At perhaps one of the biggest positions of need, the Texas Longhorns officially landed a playmaker at inside linebacker on Wednesday as De’Gabriel Floyd signed his letter of intent.
Welcome to the family De'Gabriel Floyd. #fUTure19 #ThisIsTexas #HookEm pic.twitter.com/OcnXlxxljw— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) December 19, 2018
The four-star linebacker out of Westlake (Calif.) Village was among the earlier additions to Texas’ 2019 class, giving his pledge to the Longhorns in early March, becoming just the fourth member of the #fUTure19 class.
1000% Committed to— DeGabriel Floyd (@DSAVAGE_1) March 31, 2018
The University of Texas #HookEm pic.twitter.com/nLDpJpf9Vs
The No. 64 player in the country, Floyd chose the Longhorns over two in-state rivals in the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins, as well as 22 other offers. He comes to Texas ranked as the No. 4 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 12 player in the state of California, per the 247Sports Composite.
The 6-foot-2, 245-pound is a huge addition for the Texas defense and provides a sideline-to-sideline defender for Todd Orlando.
Recruited as an inside linebacker, Floyd found himself all over the field for the Warriors in his senior season, playing inside, outside, and even at safety. Regardless of the position he played however, he never seemed to be too far from the ball. His ability to close the distance between himself and the ballcarrier shows flashes comparable to Malik Jefferson in 2017.
When the distance was closed, Floyd never hesitated to dish out punishment on ballcarriers, dropping opponents with big hits. Even though he loves to drop the hammer, he also showed his ability as a sure tackler who can bring down defenders on first contact.
With all of that on the table, perhaps his biggest avenue for success are his abilities to read plays and make the correct decisions as a defender.
Whether playing inside or outside, he is able to keep his eyes in the backfield and on his assignment, making his first move count. When called upon to stop an interior run, or close the backside, he’s able to avoid blockers and make the play.
247Sports provided a further evaluation of Floyd’s upside and abilities:
Has a big frame and is all of 245 pounds. Put on 20+ pounds between junior and senior year but carries it well and still has plus athleticism. Moves very well, has good feet and shows the versatility to play inside or outside in college. Was a running back early on in high school and still shows the balance, feet and quickness. Can blitz off the edge, is strong at the point of attack and shows the cover skills to play as an every down ‘backer. Can fit in to any type of scheme but probably projects best as an inside guy. Can make plays from sideline to sideline or in the box. Has the size and strength to take on blocks and fill the hole. Plays with the kind of nastiness you have to have to survive in the front seven. Impact upper tier Power 5 starter and future NFL draft pick.
Floyd plans on enrolling early and joining the team for spring practice. He joins a talented, but thin linebacker room and with a strong spring could see his name called in his first season with the Longhorns. With Texas tasked with replacing starter Anthony Wheeler at Mac and freshman Ayodele Adeoye unable to develop ideally as he battled a knee injury, expect Floyd to push for his place within the two-deep during his debut season.