Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Todd Orlando’s relationship with the family of 2018 linebacker signee Ayodele Adeoye dates back about five years — he recruited Ayodele’s older brother Adewale to the Utah State Aggies as a member of the 2014 recruiting class.
And that relationship paid off for the ‘Horns when the younger Adeoye, a consensus four-star prospect, signed with Texas on Wednesday evening over Oklahoma and Illinois.
However, Adeoye’s recruitment ending favorably for the Longhorns was in doubt until the final moments thanks to some negative recruiting by opposing programs.
“His relationship with Todd Orlando is off the charts,” Herman said on Friday. “It was the reason that we survived really powerful, late recruiting pushes.”
What happened? According to Herman, other programs weaponized reports coming out of the Texas media to advance the narrative that the Longhorns are in disarray behind the scenes.
“Other schools out there sent in articles that were written as fact about some things that go on with our team,” Herman said. “Those coaches then jump all over that and run with it and put it in front of different recruits and say “‘Look, this is fact. It’s on the internet. It must be fact.’”
Without the trust level Orlando built over the years with Adeoye’s family, the Missouri native might be an Oklahoma or Illinois signee.
And that would have been a significant loss for Texas — linebacker depth is almost non-existent and junior linebacker Malik Jefferson will almost certainly declare for the NFL Draft after the Texas Bowl.
With junior Anthony Wheeler benched in favor of junior college transfer Gary Johnson this year, counting on Wheeler to contribute as a senior isn’t a strong bet. Nor is it likely that redshirt junior Edwin Freeman or younger players like redshirt sophomore Cameron Townsend or redshirt freshman Demarco Boyd emerge.
So the 6’0, 231-pound Adeoye could step in as the starter as soon as he arrives on campus this spring.
“We were fortunate that we did because of all the true freshmen, he’s so physically ready already, just from a physical maturity and strength standpoint, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in that lineup pretty quickly,” Herman said.
Dele is on the way and that’s an extremely good thing for the Texas linebacker corps.