The Texas Longhorns added another key piece to their elite defensive class when Alvin cornerback Marques Caldwell signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
Caldwell’s commitment to Texas back in July came with a bit of fanfare, as the relationship between the corner and the team quickly ignited. Originally committed to the Oregon Ducks, Caldwell received his Texas offer in May and he decommitted a month later. Ten days after his decommitment, he announced his decision to join the Longhorns.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”— Q U E S (@CMarquesssss) July 7, 2018
- Matthew 19:26.. pic.twitter.com/JDE8tAaZns
The three-star defender out of the Houston area saw his senior season shortened due to injury, but his size and skill set will translate well to Big 12 play. Coming in at 6’1, 171 pounds, he has the body to match up against bigger defenders, while flashing enough speed to keep up against wide-open offenses.
An underrated skillset that fans should be excited about is his ability to make sure tackles as a second defender. Caldwell shows great closing speed and is able to bring down a ballcarrier in the open field or deliver a jarring hit.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of his game is the ability to create opportunities for turnovers, whether it’s against the run or the pass.
Caldwell’s tape shows an opportunistic streak as a defender, with the instincts and closing speed to capitalize on any pass that is even slightly off target. Against ballcarriers, he can separate the ball from an opponent, both in delivering a big hit and knocking the ball loose when making a tackle.
Texas recruited Caldwell as a corner, but the Yellowjackets used him as both corner and safety in their scheme. He was called upon to blitz on occasion, showing great timing on the blitzes to bring down the quarterback.
In spite of a stacked recruiting class in 2018, Texas is losing two key starters in the secondary to graduation, so Caldwell provides depth in the room. However, with Anthony Cook and Kobe Boyce cracking the two-deep as a freshman Caldwell should receive plenty of time to develop and add some size to his frame.
A consensus three-star prospect, Caldwell is ranked as the No. 681 player nationally, the No. 50 cornerback, and the No. 95 player in Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.