Offensive line was a major position of need for the Texas Longhorns in the 2018 class and new position coach Herb Hand helped further address that need on Monday with the commitment of Cy Woods offensive tackle Christian Jones:
On Wednesday, Jones made it official by signing with the Longhorns.
The rest of the staff deserves an assist, as the Longhorns were in contact with the 6’6, 285-pounder for some time before offering in late January. And despite an official visit planned to Vanderbilt during the cycle’s final recruiting weekend, the staff was able to get Jones on campus in Austin instead.
Then it was just a matter of beating out the Cal for his pledge. Proximity to home in Houston and frequent communication with Jones likely played a role in his final decision.
As a prospect, Jones is another developmental project at offensive tackle — he’s only played football for two seasons and competed in a triple-option offense at Cy Woods.
Even though Jones doesn’t project as a contributor in his first year or two with the Longhorns, it’s his long-term upside that makes him so appealing. Hand desires flexibility above all else in evaluating offensive tackles and the option offense employed at Cy Woods helped Jones showcase his ability to keep his pad level low and drive through opponents with power and leverage.
The athleticism is there, too — it’s rare to see players with the size of Jones move so fluidity up to the second level and in the open field.
Learning pass protection will take some time, but the raw tools are there in abundance.
Jones ranks as a consensus three-star prospect, the No. 717 player nationally, the No. 57 offensive tackle, and the No. 100 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The class overall now stands at 25, ranks No. 3 nationally, and includes four other offensive linemen.