The new Texas Longhorns coaching staff didn't waste much time in extending several offers to top out-of-state tight ends, including Pine Bluff (Ark.) product Will Gragg, who is set to visit Texas:
Texas Relays + UT visit =— Spook (@W_Gragg7) March 26, 2014
After arriving on Wednesday night or Thursday, Gragg will reportedly spend three days in Austin, an incredible opportunity for the staff to sell the program and Gragg's potential place in it.
He has said he grew up a Texas fan, so the Longhorns won't have to sell him on everything about the program, but his older brother went to Arkansas, contributing to the belief that Gragg is headed for Fayetteville for college, but Alabama has been trending recently in his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions and Ole Miss has apparently made a move after a visit to Oxford last weekend.
One of the moving parts for the Razorbacks could be numbers at the position -- the Hogs already have a commitment from unrated Roland (Okla.) product Austin Cantrell and are also in excellent shape with another athletic Arkansas tight end, Fayetteville's own CJ O'Grady.
If O'Grady commits, will there still be a spot for Gragg? Doc Harper of Arkansas Fight believes that the Hogs would be willing to take all three, which explains why the coaching staff accepted a commitment from Cantrell so early.
The 6'4, 245-pounder already has near college-ready size, which is relatively unusual for high school tight ends, and is considered a consensus four-star prospect. In the 247Sports Composite rankings, he's rated as the No. 4 tight end, the No. 2 player in Arkansas, and the No. 131 player in the country.
As a prospect, Gragg already has experience as both an in-line blocker from his tight end position and as a flexed wide receiver, where he's highly effective on fade routes in the end zone with his nearly 33-inch vertical. The shuttle for Gragg at an NFTC event was a rather modest 4.58, however, suggesting that his 40 time is probably somewhere between 4.8 and 5.0.
Regardless of testing, Gragg appears to be a fluid athlete with nice acceleration for his size -- there's some definite high-level athleticism there for a 245-pound junior. Used frequently in the tight end screen game and down the seam on play-action passes, Gragg has experience as a route-runner, if not a great deal of polish in terms of crispness with his breaks. He can also make some defenders miss after the catch and can break some tackles when he gets behind his pads and drives his legs on contact.
Overall, Gragg has the size, pass-catching ability, and in-line experience to project as a true dual threat tight end capable of contributing early.
If the Arkansas product really was as big of a Texas fan as he made out when he was offered, a good visit this weekend could make the Horns a serious contender for his services and it's a major positive to get him on campus so early, as it will likely take visits in the summer and fall to secure a commitment, assuming that he's open enough and extends his recruitment that long.