[Update]: Per multiple reports, Campbell did not commit to Texas last night. Was it the fault of Scout and other recruiting services reporting on the commitment prematurely? Nope, Hutchinson CC put out a release and had the supposed commitment of Campbell on their website. Texas is obviously still in the mix, but it seems that Campbell is still on the open market. Apologies for the confusion. --Wescott
In a historically bad year for the Texas Longhorns defense, one of the major issues was the play of the young linebackers following the injury to Jordan Hicks. With the addition of Hutchinson CC's De'Vondre Campbell on Tuesday night, according to Scout, the coaching staff surely hopes that they have found an instant-impact solution.
The 6-5, 220-pound Campbell played linebacker for the first time this season and is rated as a consensus three-star prospect. A former defensive end who is known as a raw prospect with excellent athleticism, Campbell was committed to Tennessee since May, but was thought to be a player the Longhorns had a strong shot of landing after they hosted him on his official visit for the football banquet. The coaching situation at Tennessee with the firing of Derek Dooley likely helped.
With almost 80 tackles on the season, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and an interception, the big linebacker put up some solid numbers for Hutchinson this season. There's no questioning his aforementioned athleticism either -- he closes on the ball well and has excellent lateral quickness for someone his size. If there is a concern other than his general rawness and lack of experience at the position, it's that he's a bit of a drag-down tackler and has far from perfect form.
Still, he has the size and wingspan, as well as experience, to be an effective threat off the edge, where he can use his length to impact passing lanes and his speed to close on the quarterback.
At the least, he will provide another athletic option in a linebacker corps that was notably short on that this season.
The junior college signing period opens on Wednesday, when Campbell is expected to sign with Texas. He will have three years to play three seasons and becomes the 14th pledge in the class for the 'Horns.