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Versatility allows new Texas DT pledge Vernon Broughton to excel in the trenches

Despite the defensive tackle label, Vernon Broughton’s skill set could be utilize all along the defensive line.

Twitter: @thekid_bigv

Now that the Texas Longhorns have sealed the deal with an outstanding defensive lineman in Vernon Broughton, what should the Horns expect to see from the elite talent in the trenches in the future?

Broughton is a tenacious defensive tackle who’s versatile enough to play anywhere in the trenches and impose his power along the offensive line. The athleticism, mobility, and determination that he possesses at his 6’5, 286-pound stature established him to be one of the more respected defenders in the nation.

Broughton displays elite speed and great bend with astounding flexibility, which allows him to not only wreak havoc on the interior but also coming off the edge if asked to do so. He plays with active feet and a high motor in-between whistles and that allows him to beat offensive linemen off the snap and get in the backfield in a hurry when he’s in his zone. Broughton has a long build with a ton of room to add some weight and a substantial amount of muscle, which will be crucial to have at the next level playing inside for the Horns.

He’s going to come in and fill gaps and shoot through them as well; Broughton is capable of being a terrific run-stopper and pass-rusher.

The top-100 recruit has displayed his phenomenal burst and quickness in several competitive outings since last fall. Whether it being an in-game performance or at the host of camps that he’s participated in this offseason, Broughton shined brighter than most. Broughton put up some staggering numbers at The Opening regional event in Houston earlier this year, casting a 40-yard dash time of 5.03 seconds and a 4.75 20-yard shuttle, which is more than impressive for a teenager of his caliber and goes to show that there’s room for improvement in that department. Broughton will be able to fly with the best of them by the end of his college career.

As a multi-sport athlete who also excels on the hardwood, Broughton stems from a basketball background and has only spent just a few seasons on the football field, yet his tremendous upside to that end has allowed him to blossom into the very best defensive lineman in the Lone Star State, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Still considered inexperienced at a position that relies on more than just athletic ability to be effective on the collegiate level, Broughton hasn’t even scratched the surface of how great he can actually be.

The four-star trench terror has a deadly spin move that throws blockers off balance, but he’ll have to expand on his pass rush moves if he wants to continue that same dominance in the Big 12. Broughton’s long arms definitely can’t go unnoticed at first glance, but they sometimes do in the line of fire. If Broughton refines the usage of his long arms and implements stronger and quicker hands when getting off the ball, he’s going to win a lot more battles up front as his playing years carry on.

With a prospect like Broughton coming in, it’ll be interesting to see if Todd Orlando creates different defensive packages in certain situations that call for a four man front, instead of the three down linemen we’ve grown used to seeing on Saturdays. Of course Broughton is labeled as a defensive tackle and will continue to add more weight to his striking frame, but he’ll also continue to improve on his speed and acquire more skilled moves to make a living in the backfield, which will make him more valuable and adaptable as an overall defensive lineman.