For the second time in as many days, the Texas Longhorns have added a tremendous talent in the trenches.
After securing a much-needed commitment on Wednesday from elite in-state defensive tackle Vernon Broughton, Thursday provided Tom Herman’s program with a pledge from Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon strong-side defensive end Van Fillinger, he announced on Twitter:
“After a very long and thought out discussion with my family and with my coaches, I really feel as if I’m making the best decision to get an elite education and to fulfill my potential on the field,” Fillinger wrote in his Twitter announcement. “With that being said, I am 100% committed to The University of Texas at Austin.”
A three-star talent, Fillinger toured the Forty Acres twice this summer, including a trip to Austin in early June, which led to him earning an offer from the Horns. Just a couple short weeks later, Fillinger named Texas in his top six on June 24, alongside Utah, UCLA, Oregon, Ohio State, and Michigan. At the time, Michigan and Oregon were considered headliners in Fillinger’s recruitment, but, of course, in fewer than a full month, Texas managed to not only swing things entirely in its favor, but earn his commitment.
Within the 24 hours prior to his pledge, nearly 10 Crystal Ball picks poured in projecting Fillinger to pick the Horns.
A 6’3.5, 250 pounds, Fillinger provides solid size on the strong side, though he often plays inside, where what appears to be an already-developed frame could hinder him at the Power 5 level. Elsewhere, though, there’s a lot to like about Fillinger. He displays advanced technique at the point of attack, utilizing his length and hands exceptionally well to shed blocks and shoot gaps. Other times, he displays an ability to simply apply force and push his blocker backwards. Fillinger dissects plays well and in short order, and when he arrives, he does so with a purpose.
As a junior, Fillinger utilized this skill set to amass 71 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and five sacks as part of an effort that led Corner Canyon to a state championship. He’s since recored a remarkable SPARQ rating of 112.05 at The Opening Regional in Oakland behind a 4.94 40-yard dash, a 31.7-inch vertical leap, and a 4.25-second 20-yard shuttle time.
Fillinger is ranked as the nation’s No. 373 prospect overall and as the No. 18 strong-side defensive end, per the 247Sports Composite. The first out-of-state addition to the 2020 class, Fillinger provides Texas with its 10th pledge to date and lifts the Longhorns’ class to No. 20 nationally and No. 2 in the Big 12.
- Ja’Quinden Jackson — 4-star ATH — Duncanville
- Hudson Card — 4-star QB — Austin Lake Travis
- Vernon Broughton — 4-star DT — Houston Cy Ridge
- Prince Dorbah — 4-star WDE — Dallas Highland Park
- Jaylen Garth — 4-star OT — Port Neches-Groves
- Jake Majors — 4-star C — Prosper
- Kitan Crawford — 4-star ATH — Tyler John Tyler
- Logan Parr — 4-star OG — Helotes O’Connor
- Van Fillinger — 3-star SDE — Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon
- Jaden Hullaby — 3-star ATH — Dallas Bishop Dunne