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Texas and Florida football are on a roll in recruiting

Welcome to the Crootletter, a college football recruiting newsletter by Bud Elliott.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Texas is on quite a recruiting tear under coach Tom Herman, and specifically in Houston. In recent days, the Longhorns added Houston-area prospects Jalen green, a four-star cornerback, Al’Vonte Woodard, a four-star receiver, and Brennan Eagles, another four-star receiver. All three are special talents. That’s big, because the talent in Dallas, the traditional UT stronghold, this year is not all that great. Texas now has four of the state’s top five recruits.

Green has exceptional length at cornerback, and pairs it with good feet for his size. He’s one of the 10 best cornerback prospects I’ve seen in the 2018 cycle.

Woodard has smooth, easy speed after catching the football, and can take plays the distance.

In February, I spoke with many of the state’s best talents, including local Houston stars, about whether Herman would get the Longhorns back to the top of college football. Many believed that the former Houston coach would, and that it starts with recruiting. Keeping the top recruits in the state of Texas, and specifically Austin, is a big deal.

The Longhorns aren’t done in Houston, either.

In the coming months, I expect Texas to land commitments from D’Shawn Jamison, a four-star cornerback from Houston Lamar High School, and Brennan Eagles, a five-star receiver from Houston Alief Taylor. Update: Eagles committed to Texas Monday night.

And while Ohio State is likely to be the pick for five-star cornerback Anthony Cook, a teammate of Jamison (what a high school secondary that is, yeesh), Texas has a shot there, too. Four-star tight end Malcolm Epps, of Houston Dekaney, is also fond of Texas.

And it’s not just the skill positions. Keondre Coburn, a four-star defensive tackle from Houston Westfield is favoring the Longhorns.

If the Longhorns have a good season on the field, as is expected, I could see Texas signing seven of the state’s top 13 players, and perhaps half of the top 20. In a state like Texas, that would be a great success.

Oh, and the Longhorns also landed their QB for the 2019 class.

Florida has huge recruiting weekend

The Florida Gators pulled off a great weekend, to cap a strong recruiting week.

The Gators picked up pledges last week from (great coverage from Florida blog Alligator Army on this):

2018 five-star QB Matt Corral (Long Beach Poly)
2018 four-star WR Ja’Marr Chase (Archbishop Rummel)
2018 four-star OL Curtis Dunlap Jr. (IMG Academy)
2018 four-star TE Kyle Pitts (Archbishop Wood)
2018 three-star TE Dante Lang (Boca Raton High)
2018 three-star S Randy Russell (Miami Carol City)
2019 DE Cameron Williams (Chaminade-Madonna)
2019 OL Wardrick Wilson (Norland)

Corral is the star here, for good reason. The Cali QB has serious arm talent, and stands in the pocket and takes a hit while delivering the ball.

But others on this list are strong, too. Ja’Marr Chase is an excellent receiver, who I’ve been raving about since his performance at the New Orleans stop of the Nike Opening Camp tour. Chase compares his game to Dez Bryant, and I don’t believe he is that, but he does catch the ball well, and has seen his ranking rise steadily in 2017.

I think Pitts is a good tight end, and Dunlap is a lineman who has long been on the radar. He’s huge, but losing weight, and I finally saw him get angry and nasty at The Opening finals last month. The light bulb comes on at different times for different prospects.

Florida now has 13 prospects, and will likely have its best class under Jim McElwain.