Tope Imade, one of four offensive linemen in Charlie Strong's 2016 recruiting class, officially joins the Texas Longhorns after signing his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
A three-star in-state offensive guard hailing from Bowie High School in Arlington, Imade joins Texas as the nation's No. 795 overall player, No. 38 offensive guard, and No. 106 talent in Texas. Among 19 schools to extend offers to Imade were Texas A&M, Oklahoma, TCU, Baylor, and Michigan.
It would be safe to say Imade's recruitment was basically absent of any of the drama so present today. Despite having so many major programs seeking his services, Imade committed to Texas May 26, only five days after receiving an offer. From that point on, Imade was 100-percent solid to Texas; never taking any other visits, while making an unofficial to the 40 Acres November 7, and joining the multitude of targets that were on campus for official visits January 15.
According to 247Sports composite rankings, Imade joins Texas the lowest ranked member of its four-man 2016 offensive line class. But with three offensive line positions locked up for next season between Connor Williams, Patrick Vahe, and Kent Perkins, with the only unanswered questions coming at center and right tackle, it's unlikely that any ranking could have resulted in Imade seeing immediate reps.
At 6-4.5, 327 pounds, Imade has tremendous size to hold his own in the trenches some day, but he looks to be more of a project to develop physically over the next year or two before he's ready to play on Saturdays. While he shows good strength, as you would expect someone of his size to possess, Imade will need to learn how to transform that natural strength into productivity and explosion at the line of scrimmage. Imade could also afford to improve his footwork for pass protection, but as noted, it's unlikely that he'll be expected to contribute as a true freshman, which leaves redshirting as an option and would give Texas another year to develop what already looks to be a physically impressive prospect.