In a class low on impact offensive tackles, Texas grabbed a sleeper with potential under new offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Joe Wickline.
It was clear early on that if the previous Texas staff wanted an offensive tackle, he was likely going to have to come from out-of-state. The Longhorns only offered one in-state tackle prospect*, Zach Ledwik, who chose Texas A&M. And the 'Horns passed on other top-50ish tackle prospects like Kealvin Davis (Texas A&M), Jovan Pruitt (Arkansas) and Austin Schlottmann and Ty Barrett, both of whom picked TCU. Even Baylor went with Waxahachie's Patrick Lawrence and Texas Tech picked Justin Murphy of Belton, rather than offer Rodriguez.
* Koda Martin of Manvel did receive a Texas scholarship offer, but not on the offensive line.
Having said that, Rodriguez was somebody that Wickline specifically targeted after taking the Texas job, despite having potential access to more highly regarded talents. And while Rodriguez's senior film isn't easy to find, his junior film shows a player who has plenty of athleticism on his 6-foot-6, 280-pound frame, one that should produce a true tackle in this class to go with likely guard Alex Anderson (another Wickline pickup) and center Terrell Cuney, who was the lone offensive line commitment in the previous staff's class.
Rodriguez has both the length and athleticism to stick at tackle, and he also displays the mobility and aggression that Wickline likes. He's not a Kent Perkins, but then, Kent Perkins wasn't available 1) in this class and 2) certainly not at this late hour in this class. Instead, he's a really nice developmental piece, somebody who showed enough as a senior to earn an LSU offer and a Florida State grayshirt offer, along with the late interest from the Longhorns.
In a class that has seen a ton of movement from players visiting other schools, leaving or firming up their commitments, Texas has added just four new commitments itself, with two of those coming on the offensive line, and both coming from players Wickline specifically targeted as wants. The Longhorns are likely finished at the position for the rest of 2014, but it does put Texas into a much better position of strength moving forward, and if the 'Horn coaches can somehow bring in the two defensive tackles left on the board and hold onto soft commitments like Sione Teuhema and John Bonney, one would have to look at the end of the 2014 class as a success.