The Texas Longhorns had a relatively quiet national signing day, after securing the signatures of three additional prospects on Wednesday, in addition to the names they added during the early signing period.
As a result, they finished with the No. 16 ranked class in the country, per the SI All-American Rankings, as well as second in the Big 12.
However, as new Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian was putting the finishing touches on his transition class, he also kept his eye focused on the 2022 cycle, landing three commitments from elite in-state prospects along the way.
Now, with the 2021 cycle over, Sarkisian can focus on what will be the most important recruiting class of his Texas tenure in 2022, where he is already off to a tremendous start in his first month on the job.
So what is the dream scenario of the Longhorns 2022 recruiting efforts? View our full list below:
1. QB - Maalik Murphy, Junipero Serra (Gardena, CA)
Every elite recruiting class begins with a top signal-caller prospect and Junipero Serra Maalik Murphy might just end up being the best of the bunch. Sarkisian has California connections, and Murphy has been impressed with the Longhorns to this point. But with Murphy being such a hot commodity, can the Longhorns fight off the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, UCLA, and Oregon?
2. OT - Zach Rice, Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, VA)
If any quarterback is going to succeed with the Longhorns, they must have the proper protection on their blindside, and that is where Liberty Christian Academy's Zach Rice comes in. One of a slew of elite offers for Texas at the position, Rice is the highest-ranked offensive tackle in the country.
The Longhorns will have to compete with powerhouse programs such as Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Alabama for his signature, while former Texas head coach Mack Brown and North Carolina are also on Rice's list.
3. WR - Kevin Coleman, St. Mary's (Saint Louis, MO)
No matter who the Horns sign at quarterback, they are going to have to give him weapons on the outside. There isn't a more talented or exciting player that fits that description better than Kevin Coleman out of St. Louis.
Standing 5-foot-10 and weighing 170 pounds, Coleman is an explosive route-runner with good hands who is great after the catch, and could potentially give Sarkisian’s offense a Devonta Smith-level pass-catching threat to pair alongside the bigger-bodied Winfield in the future.
Smith, of course, won the 2020 Heisman Trophy and took a major step forward under Sarkisian’s tutelage, catching 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns during his Heisman campaign. But can Sark lure the out-of-state prospect away from the SEC?
4. OL - Devon Campbell, Bowie (Arlington, TX)
Speaking of protection, the Longhorns will also need to solidify the interior of the offensive line. Offensive lineman Devon Campbell of Arlington Bowie not only fits that mold but is already hot on the Longhorns trail. Campbell has been compared to Cowboys guard Zack Martin and is versatile enough to play either tackle or guard at the college level.
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Campbell is one of the top prospects in the 2022 class, and holds offers from a majority of the nations top programs, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M. At this point, LSU and Oklahoma are the biggest threats to the Longhorns signing of Campbell.
5. CB - Denver Harris, North Shore (Houston, TX)
On the defensive side of the ball, the Longhorns will also have to address the secondary, which has been a major concern for the program in recent years. North Shore corner back Denver Harris would be a great starting point for Sarkisian and staff there, with Harris coming in as not only one of the top defensive back recruits in the state of Texas, but also in the entire country.
Texas could very well be in the driver's seat with Harris at the moment but will have to fend off programs such as Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M, among many others for his signature.
6. S - Zion Branch, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV)
While Harris could help secure the outside, the Longhorns will also need to find help on the back end, with Bishop Gorman's Zion Branch out of Las Vegas looking like one of the Longhorns' top choices at that spot.
Branch could be a difficult player to land, but give Sarkisian's west coast roots, Texas looks to be in line to have a seat at the table at the end of the day. However, programs such as USC, Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, LSU, Oklahoma, Washington, Ohio State, Arizona State, and Stanford will all be there as well.
Newly hired tight ends coach and special-teams coordinator Jeff Banks was Branch's main recruiter at Alabama before leaving to join the Longhorns, and will also play a major role in his recruitment.
7. OLB - Harold Perkins, Cy Park (Cypress, TX)
While the secondary is critical in today's game, linebacker play is also critical, and Cypress Cy Park linebacker Harlod Perkins is arguably the best prospect in the nation at the position. Texas is thin at outside linebacker going into the future, and Perkins will have every opportunity to come in and make an early impact, should he choose to spend his college years on the 40 Acres.
A versatile player and explosive athlete, Perkins plays on both sides of the ball for Cy Park and has the talent to occupy any spot at linebacker for the Longhorns moving forward.
Texas will have to fight off the usual suspects of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and others for his signature.
8. DT - Bear Alexander, Ryan (Denton, TX)
Another critical position for the Longhorns, defensive tackle will be a particular area of emphasis in the 2022 class. As the top prospect in the state of Texas, Bear Alexander would be a major get for Texas, though there will be an uphill battle to fight for his signature.
The big-bodied Alexander, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 325 pounds, committed to the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday. But as Longhorn fans are well aware thanks to the de-commitment of top overall prospect Quinn Ewers, commitments are not final, and if the Longhorns can sway Alexander, it will be a major victory for the program.
9. DE Omari Abor, Duncanville (Duncanville, TX)
Another in-state defensive lineman prospect, Omari Abor could help secure the Longhorns pass rush on the outside and provide a much-needed boost to the position.
Thought of as one of the top defensive end prospects in the entire country, Abor is a superb athlete and also saw time at running back on offense, as well as shooting guard for the Duncanville varsity basketball team.
Oklahoma is thought to be the leaders for his signature at the moment, but Texas should be right in the thick of things along with Ohio State, and Alabama.
10. Win back the state of Texas/Hold On To The Current Commits
To round out their dream scenario in 2022, Texas has two critical steps to complete.
Chief among them all will be winning back the state of Texas. For too long the likes of Oklahoma, LSU, Ohio State and most recently Alabama, have come into the fertile recruiting grounds of the Lone Star State and walked out with the pledges of its top recruits. Texas has also lost countless battles on the recruiting front with programs like Texas A&M, Georgia, Clemson, and Miami, among others.
With Sarkisian at the helm now, however, the Longhorns focus on the state of Texas looks to be returning to his previous level of importance.
That all started when Sarkisian secured the commitment of star Lewisville, Texas wideout Armani Winfield, and continued with the recent pledge of arguably the nation's top running back in Houston Area recruit Jaydon Blue of Klein Cane.
Sarkisian also managed to keep the commitment of in-state cornerback Jaylon Guilbeau following the departure of Tom Herman - another big victory for the Horns.
The new Texas CEO already holds three commitments for the 2022 class, and judging by the way things have progressed during his first month at the helm, many more commitments could be on the way.