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GoBR's 2012 Texas Wish-y/Watch List: Defensive Tackle

Previously: QB, RB, WR, OL.

Horns_bullet_medium2011 Narrative: Everything started in 2011 recruiting with Desmond Jackson and the sensational Houston Westfield interior linemen somewhat unexpectedly committed on the first Junior Day and though landing another player at the position was necessary, Jackson's commitment relieved pressure for the overall narrative. All subsequent commitments would be a bonus.

Cibolo Steele's Marquis Anderson and SA Sam Houston's Quincy Russell both received offers at the first Junior Day and it became apparent after a short period of time that both the coaching staff and Anderson moved away from each other (Anderson ultimately committed to Oklahoma), while Russell received more attention and the reciprocation of that interest resulted in post-Spring game commitment, retracted within about 24 hours.

Eventually though, the road led back to Austin for Russell, who re-committed without having seriously leaned in another direction, completing the class and landing the top two targets on the board for Texas. Success!

Horns_bullet_medium2012 projected numbers: It's probably safe to assume at this point that Texas would like to take at least two defensive tackles every year and 2012 should be no different.

Horns_bullet_mediumGoBR's Wish List

Malcolm Brown, Brenham -- Yes, please, may I have another? And don't call the defensive tackle version the other Malcolm Brown either -- as deserving as the Cibolo Steele RB is of being the Malcolm Brown, Brenham's star interior lineman will almost certainly be the top target at his position in 2012, much like Brown in 2011.

It doesn't take long watching his highlights to fall in love either. A compact 6-1 or 6-2, Brown is a battering ram off the line of scrimmage with an insane motor and top-end speed for a frame that can carry 290+ pounds. Seeing Brown lined up in a gap is an unstoppable nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators because they don't have anyone that can play Brown half-man.

He makes plays while playing with excellent pad level and has the core strength to finish plays, including one vicious sack after taking on two offensive lineman up the middle, being knocked down and crushing the quarterback after quickly regaining his feet.

Motor. The final two plays of his highlight reel show Brown sprinting, yes sprinting, downfield after loose ballcarriers and though he didn't catch either, the top-end speed and quickness demonstrated on those plays sets him apart from a currently shallow defensive tackle group in 2012.

Far apart.

Remember, he's too good to be the other Malcolm Brown. Just call him another stud Malcolm Brown.

Gimme factor: Five Gimme's out of five

Horns_bullet_mediumGoBR's Watch List

Javonte Magee, SA Sam Houston -- The teammate of 2011 DT Quincy Russell, Magee is a massive prospect (6-5, 273) who could appear at a number of positions on this list -- he's still listed as a defensive end and could possibly play along the offensive line as well due to his size. It's because of his size and potential for future weight gain (his frame will eventually accommodate well more than 300 pounds easily) that puts him on the list here at defensive tackle, as well as the fact that since there are few major defensive tackle prospects in the class, Magee has more value as a defensive tackle than he does at other positions. With a personal best of 4.9 in the 40, Magee doesn't have ideal speed to play defensive end anyway.

Gimme factor: Three and a half Gimme's out of five

Anthony Smith, Houston Westfield -- The first thing worth discussing about Smith is his biggest negative in the eyes of talent evaluators -- he's under six feet tall. However, Smith makes up for his lack of size with his burst off the ball and a raw strength that allows him to dominate combines. It's kind of strange to say, but the other good news for Smith is that in terms of technique he is far from polished, a fact that adds to his upside.

Gimme factor: Two Gimme's out of five

Paul Boyer, Humble -- A player with more prototypical size at 6-2, Boyer has some pass-rushing skills, including an apparently vicious club move. The normal concerns about pad level are there, as they are for most young lineman. Will have a lot to prove during the fall.

Gimme factor: Two Gimme's out of five

Jammal Fears, Duncanville -- A player with similar size to Boyer, Fears has some quickness despite carrying bad weight. Has some understanding of how to use his hands. Texas prefers players who can add weight instead of subtract it, so Fears may have to work on remaking his body some between now and February to attract the attention of Texas coaches.

Gimme factor: Two Gimme's out of five

Horns_bullet_medium2012 Early Narrative

All the caveats apply, as always -- it's early, and it's early. Yeah, and it's early, especially for the defensive tackle position. Still, Brown is more distanced from his peers than any other player in the state with the possible exception of Derek David at linebacker. As always, not to overstate things but it's Brown and everyone else right now at defensive tackle in Texas and Mike Tolleson, Will Muschamp, and Mack Brown would all tell you if they could that the 2012 defensive tackle class begins with Malcolm Brown and moves from there.

Of the other players currently on the radar, Smith's size probably keeps him on the fringes and neither Fears nor Boyer have done much to differentiate themselves as elite or even strong prospects. Both need to have stronger junior season and it's reasonable to expect that in the next several months a few more names will surface on the radar. That leaves Magee as the top remaining prospect and the good news in terms of evaluating him is that he will play inside at times next to Quincy Russell to give the coaches an idea of what he looks like playing inside. Consider him the most likely of the second tier to receive an offer.