It's signing time! High school athletes to look for from University of Texas commits to LSU and more

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Wednesday, December 20, 2023
It's signing time! Here's what to watch for on signing day in SE Texas
It's signing time! Here's what to know about the early signing period and the local stars to watch for.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The biggest names in high school sports will let everyone know their future plans starting Wednesday. That's when the three-day early signing period opens, ending Friday.

The moment means star athletes from across southeast Texas will join other students in signing their national letters of intent to play for some of the best and biggest schools in the country.

Atascocita High School's Jelani Watkins is one of them. He's committing to Louisiana State University, but it's not just about football. He's a two-star talent, also excelling in track. He plans to compete in both sports for the Tigers.

Teammates Braylon Conley, who plans to commit to the University of Southern California, and Nate Kibble, who will stay in Texas and trade his high school uniform for burnt orange, will sign with the University of Texas.

In Fort Bend ISD, Hightower High School's Zion Kearney will make it official to play for the Oklahoma Sooners. Kearney is a four-star wide receiver, and according to the Defender Network, received 30 offers before ultimately deciding on making the move to Norman. Teammate Ephraim Dotson will sign to become a Rice Owl.

In Willis, look out for the No. 4 overall prospect in the country quarterback DJ Lagway. On Tuesday afternoon, MaxPreps named him the National Player of the Year at the high school level. He's expected to sign with Florida.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In Manvel, Mason Flemming and Kaleb Blanton, who is committing to Rice University, will sign on the dotted line.

Lamar High School's Tristen Brown, who is committing to Vanderbilt, and Christopher Boykins, who is going to Old Dominion University, will make their intents official, too.

A lot of eyes are on UT, who is also scooping up Langham Creek's Jordan Washington and Cy-Fair High School's Trey Owens.

Owens' commitment is no secret. He's featured on a billboard along I-10 in Brookshire.

UT is among the top programs when it comes to 2024 recruiting classes.

While the Longhorns are adding to their roster for the future, they're also focused on making it into the College Football Playoff Championship coming to Houston in January.

Still, they're not the only ones drawing talent.

Like many schools, the University of Houston, for example, has been sharing who will be joining their team. That will include North Shore High School's Kaleb Thomas and Westfield's Rayquan Bell, whose commitment to the Coogs means he'll be playing for his hometown.

The early signing period took effect in December 2017.

National Signing Day is still the first Wednesday in February, so 2024's event should fall on Feb. 7. College football coaches were able to start meeting with high school prospects on Dec. 1, the start of a 15-day recruiting window.

Follow ABC13 sports producer Joe Gleason for high school sports coverage.