there, so no matter the conference or size of the school, I’m going with who likes me the most.”

The same standard holds true to Texas.

The Longhorns quite clearly like McCutchin, making him just the third prospect at his position to earn a Texas offer, as he joins five-star Virginia Beach (Va.) Princess Anne product Tony Grimes and Buford (Ga.) standout Malik Williams. But even surviving McCutchin’s initial list cut will require Texas to prove he’s a priority.

“I would expect them to be on the list of my top schools if they recruit me hard enough,” McCutchin said of the Longhorns.”

Most would agree that McCutchin is well worth prioritizing.

A rangy prospect with impressive instincts and a willingness to pursue the ball carrier with a purpose, McCutchin is currently considered to be the top cornerback prospect in the state, per 247Sports. If you ask McCutchin, he’ll confidently take it one step further and proclaim himself as the top corner in the country.

“Confident and physical,” McCutchin said of how he’d describe his game. “I’m also the type of player who’s gonna let you know that I’m better than you the moment you step in front of me.

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The Road to the Show will continue for some Horns with the MLB Draft starting Monday, June 3.

For the Texas Longhorns, the 2019 baseball season ended prematurely. With the NCAA Tournament starting this weekend, it’s not hard to remember the thrilling highs of last year’s Austin regional and super regional that somehow seem not too long ago. Yet, after a disappointing 27-27 season, the focus on the Forty Acres has shifted towards next season.

For some current and (potentially) future Longhorns, that focus may be at the professional level.

Monday, June 3 marks the start of the 2019 MLB Draft, a three-day event that will see over 1,200 players get drafted to one of the thirty different MLB organizations. The University of Texas has had a long tradition of having one of their own names called during the draft: since the original MLB draft in 1965, at least three Longhorns have been selected in each draft.

That streak is likely to continue his year, with a few highly-ranked prospects mixed in with plenty of lower-ranked talents teams may look to take a flier on. Along with these prospects, there’s a few high school players committed to Texas at risk of taking the money and going to the pros, should they get drafted in a slot they deem worth it to bypass playing at UT.

Without further ado, here is your all-encompassing, probably-too-much-info, Burnt Orange Nation 2019 MLB Draft compendium, covering each notable player likely to get drafted, when they’re expected to be selected, and how likely it is that they go pro or return (or arrive) to school.

Brett Baty (3B, Lake Travis HS, Austin, TX)

Baseball America Ranking: 15

Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 218 | B-T: L-R

Scouting Report: Regarded as one of the best pure hitters in the draft class, Baty brings raw power to the table with impressive strength and plus bat speed. The ease with which he’s able to send the ball out of the park, both to the pull side and to the opposite field, rivals nearly any player in the 2019 draft, whether at the high school or college level. A big, 6-foot-3, 218-pound third baseman, originally, most scouts believed that Baty was destined for a transition to first base in pro ball because of his below-average footwork, suspect hands and a plus throwing arm that had strength but was erratic. He’s improved across the board defensively this spring, now giving himself a chance to stick at third base. He’s hit anything and everything thrown at him, so why is he “only” rated as a mid-teens draft prospect and not No. 1 overall? The biggest knock on Baty’s profile is his age. He’ll be just six months away from his 20th birthday come June 3, and he is one of the oldest high school players in the class. Many teams operate with draft models that significantly penalize hitters for that. But it’s hard to ignore Baty’s potential as a middle-of-the-order hitter, no matter his age or position.

Pick Prediction: Early 1st Round

“He Gone” Meter (1-10): 10. This kid is Bru McCoy levels of “He Gone”.

Sammy Faltine (RHP/SS, Fort Bend Travis HS, Richmond, TX)

Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 185 | B-T: R-R Commit/Drafted: Texas

Baseball America Ranking: 89

Scouting Report: A favorite sleeper in the early rounds by many MLB scouts this year, Faltine can do a little bit of everything and is more impressive because of his versatility rather than any one standout tool. Faltine has capably played almost everywhere around the diamond. He’s a legitimate two-way player who shows feel on the mound and a solid approach at the plate. As a pitcher, he doesn’t wow with overpowering stuff, but his average, 88-91 mph fastball (he can touch 92-93 mph) locates well, it’s a high-spin pitch, and has solid, natural cut. His curveball has excellent shape and, like his fastball, also locates it well. He’s toyed with a changeup and he’s added an 82-84 mph slider that shows above-average potential. As a pitcher, Faltine’s stuff may end up getting better if teams bet on his athleticism, and his feel will help him survive as he works to improve, but many teams like him better as a position player. Faltine’s best hope as a hitter is to play either shortstop or center field — he’s spent time at both spots. However, he lacks elite speed, relying more on his defensive IQ in the outfield and his first step and good hands at shortstop. Faltine has average raw power at best right now, and his swing is more contact-based. Faltine’s versatility means he’s not a refined defender at any position yet, but his feel for the game and excellent body control gives plenty of reasons to believe that the best is yet to come once he focuses on either hitting or pitching and picks a position.

