When combatting today's offenses, an across-the-board upgrade in speed and athleticism is necessary. And in recent Texas offer Josh Walker of Gilmer, that's precisely what the Longhorns would be getting at the linebacker position.
Like previous offense-defense standouts Peter Jinkens (2012, Texas) and Dac Shaw (2013, TCU), some of Walker's best highlights are on the offensive side of the ball, where he excels as a running back. Walker has tremendous short-area acceleration, and an ability to plant his foot in the ground and get upfield.
But what sets Walker apart from the previous two is his size. Walker is already in the 215-220-pound range, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him get to 225 or 230 at the next level. He also displays great pop at the point of attack and does a great job of driving his feet through contact.
In some recent classes, the Longhorns have essentially pursued bulked-up safety types for one of the three linebacker spots, but what Walker brings is the versatility to play either linebacker spot. Could he play the hybrid nickel/SAM role that Demarco Cobbs is playing? Probably so. But while he runs well, he also has the skill set to take on blocks and play at the WILL as well. And with Walker's speed, pop and versatility, he's definitely one to watch at this point.