Another huge addition arrived for head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff in the 2023 Texas football recruiting class on the evening of July 20. Texas picked up the 19th commit in the 2023 class on July 20 by landing the highly touted five-star South Oak Cliff cornerback Malik Muhammad.
This is the third defensive back commit in the Longhorns 2023 class, two of which hold that elusive five-star rating from various recruiting services. The other two blue-chip defensive back commits in the Longhorns 2023 clas are five-star Westgate (LA) safety Derek Williams and four-star Arlington-Seguin safety Jamel Johnson.
Moreover, Texas landed this commitment from Muhammad via an announcement he made that also came up on social media on the evening of July 20. He continues this massive wave of momentum that the Longhorns are experiencing on the recruiting trail in the month following the commitment of the elite five-star Isidore Newman quarterback Arch Manning.
Texas landed this commitment from Muhammad over his other two finalist schools the Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas A&M Aggies. Muhammad apparently had his decision made this month following his official visit to Austin last month as he announced his commitment to Texas ahead of his scheduled OV to College Station with the Aggies.
5-Star CB Malik Muhammad adds another playmaker to the 2023 Texas football recruiting class
Muhammad was originally scheduled for an official visit to Texas A&M on the weekend of July 28.
Getting Muhammad in the 2023 class is starting to build out a really solid group for Pete Kwiatkowski, Terry Joseph, and Blake Gideon.
We have to give big props to the second-year Texas cornerbacks coach Joseph for his work in this recruitment. He built an excellent bond with Muhammad and his camp, especially since the official visit to Austin last month.
The relationship that the Texas staff built with Muhammad clearly played a big role in his decision to commit this week.
The 6-foot and 170-pound Muhammad will bring excellent length, athleticism, and explosiveness to the table for this Texas secondary. He shows good speed and hip flexion on film and from what we’ve seen out of Muhammad during his various camp circuits.
Muhammad clearly possesses the necessary tools to thrive as a lockdown one-on-one corner, especially in man coverage, at the next level. But he’s also got the instincts and explosiveness required to be a real difference-maker for the backend of this defense.
That was evident at South Oak Cliff last season as he registered nearly 70 tackles, a half-dozen pass breakups, and three interceptions (one he returned for a touchdown).
Texas needs this type of game-breaker in the secondary that can shift momentum in the blink of an eye. Muhammad will also help give Joseph and Kwiatkowski another lockdown corner that can make life extremely difficult for opposing wide receivers.
This length and fundamental quickness that Muhammad brings to the table at the cornerback position will also allow him to be a very stick defender in press coverage. If he can add some muscle mass to his frame at the next level, Muhammad will be a load for opposing wideouts to deal with in press coverage off the line of scrimmage.
A few of the areas where Muhammad could be a fit for the Longhorns’ defense will either be as a slot corner, press corner on the outside, or the nickel on the inside. The fact that Muhammad could fill all of these roles for the Texas secondary goes to show just how versatile and proficient he can be in pass coverage assignments.
Muhammad will likely be utilized in a variety of roles as he has multiple strengths to his game that should be maximized. Once his frame fills out, Kwiatkowski and Joseph will be able to utilize his underrated top-end speed, stickiness, and length to their advantage in jamming opposing wideouts in man coverage.
The instincts and quickness that Muhammad brings to the table could also allow him to be a real disruptor sliding to the inside to play in that star/nickel role.
In terms of the impact that Muhammad can have right away on the Longhorns, it looks like some limited live-game reps in the secondary and some important snaps on special teams could be in line for the Dallas, TX, product. Muhammad is definitely going to be someone that can make an impact in the return game and in kick/punt coverage right away.
All in all, it’s clear that Muhammad is a game-changer for the Longhorns in this defensive class for the 2023 cycle. Texas is starting to put together a lot of talent on both sides of the ball in the 2023 class, and Muhammad is a major piece to this puzzle.
Texas will now turn the attention to winning over some of the top remaining in-state defensive targets in the 2023 class such as five-star Arlington-Martin corner Javien Toviano, five-star Denton-Ryan linebacker Anthony Hill, and even five-star Katy-Paetow defensive lineman David Hicks.
Now up to 19 commits in the Longhorns 2023 class, it’s continuing to look like the Texas staff will be able to push for the nation’s top slot in the class rankings. According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2023 Texas recruiting class now ranks at No. 3 in the nation following the commitment of Muhammad.