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4-star LB Derrick Harris Jr. signs with Texas

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The talented pass rusher comes to campus with a chance to compete early.

The Texas Longhorns have officially landed one of the longest-committed players of the 2021 class as New Caney defensive end Derrick Harris, Jr signed with Texas Wednesday.

Harris joined the 2021 class in Aug. 2019, less than two months after receiving his offer from the Longhorns. At the time, he held offers from both the Texas A&M Aggies and the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who offered him just two weeks before the Longhorns. Harris took a visit to College Station late in June of 2019 but committed to the Longhorns just eight days later.

As the No. 41 player in the state of Texas, most recruiting services have Harris listed as a defensive end, but he likely projects to a linebacker under defensive coordinator Chris Ash, as evidenced by linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler handling his recruitment. He’s already a proven edge rusher who can create chaos in opposing backfields.

Harris was named the District 9 5A Newcomer of the Year in 2018 for his sophomore campaign, turning in 83 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks in his first year playing varsity for the Eagles. His junior season was more of the same, featuring 88 tackles, 17 TFL, and four sacks. Harris was poised for another big year before an injury ended his senior campaign.

As an early member of the 2021 class, Harris was also an active recruiter for the Longhorns, especially his relationship with fellow linebacker Terrence Cooks, who committed to Texas just a month before National Signing Day. Harris is set to enroll early and could compete for early playing time, as the Texas defense needs to find quick answers at the linebacker position.