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Texas offers local four-star DE Erick Fowler

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The Austin area doesn't always consistently produce talent, but there's an impressive young defensive end out in Manor.

Erick Fowler at a Nike event in 2014
Erick Fowler at a Nike event in 2014
Student Sports

As evaluations continue for the 2016 recruiting class, the Texas Longhorns extended an offer to Manor defensive end Erick Fowler on Tuesday.

The 6'3, 210-pounder is a consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 7 weak side defensive end nationally, the No. 19 player in the state of Texas, and the No. 141 player nationally.

Along with Texas, the other schools to offer Fowler include Baylor, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon State, TCU, Texas State, and UCLA.

Since it is early in the 2016 recruiting cycle, there's only one prediction in the 247Sports Crystal Ball for Fowler, with that prediction coming in for the Sooners.

Fowler will attend the Baylor-Texas game on Saturday. He told 247Sports that his family is full of Texas fans, but he's always followed LSU. So despite growing up in the shadow of Austin, his recruitment won't be as easy as some local prospects who have always been fans of the burnt orange and white.

Fortunately for the Horns, the Tigers haven't offered yet, but one could be coming in the near future given his talent level and current offer list.

As a prospect, Fowler projects favorably in the Fox position that Texas currently runs, which had defensive end Caleb Bluiett playing at the linebacker level last week against Kansas in the 3-3-5 defense Texas employed for stretches of the game.

Currently weighing in at 215 pounds, Fowler has some strength gains to make before he has the mass to hold up going against opposing rush attacks from a three-point stance.

What he should be able to do quickly once he gets to college is rush the passer, an area where he excels in high school, having been credited with 19 sacks as sophomore. Rushing from a stand-up position, Fowler has a quick enough first step that he can get past opposing tackles without even being touched.

When he doesn't have straight-line access to the quarterback, who can show an impressive ability to bull-rush opponents and create displacement despite his relative lack of mass, also featuring a nice inside swim move.

He has some understanding of how to use his hands and can swipe away attempted blocks, while still possessing the lateral quickness to quickly widen his pass rushes and turn the corner. When going against running backs attempting to get him away from the quarterback, he generally dispatches them with a quickness.

Some players just have an innate ability to rush the passer and Fowler is one of those players.

Against the run, leaving Fowler unblocked was not a particularly effective strategy, as he recorded more than 80 tackles as a sophomore, an impressive number for a defensive end.

The Horns need to land an impact edge rusher in the 2016 class and keeping Fowler in the Austin area would be a big positive step in that direction.