Efforts by the Texas Longhorns to shore up the edge rushers ahead of their move to the SEC took a major step forward as Teague product Derion Gullette officially signed on Wednesday.
Gullette’s commitment was thanks in part to a a big June official visit weekend that featured seven eventual commitments and seemingly focused on bringing big bodies together on both sides of the ball. It was a largely regional battle for Gullette’s services, save for an official visit with Ohio State — Texas A&M seemed like the team to beat based on the edge rusher’s visit schedule. He visited College Station three times in the spring and summer of 2022, including an unofficial visit just days before his commitment to the Longhorns.
At the time of Gullette’s pledge, he was the highest-ranked defensive line commitment, ranking No. 124 nationally and No. 19 among all edge rushers.
The three-sport star and three-way player for Teague was easily one of the best all-around athletes whenever he stepped on the field for the Lions, serving as a linebacker, wide receiver, and punter. As a junior, he was named TWSA first-team all-state at both punter and wide receiver while racking up 125 tackles, five tackles for loss, and three sacks.
Gullette is a big piece to the defensive staff’s efforts to overhaul the trenches on both sides of the ball, joining Westlake’s Colton Vasek and South Oak Cliff’s Billy Walton on the edges on Early Signing Day.
Analysis (by Daniel Seahorn):
Gullette is a fun guy to look at on tape and on paper. He has good size and an athletic, muscular frame at 6’2, 220 pounds, and saying he possesses good athleticism would be underselling it. He’s a three-sport athlete that plays in all three phases on the gridiron (linebacker, wide receiver, and PUNTER) while also starring on the hardwood in basketball and averaging a double-double (points and rebounds) this past season. If that wasn’t enough, he also is a shot put thrower with a PR of 53’ 6.75 and he also anchored the Marlin 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams that went to state this spring, while also long jumping 22’ 8.5. Back to football — Gullette absolutely excelled this past year in all three phases of the game. He was an All-State caliber (first team) wide receiver after producing 1,400-plus yards and 14 touchdowns and stuffed the stat sheet on defense to the tune of 125 tackles (five TFLs), three sacks, three forced fumbles (one recovered for a touchdown, and two interceptions). And just for chuckles, he was also named first-team All-State as a punter because why not? I had to get all of that out just to make sure it was clear that this kid is a bit of an athletic freak show and you don’t see many like him year-in-and-year-out.
On300 LB Derion Gullette throwing it down this evening pic.twitter.com/OJfSpFkQiL— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) February 16, 2022
On tape, Gullette plays both on and off the ball as a linebacker and shows a good amount of comfort playing in space. One play you will see him lined up in the box and find his way through the trash to chase down a ball carrier then next you will see him walked out covering the slot and blowing up a screen after shedding a blocker. He shows good range sideline to sideline and is most certainly a see ball, get ball kinda ball player right now. He hauls ass in pursuit and when he arrives it’s typically some kind of violent collision. One of my quibbles is that on his tackling he needs to make sure he consistently wraps up instead of just going for the SportsCenter hit because that won’t always work moving up in competition. Doesn’t look out of place when asked to drop back into coverage possesses good awareness and looks comfortable when tasked to drop. This kid possesses the tools and an abundance of athleticism that could allow him to be a Sunday player at some point. It is unfortunate a leg injury is going to prevent us from seeing senior tape on him this fall, as I badly want to see how he would built off a strong junior campaign. You will be hard pressed to find better physical and athletic traits for a player at the position. Pair this kid with the right coach who can get him up to speed with the nuances of playing position full time and you are going to have yourself ball player.