Malcolm Roach, a three-star strongside defensive end out of Baton Rouge (La.) Madison Prep Academy, is officially a Texas Longhorns after signing his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
T E X A S— Malc Roach1⃣1⃣ (@MalcHendrix) January 31, 2016
Roach joins the burnt orange nation as 247Sports' No. 584 player overall, No. 28 SDE, and No. 28 player in Louisiana. Roach collected 23 total offers throughout his recruitment, which included Houston, Arkansas, Tennessee, and South Carolina. The Gamecocks took the last possible opportunity to host Roach for an official visit January 29, but that visit obviously didn't provide the allure for the SEC to snag this crucial Longhorn that could very well be a big part of Charlie Strong's defense down the road.
Wescott Eberts recently provided this tidbit on what makes Roach so valuable:
"Roach provides a greater value to the class than his relatively modest mid three-star ranking would suggest -- he's still growing quickly, still possesses excellent athleticism for his size, and fits the profile of defensive players head coach Charlie Strong has previously molded into NFL prospects. Throw in the fact that the Longhorns need strongside defensive end prospects who could play four technique in odd fronts and Roach is an important piece in the 2016 cycle."
Initially, Roach may struggle to find strongside defensive end reps behind some upperclassmen in Bryce Cottrell and Quincy Vasser, but with Texas lack of interior line depth, he may find opportunities at tackle, as Wescott noted.
At 6-3, 255, Roach has a solid frame for the trenches, and time under Texas' strength and conditioning program will only lead to this tenacious hitter becoming a physical specimen to be reckoned with. While he's shown the ability to put his head down and bully offensive linemen, Roach plays with patience at the line of scrimmage and understands when to wait for plays to develop before attacking. And regardless of where Roach ends up on the line, his natural speed that allowed him to play tight end in high school will prove beneficial in tracking down ball carriers and making plays in the backfield.
Overall, Roach is a really versatile prospect that could virtually play anywhere in the front seven, although, Texas youth movement at linebacker may never allow him to take those few steps away from the line of scrimmage.