Recruiting: UT's Fourth Commit a Great One

<B>Andrew Kelson</b>, a 6-2, 210-pound defensive back from Houston Lamar decided to end the suspense early when he pulled the commitment trigger on Saturday (March 22nd) in favor of the Longhorns.

"I called Coach Haywood on Saturday to let him know I wanted to be a Longhorn," Kelson told IT Monday. "I basically explained to Coach Haywood that Texas is where I wanted to go."

According to Kelson, both he and Haywood were extremely excited.

"I knew they (Texas) were interested in me and willing to offer me a 'ship after I left last week's practice," said IT's No. 15-rated player regardless of position. "And I was impressed with them, so after talking it over with my family, I just decided to go ahead and commit."

As for what his family thought about his desire to attend UT, Kelson said, "They loved my decision. They know how obsessed I am with making good grades and they know how much the academics at Texas means to me in addition to what they offer me athletically."

Asked exactly what about Texas made it the school of choice, Kelson said, "First of all, it's a place where I can grow not only academically but athletically. And I just feel that they offer me the best place to develop my skills as a DB."

"Also," Kelson continued, "Texas is close to home and I like that. They offer me a chance to win a national championship and that's something I'd like to do."

Did the fact that Texas essentially plays a four corner secondary have any impact on Kelson's decision to verbal to the Horns?

"Yes, it did," Kelson informed. "I think it's great the way they play their DBs. I don't want to be known as just a good run-stopping DB. I want to be an all-around DB, good at both stopping the run and pass. At Texas, I can get that kind of training. They offer me the best chance to develop into a complete DB."

"I feel like no one can be the perfect DB," Kelson continued. "But if you want to get close, then pass coverage is what you want to learn. I'm going to work on my pass coverage skills during the spring and summer so I can get better. Then I'm going to Texas. That's the place all DBs have to go if they want to become one of the best."

Kelson had a great time on his unofficial trip to the Forty Acres last week.

"The players were really cool and I really enjoyed visiting with the Texas coaches," Kelson said with a huge smile across his face.

"Mack Brown is a really great guy," Kelson said. "I just don't know what to say about him. I can't really describe it. I mean there were some negative things said about him and I don't care what anybody else thinks. I think he's a great guy, just a real cool guy."

And the state's top safety has already been informed that negative recruiting tactics can and will begin to heat up, especially now that he's committed.

"I just know what I want," Kelson said with a stern look on his face. "And I'm glad you asked me that question...are you writing this down? I want every school out there to know that Texas sells itself. They don't have to say anything about any of the other schools. And if any school comes at me they better come at me talking about how good their school is and what they have to offer. I'm not much on anything negative."

So will the state's top DB entertain future offers?

"No, I won't," Kelson said. "My mind is already made up. Texas is where I want to be and nothing's going to change that."

But the appeal of free trips may be too much...

"I've already thought about all of that stuff and I'm telling you Texas is where I want to be."

Accolades: Kelson was voted 18-5A's Defensive MVP while also grabbing 2nd-team all-greater Houston and 1st-team all-district honors.

The Lamar coaching staff doesn't keep track of individual stats but Kelson was able to recall a few.

"I had three INTS on D," Lamar's Valedictorian candidate said. "I took two of those back for TDs. I scored nine offensive touchdowns and picked up a blocked punt and took it in for a TD.

Not only does Kelson sport the credentials but when you look at him, he just looks like a player.

"I can bench 285, squat about 410-415 and have a 38-inch vertical," said Kelson when asked about his weight room numbers.

38-inch vertical?

That is just sick...

"I know, I take a lot of pride in my leaping ability," Kelson paused, "God-given talent".

As for the height and weight...

"I'm 6-2, about 212, 213 pounds," said Kelson.

And don't let anyone tell you his height and weight is inflated. IT can vouch for those figures after eyeballing Kelson. Kid is definitely 6-2, 210 pounds. Not only that, he looks thick. And he looks like one tough son-of-a-gun.

Opposing wideouts and tailbacks beware as the hard-hitting safety told IT that Texas is looking at him as a DB, not LB.

As for offense?

Kelson said don't rule it out. But I think it's clear that Kelson wants to hone his man-to-man skills on the next level and will vie for either the FS or SS position, which in Duane Akina's secondary requires cross training at the corner positions as well.

This is a huge commit and Orangebloods should be ecstatic. This is the type of DB that can separate the ball from the ballcarrier. The kind that intimidates opposing wideouts. The type of hitter that Texas hasn't had since, maybe, Bryant Westbrook. He's already that imposing from a physical standpoint.

Anyone remember the hit Westbrook laid on a Notre Dame kid?

Brown and Co. are not just landing commitments...they're grabbing stallions.

Kelson marks the Burnt Orange's fourth commitment of the 2004 class following earlier pledges from Texarkana WR Nathan Jones, Westwood RT Greg Dolan and Denton Ryan DT Derek Lokey.

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