With multiple spots available, the Texas Longhorns used one of them to turn senior walk-on defensive back Jarmarquis Durst into a scholarship player this week, sparking an emotional reaction from the Houston native:
"So many people wrote me off. Just to be here I'm so thankful. Y'all make me love being here every day". Congratulations on your scholarship, @DurstJarmarquis. #ThisIsTexas #HookEm pic.twitter.com/oI1aL6cRXp— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) August 23, 2018
As Durst addressed his teammates about what he learned on a mission trip to Jamaica, a man impacted by that journey congratulated the senior on his scholarship, sending his teammates into a frenzied celebration.
The 6’2, 190-pounder has an interesting story. Originally recruited to Tarleton State as a wide receiver out of Conroe Oak Ridge, Durst played in nine games as a true freshman, catching two passes for 18 yards and a touchdown.
As a sophomore, he moved to safety and quickly made an impact, eventually emerging as a starter. In 10 games, he totaled 54 tackles and two tackles for loss, many of them coming later in the season. In an October game against Kingsville, for instance, he had 12 tackles, then recorded 18 tackles in a playoff game.
Presumably looking for a higher level of competition, Durst transferred to Texas in 2016 and redshirted before earning playing time under Herman and his staff last season — he appeared in games against San Jose State and West Virginia.
During the spring, Durst even earned some second-team reps at the Joker position in the Lightning package.
And though Durst isn’t likely to see playing in the secondary this season with so much talent and depth in front of him, he could contribute on special teams.
Even if that doesn’t happen, it won’t diminish the remarkable story of how he came to earn a scholarship from the Longhorns.