The Texas Longhorns seemingly closed out their 2020 defensive back class on Friday with the commitment of Houston Aldine MacArthur cornerback Joshua Eaton, a big body who rounds out a talented group of defenders.
He’s currently ranked as the nation’s No. 28 cornerback prospect, per the 247Sports Composite.
What Eaton brings to Texas:
As a defender, Eaton is an extremely fluid athlete, able to flip his hips with ease when necessary. In spite of his size at 6’2, 175 pounds, he is able to play a physical game while still maintaining good speed and quickness to close on routes.
Eaton also proved his abilities as an open-field tackler and a player not afraid to close the distance on a runner from any side of the field. His aggressiveness sometimes leads to being caught out of position in run support, but he is long and aggressive enough to make up for that against the run.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of his game is his ability to win 50/50 balls in coverage, a skill he developed doing that very thing on the offensive side of the ball.
By virtue of being one of the most talented players on the team, Eaton plays both receiver and cornerback for the Generals. In his offensive role, he was a reliable target and routinely found himself on the receiving end of jump balls. He was able to come up with most of them, reaching over defenders and taking the ball away.
In the high school ranks, he’s often bigger than the defenders, so he does not have to be as aggressive attacking those passes, instead letting them come to him. In those situations at the collegiate level, he will need to learn to attack the jump balls and use his big frame to his advantage.
What Eaton can become:
Eaton has a lot of room to grow, playing at a lighter weight than his frame could potentially carry, but that will almost certainly change as he develops in the Texas Strength and Conditioning program.
His length and strength makes him an ideal boundary corner for the Longhorns, while still being able to manage one-on-one coverage. He’ll likely draw assignments of bigger receivers, especially in red zone situations for Texas.
As the fourth defensive back and the third corner to join the class, Eaton’s skillset compliments what Texas likes to do in a class of defensive backs, picking up a wide array of skill sets that can play across multiple positions. When it’s all said and done, Eaton could be yet another big-hitting, run-defending corner that can play any spot in the backfield.
Eaton’s senior season will get underway on Friday, Aug. 30 against Klein Forest.