With many top high school football players choosing to sign their letters of intent during the early signing period, National Signing Day has become more of an afterthought in the recruiting world.
But as Texas tried to shore up its 2020 recruiting class, a pair of last-minute commits rounded out the Longhorn class that ranks ninth in the country and first in the Big 12.
Four-star Cedar Creek defensive end Alfred Collins and four-star Carthage athlete Kelvontay Dixon were the only two signees of the day for the Longhorns, helping vault Texas’ class into the country’s Top 10.
“February is not really (the) regular signing day anymore,” Texas head coach Tom Herman said in a press release Wednesday. “It’s almost late signing day with most of our class wrapped up in December. We addressed a lot of areas of need and brought in a lot of guys we think will be able to come in and play early.”
While the Longhorns hit on two big recruits, several players considering Texas decided to take their talents elsewhere. In deciding between Texas and Missouri, Duncanville cornerback Ennis Rakestraw chose the Tigers. Manor High School defensive end Princely Umanmielen had narrowed down his options to Auburn, Baylor, Texas and Florida. In the end, Umanmielen picked up the blue and orange hat and threw up the Gator chomp.
“I know that I want to play big competition and my goal is to go to the NFL,” Umanmielen said. “And I know that the SEC produces big-time D linemen.”
Texas’ 2020 class is headlined by the only five-star recruit in running back Bijan Robinson. Hailing from Salpointe Catholic in Tucson, Arizona, Robinson ranks as a top-three running back in the country. Even though his home is nearly 900 miles away, he already has big plans for his time in the Lone Star State. In a Bleacher Report article, Robinson said he came to Texas to “try to get them back to the top.”
Outside of Robinson, every player in the 2020 class has its roots in the state of Texas. That’s 18 athletes from Texas high schools that Herman has brought in to help reestablish the state’s most iconic college football program.
“I want to thank the high school coaches here in the state of Texas and their straight-line recruiting model,” Herman said. “We take a lot of pride in getting the best of the best in our home state to play for their flagship University, which is The University of Texas. We couldn’t be prouder.”