Ever since receiving a Texas offer about a month ago, New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine defensive tackle Courtney Garnett has maintained that the 'Horns stand in an excellent position in his recruitment.
On Sunday evening, he decided to shut things down and commit to the Longhorns, a move expected to become official Monday morning in a conversation with head coach Mack Brown.
A 6-2, 285-pounder who is a consensus three-star prospect, Garnett committed to Texas over offers from Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Texas A&M, Tulsa, and Tulane. The Rebels and Bulldogs both received visits from Garnett this weekend, but those trips were not enough to convince him to extend his timetable.
Garnett told ESPN Horns Nation that the fit at Texas was a big part of what led him to make his decision:
I think it is just a great fit. I think it's going to be a great fit for me and my family. I have some family in Austin there already. It's going to be great for me to go out there and take my talents to Texas and be coached by [defensive tackles coach Bo [Davis]. He is a great coach and will elevate me to where I want to be.
Davis was the point man in his recruitment, but running back coach Larry Porter also helped. Both have ties to the state of Louisiana having coached for LSU and will be critical as the 'Horns attempt to make deeper inroads into the Bayou State.
It's clearly a priority, especially at St. Augustine, with three other players having received offers from Texas at that school, headlined by five-star running Leonard Fournette.
As for Garnett, he describes himself as a better run stopper than a pass rusher at this point and joins San Antonio (Texas) Warren defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao in the 2014 class as Texas works quickly to address one of the biggest needs in the 2014 recruiting cycle.
It's a duo that isn't high on star ratings, as both are of the three-star variety at this point, but Lealaimatafao has four-star talent in his slightly undersized frame, while Garnett is listed as an inch taller and isn't quite as explosive off the ball as his potential future teammate.
Courtney Garnett (#50 Def End / Def Tackle) : Junior Highlights 2012 (via staugpurpleknights)
The Louisiana product appeared to play mostly as a nose tackle last season, where he was effective holding his ground against double teams before disengaging to make plays. He's not a disruptive pass-rusher at this point, but it's his base and ability to anchor that is probably his best attribute.
The Longhorns have yet to make a major splash at the defensive tackle position and may not since Texas A&M commit DeShawn Washington is probably the only player in the state who could earn that classification, so Texas will either have to target a top out-of-state player to do so, though it's getting late in the process to extend offers and hope to jump into a strong position for a top national player there.
However, the defensive line class is shaping up nicely in a year that could see the Longhorns take as many as six players there. There's a speed rusher in Derick Roberson, a potential swing guy in Jake McMillon, a gap-penetrating tackle in the mold of Desmond Jackson in Trey Lealaimatafao, and now the anchor player of the group in Garnett.
In that regard, it's a well-balanced group that only needs to add a guy like Coppell (Texas) defensive end Solomon Thomas to turn it onto an excellent group that truly fills the needs of the class.
Garnett is the 12th commitment in the 2014 class for the 'Horns in a group that ranks second nationally to the Aggies.