The last couple of months were good to second-year head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff in terms of picking up commitments in the 2023 Texas football recruiting class. More specifically, Texas found an incredible wave of momentum on the recruiting trail for the 2023 class since landing a commitment from the elite five-star Isidore Newman quarterback Arch Manning back on June 23.
Sark and the Longhorns will look to keep this momentum going on the recruiting trail ahead of the start of fall camp in the 2023 class. One position group Texas could stock up on in the 2023 class ahead of the start of fall camp (on Aug. 4) is cornerback.
Texas has a few key targets at the cornerback position in the 2023 class that are either getting close to narrowing down their decisions or already set announcement dates. The list of cornerback targets for the Longhorns 2023 class that fit into this bucket includes five-star Arlington-Martin product Javien Toviano, five-star South Oak Cliff product Malik Muhammad, and four-star Matthews product Jordan Matthews.
There is one other cornerback target for the Longhorns 2023 class that recently narrowed down his list of finalist schools, but where Texas might not factor into the final decision. Four-star Spanaway Lake (WA) cornerback Jasiah Wagoner narrowed down his list of top schools to four late last month, and Texas was included in the mix.
Texas football could be prioritizing Malik Muhammad and Javien Toviano in the 2023 class over 4-Star Jasiah Wagoner
Wagoner also included the Oregon Ducks, Cal Golden Bears, and Oklahoma Sooners among his top schools in his latest round of finalist cuts which he announced on social media on June 28.
Texas looked to be a key player in this recruitment for most of the offseason for Wagoner. Back in early May, Wagoner looked to have a successful unofficial visit to Austin. Since that point in time, Texas was on good footing with Wagoner and his camp.
But there are some recent indications popping up that show Texas might not be prioritizing Wagoner quite as much heading into the fall.
First off, that trio of top Texas cornerback targets in Muhammad, Toviano, and Matthews looks to be a higher priority for cornerbacks coach Terry Joseph and the Longhorns staff at this point of the offseason. Texas looks like the favorite for Muhammad ahead of his July 20 decision date.
The Longhorns also are starting to emerge as a potential frontrunner in the race to land a commitment from Toviano. Texas would likely take Muhammad and Toviano ahead of Wagoner in the 2023 class in almost any scenario.
It’s also worth noting that the two most recent expert 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions for Wagoner project his commitment to Oklahoma over Texas. There are other recruiting services that have forecasts or projections placed for Wagoner to land with the Sooners too.
The combination of how Texas is trending for the trio that includes Muhammad, Toviano, and Matthews, along with Wagoner’s apparent Oklahoma lean this summer would give the indication that the Longhorns are finding direction at the cornerback position in the 2023 class.
It’s likely that Wagoner trending to Oklahoma early this week is a good sign for the Longhorns. That could indicate that Texas is hearing good things from the likes of Muhammad and Toviano.
Texas also already holds commitments from two versatile defensive backs in the 2022 class between five-star Westgate (LA) safety Derek Williams and four-star Arlington-Seguin safety Jamel Johnson. Since both Williams and Johnson can play at the cornerback or safety position for Texas, the need might not be there to add corners if Muhammad and Toviano land in the 2023 class.
I would anticipate that Texas winds up taking four or five defensive backs in the 2023 class, depending on what happens with Toviano and Muhammad. If Texas lands that duo of corners, that might be good for the Longhorns in the 2023 class for the first signing period in December.
Texas currently holds commitments from 18 recruits in the 2023 class as of the morning of July 18. According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2023 Texas recruiting class ranks at No. 5 in the nation.