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High-upside 4-star DT Vernon Broughton signs with Texas

The incoming freshman is one of the nation’s most electric defensive linemen.

Despite offers by recent national championship contenders like Ohio State, LSU and Alabama, four-star defensive tackle Vernon Broughton is officially moving to Austin next year.

Broughton signed his National Letter of Intent with the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday. The uniquely athletic defensive tackle from Cypress Ridge High School in Houston is among both the state and the nation’s most touted defensive recruits. According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, he’s considered a top-10 recruit as a defensive tackle. On the Austin American-Statesman’s’s 2020 Fabulous 55, he was ranked eighth overall.

At 6’5 and more than 280 pounds, he’s almost surely one of the most star-studded additions to Texas’ 2020 recruiting class, especially among the incoming defensive personnel. Broughton originally committed to Texas in July, where he’s previously said he plans to major in business management. Long presumed as a Texas commit, he was the ninth pledge among the 2020 cycle and first on the defensive line. Prior to his commitment to the Longhorns, he also attended official visits to Ohio State and Arkansas.

Last year, Broughton told Burnt Orange Nation of his one of his visits, “They wanted me to come up there so they could show me love. ... It was stupid live. It was stupid live. [Defensive line coach Oscar Giles], we’re just chopping it up. And they got everybody in the room and looked at my player personnel, what I can do better, and what they can do to help me out.”

As a junior at Cypress Ridge, Broughton earned first-team all-district honors. During his senior year, he was named second-team all-district. However, Broughton, even for all his athletic talent, didn’t take up the game of football until he arrived in high school. In fact, he largely concentrated on basketball before making his foray on to the gridiron.

In other words, there remains a ways to go as Broughton continues to sharpen his technique.

“He’s only got two or three years of football experience himself,” Cypress Ridge coach Andrew Shanle told Houston’s CW39 in October. “He’s a great kid, great athlete, great student. I don’t know that I’ve ever had one with the amount of potential he has.”

For Broughton, that potential is paying off in the form of a scholarship.

“I’ve put in countless hours to be honest, just weight room and a bunch of other things on the field,” Broughton told CW39. “I’ve put in a lot of work.”