In a 2014 recruiting class that is top-heavy with outstanding secondary prospects in Texas, the Longhorns’ first commitment from a defensive back came from out of state.
Jermaine Roberts, a cornerback from St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, gave his non-binding verbal pledge to Texas on Friday, shortly after arriving in Austin for a weekend visit.
The 5-foot, 9-inch, 170-pound Roberts is ranked by 247Sports as the 22nd-best cornerback in the country and the 15th overall prospect in Louisiana. He held offers from many schools, including Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Nebraska, among others.
Texas’ lead recruiter for Roberts was new running backs coach Larry Porter, whom Roberts mentioned recently when discussing the Longhorns.
“The relationship I have with the coaches at Texas is the main reason they stand out to me,” Roberts told Hookem.com, the American-Statesman’s Internet partner. “Especially with coach Porter. We have a great relationship. We talk often. We talk every week, actually.”
Roberts is one of four St. Augustine players who have received offers from Texas. Another, defensive tackle Courtney Garnett, has pledged to Texas, but his commitment is pending on academic work, according to Hookem.
The St. Augustine quartet also includes Leonard Fournette, the nation’s No. 1-ranked running back, and offensive guard Joseph Paul, who has committed to Florida.
Roberts is the 14th official commitment for 2014 for the Longhorns, and the seventh on defense.
Because of the bountiful crop of defensive backs in the state, the Longhorns are pursuing numerous other prospects.
According to Hookem, the Longhorns likely lead for Houston Lamar safety John Bonney and are definitely in the mix for Lewisville Hebron’s Jamal Adams and San Antonio Roosevelt’s Arrion Springs. Others being recruited by Texas include Edwin Freeman of Arlington Bowie and Dallas Bishop Dunne’s Nick Watkins, as well as Texas A&M commit Nick Harvey and five-star cornerback Tony Brown of Beaumont Ozen.