Jared Wiley joins Brayden Liebrock as the Longhorns two tight end takes this cycle.
For the second time in as many days, the Texas Longhorns 2019 class added a member, with the latest coming in the form of three-star Temple tight end Jared Wiley, who announced his commitment to Tom Herman’s program on Saturday.
Wiley also named Houston and Missouri has finalists on May 10, but even then, the tea leaves pointed entirely towards Texas, where he’s visited multiple times this offseason. With Wiley’s Crystal Ball projections proving true, he joins fast-rising Arizona product Brayden Liebrock as the Longhorns’ takes at the position this cycle. Furthermore, Wiley’s pledge builds upon what’s now an eight-man 2019 haul for the ‘Horns, which features talent from Texas, California, Georgia, and Arizona.
An intriguing prospect, Wiley doesn’t boast elite athleticism, but with solid size at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, he has the height and the hands to prove valuable in the passing game, as he often does when split out wide for Temple. He’s a willing blocker along the line, as well. However, there is room for improvement to that end, and he can afford to add speed and explosiveness on the outside, as Wiley’s ESPN profile lists his 40-yard dash time at 5.03 with a 28.1-inch vertical leap.
Despite the underwhelming measurables, though, Wiley still produced in pads last season, hauling in 25 receptions for 323 yards and four touchdowns. It’s also worth bearing in mind that 2017 was his first season as a tight end after previously serving as a backup quarterback and place kicker, so as evident by his offer and now, his commitment, Texas is intrigued with his upside at tight end.
With Wiley in the fold, Texas’ class now ranks No. 15 nationally and No. 2 in the Big 12.
Wiley is ranked as the nation’s No. 44 tight end prospect and as the No. 158 player in Texas, per the 247Sports Composite. He plans to become an early enrollee and arrive on the Forty Acres next spring, which should aid in his development as he transitions to a full-time tight end role.
Paris Johnson Jr. is the nation’s most sought after 2020 offensive tackle, and for good reason.
One of the very best prospects that the 2020 class has to offer is now officially on the Texas Longhorns radar. On Friday afternoon, top-ranked 2020 offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. notched as offer from Texas, he announced on Twitter.
A highly coveted prospect with upwards of 40 offers to date, Johnson’s Texas invitation joins a list that includes Alabama, Michigan, LSU, Clemson, Auburn, Ohio State, and Notre Dame, among numerous others. A four-star talent out of Cincinnati (Oh.) St. Xavier, Johnson is set for a busy June, as he will visit Alabama, Auburn, FSU, Georgia, Clemson, USC, UCLA, Stanford, and Cal. At some point, it seems likely that Pitt earns a visit, as well, considering that his father, Paris Johnson Sr., is the program’s assistant director of player personnel.
As expected with an elite Ohio prospect, Johnson will be difficult to lure away from the powers in his region; most notably, Ohio State. The Buckeyes currently own five of his 10 Crystal Ball projections. Michigan State holds three other projections. As evident by Johnson’s June visit plans, the 6-foot-7, 275-pound tackle is considerably open to evaluating his options across the country, but for Texas to become a major player before his recruitment intensifies, the Longhorns will need to receive a visit in the near future, as well.
Now one of just five 2020 offensive tackle prospects with a Texas offer, Johnson is ranked as the nation’s No. 7 player, the No. 1 offensive tackle, and the No. 1 player in Ohio, per 247Sports.
The Longhorns are one of eight schools standing out for in-state edge rusher Peter Mpagi.
Amid what proved to be a busy evening on the recruiting trail, the Texas Longhorns were named as a top school for Richmond George Ranch weak-side defensive end Peter Mpagi, who noted Texas, Arizona State, Baylor, Cal, Houston, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Washington as his top eight schools.
Mpagi is the owner to 23 total offers, and his list cut left Arkansas, Indiana, Minnesota, TCU, SMU, and Purdue and others on the outside looking in.
As far as his recruitment as it pertains to Texas is concerned, the Longhorns could be in the driver’s seat if they choose to do so. Mpagi has made multiple trips to the Forty Acres this offseason, including for the Longhorns Junior Day and spring game. Mpagi has even went as far as to name Texas his dream school, so not surprisingly, his lone Crystal Ball projection is in favor of Tom Herman’s program.
However, Texas isn’t one of Mpagi’s 23 offers.
Should that offer come, it’s quite likely that Texas would be the heavy frontrunner when it comes time for Mpagi to announce his commitment. He’s currently aiming to do so at some point this summer.
A three-star prospect, Mpagi totaled 33 tackles, five tackles for loss, and nine sacks as a junior. The 6-foot-4, 224-pound edge rusher is ranked as the nation’s No. 69 weak-side defensive end and the No. 134 player in Texas, per the 247Sports Composite.
After being named among Green’s top 10 the first 10 around, TCU, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and Arkansas were left on the outside looking in.
