National signing day recap: Texas comes away with yet another top-five class

How — and when — Texas built its class

2022: All but one incoming Longhorn signed

  • April 2: LB S'Maje Burrell (4-stars, No 29 LB prospect)

  • April 23: RB Tre Wisner (3-stars, No. 33 RB nationally)

  • June 13: TE Spencer Shannon (3-stars, No. 36 TE prospect)

  • June 19: TE Will Randle (3-stars, No. 45 TE prospect)

  • June 23: QB Arch Manning (5-stars, No. 1 QB nationally)

  • June 25: Liona Lefau (4-stars, No. 32 LB nationally)

  • June 26: G Jaydon Chatman (4-stars, No. 9 interior OL prospect)

  • June 26: OT Connor Stroh (3-stars, No. 41 tackle prospect)

  • June 26: OL Andre Cojoe (3-stars, No. 72 interior line prospect)

  • June 26: OT Trevor Goosby (4-stars, No. 26 tackle prospect)

  • June 27: S Derek Williams (4-stars, No. safety, No. 48 overall nationally)

  • June 28: Edge rusher Billy Walton (No. 47 edge prospect)

  • June 29: WR Johntay Cook II (5-stars, No. 3 WR nationally)

  • July 3: DL Sydir Mitchell (4-stars, No. 25 DL nationally)

  • July 20: CB Malik Muhammad (4-stars, a top-five national CB)

  • July 23: OT Payton Kirkland (3-stars, No. 45 national interior line prospect)

  • Aug. 5: Edge rusher Derion Gullette (4-stars, a national top-20 edge)

  • Aug. 10: RB Cedric Baxter Jr. (5-stars, the nation's No. 1 RB)

  • Nov. 8: Edge rusher Colton Vasek (4-stars, nation's No. 16 edge)

  • Dec. 15: LB Anthony Hill (5-stars, No. 2 LB nationally, No. 18 overall)

  • Dec. 21: WR Ryan Niblett (4-stars, No. 10 WR, No 64 overall nationally)

  • Dec. 21: LB Tausili Akana (No. 10 LB prospect, Utah's No. 2 recruit)

  • Dec. 22: WR DeAndre Moore Jr. (4-stars, No. 101 overall nationally)

2023: One more added

  • Jan. 7: S Jelani McDonald (4-stars, No. 2 athlete prospect nationally)

Are the Longhorns done?


Texas is still in play for one significant prospect who didn't sign on Wednesday: five-star tight end Duce Robinson, the No. 1 tight end prospect in the country out of Phoenix, Ariz. He's deciding between Georgia, USC, Alabama, Texas and Oregon, with the Bulldogs considered the frontrunners. All Robinson has to do is look at what Ja'Tavion Sanders is doing out of the tight end spot at Texas to have a sense of what the 6-foot-6, 225-pound prospect could do in Austin.

Don't forget about the transfers

Texas also has added four new players via the transfer portal, each of whom can play this coming season: Georgia WR Adonai Mitchell, Arkansas safety Jalen Catalon, Wake Forest cornerback Gavin Holmes and Stanford punter Ryan Sanborn.

More: Texas focuses on recruiting winners, and half its 2023 class are state champions

Two of them are native Texans. Mitchell (Fort Bend Ridge Point) played 21 career games and won two national championships with the Bulldogs, with seven touchdowns — including one in the 2021 title game and one in the 2022 title game. Catalon (Mansfield Legacy) had started for the Razorbacks since his redshirt freshman season and is a former all-SEC pick. Holmes, originally from Louisiana, started for Wake Forest last season and could slide into a starting role at Texas, which lost D'Shawn Jamison and Anthony Cook. Sanborn is from San Diego, Calif. and was a two-time captain at Stanford.

June was a busy, busy month for Texas

The Longhorns landed their big fish — 5-star quarterback Arch Manning out of New Orleans — on June 23, but he was one of 11 prospects who committed to Texas' class last June. That included fellow 5-star Johntay Cook II, a wide receiver out of DeSoto, as well as a pair of 3-star tight ends and four of the five offensive linemen in this year's class.

New Orleans prep quarterback Archie Manning, the No. 1 overall recruit in the country, is the unquestioned crown jewel of Texas' 2023 signing class. But it includes other highly-regarded national prospects as well.
New Orleans prep quarterback Archie Manning, the No. 1 overall recruit in the country, is the unquestioned crown jewel of Texas' 2023 signing class. But it includes other highly-regarded national prospects as well.

June was by far the busiest month of the recruiting cycle for Texas. Eight of the 11 players who committed that month pledged in a five-day period immediately after Manning pledged to the Longhorns.

The top of the class

Easy. Manning — son of Cooper, nephew of Peyton and Eli, grandson of Archie — is the No. 1 overall recruit in the country per 247Sports' composite rankings. Comparisons are just comparisons, but a national 247 expert is comparing him to Joe Burrow.

But two others should be big, too: Orlando's Cedric Baxter Jr., who's the nation's No. 1 running back prospect, and Denton Ryan linebacker Anthony Hill, the nation's No. 2 linebacker prospect who Texas flipped from Texas A&M right before early signing period in December.

More: For Texas' 2023 schedule, it's so long Oklahoma State and West Virginia, hello BYU and Houston

The last No. 1 running back that Texas signed? Bijan Robinson.

Hill is expected to land at middle linebacker.

Recruiting in-state vs. out-of-state

Out of the 24 players, 14 are Texans.

Texas plucked three from Louisiana, two each from California, Florida and Louisiana, and one each from Utah, New Jersey and Hawaii.

Those 10 out-of-staters are the most for Texas since Tom Herman signed 14 from out of state in 2019 and tied for the second-most over the last 10 signing classes. Texas went out of state for eight players in 2022, seven in 2021, just one in 2020 (Bijan Robinson), the whopping 14 in 2019, seven in 2018, five each in 2017 and 2016, 10 in 2015 and six in 2014.

That 2019 out-of-state load was more miss than hit, though. Among the 14 were star-crossed wide receivers Bru McCoy and Jake Smith, both of whom transferred out, running backs Kenyatta Watson II and Derrian Brown, and linebacker De'Gabriel Floyd, whose career was hampered by injury.

Already signed, sealed and delivered

And by delivered, we mean enrolled, already on campus taking classes and prepping for spring workouts. Texas has 14 of them — 5-star QB Arch Manning, 5-star RB Cedric Baxter Jr., WRs Johntay Cook II and DeAndre Moore Jr., four of the five offensive linemen (Jaydon Chapman

The nation's top five classes

  1. Alabama

  2. Georgia

  3. Texas

  4. Oklahoma

  5. Ohio State

The Big 12's top five classes

  1. Texas

  2. Oklahoma

  3. TCU

  4. Texas Tech

  5. Kansas State

How Texas', Oklahoma's classes would rank if they were already in the SEC

  1. Alabama

  2. Georgia

  3. Texas

  4. Oklahoma

  5. Tennessee

  6. Florida

  7. Texas A&M

  8. South Carolina

  9. Auburn

  10. Arkansas

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Everything you need to know about Texas football's No. 3 signing class