Echols is a flat-out competitor with underrated athletic gifts. And so it stands that, by most people, Echols is an underrated player. But he shouldn't be, as Echols has shown the ability to shadow elite-caliber receivers time and time again, be it in 7-on-7, in DeSoto's season, or at the Under Armour game and practices.
The first thing that Echols screams to me is polish. He's just so far above other cornerbacks in his class in terms of feel for the position, the way he uses his hands in coverage and his body control.
Echols isn't one to back down from a challenge, and his quick feet enable that he seldom loses them. He's physical at the point of attack, shows an ability to redirect receivers and reads routes well. And he adds excellent ball skills to that mix, which makes throwing his way exceedingly dangerous.
Echols is somebody who gets downgraded at times because he's 5-9 and because he's been clocked in the 4.5-flat range in the 40-yard dash. But his football speed is tremendous, and you don't see him getting left behind by fast athletes. He's so good at the little things, like using his body to keep receivers from getting to full-speed on go routes, that speed hasn't been an issue. And his recovery speed is tremendous.
Echols might not be the physical freak that the Longhorns are used to seeing in their defensive backfield, but he's as effective as any of them at his job. And it's that level of polish, and his competitive fire, that could push him onto the two-deep sooner rather than later.