Recruiting Quick Hit: Defensive Tackles

Texas went into the 2012 class needing some help on the interior. Read how they've done so far below.

Roster shape

The Longhorns have a whopping eight scholarship defensive tackles on roster, with only one of those players older than a sophomore. Unfortunately, that one player happens to be the lone superstar of the group in Kheeston Randall, a senior All-America candidate. Texas does have some young players who have showed potential, like Calvin Howell, Greg Daniels and Ashton Dorsey, and landed a pair of dynamos in Desmond Jackson and Quincy Russell in the 2011 class. Taylor Bible and De'Aires Cotton both have talent as well, though there's almost no known production past Randall.



Positional needs

Technically, the Longhorns don't need any players here from a numbers standpoint, but Texas could use another influx in talent. And don't be surprised if a tackle or two reads the writing on the wall and winds up transferring out relatively soon. That could create space for up to three tackles in this class. Texas needs a nose tackle to hold up against the run, but really, the Longhorns just need more playmakers at the position.



Analysis

Texas had a nice tackle class with commitments from Alex Norman and Paul Boyette … and then they pulled in Brenham product Malcolm Brown. That immediately upped this class to an elite one. Brown is the state's top defensive tackle and among the five best at the position in the country. A penetrator who can make plays in the backfield, his potential is through the roof. Boyette is a run-stopper with a fantastic frame. At 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, he'll be able to play at 300-plus at the next level, while showing some ability to rush the passer. Norman is raw, but he's the nose tackle the Longhorns need. Norman didn't always dominate at a lower level of competition, but there's no doubt that he possesses a lightning first-step for his size when he's into it. He's a high potential guy.



Grade: A

It would be difficult to give the Longhorns any grade but an A after pulling in Brown, thought to be a Texas A&M lean. But Brown decided that he didn't fit in the Aggies' 3-4 scheme and elected to come to Austin. That bolstered an already strong group. Texas landed three of the top four defensive tackles in the state, with Javonte Magee serving as the only one to not don the burnt orange. But it's hard to argue with the potential of guys like Boyette and Norman, both of whom also fill needs. Great class.


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