Name: Jalen Overstreet
Speed: 4.55 40-yard dash
High School: Tatum
Rating (Rivals): Three out of five (5.6)
- Texas (committed 10/310211)
- Texas Tech
Even into the fall, Jalen Overstreet was mostly just a guy that Texas recruitniks would only know if they closely followed the work of Gerry Hamilton -- maybe only as much as recognizing his productivity and projectability to a number of positions in college.
Then Connor Wood left Texas when he fell to fourth in the quarterback rotation. Then Garrett Gilbert got benched, hurt his shoulder, and left the program. All in a matter of weeks. Suddenly, the Longhorns needed another quarterback in the 2012 class and began scouring the state for options.
Scouring being the operative word, as the Longhorn staff did due diligence by checking with virtually every prospect in the state except Matt Davis, and even then it's possible the staff reached out and were quickly rebuffed behind the scenes. Bryan Harsin checked on committed players like Tommy Armstrong of Cibolo Steele, the Nebraska commit, Oklahoma commit Trevor Knight, Harsin checked on uncommitted players like TJ Millweard and Del Henderson.
In the end, the staff chose Overstreet, ending a pretty brief recruitment in late October. Despite some solid national offers, Overstreet visited for the Kansas game, received his offer, then committed the following day after discussing his options with his father. Simple as that.
Overstreet on his visit and subsequent decision ($):
Yesterday, me and my dad laid out my options. They stopped recruiting QBs, so I made a commitment to stop looking.
I liked the environment. It was crazy. The facilities are just really, really nice there. I've been before, but first was my first time really going in depth. I liked the environment, how close knit everything is. It's like one big family. Everyone there is well taken care of.
Jalen Overstreet (early senior highlights) (via 247SportsStudio)
ESPN evaluation ($):
Overstreet is a very productive dual threat quarterback, capable of beating defenses with his arm and feet. Has the size and athleticism for the quarterback position at the major level of competition. We feel he has sufficient arm strength to make all the throws but will need to improve his footwork and deliver technique. Operates from under the center and the shotgun set; can play with his back to the line of scrimmage, showing clever ball handling skills. Sets his feet quickly whether off of play action or when dropping back; sets the ball well and stands tall with his eyes downfield. Doesn't rattle under pressure and will take a hit if necessary to make a good completion. Displays a compact throwing motion; gets the ball out quickly but will need to elevate his delivery; too much sidearm; at times he relies too much on his arm and doesn't step into throw. Puts good zip on short/medium throws, demonstrating the ability to hit receivers on time and in stride; needs to develop deep ball touch; does a good job squaring his shoulders when throwing on the move. This guy is a tough customer; makes good decisions with zone/read play and is very effective running inside or off the edge; displays a tough over the pads slashing style capable of gaining inside yardage. His foot quickness and short burst allow him to break out of the pack, resulting in big gainers. Although Overstreet may need some time and perhaps a red shirt year to polish his skills, once accomplished, we see good upside as his career unfolds. He is phsyically gifted and more than capable of moving to safety or wide receiver if he does not pan out as a QB.
His coach on where he thinks Overstreet will play in college ($):
He's a quarterback. That's what he is. Because of his build, they think he can play safety or something else, but if he doesn't play quarterback there, he'll play quarterback somewhere else. That's what I've always said. He's going to play quarterback for somebody. He's just that good.
Don't call him simply a Wildcat quarterback, insists his coach:
I think when they get him and they find out how really well he throws the football, they're going to be very pleasantly surprised. Their minds are going to change about the Wildcat thing. That's not the only time they'll get him in. He can play the whole time.
It's pretty cliche to say that some kids are just football players. So you know what's coming right now -- Jalen Overstreet is a football player, just one in a number of successful gridiron athletes. The thing that makes Overstreet particularly interesting is that he projects favorably to a number of positions other than quarterback, including wide receiver, where he was offered by several schools, safety, where he played in high school in addition to quarterback, and a strongside spread linebacker if he happens to move to defense and get up to 220 or 225 pounds.
Even more intriguing? Overstreet is going to start out at quarterback at Texas and actually demonstrates a lot of the skills that make for successful quarterbacks. It's not hard to envision Bryan Harsin putting together a Wildcat package for Overstreet as a freshman and even give him the latitude to throw some passes, as Overstreet needs only some small mechanical refinements -- consistently stepping into throws and raising his release point -- to become a technically-sound passer with some upside.
The Tatum dual threat and two-way player never came off the field for his 2A squad and led them to the state Division I semifinals, where the Eagles lost to Hempstead and Texas A&M commit Trent Momon. It was a disappointing finish to Overstreet's high school career, as the senior threw an interception in the end zone and had a Hempstead defender seal the game late with a sack-strip-recovery trifecta, leading to the 21-14 final.
Yet, despite that unflattering snapshot, Overstreet throws with enough touch on fade passes in the red zone that if he can establish chemistry with a tall Texas receiver (Miles Onyegbule, John Harris, Darius Terrell), the three-star prospect could become a legitimate threat in the red zone out of the Wildcat, something that Texas desperately needs. It seems like a stretch to project a major contribution in that role as a true freshman, but it doesn't seem out of he question as a sophomore or junior.
As a runner, Overstreet would provide much more upside in the zone-read game that Texas used at times last year with David Ash, as he has a combination of size, physicality, balance, and just enough burst and speed to transition to the college game. Think maybe James Franklin as a runner with a touch less physicality and slightly better athleticism.
Overall, it's easy to foresee a spot in the Texas offense for Overstreet, perhaps sooner than later. He has the strength and feet to be effective in the Wildcat Power and with those aforementioned small refinements -- perhaps even without -- the threat of the run to draw in the linebackers could make it easy for him to work the passing game over the middle, taking advantage of his accuracy in that area and his ability to stand tall in the pocket.
Overstreet may only be a three-star prospect by Rivals, but he has the upside of a four star and seems determined to prove his doubters wrong and show that he can be a major-college quarterback. So while it still seems unlikely that Overstreet will ever be the starter at Texas, he provides long-term upside and depth, as well as a possible short-term Wildcat solution and red-zone threat. What doesn't sound good about that?