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Where Texas' 2017 recruiting class is now

Where Texas’ 2017 recruiting class is now

May 27, 2021
Click here to view original web page at longhornswire.usatoday.com

Four years ago, Tom Herman was hired away from Houston to become the head coach of Texas. His transition recruiting class was not ideal, dealing with the struggles of Charlie Strong. On the 247Sports composite, Texas had the No. 25 class in the country and the No. 2 class […]

Click here to view original web page at longhornswire.usatoday.com


Four years ago, Tom Herman was hired away from Houston to become the head coach of Texas. His transition recruiting class was not ideal, dealing with the struggles of Charlie Strong.

On the 247Sports composite, Texas had the No. 25 class in the country and the No. 2 class in the Big 12. It was the lowest-rated class since Strong’s transition class from Mack Brown. Few significant starters were able to be developed and turned into talent ready for the next level.

So far, only four players have made it to the NFL, while five are expected to be on the roster for Steve Sarkisian. COVID-19 allowed players to take a fifth year if they chose to. Of the five, only two are going to be starters week in and week out for the Longhorns.

Here is a look as to where Texas’ 2017 recruiting class is now:

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Position out of HS: Quarterback

247Sports Composite Ranking: Four-star // No. 4 DT-QB // No. 19 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 62.5%, 11,436 passing yards, 94 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions. 554 carries, 1,903 rushing yards, 33 touchdowns.

Where are they now?

Sam Ehlinger entered the Texas program at one of its lowest points. Charlie Strong had just been fired after a loss to Kansas and nearly a decade of losing had occurred. Now, after getting selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2021 NFL draft, Texas is in a much better place thanks to Ehlinger. His goal of winning a Big 12 championship came up just short in 2018, but Ehlinger’s leadership over the past four season not only led the Longhorns to greener pastures but got him to the NFL.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: Running back

247Sports Composite Ranking: Four-star // No. 10 RB // No. 26 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 53 carries, 252 yards, and three touchdowns

Where are they now?

After seeing a significant amount of carries his freshman season, Toneil Carter fell down the depth chart in 2018 thanks to Tre Watson and Keaontay Ingram. After not touching the ball once, Carter entered his name in the transfer portal and headed to Sam Houston State. He rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries during the 2019 season. However, he was reportedly no longer with the team going into the pandemic. Carter has not played college football since.

AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

Position out of HS: Defensive end

247Sports Composite Ranking: Four-star // No. 15 Weakside DE // No. 34 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 70 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, 6.0 sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery

Where are they now?

The first member of the 2017 recruiting class to get drafted was Ta’Quon Graham. Coming out of Temple, Texas, Graham moved to defensive tackle during his time in Austin. Listed at 255 pounds on 247Sports, the official 2020 season roster had the interior man at 294 pounds. Atlanta selected Graham in the fifth round, hoping to make a difference to improve the Falcon’s run defense.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of JUCO: Inside linebacker

247Sports Composite Ranking: Four-star // No. 1 ILB // No. 1 in Kansas

Stats at Texas: 147 tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, 2.0 passes defended, two forced fumbles

Where are they now?

After playing two seasons at Texas, Gary Johnson went undrafted in the 2019 NFL draft. He signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent but was cut before the season began. The Washington Football Team picked him up shortly after, but Johnson has yet to take a snap in the NFL.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: ATH

247Sports Composite Ranking: Four-star // No. 11 ATH // No. 37 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 30 tackles, 1.0 tackles for a loss, one interception, and 2.0 passes defended

Where are they now?

Montrell Estell will be entering his fifth year with the Texas program this season. He has played in 27 career games and started against Oklahoma State and TCU in 2018. After four years of playing defensive back, Estell is going to make a move to wide receiver. He failed to record a stat during the Orange and White game and could be falling on the depth chart again.

Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: Cornerback

247Sports Composite Ranking: Four-star // No. 35 CB // No. 46 in Texas

Stats at Texas:

Where are they now?

Josh Thompson is back for a fifth season and may just be Texas’ best cornerback on the roster. He started all 10 games last season across from D’Shawn Jamison, recording three pass breakups and an interception. Going into the 2021 season, Thompson could be assigned to team’s best receivers. Defensive backs coach Terry Joseph has been lucky enough to inherit such a talented lockdown cornerback.

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: Tight end

247Sports Composite Ranking: Four-star // No. 19 TE // No. 9 in Oklahoma

Stats at Texas: One reception, seven yards. 8.0 tackles, 2.0 tackles for a loss.

Where are they now?

Reese Leitao has been a part of the never-ending carousel that has been the tight end position at Texas. He struggled for game time and moved to the defensive side of the all to play jack for Chris Ash. After recording seven tackles in 2020, he is no longer listed on the official Texas roster.

