With the 2022 class wrapped up and the 2023 class starting to take shape. I am going to take a deep dive into the key 2023 defensive recruits. Just like in my offensive target breakdown I am going to choose one or two players for each position group to highlight. I will be linking film if I can find it and if not I will be linking their 24/7 Sports account.
First up for the defense is David Hicks Jr. (Allen, TX). The 6’4″ 250 pound defensive linemen has fantastic speed and power that makes him difficult to handle on the line. He has a good frame that he could add mass to at the next level. His track background makes him very explosive off the ball, and his motor allows him to make plays downfield. He has fantastic awareness that allows him to read and make plays even when the ball isn’t coming his way. Hicks will probably move to the inside of the line when he makes the jump to college.
Closing out the defensive line is Ashton Porter (Cy-Ranch, TX). Porter is 6’3″ and 240 pounds and he uses his size to his advantage. He possesses great athleticism that allows him to get off of blocks quickly and great patience that allows him to always be ready to make a play. Porter’s speed and had usage will allow him to play anywhere on the line. Also, he is a guy that will probably play the edge and has the skillset to make an early impact if we land him. Be on the lookout for a verbal from him soon.
At the linebacker position, Anthony Hill (Denton Ryan, TX). The 6’2″, 225 pound linebacker from Ryan Texas is the top rated linebacker in the nation. Besides his size, his vision and instinct gives him a clear advantage at the start of the play and his physicality and nose for the ball allows him to shut down offenses. He is very good in pass coverage as well, with speed to keep up with backs and tight ends. He has a very high ceiling with room to grow. Currently, Hill plays both inside and outside and has the versatility to play both at the next level. Furthermore, Hill is a guy that could come in and make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball.
I’d like to start the cornerback targets off with one of the best in the class in Malik Muhammad (South Oak Cliff, TX). The 6’0″ 170 pound corner is fast and physical. I think he would be a great fit in Pete Kwiatkowski’s defense as he can play in both man and zone coverage successfully. Also, he is a great tackler and very good at getting through blocks to make plays. He also has great hands that allow him to go up and win 50/50 balls. Furthermore, Muhammad possesses the traits that lead to longevity at the position and has the frame to add mass at the next level.
Finally, I’d like to talk about five-star corner, Javien Toviano (Arlington Martin, TX). Javien is 6’0″ and 185 pounds and is one of the most versatile guys in the nation. He continuously makes plays in both man and zone coverage. Toviano has great speed and he always seems to meet the receiver as they are attempting to make the catch. As well as cornerback, Javien also plays running back, and is an electric kick and punt returner. Toviano has the makings to be the next big time Texas defensive back to make the league. Be on the lookout for Toviano’s recruitment to heat up throughout the summer!
This brings us to our final prospect, Jamel Johnson (Seguin, TX) is the first safety on our list. As the number nine safety in the class, Johnson has fantastic length and athleticism. His reaction time is off the charts which allows him to transition well in coverage. As well as zone, he excels in press coverage, using his height and length to his advantage. Finally, he has great play recognition skills and he seems to always find the ball in the run game as well. Jamel is a player that could play almost anywhere in coach P.K.’s defense and make a huge impact on the game. Since he has already committed to Texas be on the lookout for him to recruit other players over the next cycle.