Taylor Estes - Horns Digest

Closer Look at the Texas Longhorns' 2017 Recruiting Class Entering the Fall

With the 2016 football season looming, Scout and HornsDigest.com take a look at the Texas Longhorns' 2017 recruiting class ...

2017 Commitments


Known Commodity Commit -- Sam Ehlinger, QB, Austin Westlake

If you follow Texas high school football even remotely closely, then you probably know about Sam Ehlinger, who already has two years of starting experience under his belt at the state's highest level. Ehlinger guided Austin Westlake to the Class 6A Division I state championship game in 2015 before falling in overtime to a Galena Park North Shore squad loaded with college talent such as K'Lavon Chaisson.

Ehlinger, Scout's No. 81 overall prospect in the 2017 class and the Longhorns' second-highest ranked pledge behind Lagaryonn Carson, has posted monster numbers each of the past two seasons. Ehlinger accounted for 5,191 total yards of offense and 70 total touchdowns as a junior, when he threw for 3,833 yards, 50 TD's, and only five interceptions, while rushing for 1,358 yards and 20 scores.

That junior campaign followed a breakout sophomore season in 2014 that saw Ehlinger throw for 2,300 yards, 24 touchdowns, and six picks, along with 722 yards and nine TD's on the ground.

Westlake is 21-6 in the past two seasons with Ehlinger at the helm. As we've said plenty of times before, he's a poised, confident, determined leader at the quarterback position. As evidenced by those aforementioned numbers, he's athletic enough to hurt you with his legs, but he's also a very accurate passer to all levels.

Because of what we've seen on the field the past two seasons and his demeanor in general, Ehlinger seems to be Texas' best "known commodity" on its 2017 commitment list entering this fall.


Commit I Want to See -- Montrell Estell, ATH, Hooks

I don't get out to East Texas as much as I'd like, and when I do, it's usually to see Longview, John Tyler, Lufkin, Carthage, Gilmer, etc. That said, I would love to find a way to see Hooks play this fall because of four-star athlete Montrell Estell. He's maybe the least-known recruit on Texas' current commit list, but a glimpse at his tape shows how good he is on both sides of the ball.

There's some speculation as to which position Estell plays in college, but he's more likely to wind up at safety once he's in Austin. His frame (6-2, 180) definitely makes sense as a receiver, but he also could develop into a long, ranging, territory-devouring free safety at the back end of the secondary.

Estell dominated the small-school level as a junior, when he gained 902 yards from scrimmage and picked off six passes on defense. He caught 28 passes for 490 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 412 yards and four scores on 12.4 yards per carry. In addition to his six INT's, Estell recorded 69 tackles and scored three times on defense.


Notable Targets

Texas has shown in the past two cycles that it closes with a vengeance, and that a thin commit list numbers-wise at this point in the cycle is nothing to cause concern.

Here are several of Texas' top targets in the Lone Star State as the TXHSFB season starts next week:


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