Echols is set to run the first leg on both the 4x100 and the 4x200 at the Texas State Track Meet this weekend in Austin. The DeSoto 4x100 team enters the weekend with the fastest official time in the country, a 40.59 that they clocked at the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays. That's eight one-hundredths of a second faster than the No. 2 time, clocked by Mansfield Timberview at the Class 5A Region 1 meet in Lubbock.
Echols has been a major part of that success, and said he feels "much, much faster" than when he clocked a 4.5-flat 40-yard dash at The Opening. The only downside is that his focus on track hasn't allowed him to work on Texas strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie's workout plan. Echols bulked up on the plan, getting to more than 180 pounds, which wasn't conducive to his being ready for DeSoto's track season. He's now back down to 162 pounds, and said "I'm a lot faster than I was then."
"I couldn't run as well, so I talked to (Wylie) and he told me to stop for awhile," Echols said. "I keep getting faster, and I'll start on the workouts as soon as track is over.
"Really, I'm just trying to do my part to get Coach (Mark) Brady a state championship before he leaves," Echols said. "He hasn't ever won an all-out state title, and I want to win one before I leave, and before he leaves."
Echols isn't the only Texas recruit on DeSoto's elite 4x100 team. He actually hands the baton off to second leg Dontre Wilson in each race.
"I've been trying to get him to join, and he seems interested a lot of the time," Echols said, laughing. "You just have to catch him on the right day."
Echols said he "hasn't touched a football" since the UnderArmour All-American Game. But if that was his high school one-off, he made a great impression, locking down every receiver in sight and earning a spot on the Scout.com team for the event.
"I liked it because it was a really good preview for me to see what all the (Texas) guys are going to be like over the next three or four years," Echols said. "And those receivers were supposed to be the rising stars of tomorrow, so I felt like I gave a pretty good impression."
Echols said he's ready to arrive at Texas on June 3, and said that while he'll miss DeSoto, he was excited to get into a new environment.
"We haven't really talked about a role for me when I get there," Echols said. "But I'm coming in to try and play early. I want to fight for a position.
"My man coverage is pretty good," Echols said. "I'd rather play man than zone everyday. I feel like I'm a smart corner, and that I can match up with anybody in the nation."
Echols said he planned to stick around after the state meet and talk to the coaches. And he said he can't wait to arrive on a permanent basis soon after.