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: Defensive end

247Sports Composite Ranking: Four-star // No. 34 Weakside DE // No. 70 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 17 tackles, 2.0 tackles for a loss, 1.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery

Where are they now?

It has been nearly a year since Marqez Bimage has seen the football field after opting out of the 2020 season. The former four-star recruit never started a game for Texas but was expected to climb back up the depth chart for defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski. However, he entered his name into the transfer portal on March 4. He has yet to announce his next destination.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: Cornerback

247Sports Composite Ranking: Three-star // No. 55 CB // No. 76 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 32 tackles, one interception, seven passes defended

Where are they now?

Kobe Boyce took a redshirt season during Tom Herman’s first year on campus in 2017. He then started in six games over his redshirt freshman and redshirt sophomore season and even led Texas in passes defended in 2019 with five. After three seasons with the Longhorns, Boyce decided to step away from the game. He has not returned since.

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: Guard

247Sports Composite Ranking: Three-star // No. 30 OG // No. 84 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 46 career games, 37 starts at center, right guard, and right tackle

Where are they now?

Moving to center during the 2020 season did not work out well for Derek Kerstetter. Before the what would be season finale against Kansas State, a switch back to right tackle was called upon before a leg injury ended his season. Kerstetter is hoping to rehab and get back into the offensive line rotation in 2021. Whether he will be used at guard or tackle is undetermined. Getting healthy is his top priority at the moment.

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Position out of HS: Running back

247Sports Composite Ranking: Three-star // No. 33 RB // No. 92 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 139 carries, 589 rushing yards, five touchdowns

Where are they now?

The second running back in the 2017 recruiting class, Daniel Young is still with the Texas program. After making an impact as a true freshman, Young has seen his production slowly dwindle throughout the years. He will at least be the third-string running back going into 2021 behind Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson. Young had four carries in the spring game for just six yards. Playing time seems unlikely for the fifth-year senior.

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: Wide receiver

247Sports Composite Ranking: Three-star // No. 106 WR // No. 96 in Florida

Stats at Texas: Two receptions for 19 yards

Where are they now?

Jordan Pouncey was in the Texas program for three seasons, only playing in 12 total games. He announced his transfer to Florida after the end of the 2019 regular season. Funny enough, Pouncey only made one reception during his sole season in Gainsville. He stayed true to high Longhorn roots, scoring a 27-yard touchdown against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: Tight end

247Sports Composite Ranking: Three-star // No. 45 TE // No. 136 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 37 receptions, 427 yards, and five touchdowns

Where are they now?

As mentioned, tight end was a bit of a circus under Tom Herman. Cade Brewer featured a ton and will get the opportunity to do so again with Steve Sarkisian. With how much 12 personnel Sarkisian is going to run, Brewer will have the chance to be a pass-catcher to go along with his blocking duties. Even if only one tight end is on the field, Brewer may be the guy. He and Josh Thompson are the only fifth-year seniors expected to make a significant contribution to Texas this season.

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of HS: Offensive tackle

247Sports Composite Ranking: Three-star // No. 104 OT // No. 155 in Texas

Stats at Texas: 35 career games with 34 starts. 2020 First Team All-Big 12

Where are they now?

From an NFL draft perspective, Samuel Cosmi was the best prospect to come out of the ’17 class. Not even nationally ranked on the 247Sports composite, Cosmi ended up starting at right tackle as a redshirt freshman and then left tackle for his final two seasons. The Washington Football Team drafted him in the second round, where Cosmi is expected to immediately become the starting right tackle.

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Position out of HS: Strongside defensive end

247Sports Composite Ranking: Three-star // No. 74 SDE // No. 203 in Texas

Stats at Texas: N/A

Where are they now?

After three full seasons of seeing no playing time, Rob Cummins entered his name in the transfer portal in Sept. 2020. No destination has been announced.

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Position out of JUCO: Defensive tackle

247Sports Composite Ranking: Three-star // No. 21 DT // No. 6 in Oklahoma

Stats at Texas: Eight tackles, 1.0 tackles for a loss, one quarterback hurry

Where are they now?

Although he never started, Jamari Chisholm was a solid rotation player for Texas during his three years on campus. He played in 26 games, having tackles against LSU, Rice, Oklahoma, and TCU during the 2019 season. No NFL career has ever spurned for Chisholm after participating in Texas’ 2020 pro day.

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Position out of JUCO: Kicker

247Sports Composite Ranking: Three-star // No. 1 K // No. 55 in Mississippi

Stats at Texas: 38 for 38 on extra points, 11 of 18 on field goals

Where are they now?

After being Texas’ kicker for one season, Joshua Rowland transferred to Texas State. He improved his field-goal accuracy, making 13 of 18 with the Bobcats. His final season was in 2019, with no professional career coming to fruition.

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