The odds of the Texas Longhorns landing an impact defensive tackle in the 2016 class took a massive hit on Saturday afternoon when Houston Westside's Jordan Elliott committed to the Michigan Wolverines on an official visit to Ann Arbor:
Go Blue❗️❗️〽️〽️〽️ pic.twitter.com/3N0JsIQ9nq— Its Lit (@XCV____) November 28, 2015
Apparently that utterly horrendous birthday cake worked:
Great birthday wishes from a great coaching staff pic.twitter.com/yQxJ4lmoc9— Its Lit (@XCV____) November 24, 2015
Just weeks ago, the Longhorns looked to be in strong shape with the consensus four-star prospect when he was repeatedly tweeting about Texas. In fact, there was even speculation that Elliott was a silent commitment to head coach Charlie Strong and the Horns.
Based on the note included in his commitment tweet, Strong and his staff received heavy consideration from Elliott. However, he also noted that this will be his final decision after previously committing to and decommitting from the Baylor Bears and Houston Cougars in 2015. So the burnt orange faithful probably shouldn't hold out hope that the 6'4, 305-pounder will change his mind once again.
Ranked as the No. 98 prospect nationally, the No. 14 defensive tackle, and the No. 15 player in the state of Texas, Elliott holds 40 offers from some of the top program in the country. His recruitment took off after a junior season that saw him record the astounding line of 78 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumbles recovered.
As a result, Elliott projects as a player who could potentially make an early impact at Michigan and surely has the ability to become a difference-maker as a disruptive three-technique defensive tackle given some time.
Junior Hassan Ridgeway has grown into a similar role, but the signing of Malcom Brown in 2012 marked the last time that Texas landed an elite defensive tackle. Since then, the Longhorns have missed completely at the position in 2013 and 2015, signing only two pure defensive tackles in 2014. Defensive end signee Jake McMillon grew into the position, but hasn't yet made an impact through nearly two seasons on campus.
With the miss on Elliott, the Longhorns are unlikely to secure the signature of any high-impact defensive tackles in the state of Texas despite a historically strong class unless Strong and his staff can surge with Duncanville's Marcel Southall, whose recruitment has been a bit of a mystery. He's expected to take an official visit to Texas at some point.
The Longhorns have a massive and glaring need for defensive tacles that can consistently destroy opposing blocking schemes. Right now, Strong and his staff aren't landing them and that's a problem as massive as the need for those players.