FootballFootball Recruiting

Recruiting: Catching up with Jaden Alexis, JJ Henry

Want daily Texas Longhorns content on the latest football and recruiting information from Eric Nahlin, Justin Wells, Ian Boyd, Scipio Tex, and Joe Cook? Sign up for Inside Texas HERE today!

Texas is searching within state lines and across the nation for pass catchers. Justin Wells caught up with two receiver targets Andre Coleman, Mike Yurcich, and Tom Herman are building relationships with.

JADEN ALEXIS

While in-state recruiting at wide receiver has been less than ideal in the 2021 cycle, the Texas staff continues to comb the country in search of dudes willing to catch footballs from Hudson Card, Ja’Quinden Jackson, and Jalen Milroe. The 2019 cycle saw UT grab one of the nation’s top pass-catchers in Jake Smith, another out-of-state target. This year, the Horns are hunting in the other spring training destination of Florida.

At 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, the 2021 three-star from Monarch High School in Pompano Beach, FL is the latest OOS wide receiver in the Longhorns‘ cross-hairs.

“Texas has really shown interest,” said Alexis. “They are more than football, they care about you as a person. I’ve built a great connection to Coach Coleman, while Coach Yurcich and Coach Herman have been great too. I even spoke to the strength and conditioning coach (Yancy McKnight). Texas was one of the first schools to really recruit me. Texas is big, but the people are better.”

He holds 36 offers including Georgia, Auburn, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Wisconsin, and Miami. But it seems Georgia, Miami, and UT are among his favorites. Something Texas has going for them is Milroe. The Katy Tompkins four-star quarterback reached out to Alexis a while back and made a big impression on him.

“I want a place I can grow,” said Alexis. “Milroe was the first committed quarterback to reach out. Him and Landen King called me. He hit me up and we instantly hit it off. I really appreciate him taking the time to do that. We are both like-minded people. We want to play in and win big games.”

Alexis has traits that every school desires. He runs a 4.41 forty, a 10.75 100m, and a 22.27 200m. He played on both sides of the ball for Monarch last fall. On offense, he tallied 894 yards on 49 catches with eight touchdowns.

His father, Rich, was a running back for the University of Washington and 7-year NFL veteran including stops at Jacksonville, Seattle, and Washington. His father is also from South Florida, and I asked Jaden if that meant staying close to home was likely or if he was open to leaving the nest.

“I want to branch out on my own, like my father,” Alexis said. “U-Dub might be the farthest school from where we live, so I don’t see myself going that far. But I want to pave my own path. I’m really interested in business school and UT has one of the best in the country.”

He doesn’t have a set timeline for his decision, but noted he didn’t have to visit Austin for UT to have a shot. He mentioned when the time is right, he’ll know.

Watch why they call him “Showtime.”

JJ HENRY

While UT looks nationwide, they have an in-state receiving prospect who might be worth the effort.

At 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, the 2021 McKinney North three-star presents more desirable traits for your passing attack. Notably, speed and short area quickness.

He had a breakout junior campaign with 1,419 yards on 71 grabs with 16 touchdowns. It was good enough to merit District 7-5A DI Co-MVP honors.

With 18 offers including Florida State, Arkansas, Colorado, Ole Miss, and TCU, he’s in no hurry to make a decision.

“The importance about picking a school is having a good relationship with the staff,” said Henry. “I hear from Texas every now and then.”

Henry excels in football, basketball, and track, and is enjoying the recruiting process so far. He wants to take visits out of state just to see a few schools, but really wants to focus on programs closer to home.

“I’ll probably visit schools like Baylor, SMU, and TCU.” Trips to Florida State and Ole Miss could also be in the works.

For now, the slot-type is eager to get back on the field. And he’s eager to hear more from Texas. Take a look at the tape.

Cover photo courtesy of Irish Sports Daily