Pick Prediction: Rounds 2-4

“He Gone” Meter: 8. He could be a much needed two-way star at Texas as a freshman, but as a potential late Day 1 or early Day 2 pick, he may never get to the Forty Acres.

David Hamilton (SS, Jr.)

Baseball America Ranking: 223

Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 170 | B-T: L-R

Scouting Report: One of the biggest reasons for this past season’s decline was the missed season from Hamilton, who was injured the entire year with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Hamilton’s injury obviously makes it difficult for teams to fully evaluate him, as his athleticism and speed were his best attributes. A left-handed hitter who focuses on making plenty of contact while using his plus speed, Hamilton also has a quick first step and the hands to stay at shortstop at the MLB level. He was overmatched as a hitter at times as a freshman, and even with improvement in his sophomore season, his lack of power is a concern in pro ball.

Pick Prediction: Rounds 5-10

“He Gone” Meter: 4. He could use a medical redshirt year and retain two years of eligibility if he doesn’t like where he goes in the draft. It could be in his and Texas’ best interests if he returns to school to improve his game and develop his power to alleviate his current draft-day concerns.

Jared Southard (RHP, Rouse HS, Leander, TX)

Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 205 | B-T: R-R

Baseball America Ranking: 231

Scouting Report: Southard’s draft stock ticked up this spring after he came out throwing harder than ever before, as he’s been up to 95 mph this spring. A strong, compact physical frame makes it hard to project much more physically, but he has plenty of arm strength and feel to spin a curveball and slider.

Pick Prediction: Rounds 8-15

“He Gone” Meter: 6. A high riser in draft ranking boards over the past spring, Southard is a hard read to project because of the uncertainty of where he’ll end up getting drafted. H may get drafted and offered a sizeable bonus and go pro, but it’s completely within the realm of possibility teams are skeptical of the big righty, and he declines any offer to refine his strength at Texas.

Andre Duplantier (RHP/3B, Summer Creek HS, Houston, TX)

Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 195 | B-T: R-R

Baseball America Ranking: 241

Scouting Report: A cousin of top D-backs prospect right-hander Jon Duplantier, Andre Duplantier has one of the better curveballs in the prep class. His 88-91 mph fastball is also promising because he had advanced command of it for his age. Duplantier’s curve though is his most impressive asset, and major league clubs and scouts have taken notice of this with an average mid-200’s pre-draft ranking.

Pick Prediction: Rounds 8-15

“He Gone” Meter: 3. Despite a decent pre-draft ranking, most evaluators expect he’ll make it to Texas and be a key member of the Longhorns’ rotation.

Blair Henley (RHP, Jr.)

Baseball America Ranking: 336

Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 175 | B-T: R-R

Scouting Report: Despite three productive years at Texas, pro scouts are lukewarm on Henley because his stuff hasn’t really gotten better since he started his career as a Longhorn. In high school, he had a monster senior year at Fort Worth’s Arlington Heights High, including back-to-back-to-back no-hitters at one point. After going in the 2016 draft as a 22nd-round pick to the Yankees, Henley was a well-rounded right-hander out of high school with an 88-92 mph fastball. And three years later, he’s a well-rounded right-hander with an 88-92 mph fastball. He’s a solid strike-thrower with a fringe fastball and changeup, but an excellent curve ball will get him some positive reviews. He’s a mid 300’s rank due to his inability to improve over his time at Texas, but a team will take a chance on his results and untapped potential.

Pick Prediction: Rounds 8-15

“He Gone” Meter: 9. He Gone, barring an extremely unlikely large drop in the draft that would cause him to come back to finish out his senior year at UT.

Of course, this run-down doesn’t include the full list of Longhorns likely to hear their names called during the draft. Other upperclassmen, such as Ryan Reynolds (Jr.), Austin Todd (Jr.), Donny Diaz (R-Jr.), and Tate Shaw (Sr.) may very well be selected in the late rounds. Not to mention, many other high school commits in the upcoming 2019 class will get drafted in the late rounds to get their names on MLB teams’ radars.

However, these players are all but guaranteed to return to Austin (or in any seniors’ case, graduate). However, for the names listed above, the draft should be watched closely by Longhorn fans to see whether they decide to travel the professional route or if they’ll be in Austin next year to work at getting back to an NCAA-leading 36th College World Series Appearance.

Stay tuned for more updates on the 2019 MLB Draft as they come.

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