In the quest to land a top-flight defensive tackle in the 2015 class with Gladewater's Daylon Mack committed to the Texas A&M Aggies, the Texas Longhorns extended an offer to Manassas (Virg.) Jackson defensive tackle Tim Settle on Monday, according to the player's Twitter page:
The fact that the invitation to play football on scholarship at Texas is his 37th such offer says as much about Settle as the rankings -- he's a consensus five-star prospect rated as the No. 6 defensive tackle in the country, the top player in the state of Virginia, and the No. 19 player overall in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
The 6'3, 318-pounder has offers from the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Texas A&M, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and, obviously, a few others.
SB Nation Recruiting's Bud Elliott has some thoughts on Settle:
I am a big fan of Tim Settle. If I had two words to describe him, they would be "explosive" and "disruptive." On film, he does a great job of exploding through blockers and quickly getting off them and after the running back. He showcases excellent skills for a three-technique defensive tackle, the position made famous by Warren Sapp in Tampa Bay.
Settle has powerful hips, and when he bends and uses good technique, he is way too much for high school blockers to handle. I would like to see him hold the point of attack more than he does in his highlights, and he sometimes does get out of control in pursuit.
Settle is definitely one of the ten best defensive tackle recruits I have seen in the Class of 2015. I do think he is somewhat close to his ceiling weight wise, so most of his improvements will come from more experience, coaching and toning, as opposed to adding a ton of mass.
Indeed, Settle is carrying some bad weight and, as the example of former Texas defensive tackle Taylor Bible indicated, it only takes one injury and further weight to gain to turn a once-promising line prospect into a high-profile recruiting miss.
The ridiculous thing about the five-star Virginian is that the extra mass doesn't negatively impact him, as he has a ridiculously quick first step for any defensive tackle prospect, much less one already weighing well over 300 pounds -- think 2014 Texas signee Poona Ford, except in a much more ideal physical package.
Throw in a remarkable wingspan, excellent strength for his age, some evidence of a swim move, and the ability to read and react to screen passes, and Settle is one of the best prospects in the country and a player who looks likely to miss only if there are extenuating circumstances like an injury and subsequent major weight gain.
Since the Longhorns missed on the defensive tackle position in 2013, failed to land any sure-fire difference-makers in the 2014 class, and have already missed on the most talented defensive tackle in the 2015 class in the state by far, offering prospects like Settle who come from states without a dominant program is a no-brainer.
In terms of his recruitment, however, it's hard to say at this time whether Texas is just another offer or a school that could possibly land a summer visit from the star defensive tackle.
Right now, there isn't a clear leader for his services, hardly surprising for a prospect with so many options. Ohio State currently leads in his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions at 46%, while Virginia (27%), Alabama (23%), and Virginia Tech (4%) are also in the mix, according to the industry.
Interestingly enough, his timeline doesn't indicate any recent visits to Ohio State or Alabama. Meanwhile, Virginia has been competing for and landing much better talent under head coach Mike London, including 2014 signee Andrew Brown, another five-star defensive tackle prospect from the state of Virginia.
The offer to Settle is only the second offer to an out-of-state prospect at defensive tackle, as five-star North Carolina product Shy Tuttle also has an offer, making him a player to watch at the position as well. And expect the staff to continue using their ties to the Southeast and Florida to target several more impact players at defensive tackle.
With some hard work on the recruiting trail, some success in the fall, and a little bit of luck, the Horns could even end up landing a highly-regarded player to anchor the defensive tackle position moving forward once Malcom Brown uses up his eligibility.