Commitment Analysis: Kevin Shorter

Breaking down Newton running back Kevin Shorter's commitment to Texas.

The Longhorns didn't seem to sit in a great spot for Shorter up until Texas Stampede, when Shorter said running backs coach Larry Porter "made a pretty strong performance, just about how I can help the offense." Shorter quickly took another visit to Austin, and eventually picked the Longhorns over his two other finalists in Texas A&M and Arkansas.

Shorter is an interesting recruit in that he's significantly different from the other running backs in the class. While Donald Catalon and D'Onta Foreman project as every-down backs with the frame and bulk to take more of a pounding, the spindly Shorter looks more like a wide receiver. And that's the position that he runs like, with long legs that allow him to gobble up turf with his gliding running style.

He does show lateral ability, the ability to pick and slide and shows some elusiveness, though is main strength is certainly his big-time speed. He's a pretty high-level speed guy, which really shows when he runs away from defenders with his top end.

Would Shorter have been a definite take a year or two? It's hard to say. It took the Longhorns until late in the class to offer Daje Johnson, who was just down the road at Pflugerville Hendrickson. And much like Johnson, Shorter has a much better fit in Texas's "new" offense. Shorter could be outstanding as a speed-sweep, reverse type guy who also comes into the backfield to get some touches, and if he shows the ability to catch the ball well out of the backfield, that will only help him see the field even more. In the six open practices this month, Texas showed a ton of emphasis in hitting the backs in the passing game, and Newton could be a plus player there, somebody who could catch a quick flare-out and have a chance to hit a big play in space.

Shorter's size and his ability level also indicates that he could make a move to defensive back at the next level if need be, but for now, there isn't any reason to think that he won't be what the Longhorns recruited him to be: a running back who has a great system fit as an offensive athlete.

Texas now has 23 commitments for the Class of 2014, including three running backs.


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