Hours after entering the NCAA transfer portal, former Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Kendrick Blackshire told Hank South of Horns247 that he plans to visit the Texas Longhorns.
The 6’2, 233-pounder was a Texas target out of Duncanville in the 2021 recruiting class. When Blackshire signed with Alabama over nearly 30 total offers, he was a consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 168 player nationally and the No. 21 linebacker, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
In Tuscaloosa, Blackshire found a role on special teams as a freshman, appearing in nine games and recording three tackles in kickoff coverage. An injury forced Blackshire to miss five games in 2022, slowing his growth into a role on defense, but he continued to play on special teams and notching six tackle and a quarterback hurry.
This season, Blackshire was the highest-graded defender on the Alabama team, according to PFF, playing in 102 total snaps and recording an above-average grade in run defense with 10 tackles and a forced fumble. On special teams, Blackshire played another 53 snaps with a role on the kickoff return, kickoff coverage, and punt coverage, recording one tackle.
Texas is losing star linebacker Jaylan Ford to the 2024 NFL Draft and is still waiting on a decision from David Gbenda, who has a COVID year of eligibility remaining. Other than hybrid strong-side linebacker Mo Blackwell, a rising senior, the rest of the position room is young, having arrived in the 2023 recruiting class or, in the case of 2024 signee Tyanthony Smith, soon to enroll.
So the experience of Blackshire is appealing and there’s probably some upside remaining as a rising senior, although questions still linger about his ability in space, and the Longhorns seem like a fit for the Texas native, who would be able to continue playing in the SEC.