Pegged as the top-ranked talent in Texas, per the 247Sports Composite, Green’s most recent trip to the Forty Acres came just over a month ago for the Longhorns spring game. Now a finalist, it appears as if Texas will be presented with at least one opportunity to convince the Houston-area prospect to call Austin home following his senior season, as the Longhorns appear primed to receive one of his official visits.
However, the ‘Horns have their work cut out entering the summer.
Although Texas is still in the mix, it’s Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies who serve as the frontrunner thus far. Green’s most recent Crystal Ball projection picks Texas, but nine others are in favor of Texas A&M, where he has also visited on numerous occasions. Not to mention, Green is a former LSU pledge, so the Tigers surviving yet another cut provide evidence that the Tigers still loom as a very real threat.
With Green aiming to make his commitment at the end of the summer following his official visits, Texas essentially has three months — give or take — to sway Green’s recruitment in its favor.
A 6-foot-4, 317-pound prospect who was honored as a Class 6A first-team all-state selection by the TSWA in 2017, Green is ranked as the nation’s No. 15 player, the No. 4 offensive tackle, and the No. 1 player in Texas, per the 247Sports Composite.
Rated as a five-star prospect, Johnson has long been a must-have for the ‘Horns this cycle, given his tremendous upside and instant-impact potential at a position of need. With that in mind, Texas began to prioritize Johnson shortly after extending an offer early last year, and that pursuit only intensified once the Longhorns hired offensive line coach Herb Hand away from Auburn.
Johnson has made the trek to Austin on numerous occasions this spring, including a trip for Junior Day, another in early March, again in early April, and most recently, in early May for an official visit.
Even prior to his most recent visits, Texas was considered the favorite for his services — the ‘Horns held 100 percent of Johnson’s Crystal Ball projections throughout his entire recruitment. As the spring went on, the feeling that Hand the and the ‘Horns would land Johnson became more a question of when, not if.
Oklahoma did pose some semblance of a threat, as the Sooners hosted Johnson for a pair of visits for Junior Day, and then later for an official visit for OU’s spring game on April 14, but of course, that push wasn’t enough to keep Johnson away from the burnt orange nation.
He originally planned to prolong the recruiting process, but as evident by his commitment, Johnson elected to pull the trigger and pledge to Texas much earlier than initially expected.
Now committed to the Longhorns, Johnson becomes the seventh member of Herman’s 2019 class and significantly bolsters the bunch as the No. 2-ranked offensive tackle in Texas.
“Johnson is a prospect with a high ceiling. He is a prospect who has the size and frame to project out as a true offensive tackle, but with the size and natural strength to play anywhere on the line. Johnson is a block-finisher who will take his man to the ground if presented the opportunity. His size, physical nature, and run-blocking ability suggest that he could provide position versatility at the next level.”
A 6’5, 308-pound talent, Johnson is ranked as the nation’s No. 33 player, No. 7 offensive tackle and the No. 5 player in Texas, per the 247Sports Composite. He’s now Texas’ first five-star offensive line commit since Darius James in 2013.
Card is a four-star prospect according to 247 Sports, and ranks as the No. 2 dual-threat QB, the No. 20 player in Texas, and the No. 170 overall player in the 2020 class. He held offers from 21 Division 1 programs, including Alabama, Ohio State, and Michigan.
Tom Herman offered Card at the Orange-White game on April 21, and Herman and QB coach Drew Mehringer visited the Lake Travis product three days later.
The 6’2, 167 pounder is a fantastic athlete, and originally played wide receiver before replacing Ohio State commit Matthew Baldwin in the Texas 6A State Championship Game last season after Baldwin went down with a knee injury on the first play of the game. Lake Travis lost 33-35 with Card as the signal-caller, as the then sophomore completed 21 of 32 passes for 224 yards and threw a touchdown and three picks.
Card’s athleticism was also on full display, as he ran for 73 yards and a TD in his 16 rushing attempts in the game.
On the season, Card notched 69 catches for 1,137 yards and 13 touchdowns as a receiver. At QB, he completed 57-of-82 passes and threw for 597 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions. He also had 491 yards on the ground and scored six rushing touchdowns.
Card is the first Texas commit for the class of 2020. His status as a local kid with elite athleticism and high upside makes him a perfect starting place for the class.
The illustrious recognition keeps coming for the star Longhorn golfer.
Three days after being named the recipient of the Ben Hogan Award, which honors the nation’s best golfer, senior Doug Ghim was named a finalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award for the same honor. Along with Ghim, four other golfers were named finalists. Fellow rival Chandler Phillips (Texas A&M), Justin Suh (USC), Shintaro Ban (UNLV) and Norman Xiong (Oregon) are finalists.
The 2018 Jack Nicklaus Award will be announced next Thursday, May 31 and the award will be presented to the winner by Jack Nicklaus himself on Sunday, June 3 during the last day of the PGA Tour Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
With the event being sponsored by Barbasol, the winner of this award will compete in the Barbasol Shootout next weekend for freedom into the PGA Tour Barbasol Championship in Lexington, Kentucky in July.
