Recruiting: Horns land No. 9

With DBs like Fort Worth Dunbar's <B>Bobby Tatum</b> and <B>D.J. Davis</b>, not to mention Waco's <B>Marcus Walker</b>, still up for grabs, the Horns wasted little time plucking a couple of other excellent DBs from the state when they landed Houston Lamar safety <B>Andrew Kelson</b> -- who was the first DB to jump on board -- and <B>Ryan Palmer</b>, an all-around athlete from Arlington Bowie, who gave his verbal to the Horns this past Friday.

Palmer, a 5-9, 165-pound speedster, projects as a corner and possible kick/punt returner.

The Bowie prep has played everything from QB, WR, RB, CB, KR and PR and he expects to play a number of different positions during his senior season. When you possess the speed and athletic ability he has, sometimes coaches make use of that talent in any way they can.

Locking him up early was a priority and the Texas coaching staff did just that.

"Texas actually offered me last week," Palmer told IT.

"And I thought it was just a good opportunity for me and I was really happy about it, so I decided to commit," Palmer added.

Being only 5-9 and possessing a 4.37 forty, you'd think Palmer compares favorably to Rod Babers who stands almost 5-9 and can run a 4.40 forty.

The Arlington Bowie DB said he had about 80 tackles, 20+ PBUs and one pick as a junior playing opposite of ('03) Longhorn commit Brandon Foster, forming one of the state's top corner tandems, if not the state's best.

According to Palmer the "rich tradition" and the "Burnt Orange" jerseys were a couple of reasons he selected the Horns over everybody else.

"And another thing you have to like about the Longhorns is the number of DBs they send to the NFL," Palmer added. "I would like to become an NFL draft pick and I think Texas is the place giving me the best opportunity to do that. They just have a really good track-record of sending their corners to the pros."

Brandon Foster, who elected to ink with the Horns, had some impact on his decision too, so IT grabbed a little time with Foster to see how excited Palmer was about eventually joining him on the Forty Acres.

"He was all excited when he came back to the hotel room," Foster told IT. "He was acting all krunk and stuff. He was really happy. He was saying, 'I'm going to Texas, I'm going to Texas.' All night and all the next day he was flashing Hook 'em Horns."

So what are Palmer's weightroom numbers?

"I'm benching 275 and squatting 415," Palmer said.

Only standing 5-9, Palmer'll need some mad hops when matching up against taller wideouts, so sporting the 36-37" vertical he claims is something he'll need to use from time to time.

"Yeah, I can get up," Palmer said matter-factly. "I can two-hand dunk, so I can definitely get up there. Against the taller receivers, I just watch their eyes, get big and then I look back for the ball. Doesn't matter how tall they are, I can go up and knock it down or take it away."

With a slew of talent already in Duane Akina's secondary, Palmer is another kid whose confidence in his abilities has him thinking he can earn one of the 6 spots (in Reese's dime packages) Akina prefers to use when matching up against spread offenses. He expects to eventually land an every-down spot, too, but understands being the 5th-best DB will get him time in nickel and 6th-best will get him time in the dime.

"I think the talent Texas has in the secondary makes a person like me just want to work even harder," Palmer said. "I like the fact that when I come in I'll be low on the depth chart. And I can't wait to start working my way up the depth chart. That will be fun."

Asked if the fact the Longhorns are seemingly locking up everybody they're wanting had any impact on his decision to commit early, Palmer said, "Yes, I really wanted to be a Longhorn and I wanted to go ahead and get there as quickly as possible. Now I'm a Longhorn."

We'll have a lot more on the Palmer commitment and what it means to guys like Marcus Walker and Bobby Tatum, who are considered to be the top two targets left on their board, in this week's edition of the Inside Scoop.

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