Gentry Shines, talks UT camp

Showing up fashionably late to Texas’ “Under The Lights” camp on Friday was not what Longhorns quarterbacks commitment Zach Gentry (Albuquerque, N.M./El Dorado) had in mind. He just couldn’t help it.

The 6-foot-6, 237-pound gun-slinger was supposed to get to Austin around mid-day on Friday but plane troubles forced him and his father to rent a car and drive from Dallas to Austin.

That usual three-hour trip turned into a five-hour patience-tester because, well, it was a Friday on Interstate-35 (ugh). So when Gentry arrived in front of the Moncreif-Neuhaus Athletic Center he practically sped walk to the entrance to get going.

Once he was under the light of DKR you could tell that the stresses’ of travel were all worth it.

Gentry was one of the more physically imposing players on the field, which included several members of Texas’ 2014 football team that were there helping the staff.

He moved incredibly well for someone his size and didn’t seem to feel overwhelmed by the experience at all. If anything, he thrived.

“It was an awesome experience,” he said. “The atmosphere was awesome, the coaches were upbeat and positive. The stadium was awesome. It was really beneficial for me traveling down there.”

From as early on as group stretching, you could tell that Gentry and the Johnson brothers – Kirk and Collin, both UT commitments – had created a special bond.

He and Collin lined up next to each other during stretching and clicked in drills too. That foundation was set months ago when Gentry took an unofficial visit to Texas, which was actually when he really realized that Austin was where he wanted to go to school.

“I met the Johnson brothers on my unofficial before I committed here,” Gentry said. “Their dad, Johnny [Johnson], is a legend here. Those are some of the guys that influenced my decision and brought me this way. I’ve been growing all the other players also.”

One of the more interesting dynamics we were looking forward to seeing unfold was how Gentry and fellow four-star QB Kai Locksley (Baltimore, MD/Gilman) got along. Locksley has made no secret that he’s a fan of Texas’ and even has UT in his top three.

As it turns out, as Locksley told HD prior to the camp, the two actually played AAU basketball together and have a good friendship.

Gentry said he was going to stay strongly committed to the Longhorns regardless of what Locksley ends up doing.

“It’s whatever the coaches want to do,” Gentry said. “I’m a solid commit. I really love Texas and the coaching staff with the philosophy they bring. If they want to bring somebody else in, that’s fine.”

Gentry really seemed to own the stage. He’s not an outwardly emotional character but he definitely has some swag to him that shined on Friday. That partially could have been because it was his first time working out at UT as a Texas commitment.

“It was definitely a different mindset then going in there to the other camps trying to compete for an offer and trying to get noticed,” he said. “It was more like ‘I’m the guy, the Texas quarterback’ and just trying to impress the coaches and get better myself.”

How’d he think he did?

“I think I did alright. It was a little different adjusting to the speed of some of the four and five-star receivers out here,” Gentry said. “I think I did alright and adjusted easily.”

He seemed to work effortlessly with quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson, who he really began to admire when Watson recruited him at Louisville.

“I don’t think there was anything odd [drill-wise that I did with Watson],” he said. “Most of the stuff I do with Coach Watson I did at Louisville. He does a lot of repetition stuff that is beneficial to quarterbacks when they are in the pocket.”

Gentry didn’t single out a specific receiver that stood out to him, but he did single out a specific part of his game that he feels will surprise UT fans.

“One thing I’ll say is I move a lot better than a lot of people realize,” he said. “I recently was officially clocked at a 4.6-flat in the 40. I’m a lot shiftier than a lot of guys think.”

Gentry was definitely in his element inside DKR. He certainly didn’t seem to be bogged down by the pressures of being a UT QB commitment, but those pressures are undeniably there especially to get like-minded recruits to join him.

“I think there is a decent amount of pressure,” he said. “A lot of people do their recruiting over Twitter and I do a lot of mine behind-the-scenes, texting. I don’ t like to put it out publicly. I like to have personal conversations with them. So I’ve taken on that responsibility.”

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