The Texas Longhorns have added their 15th commit to the 2021 recruiting class, as 3-star Cherry Creek (Colo.) tight end Gunnar Helm announced on Monday that he has committed to the Longhorns over the Auburn Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Wisconsin Badgers.
Helm is the second tight end commitment for the Longhorn recruiting class, as he now joins Everman’s Juan Davis in the class.
Helm pulled the trigger in favor of the Longhorns after making a recent trip down to Austin to take a closer look at the campus and the city, and from the looks of things it was enough to seal the deal and for him to shut down his recruitment.
The Longhorns entered Helm’s recruitment just last month and despite Helm already holding close to 30 offers from elite programs all across the country, the Texas staff was able to make up ground in a hurry.
Things have definitely been a bit turbulent at the tight end position this cycle for Texas with the decommitments of Lake McRee and Landen King, but landing Helm now gives them some stability and a commitment from a player that was sought after by several programs that have good track records evaluating and developing position.
Following Helm’s commitment, the Longhorns are holding steady at the 12th-ranked recruiting class, according to 247Sports team rankings, and maintain the top class ranking in the Big 12.
Helm already possesses good height and adequate weight at 6’5, 225 pounds and has a frame that has plenty of room for filling out once he hits a collegiate weight room program. Helm is a solid, reliable target in the short and intermediate passing game and at times shows the ability to get open deep down the field. Helm possesses long arms and shows off a nice catch radius as a receiver. Helm displays good balance and body control both before and after the catch and looks to have decent hands.
Helm shows that he can get good releases as an in-line tight end or split out wide and shows the he can adequately get separation from defenders. Helm does not have crazy production by any means (25 catches for 370 yards), but he made the most of his opportunities and showed he had a nose for the end zone (eight touchdowns). Helm does not get a ton of yards after the catch, so I hope to see him improve in that aspect of his game going forward. Helm’s route running is something that also stands to improve a bit, but he shows the potential be a reliable target underneath on short and intermediate stuff with the ability to be a touchdown magnet in the red zone.
As a blocker, Helm shows he lacks functional strength and still needs refinement from a technique standpoint. Helm shows the ability execute his assignment when he holds the physical advantage over his opponent, but at times he struggles to remain engaged. Helm shows he is willing to mix it up as a blocker, and that’s definitely a key component, but he can definitely benefit from a college strength and conditioning program and some coaching to help him improve in this aspect of his game.