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4-star edge Justice Finkley signs with Texas

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The Longhorns need to improve the pass rush and the Alabama product could become part of the solution.

@JusticeFinkley

A key piece of head coach Steve Sarkisian’s defensive haul is now officially in the fold, as Trussville (Ala.) Hewiss-Trussville Justice Finkley has put pen to paper and signed with the Texas Longhorns on Early Signing Day.

Finkley committed to Texas in early September over finalists Alabama and Colorado after taking an official visit in late June. In addition to an official visit to Boulder, the 6’2, 255-pounder was also hosted by Michigan.

BON’s Daniel Seahorn detailed what Texas is getting in Finkley.

Texas has been loading up in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball this cycle and they got another good one today in Justice Finkley. Play strength, his ability to play with leverage and a good motor are his calling cards, and on top of that he uses his hands well.

Finkley plays up and down the LOS for Hewitt-Trussville and he is taxed with having to take on double teams frequently, and when he holds up well against them. He shows the ability to hold his ground and get his hip into the gap so that he can split the double and at minimum he is stacking up bodies at the LOS making it murky for the backs. Finkley refuses to stay blocked and when he gets 1v1 matchup he is able to overwhelm his opponents with good power and good lateral quickness. On one play he is forklifting an offensive linemen into the backfield and on the next he is shooting across the face of another into the backfield and running down the ball carrier.

On top of being a good player, you already know you are getting a high-character person off the field and someone who is going to excel as much off the field as on it. Very good get for the Longhorns and I imagine Pete Kwiatkowski and Bo Davis are very satisfied with how the class is shaping up.

Finkley’s talent, alone, could allow him to be a factor off the edge as a true freshman, even if simply by pushing veterans ahead of him to improve or get passed. In Finkley’s case, though, his talent will meet a depth chart that saw departures from veteran edge rushers in Jacoby Jones, Ben Davis, and Ray Thornton with the trio graduating.

So, as far as Finkley’s immediate future is concerned, he’ll have an ideal opportunity to carve out a role on the depth chart behind Ovie Oghoufo.

A consensus four-star prospect, Finkley is ranked as the No. 138 player nationally and the No. 11 edge, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.