Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando filled a big need at the linebacker position on Wednesday when Katy Cinco Ranch product David Gbenda faxed his National Letter of Intent to the Texas Longhorns.
The Early Signing addition fulfilled Gbenda’s commitment to the Horns in late September, when he went public with a silent commitment from two months prior to officially side with Texas.
The 6’0, 218-pounder chose Texas over nearly 25 other offers, including Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas A&M, and Washington, a group of schools that largely made up the top 10 list that he released in July.
In-state contenders TCU and Texas A&M seemingly loomed as the biggest threats to Texas, which offered Gbenda back in March. He took multiple visits to College Station, but was also on campus in Austin multiple times as the Longhorns ultimately emerged as the heavy favorite to land his services.
“Ultimately the main reason why I chose Texas was because of education, really how I felt internally there, playing time opportunities, and really just the atmosphere around there,” Gbenda told BON. “I was thinking more of a life decision because it’s college. It’ll be at a point in my life where I’d be there four years where I’ll learn to grow up and be an adult.”
Gbenda broke onto the scene following a strong junior season that saw him rack up 56 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks, and two passes broken up. The natural inside linebacker is a little bit undersized for the position and will need to continue adding weight, but he’s a solid athlete — he posted a 4.36 shuttle and a 32-inch vertical this spring.
”Seeing how I haven’t been playing football as much, but I have a work ethic that’s really at the top because I’m learning every day,” Gbenda said. “My athleticism on the blitz and really just my natural instincts. With the defense, I see myself fitting more as the Rover. But I’m good at blitzing, so I can fit in that role, too.”
With both starting linebackers graduating, Gbenda will have a chance to make an instant impact for the Longhorns.
A consensus four-star prospect, Gbenda is ranked as the No. 268 player nationally, the No. 15 inside linebacker, and the No. 33 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.