The interest in Sicklerville (NJ) defensive end Dajaun Drennon isn't the only movement in defensive end recruiting for the Longhorns in recent days after reports emerged from Hookem.com and ESPN's Horns Nation that the Texas staff has reached out to Arizona Western Junior College's Randy Gregory.
Texas has also showed interest in Trinity Valley JC's Kewan Alfred, but the Gregory recruitment will feature a twist -- he's been committed to Purdue since high school, but didn't qualify academically. He did sound interested in the Longhorns and is already contemplating a trip down to Austin ($):
We've already talked about getting down there to Austin. Since I haven't been offered yet, an official visit hasn't been brought up, but that could obviously change. I definitely want to take a trip down there though. The coaches said if I had the money for it, I could do an unofficial visit pretty much anytime, but I don't know if I can work that out just yet. I think that once I get to looking at our football schedule here and then they're schedule, I'll get something worked out to where I can go visit. I really want to take it all in and see the campus, the facilities, meet the coaches and everything like that, so I will be getting down there for sure, I just don't know when exactly.
Gregory also talked about his desire to play for a top program and compete for national championships, two things that don't exactly describe the Boilermakers:
I've always liked Texas' program. Every Saturday I watch football, so I'd always run across their games and watch them. I love the conference they're in and enjoy watching them play those teams. I just think that Texas has something special going on down there and they're a top program. I'd like to be a part of that and I want to play for a top program. I want to win and play for a championship. Texas is a school I can do that at, so they're definitely one I'm really considering.
It sounds like the Longhorns will be a serious factor in his recruitment if the coaching staff does decide to extend an offer.
An impressive freshman season just in terms of the statistics likely helped to get the attention of the Texas coaches -- he recorded 82 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and nine sacks. Just think about that first number for a moment. It's a ridiculous number for a defensive end.
On film, Gregory shows a quick first step off the edge and a lanky frame that has added weight in the last several months, as much as 20 pounds, according to Horns Nation. Even with that weight gain, Gregory has the length to eventually play at 260 or more pounds on his 6-5 frame.
Western was good enough to make it to the junior college national championship game against one-time Texas target Bo Wallace, but the competition level often appears sketchy, as there are numerous plays where Gregory slices into the backfield without having to take on a single blocker.
As such, it's difficult to determine the level of his technical skills, or even his functional strength in shedding blockers. What is clear is that he has the baseline athleticism to be an impact player at the college level and the interest from Texas is obviously revealing about their assessment of his skillset.