[Update]: Hearing that Texas has some interest in Drennon, though a visit could not take place until after the tournament is finished. Think this is legitimately something to track now. -- Wescott
Serendipity. Good fortune or good luck. The Longhorns didn't have it this last week with the decommitment of Lancaster defensive Daeshon Hall, who switched his pledge to Washington to be closer to his family when he makes his return to the Pacific Northwest.
Texas may be experiencing some right now, unexpectedly. Hall was supposed to participate in the ongoing IFAF U-19 World Championship that opened play on Saturday. He didn't make it due to an ankle injury.
But there is another weakside defensive end who was impressive against American Samoa and has consistently stood out during practice -- Sicklerville (NJ) Timber Creek's Dajuan Drennon.
A 6-3, 230-pounder with plenty of room for growth on his frame and the athleticism to lead his team in catches as a wide receiver last season, Drennon holds offers from around the country, including Alabama and Florida State, two schools that didn't even make his top five of Kentucky, Notre Dame, UNC, USC, and West Virginia.
How good has he been? Unfortunately, I missed the scrimmaging and live-action portions of practice this week, but Jeff Howe was impressed with Drennon ($), and that's usually enough for me:
Drennon recorded a sack that would have gone for a safety early in the scrimmage and he also recorded multiple pressures on Thursday. Team USA will employ a three-man line, and Drennon's ability to use his hands and play blocks is commanding a double team, which has freed up the linebackers to make plays
And again ($):
The three-star defender had a tremendous scrimmage on Wednesday, notching a sack and a batted pass in the live action. His frame and overall length are impressive, but his ability to continue to play blocks and not be blocked have him consistently being around the football.
Practice is practice, as certain people might opine, but Drennon translated his play in practice to the big stage on Saturday night playing for his country.
Dajaun Drennon has been pressuring the Samoan QB on every pass play. Not a surprise. He was like that this week in practice.— Kevin Flaherty (@LonghornDigest) July 1, 2012
Agreed. Drennon was the most impressive player along the defensive line for Team USA. And on film, he exhibits the same tendencies that Howe described on the practice field -- again, translation of practice effort to the game. His competition level might not be the highest in New Jersey, but the diversity of ability in terms of making plays while blocked and unblocked isn't overly common at his position.
Plus, Nick Saban likes him. Case closed.
Dajaun Drennon (c/o 2013)- Timber Creek HS, NJ (via rjhinson2)
Back to his recruitment -- when asked Sunday evening if any of those schools stood out above the rest, he indicated that they were all even and will constitute his official visits in the fall. At the time, I hadn't had the thought that Drennon would be a good fit for what Texas needs in the class, so I didn't ask him about the Longhorns and his time in Austin staying on the Texas campus.
But that's a key point -- he's been in Austin now for a week, staying on campus. Plus, there was a welcome dinner last Friday at the stadium, causing Drennon to spend some time at DKR. He's seen a strong glimpse of what being a 'Horn has to offer in terms of being on campus and in the stadium.
Has he met with the Texas coaching staff?
There's no reason at this time to believe that a meeting has occurred, but it would make tremendous sense for one to happen, if it hasn't yet.
Texas needs an answer at weakside defensive end, Torrodney Prevot is 200 pounds and receiving pressure from Houston-area Aggie commits Reggie Chevis and new pledge Hardreck Walker, and there aren't any other options on the radar in state except for JUCO product Kewan Alfred, who would have limited eligibility, obviously.
It's also too early to say whether Texas would be in the mix for Drennon if an offer or expression of serious interest were extended, but, let's be honest here -- it's rare for the Longhorns to be blown off by recruits even asking for a visit. Generalization caveats apply, but there's truth there, not arrogance.
After all, there are stories every year about top recruits saying they wanted to hear more from Texas. Like Jameis Winston and Seantrel Henderson in the last two class to sign. Decent prospects, both. Robert Nkemdiche on Twitter this year. He's okay.
In any case, the Dejaun Drennon to Texas bandwagon starts here. Hop aboard. The coaching staff should.