Bryson Echols, Courtesy of Under Armour
Name: Bryson Echols
High School: DeSoto High School, DeSoto Texas
Rating (Rivals): Four out of five (5.8)
- Texas (committed 2/25/2011)
When Bryson Echols committed to Texas on the Second Junior Day in 2011, DBU was in a state of crisis. The Longhorns didn't even have a Defensive Backs Coach at the First Junior Day and Jerry Gray had just left the program. Texas began to right the ship by rehiring longtime DB Coach Duane Akina just in time for JD2. In Feburary 2011, Akina didn't know that Quandre DIggs would be a Freshman All American and that Carringon Byndom would emerge as a shut down corner. Akina needed a solid cornerback would be ready to play immediately. Enter Bryson Echols.
Akina offered Echols while he was at Arizona, a strong sign of the high regard that the Great Mustache had for Echols. Echols recruitment was a longer and more confusing one than expected. Echols was offered at JD2, but the offer delivery was confusing as Echols believed he didn't have an offer until speaking with various Texas media outlets. After the confusion was cleared up, Echols discussed it with his family and made the call to commit to Texas the Friday following his visit.
Echols has never wavered in his commitment Texas, and hasn't uttered a peep about taking other visits. A true early commitment, Echols is all Texas to the core.
BRYSON ECHOLS PLAYER SPOTLIGHT NEXT LEVEL ATHLETE (via nlaplayerupload)
Ric Renner is a bonus. You're welcome.
Instant analysis following his commitment:
My take: Again Texas didn't know what they had at corner. Echols might not be the most physically gifted corner available, but he's solid and ready to play at a need position. In retrospect, taking Echols was a smart move. DeVante Harris emerged as a late bloomer and possibly the best in state CB in Texas, but his interest was always lukewarm on the Horns. 2012 did not see the late bloomers of the talented 2011 Class. Echols was recently awarded a 4 star ranking by Rivals for his outstanding camp circuit and senior season. Echols was an Under Armour All American.
Bryson Echols Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)
I had the opportunity to see Echols live this season in DeSoto's playoff loss to Dallas Skyline. I like so many others, had bought into the Echols is solid, but not spectacular line of thinking. It is true that Echols is a technically sound, college ready cornerback with plenty of polish, but he also a playmaker.
As you can see from the film, he has excellent anticipation of where the ball is going to be. His breaks on balls in the air are excellent. He also leaves his man to pursue badly thrown balls. This is a high risk move, but the sign of an aggressive player. He didn't disappoint when I saw him live for the first time.
Echols was matched up against former Texas commit Thomas Johnson for much of the night. While 2013 WR target Ra'Shaad Samples TORCHED LSU bound DeSoto DB Jalen Mills, Echols kept Johnson very quiet on the opposite side of the field. Echols was able to flip his hips and run with Johnson the entire game. Johnson got loose on a couple screens and quick slants, but for the most part Echols kept a lid on him.
What impressed me most with Echols was his play on jump balls. As we all saw in the UA Game, he excels at knocking the ball away on throws into the endzone. He understands when to time his jump, how to position his body to shield the receiver and make a clean pass break up. He did the same thing against Skyline. Jump ball thrown into the end zone, there was Echols timing his jump perfectly and knocking it away. It's a technically sound play, but it's still a big play. Ask the Patriots if they think Sterling Moore isn't a playmaker. A PBU in the endzone is huge play every time.
Echols compares favorably to former Longhorn Rod Babers. They're both about the same size and speed, and they're both tough, smart players. I think Echols will make his biggest impact at Texas on the plays he doesn't give up. Pass break ups, solid tackles to prevent yards after catches, and help in run support. As you can see in the film and in person, Echols will come up and hit somebody. You won't see Echols making mental mistakes. A receiver might get behind Echols a few times because of his superior physical skills, but he won't blow the coverage.
The depth chart above Echols is very crowded at the moment, but it could begin to clear in 2013 if Byndom declares early for the NFL Draft. I like Echols better than Leroy Scott right now as a cover corner, and I think he could see the field in 2012 against 5 WR sets. I don't think he'll pass Josh Turner, but he will certainly push him. Regardless, Echols will be ready when called upon, and that's exactly what Akina was looking for in the first place.