On Wednesday morning, recruiting momentum continued for the Texas Longhorns as Southlake Carroll offensive tackle Andrej Karic became the fourth offensive line pledge for position coach Herb Hand in the 2019 recruiting class.
In taking the commitment of Karic, the Longhorns coaching staff added another lean, projectable offensive lineman on an ideal trajectory. At 260 pounds, Karic still has plenty of room to grow left on his frame and fits the profile that Hand likes — a recruit for strength and conditioning coach Yancy McKnight to mold and add weight to as he sees fit.
In that regard, Karic looks a lot like current sophomore left tackle Sam Cosmi did when he signed with the Horns out of Humble Atascosita in 2017. Whether Karic can contribute as quickly as Cosmi has is an open question, but with Texas moving closer to establishing ideal depth, he shouldn’t have to see the field in his second season.
Aiding Karic’s trajectory is his work with former Texas offensive tackle Donald Hawkins, a junior college transfer who started for two years in Austin before moving on to the NFL. Hawkins has a high opinion of Karic:
#LonghornNation u guys are getting a good one. @KaricAndrej Trains here with me in Dallas and it’s been fun to watch his growth over the last couple months. His quickness and athleticism is unreal. I look forward for him making his case to be #1 OT in the state of Texas. #Hookem pic.twitter.com/QsdYuH8SnT— Donald Hawkins (@That_Boi_Dhawk) July 24, 2019
In an interview with Inside Texas, Hawkins provided some further insight into his pupil.
“He has the traits and tools to be successful outside of Texas and beyond college,” Hawkins said. “I’m really high on him. He has athleticism, strength, and foot quickness you can’t teach. He can recover quickly.”
According to Hawkins, Karic has gone up against NFL players in training and has held his own, leading Hawkins to believe that the 6’5, 260-pounder can contribute early for the Longhorns.
Like Cosmi, Karic moves extremely well on the field, whether he’s working to the second level as a run blocker or kick setting in pass protection. His feet are light and he’s an excellent athlete, allowing him to project favorably at the tackle position, which remained a significant need in the 2019 recruiting class even with the three previous pledges.
Karic also shows some toughness on film and better strength than his frame would indicate — he packs a serious punch that can quickly de-cleat opponents, even at the highest levels of 6A Texas high school football. He’s got a mean streak and knows how to deploy it to good effect on the field. He plays to the whistle and has a motor that runs hot.
As a consensus three-star prospect ranked as the No. 557 recruit nationally, the No. 41 offensive tackle, and the No. 75 player in Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Karic isn’t considered a high-level prospect. However, he has moved up 261 spots in the rankings over the last five weeks, so his perceived value is increasing rapidly and a strong senior season should further bolster Karic.
And Cosmi wasn’t even ranked among the top 1,000 prospects in the country, so the physical attributes that Karic possesses that are apparent on film are more important than his ranking. After all, he checks all the truly important boxes.