Call it the day that Mack Brown turned the recruiting world upside down. Elite programs like LSU and Alabama both carpet-bombed the state with offers this spring in the 2014 class, and the Longhorns needed to fire a return salvo. Consider the large artillery deployed with the commitment Thursday night of San Antonio Brennan defensive end Derick Roberson, the fifth-ranked player in the state by Orangebloods.
The pledge from Roberson wasn't exactly shocking, as he was candid throughout the spring regarding his interest in the Longhorns. But on a day when Texas rocked the recruiting world by extending close to 20 offers to the top juniors in the state, the commitment from Roberson put things over the top. Into a giddy, mind-spinning stratosphere.
You see, Roberson is good. Like, really good. Like, 6-3.5 and 230 pounds of edge rushing terror good. Orangebloods is dead on with their assessment of him as one of the top players in the class, in the opinion given here, right now, in this space. He has the best film of any defensive end in the state right now, in any class. That's not even a heat-of-the-moment opinion, but rather how I've felt since viewing his film back in the spring.
There's production on film, but also the context -- Roberson is pretty new to committing to football as a former basketball player. Pretty new to really lifting weights.
Sound like Daeshon Hall? Uh, yup. Roberson doesn't have the size of Hall, but he may be a better athlete. That's a big deal.
These were his measurables back in the spring ($) (quite a while ago, for a guy like Roberson, with so much upside left to maximize), courtesy of Hookem.com's Jeff Howe, who probably didn't have to drag himself out of bed on the morning he visited Brennan (confirmed: "not at all"):
During Brennan's offseason testing, Roberson recorded a 33-inch vertical jump, a 4.7 40-yard dash, a 4.25 5-10-5 shuttle, a standing broad jump of nine feet, a 250-pound bench press, a 400-pound squat and a 245-pound hang clean.
How far has he come since football season, coach Basore?
He's got such a high upside. His squat went up over 100 pounds just since the end of football season. I haven't been around too many elite guys, but he's got a chance to be in that group where he's a very legit guy by the time he's done here.
What about on the field last fall?
The thing that jumped out at us was that he loved contact and his motor ran hot. Once he started to kind of understand what we wanted him to do, he was changing games. We noticed people started leaving a tight end to block him or they'd chip him with a back. They started running away from him. He hasn't even scratched the surface yet, and he's already having this big of an impact on games. People were game planning against him.
Like I said, Roberson still produced on the field, which is why I've believed that Roberson has the best defensive end film in the state that I've seen, regardless of class. Caveat -- I haven't seen Arlington Martin's Myles Garrett on film, but would pay good money to do so. Seriously, sometimes in sad moments I click on his Hudl profile again just to see if maybe this time something will pop up. This has happened more than once. I'm not sure if I should be ashamed of this.
(Update: Nahlin told me there is a backdoor through some Devonte Fields highlights. We're researching. Film of Martin scarce -- had to do similar exercise with Kyle Hicks to find anything).
But...Derick Roberson. Our own HaroldHill tweeted at me that he likes the film of Solomon Thomas a little bit better, which is quite a fair opinion given that 247Sports also has Thomas as one of the top prospects in the country and the second-best player in the state behind Mansfield Timberview's Edward Paris, who visited Texas on Tuesday and also picked up an offer Thursday.
By the way, Texas is in good shape with Thomas. Good enough that at least one service reported his offer today and commented that he didn't commit. That's being in good shape with a kid.
I'm rambling. It's been a crazy day. I was trying to get back to Roberson there.
Here's the summary -- he has enough height to be a great edge rusher in college. He has the frame to get stronger. The projectable upside to build those measurables that are already increasing so quickly. Teams had to gameplan for him.
I will amend my statement about Roberson having the best film of any DE in Texas, regardless of class, to say that he's the edge rusher with the best combination of current film and upside of any edge rusher in the state right now, regardless of class. Better than Prevot. Better than Daeshon Hall.
And there was also a recruitment.
The sequence of events this evening ($), as reported by Horns Nation, is fantastic:
I came home from jogging and my dad handed me the phone and said it was coach [Duane] Akina from UT. He told me they offered and that they wanted me to come to school. I committed right away.
He came home from jogging (that's pronounced yogging, with a y -- it's a new thing). He was handed a phone. There was a Texas coach on the other end of the phone. The coach spoke of a Texas offer. Roberson committed.
Open. Shut. Now, the hard part, which is keeping Roberson committed until February of 2014, quite some months from now. Not to suggest anything other than that it's a long time until pen can hit paper.
Strangely enough, despite those aforementioned carpet-bombing efforts of major programs from other parts of the country, the only other reported offer for Roberson was one from Texas A&M. Cognitive dissonance upon that discovery. But whatever.
We're at the end of this, and I'm hoping that all I have to write now is Derick Roberson. Just, Derick Roberson. And that will be enough to encapsulate everything that needs to be said, because Derick Roberson is that good. Derick Roberson good.
Happy sounds on the day that Mack Brown changed the recruiting game in Texas. Game-changing ability? Corollary to being the Joneses.