The Texas Longhorns are in an ideal early position with a heavy-hitter in the trenches.
First respected as an elite strong-side defensive end, Cy Ridge standout Vernon Broughton is now regarded as one of, if not the best defensive tackle the country has to offer. Throughout his junior season, Broughton was utilized all over the defensive line and was exceptionally successful penetrating the backfield and collapsing the pocket.
At 6’5, 280 pounds, Broughton has been in the lab daily this offseason, preparing for his senior campaign and grinding to take his play up another notch. The things that Broughton is able to do at his size this early in his football career is simply unbelievable.
“It’s going pretty well,” Broughton said of how the offseason has been treating him. “Just staying in the weight room and working on my feet. Overall, it’s going pretty good.”
Being such a forceful presence on the line of scrimmage has translated to a multitude of opportunities for Broughton to further his education and play the sport that he loves. A total of 25 offers have been extended to the defensive star, but in early February, Broughton released his top 10 schools, which featured Alabama, Georgia, Houston, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC, and of course, the Longhorns. Broughton will be cutting that list down shortly and has a time frame for when he wants to maybe make a decision.
“It’s going pretty good,” Vernon said about the recruiting process. “Right now I’m narrowing down schools. I made a top 10, soon I’ll be making a top five. That’ll probably be some time in the middle of the summer.”
“I’m probably going to commit at the end of the summer, I can say that for a fact” Broughton added.
Despite Texas owning each of Broughton’s seven Crystal Ball projections, the four-star prospect says that he doesn’t have a leader right now, though there are a group of schools that are ahead of the pack at the moment; a group that includes the Horns.
Head coach Tom Herman and defensive line coach Oscar Giles have made it clear to Broughton that he is their main focus when it comes to recruiting defensive front recruits. A bond has developed between the two parties.
“They’re recruiting me pretty hard,” Broughton said. “Coach Giles and Coach Herman, they hit me up. I’ve really been making a relationship with them. But yeah, they’re recruiting me pretty hard.”
Broughton relationship with Giles is progressively growing throughout this recruitment. Giles will play a major role in recruiting Broughton to join the Longhorn family, and so far, the Cypress Ridge product is liking what he’s hearing from the UT coach. Giles is one of the key reasons Broughton likes Texas as much as he does.
“Me and him, we’re cool,” Broughton said. “I like him and he likes me. He’s honest with me and really shows an interest in me. Coach Giles said if I work hard enough he sees me not redshirting and getting playing time early.
In late January, Broughton toured the Forty Acres and while in town, he was able to speak with the coaches and current Texas players to really get an idea of how things are in the program.
“It was nice,” Broughton said. “Seeing some of the other side of the players and just being able to talk with them and seeing what they like about Texas. But it was nice overall.”
While Broughton plans to head back to Austin for another visit on May 4, he’ll be sitting down with his family and dissecting each program that stands out. Family is vital in this recruiting process for Broughton. If a program can prove that they are genuine in their approach to Broughton’s family, that school will be held in high regards.
“If my family feels that you’re feeling me, I’m going to feel you,” Broughton said. “So if you love me, I’m going to love you back. If you got that with my family, then we’re good.”
Broughton is ranked as the nation’s No. 71 prospect, the No. 4 defensive tackle in the country, and as the No. 10 player in the state, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.