(Golf Digest took a look at the different college golf player-of-the-year awards in an article this week.)
This is another one of many major achievements that Ghim has earned this year. In April, at The Masters, he was the lone amateur to make the cut and was awarded the low amateur Silver Cup while representing burnt orange on his chest. He also led the field with a total of two eagles on the week. At the Big 12 Championship, Ghim tied with three others to claim an individual share of the conference title. Last week at the NCAA Regional in Raleigh, he finished atop the individual leaderboard (-17) helping the Longhorns advance to yet another NCAA Championship. On Monday night, he was awarded the Ben Hogan Award. Ghim will also compete in his second major of the year at the 2018 U.S. Open from Shinnecock Hills (Tuckahoe, New York) next month.
After serving under Steve Prohm at Iowa State for the past two seasons, Neill Berry is joining Shaka Smart’s staff
After spending much of the past six weeks in search of an assistant coach to replace Mike Morrell, who departed for the head coaching job UNC Asheville on April 11, Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns have officially hired former Iowa State assistant Neill Berry, the school announced on Thursday.
“I’m extremely excited about Neill joining our staff. It’s been about six weeks since Mike got the job at UNC Asheville. I wanted to make sure I did my homework and considered a variety of candidates,” Smart said in a statement released through the school. “I did a ton of research on many different guys, trying to figure out who would be the best fit for our program. I kept coming back to the feeling that Neill is the best fit for our staff and our team, and he is a guy who can come in here and hit the ground running in all facets of the job.”
Berry spent the previous two seasons serving as an assistant coach on Steve Prohm’s staff at Iowa State. He was with the Cyclones program for three years.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to join Coach Smart’s staff at Texas,” Berry said. “I have always had tremendous respect for Coach Smart from afar, and I am excited about the opportunity to learn from him and help out in any way possible moving forward. I have loved my time working for Coach Prohm at Iowa State and have learned so much from him, both on and off the floor. He has been an unbelievable mentor in my life. It was going to take a special opportunity to leave Iowa State, and I believe Texas is this opportunity. It is an amazing university in a great location with tremendous tradition and support. My family and I are very excited to get to Austin.”
The 36-year-old Berry comes equipped with 13 years of Division I experience in various capacities.
The Longhorns are out after only two games in Oklahoma City.
No. 12 Texas Longhorns baseball (37-20, 17-7 Big 12) has been eliminated from the Big 12 tournament after only two games.
After falling to No. 8 seed Kansas on Wednesday, the No. 1 seeded ‘Horns lost again on Thursday to the No. 4 seed Oklahoma Sooners (35-22, 14-10) 3-1 in Oklahoma City.
The elimination game saw the ‘Horns yet again fail to create the offense that propelled the team through the regular season.
Texas notched only six hits and stranded seven runners. The only time Texas scored was when Duke Ellis hit into a 4-6-3 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the fifth to get a run on the board.
Starter Nolan Kingham threw an average game, posting eight hits, three runs, one walk, and a strikeout across 5.1 innings. Chase Shugart came on in relief and looked a bit sloppy, walking four in his 2.1 inning. Shugart, however, ultimately did not surrender a run and earned a huge strikeout on a full count with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth.
Josh Sawyer got the only batter he faced out and Parker Jo Robinson turned in a nice inning of work in which he struck out two.
The relief pitching has been one of the few positive takeaways from the tournament, as guys like Robinson, Matt Whelan, and Andy McGuire have all looked like reliable arms out of the bullpen who Texas can count on in the NCAA tournament.
The Big 12 tournament wasn’t extremely meaningful for the ‘Horns, as Texas has likely secured an NCAA regional host spot. The losses, however, dissolved some of the momentum that the ‘Horns had and shined a light on the fact that Texas still has many flaws. Texas’ struggles at this plate this week, for example, were a bit concerning considering how good the ‘Horns’ offense has been as of late.
The NCAA tournament field will be announced on Monday and the NCAA Regionals begin on June 1.
The Longhorns and Bulldogs also met in Athens on Jan. 28, 2017, which resulted in a 59-57 Georgia win.
Georgia and Texas have previously met 12 times, with the Bulldogs owning the all-time series edge, 7-5. However, Texas does boast a winning record in five Big 12-SEC Challenge appearances, with a 3-2 record to this point, including a 85-72 win over Ole Miss last season.
2013: 70-64 win vs. Vanderbilt
2014: 63-51 loss vs. Kentucky
2016: 72-58 win vs. Vanderbilt
2017: 59-57 loss vs. Georgia
2018: 86-72 win vs. Ole Miss
Last season, Georgia finished at 18-15 and missed the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season. Texas compiled a 19-15 record, and for the second time in three seasons under Shaka Smart, fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
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