Westerman an Out-of-State Catch For Texas

Last season, the Texas Longhorns went out-of-state to pluck a five-star player in Jordan Hicks from Ohio.

This year, the Longhorns again struck gold outside of the Lone Star State, hauling in a commitment from Hamilton (Ariz.) High School product Christian Westerman, Scout.com's No. 2 rated offensive tackle.

Hamilton coach Steve Belles said the first thing that stood out to him upon meeting Westerman as a freshman was the tackle's size.

"He's a big lad," Belles said. "As a freshman he already weighed about 245. But the thing is: he hardly has any fat on him at all. The kid's probably seven percent, eight percent body fat, and he weighs 295 pounds. He's just in phenomenal shape and he does his body right.

"He's a kid who will probably play in college at 315 and just be solid," Belles said. "He could have played college ball physically a year ago."

Belles said Westerman, Texas's highest rated commitment at No. 8 overall, also worked hard to get better.

"I think his footwork has really improved, especially from his freshman to sophomore year," Belles said. "He was never really awkward. He was never a kid who didn't look like he fit into his body. He's mobile and can move. That's what really separated him from being a big kid."

That mobility has allowed Westerman to get down the field and knock down defenders at the second and third levels in the running game.

Westerman, who said his favorite NFL player is Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long, said he looked forward to Texas's move into more of a power running game.

"That's what we run here at my school," Westerman said. "I'm pretty used to doing that. "I'm really aggressive and I get off the ball," Westerman said. "I feel like I've really progressed at getting into defenders' pads well. I'm trying to get better at pass protection, and better at laying downfield blocks."

Westerman's dominance on the offensive line has helped Hamilton to a pair of state titles in his two years as a starter as a sophomore and junior, and the Huskies have only lost one game during that time period, a defeat in Westerman's sophomore year.

But Belles said Westerman was more than a football player, adding that he was humble and a hard-working student who helped others. Westerman is also incredibly close with his family.

"(My family) has just been with me through the whole process and talking with schools," Westerman said. "They haven't ever pushed me. They've been in there helping me get informed during the recruiting process, and they've helped me so that it wasn't overwhelming."

Westerman made his college decision in April after sitting down and reviewing the pros and cons of every school he was interested in.

"At Texas, every single pro was way higher than the ones at other schools," Westerman said. "And there were no cons.

"I was ready to get recruiting over with," Westerman said. "The facilities were amazing, and I really liked the players and the school. I talked with a couple guys, and you could tell that it's a good time to play there. At some of the other schools, it seemed like they were almost miserable."

Westerman said he plans to major in business when he hits Austin for the 2011 season.

"I've never said this about an offensive lineman, but if there's a spot open, and he's allowed to compete for it, he could start as a freshman," Belles said. "I don't know (Texas's) depth chart. I know they said they've signed all their linemen already, so he's coming in with an unbelievable class. But if he gets a chance, he could start.

"We're just fortunate to have him for one more year," Belles said. "You guys are getting a major diamond there."

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