Sicklerville (NJ) Timber Creek defensive end Dajaun Drennon is with Team USA in Austin just doing what he does -- pressure the quarterback. It's earned him a spot on the Texas recruiting radar.
After an effort against American Samoa that saw him spend a lot of face time with the Samoa quarterback, Drennon once again terrorized a Team USA opponent, putting a hurting on the Austria signal caller on two consecutive plays in the second quarter.
On the first, the quarterback escaped the pocket and managed to avoid Drennon's initial effort, but as he set up to throw a pass downfield, Drennon closed and delivered a monster hit. The Austria quarterback was slow to get up.
On the next, Drennon and a teammate met at the quarterback, a high-velocity sandwich that detached the Austria quarterback from the football. Westlake's own Lance Duran recovered the fumble and returned it inside the Austrian 10 yardline as the American team began to separate on their way to a 70-3 victory that included 63 straight points after Austria tied the game late in the first quarter.
After the game, Drennon discussed the burgeoning interest from Texas.
"I like it," said the 6-3, 230-pounder. "I'm glad that I had a chance to come out to Austin with Team USA and it just shows me that even though this wasn't a Texas camp or anything like that, they're always watching, so I always have to perform to my highest ability."
Drennon had reached out to the coaching staff after his coach made initial contact and revealed that his parents have some big plans tomorrow.
"I talked to the receivers coach, coach Wyatt. Tomorrow my parents will actually be taking a tour of the campus, the academic side.
He said that he had gotten to the game because his son is the receiver [Desmond Wyatt]. He liked my intensity and the way that I got to the quarterback, so he wants to show me what Texas has to offer."
An unofficial visit is indeed in the works down the line.
"I can't do it right now because of NCAA regulations, but after the tournament is over, I definitely want to take a visit."
As he did in his initial conversation with me on Sunday, he maintained that he's open in the process.
"I have a top five right now, but I'm definitely willing to look into other schools -- that's nothing new," he made clear. "Even though I have the top five, if a new school comes in, I'll definitely give them my interest to see what they're all about."
Parents can often be important factors in a recruitment. Drennon said the impression was positive on the eve of their campus visit.
"Oh, they love it. My mom, she's a big shopper, so the outlets, that's right up her alley."
Drennon was critical off his game against American Samoa, as much as he impressed all those in attendance. Similarly critical on Wednesday evening, he did also acknowledge his success.
"I think I came out a little flat, but I started getting to the quarterback, got a couple hits on him, forced the fumble," he said.
The quarterback was clearly hurting after those hits. I posited that he might not have cared for them much. Drennon smiled before responding.
"I mean, the quarterback never likes it. We had words in between plays, but at the end of the game, shook hands and shook it off, gave him a hug and everything, so it's good."
Good for the defensive end. Not so much for the quarterback.
Dajaun, the quarterback is going to be feeling those hits tomorrow, right?
"Yeah, most likely."
Those kind of hits get noticed -- the type of hits that quarterbacks have to live with for days.