Texas Football Recruiting: 7 Top Targets to Watch at the Opening

Taylor Gaspar@Taylor_GasparFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2014

Texas Football Recruiting: 7 Top Targets to Watch at the Opening

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Summer time equals camp time in the recruiting world, and the next big recruiting event is less than one month away.

    The Opening will feature the nation's top high school recruits in a variety of football drills. The Nike event has a decent number of Texas targets who are expected to be in attendance in Oregon come early July. 

    Here's a look at the top Texas targets to look for at The Opening.

Holton Hill, 4-Star DB

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    Credit: 247 Sports

    High School/Hometown: Lamar High School, Houston, Texas

    Height and Weight: 6'2", 175 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted, has offers from 18 schools but has not officially listed his top choices.

    7-on-7 Team: Mach Speed

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    Holton Hill earned another star to his Rivals.com ranking following his performance in the Rivals Camp Series in Houston, Texas. He was invited to The Opening after he competed in the Houston Nike football Training Camp.

    Hill is a tall defensive back who could play at both corner and safety. He has great balance and speed, which he also displays in track and field. 

Kendall Sheffield, 4-Star DB

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    Credit: 247 Sports

    High School/Hometown: Fort Bend Marshall High School, Missouri City, Texas

    Height and Weight: 6'0", 165 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted, has offers from 29 schools but is keeping relatively quiet on his leaders.

    7-on-7 Team: Fly Rush

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    Kendall Sheffield is not new to receiving camp invites. The Missouri City native attended the Rivals Five-Star Challenge in 2013 and 2014, and received his invitation to The Opening in March

    Sheffield is a quick defensive back and is also a star in track. The Texas coaches are high on Sheffield, as are many other Division I programs, but he told Jason Howell of Rivals.com (subscription required) that he does not plan to make his college decision until the Under Armour game in January.

Daron Payne, 5-Star DT

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    Credit: 247 Sports

    High School/Hometown: Shades Valley High School, Birmingham, Alabama

    Height and Weight: 6'3", 244 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted, has offers from 11 schools.

    7-on-7 Team: Apocalypse 

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    Daron Payne is a big man on the defensive line and has caught the attention of many high-profile college football programs.

    Some may speculate the recruiting battle will remain in state between Alabama and Auburn, but Texas is not out of the mix. 

    Payne plans to visit Austin this football season, and his official decision will likely come at the Under Armour game in January, according to Rivals.com (subscription required).

Malik Jefferson, 5-Star LB

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    Credit: 247 Sports

    High School/Hometown: Poteet High School, Mesquite, Texas

    Height and Weight: 6'2", 218 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted, has interest from 33 schools.

    7-on-7 Team: Apocalypse 

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    Malik Jefferson is the No. 1 player in the state of Texas and No. 2 linebacker in the nation, according to Rivals.com. He recently added a fifth star to his Rivals.com ranking following his performance in the Rivals Camp Series in Houston and was invited to The Opening in early April.

    Some people may speculate the battle for Jefferson is between Texas and Texas A&M, even though he has not officially named his leaders.

Will Gragg, 4-Star TE

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    Credit: 247 Sports

    High School/Hometown: Dumas High School, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

    Height and Weight: 6'4", 241 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted, has interest from 43 schools.

    7-on-7 Team: Vapor Carbon

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    Will Gragg is no stranger to attention. The Pine Bluff native has soaked in the recruiting process by visiting a large number of schools and posting pictures of him wearing different team gear on his social media pages.

    Gragg has four official visits set, and one of those will be to Texas, according to TigerBait.com (subscription required). Gragg has not named his top schools, but setting his official visits to Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida State and Texas could mean those four are among his leaders. Gragg also has LSU and Arkansas high on his list.

John Burt, 4-Star WR

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    Credit: 247 Sports

    High School/Hometown: Lincoln High School, Tallahassee, Florida

    Height and Weight: 6'4", 175 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted, has offers from 13 schools.

    7-on-7 Team: Land Sharks

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    John Burt is a talented receiver who has the height and drive to develop into one of the best. He is fast and can beat his opponents in both short and deep routes.

    Burt was in Baltimore at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge and told Orangebloods.com (subscription required) that Texas is his current leader followed by Florida State, Auburn and Miami.

     

     

Ryan Newsome, 3-Star WR

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    Matt Strasen/Associated Press

    High School/Hometown: Aledo High School, Aledo, Texas

    Height and Weight: 5'9", 175 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted, has interest from 35 schools.

    7-on-7 Team: Alpha Pro

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    Aledo's Ryan Newsome is a small wide receiver who has uncanny speed, which can also be seen in track. He somewhat resembles former Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and current wide receiver/running back Daje Johnson.

    Some may speculate Newsome will choose Texas as a place to call home, but he is not planning on making an official announcement until January.

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand. All recruit rankings courtesy of Rivals.com.

    Taylor Gaspar is Bleacher Report's featured columnist covering the Texas Longhorns. Follow Taylor on Twitter: @Taylor_Gaspar.