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No. 4 TE Devonaire Clarington commits to the Texas Longhorns at the Army Bowl

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Let's ride.

Devonaire Clarington at Army Bowl practice
Devonaire Clarington at Army Bowl practice
Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The massive recruiting week continued on Saturday at the Alamodome for the Texas Longhorns when Miami (Fla.) Booker T Washington tight end Devonaire Clarington pledged to the Horns at the 2015 US Army All-American Bowl.

The 6'5, 222-pounder chose Texas over finalists Miami, LSU, and Florida to give the Longhorns the most important tight end pledge the school has received in years. Perhaps since landing Jermichael Finley in the 2005 class, though Blaine Irby was also ranked as the No. 6 tight end nationally in 2007, as Finley was during his cycle.

Fellow Florida prospect Tim Irvin, an athlete who will play safety in college, is expected to commit to Texas during the third quarter. The two played together as juniors at Westminster Christian in Miami.

At one point not so long ago, when Clarington was considered a heavy Miami lean early in the process, it seemed next to impossible to pull the consensus four-star prospect out of Florida with only one official visit. But that's exactly what happened after Miami made the mistake of falling out of contact with him during the fall.

So when Clarington tripped to Austin for the West Virginia game with four other prospects from the Sunshine State who would come to be known as the "Florida Five," the Texas coaches were able to sell him on playing a versatile role as an H-back, tight end, and wide receiver at a time when his recruitment was increasingly open.

And now Texas has pledges from three of those prospects.

Prior to narrowing his list to four, Clarington also considered offers from the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Purdue South Carolina, Tennessee, and USC, among others.

The big tight end is ranked as the No. 169 prospect nationally, the No. 4 tight end, and the No. 25 player in the state of Florida, according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings.

The reason Texas wants to use Clarington in so many different ways is because he's a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses. Lined up outside as a wide receiver, he's too tall at a bit over 6'5 and too long for opposing cornerbacks. When lined up at tight end, he's too fast for linebackers.

With a lanky frame that probably won't ever carry 250 pounds, Clarington doesn't have the build of a typical tight end, so his early experiences as an in-line blocker could be difficult -- he may be better off initially working as an H-back so that he doesn't have to base block or combo block early in his career.

As junior, Clarington worked some as a blocker from bunch formations, but unless he spent time with his hand on the ground at Washington as a senior, he doesn't have much experience in that realm.

Still, because of his athleticism and ball skills as a receiver, he'll likely play at H-back and wide receiver as a freshman, with his ability in the red zone particularly appealing.

He'll likely never be Geoff Swaim as a blocker, but if he works hard and gains some muscle mass, he should find ways to be effective in that area of the game and will unquestionably be the most athletic tight end prospect at Texas in almost 10 years.

Clarington gives Texas 25 pledges in the 2015 class, a group that now ranks No. 9 nationally in the 247Sports Composite team rankings and No. 1 in the Big 12. Since Texas can take 31 prospects in the class, the Longhorns now have seven spots remaining.

let's ride