With Van Fillinger reopening his recruitment following Todd Orlando’s dismissal, the Texas Longhorns staff quickly went to work to try to find his replacement with Fillinger likely to stay closer to home.
Longview defensive tackle Sawyer Goram-Welch was offered earlier this month following Fillinger’s departure from the Longhorns recruiting class and shortly after receiving an offer he made it public that he was decommitting from Oklahoma State and reopening his recruitment.
Honored to receive an offer from the University of Texas #Hookem pic.twitter.com/Hp6Jv0a2Ax— J. Sawyer Goram-Welch (@goram_welch) December 2, 2019
Nothing but love for these coaches pic.twitter.com/9E0LDIDrcf— J. Sawyer Goram-Welch (@goram_welch) December 8, 2019
From there Goram-Welch set up an official visit to Austin and the rest became academic, as it was evident that there was a good amount of interest being reciprocated. Texas worked quickly and diligently to earn Goram-Welch’s commitment and the fact that there was already an existing relationship went a long way to being able to get him in the boat in short order.
Excited to announce that I am committed and will be enrolling early to the University of Texas #Hookem pic.twitter.com/wD7VeAY3bG— J. Sawyer Goram-Welch (@goram_welch) December 16, 2019
On Wednesday, he signed with the Longhorns.
Welcome to the family, Sawyer Goram-Welch!— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) December 18, 2019
Follow Sawyer: @goram_welch#ThisIsTexas #HookEm #CloUT2020 pic.twitter.com/fpFMmQfuhW
Goram-Welch backed up a solid junior season with another rock-solid senior year despite Longview falling short of their goal of defending their state title. Goram-Welch tallied 64 tackles (15 tackles for loss) along with eight sacks playing both inside and outside along the defensive line.
At 6’4, 278 pounds Goram-Welch looks like he destined to slide inside full time to defensive tackle at the next level. On tape, Goram-Welch displays good play strength, high effort, and the ability to win with his hands. While Goram-Welch isn’t necessarily a super twitchy player, he gets off the ball with urgency and consistently brings the fight to man lined up across from him and holds up very well at the point of attack.
Goram-Welch shows good strength in his hands and is able to get extension before shedding blockers on his way to the ball carrier. Watching his senior tape, Goram-Welch consistently either stalemated blockers or re-established a new LOS in the backfield. Even if he didn’t make the play himself, he typically caused enough chaos to create pressure or allow his teammates to make the play. Those types of plays won’t show up on the stat sheet, but they will definitely show up on tape when you watch and it’s something I definitely jotted down when reviewing his film.
Overall, Goram-Welch is solid football player that provides a nice floor to the defensive line group that Texas has assembled and on top of that he serves as a good replacement for Fillinger. I am a fan of the effort that he plays with from snap to snap and I am encouraged by the fact that despite him being able to bully opposing players that he doesn’t consistently depend on brute strength to win his matchups.
With NSD1 quickly approaching, this marriage made too much sense for both parties and this now allows Goram-Welch to sign on the dotted line next week and it allows the Longhorn staff to continue to plug away on Alfred Collins, who is looking like he will wait until February to sign on the dotted line.
Credit to the Texas staff for being proactive with Goram-Welch and making sure they had an established relationship in place to be able to move as quickly as they did once things with Fillinger played out the way they did.
Goram-Welch is the 86th-ranked defensive tackle in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings and is also the 158th-ranked player in the state of Texas. Goram-Welch’s commitment brings the Longhorn class total up to 17 and is still holding strong inside the Top 10 nationally.