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Top-ranked 2021 ILB Kendrick Blackshire can see himself at Texas after recent visits

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After a pair of trips to Texas this spring, the Mesquite Horn star loves what he’s seeing from the Horns.

Kendrick Blackshire
SB Nation: Joe Hamilton

Although the Texas Longhorns coaching staff is focused primarily on building the current recruiting class, they are targeting one of most physically imposing prospects the 2021 cycle has to offer.

From Mesquite Horn, Kendrick Blackshire is one of the nation’s more intriguing prospects because of his ability to run sideline to sideline at an eye-popping 6’2, 251 pounds. Blackshire clocked an unofficial 4.57 40-yard dash at the Under Armour camp in late February, which is an unbelievable time for the super sophomore.

With Blackshire being a second-year starter on varsity in only his second year in high school, he’s had to step up and become a leader early on for the Mesquite Horn football program. After Mesquite Horn started 0-7 last season, Blackshire rallied his squad to three straight district wins that helped propel them to a third-round playoff run.

“I had to motivate the guys and make them believe in themselves,” Blackshire told BON. “It was a lot of first-year starters on varsity. I had to motivate them and once they started believing, they turned it up.”

It takes a lot for someone so young to be “the guy,” but when you have a multitude of Power 5 programs lobbying for your talents like Blackshire does, you’re kind of forced to be held to a higher standard.

The recruiting process has been up and down for Blackshire, but he continues to take his time and find joy during this roller coaster. The four-star inside linebacker has already earned 18 offers, but as of right now, programs such as Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Texas are catching Blackshire’s attention.

“The recruiting process has been hectic, but I’m getting through it slowly,” Blackshire said. “It’s been good and fun though, don’t get me wrong. It’s just hectic, but it’s been fun.”

Blackshire sees himself making an impact in the SEC at the next level. Outside of that conference, Texas is a program that Blackshire is extremely interested in.

After evaluating Blackshire subsequent to an incredible freshman and sophomore campaign, Tom Herman and company extended an offer to him last December. Between then and now, the Longhorns have made a positive early impression on Blackshire.

“I love Texas,” Blackshire expressed. “Everything stands out about Texas. It’s just good family, good vibes there, just everything. That’s probably one of the real Big 12 schools I can see myself at; and OU. Those two right there.”

Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and wide receivers assistant Rashaad Samples are two coaches from the Longhorns staff that are communicating with Blackshire the most.

Throughout the past few months, Blackshire has made multiple visits to the Forty Acres. He made his way down in late January for the elite day and made his way back last weekend, alongside Duncanville superstar Ja’Quinden Jackson.

“It was fun, I had a great time out there,” Blackshire said about his visits. “They showed mad love and just an all-around fun visit. Being at practice and feeling the intensity in the air stood out.”

“What was expressed was that I will have every opportunity to be the starter within two years, everything I need is there,” Blackshire said.

Even though Blackshire is already an extraordinary talent with plenty of attributes high school prospects usually don’t possess, there are still many things he wants to focus on as he continues to develop.

“I just want to continue to watch film, train my eyes, be more verbal, and just have better endurance,” Blackshire said. “Those are the things I want to work on.”

As of right now, Blackshire is the only inside linebacker from the 2021 class to have received an offer from Texas. He will be a key target for the Horns going forward.

Blackshire is ranked as the nation’s No. 23 player, as the No. 1 inside linebacker, and as the No. 3 player in Texas, per the 247Sports Composite.