As Steve Sarkisian was suiting up for Monday night’s National Title game as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, he was putting in work for his next gig making recruiting calls as the head coach of Texas.
One of the prospects he chatted up was Lewisville (Texas) High Top247 2022 receiver Armani Winfield.
“He had his suit and tie on about to leave the hotel,” Winfield said. “We were really chopping it up about the new era at Texas.”
Sarkisian told Winfield he needed players like him to have the explosive offense he wants to have in Austin. The type of offense that ranked first nationally in passing efficiency this year and second in scoring against an all-SEC schedule and College Football Playoff opponents. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Winfield then witnessed in the first half Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith hauling in 12 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns in an eventual 52-24 win over Ohio State.
“I saw what he did in the first half and I called (Longhorns receivers) Coach (Andre) Coleman and told him I wanted to commit,” Winfield said. “He got back to Coach Sark and it was up from there.”
Winfield announced his college plans Tuesday afternoon becoming the first prospect to commit to Sarkisian at his new post, choosing to stay home over the likes of Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. He had close to 40 scholarships total.
“Just the offense, the type of offensive mind he has, how Coach Sark really uses his playmakers, he gets the matches he wants,” Winfield said. He is tabbed by the 247Sports Composite as the country’s No. 12 receiver and No. 79 prospect overall.
Beyond Sarkisian, Winfield is excited to put on for the Lone Star State.
“Growing up in Texas I always wanted to play in Texas and stay loyal to the soil,” Winfield said.
Through three seasons Winfield has caught 128 passes for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also shines in the offseason for True Buzz Athletics and has competed with them since the seventh grade.
“They’re getting a polished route runner, someone who has the desire to be special,” True Buzz’s DeMarquis Brooks said. “He really wants to be great. He’s committed to his work ethic and committed to the game.
“He brings a savviness to the position. He’s bringing the confidence that the Longhorns nation needs and he’s definitely a gifted athlete. I think after a year or two polishing him up he’ll be a great college guy. His frame can carry another 20 pounds easily and he can develop elite speed. I think that’s the underrated part of his game, his speed. You can’t see it because he’s a long-strider so you don’t know how much top-end speed he has but he can definitely get better with a strength and conditioning program.
“He has very fluid hands,” Brooks continued. “Has always been a hand catcher. He can torque his body. He can make those difficult catches because he has good body control. He’s a polished receiver, he can run any route on the route tree. You can put him in the slot, if you want to put him outside you can put him outside.
“He’s a technician.”