In the days after extending a late offer during their major pool party recruiting event over the weekend, the Texas Longhorns have landed a pledge from versatile Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei linebacker Eoghan Kerry, he announced on Wednesday morning.
The three-star talent chose Texas over Arizona, Colorado and UCLA.
Thank you God… 1000% committed pic.twitter.com/xZWOstgznX— Eoghan Kerry (@EoghanKerry) August 4, 2021
Kerry’s recruitment was one that altered quickly over the previous week — one that was unforgiving to Texas linebacker coach Jeff Choate. On Wednesday, Illinois product Sebastian Cheeks committed to the North Carolina Tar Heels and on Saturday, versatile Tenaha product Jeremy Patton committed to the Baylor Bears.
These misses opened the door for Kerry to make it to Austin over the weekend, when he earned his offer from the Horns.
“I couldn’t stop smiling after getting the offer,” Kerry told 247Sports Greg Biggins. “It was an incredible feeling and it meant a lot to me since growing up, Texas was always a dream offer. They had been recruiting me for awhile now but I really didn’t know if they were going to offer or not.”
“Coach Choate is my primary recruiter and he told me to come up and they just wanted to meet me in person, kind of eye ball me a little and if everything checked out, they would offer,” Kerry added. “I kind of bet on myself I guess you could say and I debated whether it was worth missing the start of fall camp at Mater Dei but it definitely paid off in the end.”
Just a few short days later, Kerry becomes the 16th member of Steve Sarkisian’s 2022 class and the second linebacker prospect, joining three-star Arlington Martin standout Trevell Johnson.
A 6’3, 225-pounder who plays for California powerhouse Mater Dei, where Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian’s son is a student and football player, Kerry is a consensus three-star prospect with 10 offers, including Arizona, Boston College, Colorado, UCLA, as well as a handful of Ivy League schools.
So Kerry is clearly intelligent, but like a lot of California recruits who weren’t already well known when the pandemic started, a five-game junior season has perhaps depressed his stock. And Sarkisian has been clear that his staff does its own evaluations instead of relying on recruiting rankings or only offering prospects who have high-profile offers from other schools.
Kerry’s previous high school, Bakersfield Centennial, played a 3-4 defense in 2019 and Kerry often served as a hybrid edge player who could rush from two-point or three-point stances, but also saw playing time as a second-level linebacker, his likely position at Texas. With a verified 4.8 40, there are questions about Kerry’s top-end speed, but he does show good burst off the ball. On more than a handful of plays, Kerry struggles to sink his hips as he approaches ball carriers, resulting in a lot of drag-down tackles up around the shoulders.
The major need for Texas is for an inside linebacker who could play in the middle or on the weakside and Kerry could land at the hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker position he plays at times in high school.
It’s been a fast rise for Kerry even with the pandemic — he played his first snap of organized football during his freshman season, so he’s still early in his developmental curve. Sarkisian and his staff are clearly betting that Kerry will keep improving quickly.
Kerry is currently ranked as the nation’s No. 61 linebacker and as the No. 587 prospect overall, per the 247Sports Composite.