In each of the last few classes, Texas has snagged one of the state's top offensive linemen. In 2009, the Longhorns grabbed Mason Walters, who is now looking like a four-year starter. In 2010, Texas nabbed both Dominic Espinosa and Trey Hopkins. And the 2011 class included freshman starter Josh Cochran and emerging interior player Sedrick Flowers. 2012 was arguably better than all of those, with Texas landing the state's top two tackles in Camrhon Hughes and Kennedy Estelle, and the state's top guard in Curtis Riser.
And it's against that backdrop that we find the Kent Perkins commitment. It isn't so much about Perkins, or about any of the above listed players. It's the fact that Texas, a team that just last spring was so woefully short of depth that walk-ons were playing on the second team, continues to stockpile big-time linemen like they were squirrels collecting acorns.
For his part, Perkins is a mobile tackle with tremendous punch in his hands, somebody who can maul people in the running game. Like most offensive linemen, he could use some refinement. And like a lot of offensive linemen, he could use more consistency.
But that's just it: line play isn't the same as finding skill position players. If you land one elite quarterback, the other guys transfer (shoot, Texas had transfers without finding an elite guy last year). But on the lines, like at no other position, you can stockpile elite guys. And not only does that stockpile create depth, but it also allows for teams to avoid having to deal with busts, which seem to occur more often at those positions.
Think about it this way: if Texas needs an offensive tackle in three years, it can turn to Cochran (already somewhat proven), Hughes, Estelle or Perkins, with the latter three all finishing around top-10 guys in the state. That's depth, and talented depth.
Perkins might well finish above that. To me, right now, he's the top player in a state where any one of about eight players could lay claim to that top spot. But it's hard to go wrong with a mauling 6-foot-6 tackle with reach. And that's precisely what Perkins will bring: another athletic, strong, talented lineman to add to the rest. The stockpile continues.