Stop the presses -- the Texas Longhorns have an in-state defensive back commit after missing on numerous top targets after the pledge of South Grand Prairie safety Jason Hall on Saturday at the inaugural Texas Stampede recruiting event.
A consensus three-star prospect who mostly plays cornerback for South Grand Prairie but projects as a safety in college because he is around 6'2 and 190 pounds, Hall has become an important target for the Longhorns even though he's only ranked as the No. 136 player in Texas and the No. 96 safety nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings. He was originally committed to Nebraska, a pledge he made in May before seeing his recruitment pick up in early June with offers from Oklahoma and Texas.
The Longhorns looked like his eventual destination ever since he received that offer following a strong performance at a summer camp, but he ended up taking his time with the process, delaying his decision even though it seemed he would join the Texas class in the days after picking up his offer. In early July he opted to officially re-open his recruitment and the Longhorns ended up winning out over the Sooners and 'Huskers in the end.
So even though Hall isn't the most highly-rated prospect around, he did represent another important recruiting win over Oklahoma, though that is hardly surprising any more. The bigger deal is finally landing a Texas-bred defensive back in the 2014 class, especially with Lewisville Hebron's Jamal Adams looking like a longer and longer shot as the days go by and Houston Lamar's John Bonney seriously considering Baylor because of his long-time connections to Art Briles from his days in Houston.
As with a lot of prospects, his SPARQ testing results are a bit all over the place. He ran a 4.73 40 in Dallas and didn't tear it up in the shuttle with a 4.31 time, but he did post a 35-inch vertical leap. However, Hall is a willing and physical tackler who projects favorably to the safety position because of those skills and should also provide some coverage versatility because of his experience playing cornerback, even if he doesn't have the speed or ideal fluidity to play that position at the next level. And, as is often also the case, Hall plays faster in pads than he tests.
Hall is the 22nd commitment in the 2014 class and joins New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine cornerback Jermaine Roberts as the only pledges in the defensive backfield.