Toby Weathersby impressed in January at the U.S. Army All-American Combine, measuring 6-foot-4 in bare feet and weighing 285 pounds while benching 185 pounds 27 times and running a respectable 4.72 shuttle.
But more important than the bench press reps is the fact that his strength is functional. Flip on Weathersby's tape and you'll notice him mauling players all over the place, driving them backward and, many times, into the turf. He's big, mobile and nasty, and he shows more polish than most tackles in the in-state class, a big part of the reason LonghornDigest.com has him rated as the No. 15 prospect in the state and Scout.com has him as the No. 4 offensive tackle in the country and a four-star prospect. He's already been selected for the Under Armour All-American game this winter.
Weathersby's biggest area of dominance is in the running game, where he truly excels in all areas. Some players are road graders without attention (or care) for the footwork side. Others have the footwork but struggle to root-hog defenders off a space and drive them in a direction. Weathersby can do it all. He's athletic enough to make the angle blocks, a devastating down blocker because of his strength and quick enough to make blocks at the second (and at times, third) level. Add to that his attitude, where even after he finishes an opponent, he's looking for another defender to hit, and you have the making of a very good right tackle prospect.
One of the things that impresses you about Weathersby on tape is his ability to make a combo or scoop block, a staple block in a zone-running offense, as Texas projects to be. In a combo block, a player makes a driving double-team block with a teammate, then scoops off and picks off another defender. Weathersby executes this concept well for Westfield, showing the strength to help plow the initial defender off the ball, then the feet and agility to slide off and track defenders in space for the second block.
While Weathersby is a dominant run blocker at this point, his ceiling isn't as high as a pass protector. He has decent length, though he's not as tall and long as fellow Texas commitment Ronnie Major. And while he has nice feet and he's a good athlete, he's not as natural in pass protection as some prospects. Major may have a slightly higher upside, but Weathersby isn't as raw and won't take as much molding.
Still, every offensive line needs a right tackle, and at this point, Weathersby looks to be the best in a pretty good tackle class.*
* Keller offensive lineman and LSU commitment Maea Teuhema could play right tackle and be awfully good at it, and he's currently the stat's top lineman. Having said that, he projects best as a road-paving guard.
That's what made him such a highly sought-after target with heavy pursuit from Longhorn rivals Oklahoma and Texas A&M. It marks the second time in a week that Texas beat A&M for a recruit. Little is more important in recruiting than momentum, and though Weathersby was predisposed to liking Texas — his mother told me at Junior Day that he grew up liking the Longhorns — Texas hadn't necessarily been winning the kids who grew up 'Horns of late, with Daylon Mack standing out as an example.
The biggest way that Charlie Strong and Co. will be able to establish momentum will be a great first season on the field, but until we get to that point, it's important to note that he's been able to balance out the playing field with A&M somewhat without playing a game. It won't all come at once, but every time Texas lands a DeShon Elliott or a Toby Weathersby, it's a step in the right direction.