The Texas Longhorns secured a priority target at a position of need with linebacker/edge Derion Gullette making his public pledge to the Horns on Friday over the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Texas A&M Aggies.
Gullette is a potential difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball and was a huge priority for Texas. The Longhorns are in need of high-caliber edge rushers and managed to find just that in the No. 2 edge rusher in the state of Texas. His talent is highly coveted nationally, with 28 offers to choose from. He publicly trimmed the list to seven teams but took summer official visits to just three — Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Texas — before trimming his finalists to the Aggies, Buckeyes, and Longhorns. Gullette took two unofficial visits to Texas A&M during the summer.
The 6’2, 200-pound defender who is now at Teague is listed as a linebacker, but will likely play edge at the next level, which is reflected in his rankings. The No. 149 prospect overall, the No. 18 edge, and the No. 27 player from Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Gullette joins a defensive class that is starting to look like an elite haul, joining safety Derek Williams and cornerback Malik Muhammad at the top of the group.
He was a three-sport athlete and a three-way star at Marlin before moving to Teague, earning honors for his performance on offense, defense, and special teams during his junior campaign. He is sidelined with a knee injury that will force him to miss all of his senior season, however, he is expected to recover and be ready for his freshman campaign on the Forty Acres.
Gullette is commitment No. 21 for the 2023 cycle as Texas remains No. 5 nationally in the 247Sports Composite team rankings as they try to close out as many recruitments as they can ahead of the season.
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 (1st team) wide receiver after producing 1400-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 1st-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.