Finding bodies at defensive tackle is perhaps the greatest need for the Texas Longhorns in the 2016 class, so getting Destrehan (La.) prospect Gerald Wilbon on campus this week was a significant accomplishment. Even more heartening, the visit made a significant impression:
How significant? The 6'3, 311-pounder decided to stay in Austin for an extra night and told the Football Brainiacs that he was "loving" his time at Texas.
Still unrated by 247Sports, Wilbon is a consensus three-star prospect ranked as the No. 67 defensive tackle and theNo. 63 player in Louisiana. He currently holds 11 offers, including Arizona, Arizona State, Texas Tech, and Central Florida. Texas offered in late May, just days after the top three in-state defensive tackles committed to Houston and Alabama, respectively.
His 247Sports Crystal Ball used to hold two predictions for the Red Raiders, but the Longhorns don't typically lose recruiting battles to the conference rival on the South Plains and Wilbon seemingly left Central Texas with Texas in a highly favorable position. In fact, those predictions switched from Texas Tech to Texas following the trip. However, Texas Tech does still have the benefit of being the first school to offer the two-way high school standout.
Wilbon will also visit LSU, but since the Tigers just picked up a commitment from Texas target Glenn Logan and already hold a commitment from Edwin Williams, it's unlikely that Ed Orgeron will extend an offer to Wilbon in the near future, if at all.
Describing his biggest strength as run-stuffing, Wilbon projects as a pure nose tackle at the next level. With a verified 5.46 40-yard dash, he doesn't have especially impressive explosiveness or change-of-direction ability, but his size and decent ball get-off do allow him to cause some disruption in high school. As a result, he would be a solid take for the Longhorns, but not the game-changing defensive tackle that Texas needs to land in the 2016 class.
The best-case scenario now is to lock up Wilbon to provide future depth as he develops -- there's some solid upside there with him -- and then find some way to flip a top in-state prospect committed to another school or surge with Duncanville's Marcel Southall in his wide-open recruitment.