"Texas has always been my dream school," Derry told IT Monday evening. "It's the best college in the United States."
Derry said he measured 6-2 1/2 and 224 at the camp, and although he did not know his 40 time, he said he turned in a 4.5 flat in the shuttle. Derry attended the Palo Alto Nike Camp earlier this year (he took the SAT on the Saturday of the closer-to-home College Station camp), where he clocked a 4.75 40 and a 4.67 20-yard shuttle. He also turned in a 26.2" vertical and 16 185-pound bench press reps out west.
"I'm really an instinct-type player," said Derry when asked why he received the UT offer. "I have a nose for the football. That's why I make a lot of tackles. I play sideline-to-sideline, I have first step quickness and I don't make false steps."
Those attributes enabled Derry to record a whoppin' 230 tackles from his linebacker spot as a junior at Pearland.
"The (Texas) coaches told me I would play at Mike (middle) or Will (weakside)," the No. 66-ranked prospect on the early Heartland Recruiting Texas Top 120 added. "They liked my height, speed and quickness, and the way I went through the (camp) drills."
"I'm always working to get better," Derry said of his football focus heading into his senior season. "I'm in the weight room every day, I run and do agility drills."
Derry said he is done with summer camping and the only official visit he plans to take is to Texas in the fall. Baylor, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M and Purdue also offered the Pearland star but could not match the appeal of UT, the Longhorn coaching staff and the city of Austin.
"The coaches are really cool," Derry said of his interaction with the UT staff on Sunday. "I worked with coach (Carl) Reese. I like coach Reese a lot. He's really cool and a good guy. I always talked to coach (Mac) McWhorter because he recruits my area and I like him a lot. And Mack Brown, he's a real family oriented type person. He's a people person."
"I went up there and the facilities were awesome, the coaches are great guys and they're family oriented," he said. "I like Austin, I like UT. Go Horns, baby!"
Recruiting notes: Derry told IT that a couple of players at the mini-camp stood out in his eyes: Humble DE Jason Jack, 6-4, 220, 4.7 (No. 53 on the HR Texas Top 120), and fellow UT Spring Game attendee Duncanville DB Erick Jackson, 6-0, 180, 4.5 (No. 78). . . . Tyler Lee DE Justin Warren, 6-3, 220, 4.6, who camped at UT over this past weekend, told HR Monday morning: "It was very enjoyable. I was tempted to go ahead and commit, but I want to make my (summer camp) visit to A&M next week before I make any decision." . . . Thomas Marshall, a 6-6, 306-pound OL/DT from Dallas Bishop Dunne High School reportedly committed to Texas last week after attending the Horns' first three-day football camp. IT has been unable to contact either Marshall or Dunne head coach Kenneth Davis to confirm his verbal pledge. Marshall is listed as the No. 18 overall prospect in the state of Texas on HR's most recent statewide rankings. Thomas' early list of favorites included Baylor, Colorado, LSU, TCU, Tennessee and A&M. We'll have more on Marshall when we talk to him or his head coach. If Marshall did indeed commit, UT now has four pledges for the Class of '03: Katy Taylor C Dallas Griffin, Houston Strake Jesuit TE Steven Hogan, Marshall, and Derry.