Texas football adds elite, strong 5-Star WR Ryan Wingo

Ryan Wingo
Ryan Wingo /

Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian landed a commitment from another “must-get” recruit in the 2024 class on Oct. 25, the elite five-star St. Louis University (MO) wide receiver Ryan Wingo. The No. 2 wide receiver recruit in the nation in the 2024 class in the 247Sports Composite picked Texas in a bit of a surprise decision on Oct. 25 over the Mizzou Tigers.

Wingo technically had six hats on the table when he picked Texas over Mizzou, including the Texas A&M Aggies, Miami Hurricanes, Georgia Bulldogs, and Tennessee Volunteers. But it was clear in the last couple of months that this recruitment came down to a battle on the trail between Texas and Mizzou.

Texas led this recruitment after Wingo took a successful unofficial visit to see the Longhorns beat the Wyoming Cowboys at DKR in Austin on Sep. 16. 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong even reported after Wingo committed to Texas on the afternoon of Oct. 25 that the five-star wide receiver was silently pledged to the Longhorns after the visit for the Wyoming game last month.

But Mizzou started to re-gain momentum in the race to land a commitment from Wingo after he made a couple of unofficial trips to see the Tigers play in Columbia and St. Louis this fall. The breakout season sophomore standout wide receiver Luther Burden is having for Mizzou this fall was also very appealing to Wingo.

Heading into decision day, Mizzou looked like the favorite to land Wingo’s commitment. Every forecast from the major recruiting services (247Sports, On3, and Rivals) in the last six weeks or so favored Mizzou to land Wingo’s commitment over Texas.

But Texas made a successful late run to get Wingo in the boat in the 2024 class on Oct. 25.

Texas football WR coach Chris Jackson adds an elite piece to the future receiving corps in 5-Star commit Ryan Wingo

This is obviously a massive win on the recruiting trail for Sark, wide receivers coach Chris Jackson, and the Longhorns. Sark and Jackson are building an elite wide receiver room for the future of this program upon the move to join the SEC in 2024.

Texas has recruited the wide receiver position at an elite level in the last couple of cycles. Wingo joins 2023 DeSoto (TX) five-star Johntay Cook II as the second five-star wide receiver to commit to the Longhorns in as many recruiting cycles.

Wingo is also the highest-rated wide receiver commit Jackson has landed in his time as Texas’ wide receivers coach since he was hired early in the 2023 offseason.

Jackson and the Longhorns have three wide receivers committed to the 2024 class now in Spring Branch (TX) Smithson Valley four-star Freddie Dubose Jr., Lucas (TX) Lovejoy four-star Parker Livingstone, and Wingo.

This trio of 2024 Texas wide receiver commits joins a promising group of young wideouts in true freshmen Cook, DeAndre Moore Jr., and Ryan Niblett.

Beyond what Texas has in the 2024 class at the skill positions, the Longhorns also have an elite group of five-star commits they’ve landed in the last couple of months. Five-star Duncanville edge rusher Colin Simmons, five-star Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei offensive tackle Brandon Baker, and Wingo highlight Texas’ top-rated commits in the 2024 class. And the Longhorns secured each of their commitments since Aug. 10, 2023.

According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2024 Texas recruiting class ranks 13th in the nation and eighth in the SEC.

Texas adds WR with elite talent and upside in Wingo

The 6-foot-2 and 205-pound Wingo is an elite wide receiver talent with potential future early-round NFL Draft pick upside. He does all the things you would want from a top wide receiver prospect well.

From a physical perspective, Wingo checks many boxes necessary to be a top-end wideout in the SEC. He’s got good height, length, strength, and speed. He also carries his 205-pound frame well as a fluid route runner that boasts good straight-line speed and can make opposing defenders miss in a phone booth.

Wingo is explosive in and out of his cuts, helping him create a lot of separation from his defensive back in coverage.

The speed and quickness Wingo possesses can be seen in his track times at St. Louis University. He clocked a 10.55-second 100-meter dash time at the Missouri 5A state championship meet and a 21.31-second 200-meter dash.

He’s also got that valuable long speed. Wingo can separate at any level of the field with the quick 50.72-second 400-meter dash time he ran at the state championship track meet in the spring.

Wingo’s size and track speed has helped him develop a long and fluid stride, which he uses to blow past opposing DBs while running routes and opposing defenders when he has the ball in his hands in the open field.

Wingo can line up at multiple receiver spots pre-snap

When he committed to Texas on Oct. 25, Wingo said that his potential in Sark’s offense is one of the top reasons he was swung to join the Longhorns over Mizzou.

The high-level athleticism and versatility Wingo brings make him an excellent fit for Sark’s offensive scheme. Wingo has the same burner straight-line speed that standout junior Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy had when he ran track in high school. Wingo and Worthy both ran a sub-10.6-second 100-meter dash time in high school.

Wingo can be that type of explosive do-it-all weapon Sark gets the ball to in multiple ways on offense.

Think of Wingo as a combination of many things Worthy, senior Jordan Whittington, and junior Adonai Mitchell do well. He has the burner straight-line speed to create separation while running routes and explosive plays after the catch, elusiveness to make defenders miss in a phone booth, and a large catch radius to give the quarterback an easy target to throw to at multiple levels of the field.

Essentially, you can get Wingo the ball in enumerable ways, and he’ll be a threat to make something big happen every time.

Another plus for Wingo is that he has excellent hands. Wingo is a solid fundamental receiver with big and strong hands, making him a reliable target in the passing game. He also has good timing and strong enough hands to bring down many tough contested 50/50 balls.

Threat in the return game

Not only is Wingo utilized by St. Louis University’s football staff to be a threat on offense, but he is also an explosive returner on special teams. He’s registered well over 600 return yards since his sophomore season in high school, including multiple return touchdowns (per MaxPreps).

Areas of improvement

There aren’t many boxes that Wingo doesn’t check, which is why he is the No. 5 recruit in the nation in the 2024 class and the No. 2 wide receiver in the 247Sports Composite.

A couple of areas that have been pinpointed for Wingo where he doesn’t have much film are downfield blocking and playing against high-level competition in high school. Wingo is almost always the best player on the field, playing Missouri high school football at the 5A level.

It will be a significant jump in competition for Wingo to go from playing against subpar opponents in Missouri to competing in the SEC next year.

Projection and fit at Texas

Wingo is an easy fit as an immediate impact wide receiver for Sark and the Longhorns on offense and special teams next season. Since Texas is set to lose possibly all three starting receivers next offseason (Worthy, Whittington, and Mitchell), Wingo can compete for starting reps immediately as a true freshman.

He can play at any receiver spot, so I wouldn’t expect Sark to box him into one role on offense. Given how he threatens opposing defenses, Wingo could play on the boundary to command double teams and get over the top in the deep passing game. Or, he could play at the field receiver spot since he has a pretty versatile route tree and is a dangerous player when he gets the ball in space.

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