Texas football has WR recruiting doubts after losing Jonah Wilson

Steve Sarkisian, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORK
Steve Sarkisian, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORK /

A very surprising de-commitment was announced that serves as a detriment to the wide receiver depth in the 2023 Texas football recruiting class. Head coach Steve Sarkisian and new wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator Brennan Marion lost a commitment from the fast-rising and touted four-star Spring Dekaney wide receiver Jonah Wilson in the 2023 class before the game on Oct. 1.

Wilson announced on his Twitter timeline on the afternoon of Oct. 1 that he will be re-opening his recruitment. He originally committed to Texas on June 26, 2022 after his official visit to Austin on June 24. Wilson added to the momentum that Sark and the Longhorns had in the 2023 class after landing a commitment from the elite five-star Isidore Newman quarterback Arch Manning during the summer.

Yet, I have to say that this de-commitment caught me off guard more so than any other in the 2023 class so far for this cycle. Wilson was an early identification on the recruiting trail from Marion and it looked like he had a very strong relationship with this staff.

In fact, Sark and Marion were both in attendance for Wilson’s high school game at Spring Dekaney a couple of weeks ago. And from what we heard coming out of that coach visit from Sark and Marion to see Wilson play in-person last month, it sounded like he was pretty firm in terms of the status of his commitment to the 2023 class.


Texas football loses a WR commit that causes some confusion with 4-Star Jonah Wilson re-opening his recruitment

I also thought it was telling that Wilson didn’t get any offers since his summer commitment to the Longhorns 2023 class. Despite him being one of the fastest risers among 2023 blue-chip wide receiver recruits this fall, Wilson wasn’t picking up any additional offers from prospective competitors with Texas on the trail.

You would usually think that meant Wilson was holding firm on his commitment to Texas.

This leaves me with the perspective that Wilson is getting attention from some school that has already offered him or that is about to send an offer his way in the very near future.

The de-commitment of Wilson also leaves some doubts as to the wide receiver recruiting for Marion and the Longhorns in the 2023 class. Texas had a rough time recruiting at the wide receiver position in the 2023 class this fall.

It started a couple of weeks ago with the Longhorns losing out on the race to land a commitment from the highly touted four-star Longview wide receiver Jalen Hale at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Hale was figured to be a Texas lean for a few months leading into his Sep. 21 decision date.

But the push from head coach Nick Saban and his Alabama staff on the recruiting trail this fall with Hale was enough for them to make up a lot of ground and win this recruitment.

Yet, you could go all the way back to the summer to find some of the key misses in terms of wide receiver recruiting in the 2023 class when four-star Langham Creek product Jaquaize Pettaway to the Oklahoma Sooners. Pettaway was a top target at the position in the Longhorns 2023 class for Sark and Marion.

Missing out on both Pettaway and Hale does hurt for Texas in the 2023 class at wideout.

Moreover, I would imagine that Texas is still going to try and get Wilson back in the 2023 class. While that is certainly a possibility, I usually don’t get a good feeling that Texas will get a recruit like Wilson to re-commit when we’re so close to the first signing day. Recruits that de-commit at this point in the cycle such as what Wilson did this weekend usually means that Texas will not be able to sign them when it’s all said and done.

Another aspect about the wide receiver recruiting in the 2023 class that does concern me is the lack of options at this point of the cycle. I do still believe that Texas has a great chance to flip the highly touted four-star Louisville Cardinals wide receiver commit and St. John Bosco product DeAndre Moore Jr.

But flipping Moore shouldn’t clash with the Longhorns holding a commitment from Wilson in the 2023 class. Moore and Wilson fill different roles for Marion and Sark.

Maybe this means that Texas is making more progress with either four-star Temple wide receiver/athlete Mikal Harrison-Pilot and/or four-star LSU Tigers commit/Lovejoy product Kyle Parker. That seems like the best-case scenario at this point for the wide receiver recruiting in the 2023 class.

The fact of the matter is that Marion and the Longhorns could now be needing to find two more wide receiver commits in the 2023 class when it felt like just a couple of weeks ago that Texas was one step away from rounding out this position for the fall. Texas took some major steps back in recruiting for this position in the last few weeks.

Losing the commitment of Wilson means that Texas really has to keep its foot on the gas with Moore. It also means that MHP and Parker are now even higher-priority recruits in the 2023 class for the next few months. We might also see Texas finding some other backup options to round out the wide receiver recruiting in the 2023 class or turn to the NCAA Transfer Portal for answers next offseason.

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Texas currently holds commitments from 21 recruits in the 2023 class after losing the pledge of Wilson this weekend. That leaves the elite five-star DeSoto wide receiver Johntay Cook and the speed four-star Aldine Eisenhower wideout Ryan Niblett as the two commits at the position in the 2023 class at the moment.

According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2023 Texas recruiting class now ranks at No. 5 in the nation and in the top spot in the Big 12 ahead of the Oklahoma Sooners.