While it wasn't a surprise — all along, Knox listed playing alongside fellow Texas commit Daniel Gresham as the No. 1 factor he was considering — it was the kind of news that probably got Longhorn offensive line coach Stacy Searels to throw his hat (this time in a good way).
Texas couldn't have gotten a better one: Knox was the top lineman on Searels's board and was one of just three linemen offered early by the Longhorns.*
* Knox was actually the only in-state offensive lineman offered when Texas sent out its first early round of 2013 offers. The only two other offensive linemen offered were Louisiana stud Cameron Robinson and top Kansas talent Braden Smith.
Knox is the top offensive line talent in the state at this point, a mauling player in the run game who projects as a guard at the next level. When he fires off low and hard, he can really reach his target in a hurry and generates great push. Looking at the big picture, when paired with interior linemen like Curtis Riser, Darius James and potentially others like Andrew Billings or Caleb Benenoch, Texas is starting to build the kind of physical, pounding offensive line that they've wanted to have to establish the run first. In short, Searels is starting to grab the kind of bodies he needs to move the pile.
From an even bigger picture standpoint, it gives Texas four of the top five offensive players in the state for 2014, according to Scout.com's early 2014 rankings along with fellow studs Jerrod Heard, Donald Catalon and Lorenzo Joe. And that doesn't include Gresham, the best fullback in the state. Sure, everyone knows that 2014 is an elite in-state defensive class, but that doesn't excuse teams from having to go out and fill offensive needs or grab offensive playmakers. And Texas has already landed its top choice quarterback, running back, fullback and offensive lineman, with Joe ranking as arguably the No. 2 wideout on the Longhorn board (current Texas target Kd Cannon remains the top prize and is probably the top offensive player in the state). With fewer elite offensive guys to choose from, Texas has done a great job of pirating the guys the Longhorns wanted.
Knox gives the Longhorns six commitments — pass-rushing end Derick Roberson is the lone defensive commit — with five of those commitments coming from the top-20 players in the state, per the Scout 300. So while Knox is a tremendous get in his own right, landing him is a microcosm for Texas's success in landing a different caliber offensive lineman, while cleaning up on the state's top offensive players for 2014.