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2009 Texas Football Recruiting: DL

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If you want to look at their high school accomplishments/stats.

This DL group is pretty nice. Some big upsides here. This group has it all: projects, turn-em-loose studs, solid players. Three of them (Jones, Kriegel, Johnson) could concievably have a future on offense.

DE

Alex Okafor DE 6-4 240 Pflugerville, TX

An obvious Top 100 national recruit and pretty much all you want in a DE prospect: condor wingspan, quick change of direction, shows hip and hand strength without even scratching the weight room, big frame. He's more quick than he is fast, but he's plenty fast. Three big strides off of the edge and he's to the QB batting down a ball or getting a pressure. Very impressed by his ability to diagnose run/pass, discard a blocker, and go. Great at inside stunts. This is an instinctive, smart football player who will contribute immediately. His best football is ahead of him. Measure the gap of his improvement from his sophomore to junior to senior years in high school and you have a slope that goes straight to All-Big 12, All-American as a senior at Texas.

Tevin Mims DE 6-3 240 Round Rock, TX

Tevin flew under the radar (and A&M tried to keep him there) until he pulled Stony Point to within a hair's breadth of a 5A state title game while abusing a number of well-regarded programs along the way. Amusingly, Scout still has him ranked as a 2 star. Tevin is physical, relentless, more athletic in a game than he tests, and has a good frame. I wouldn't be shocked to see him play inside one day. He doesn't have a lot of diversity in his pass rushing skill bag, but that's a nice weakness to have as it can be taught. He has one highlight where he defeats a double team with a vicious shot to the OT's neck, does a spin move to get the through the guard, and then nails the ball carrier. Football player. Nice late get. You can see from this video that his frame is a good one.

Dominique Jones DE 6-3 230 Kilgore, TX

A big yawn when I saw his initial film. I didn't really understand why we weren't content to let him go to Oklahoma St or U of H. Then I saw his updated reels at TE. OK. It's worth noting that he was his district's Defensive POY, but he was also 1st team All-District TE. He's a dominating blocker who mauls people at the point of attack with quickness, perfect technique, and a severe case of redass. He finishes blocks like Ike Turner. The abuse he heaped on opposing DEs and LBs was near comical; proving that being a great blocking TE isn't just about being large. I wasn't blown away by his DE film, though it's sparse and may not represent him sufficiently. Perhaps someone can direct me to something more robust than what Rivals and Scout has because I'm seeing statements about his upside at DE that don't match the reel. At TE, he'd be a negligible ball threat, but he could help the running game immensely. Shirt him and see.

DT

Derek Johnson DT 6-2 300 Hoxie, AR

He's huge, massively strong, athletic, and appears to have never had a down of coaching in his life. This must be a little bit like what Michael Oher looked like early in his career. BTW, I want to shoot all high school coaches who think it's cute to line up a 300 pounder at stand-up DE. His sort of potential is the stuff that recruiting dreams are made of - Bobby Petrino apparently shat himself when he learned that Johnson was a Texas native who self-recruited to Austin. He's as physically ready for the college game as any other recruit in his class, but he's the least prepared skillwise. His first few days in pads will be frustrating and he'll take some whippings, but if he has a love of the game, a real willingness to learn, and can avoid excessive visits to the buffet, we've got a serious player at 1 tech DT or OG in 2-3 years. It's all about his desire though. Find this kid a mentor, pronto.

Calvin Howell DT 6-4 275 San Antonio, TX

He certainly looks the part. Athletic. Uses his hands well and does a nice job of discarding blockers, staying low, and pursuing flat down the LOS. I haven't seen much from him as a pass rusher that I like yet, but that could be a simple coaching issue. He wasn't that productive numbers-wise, but that's often the case with a dominant high school DT - people run away from him. Like a lot of quality high school DTs, Calvin can take plays off when he realizes that he's not going to be challenged inside. He rose to the occasion at the US Army All-Star game and proved his mettle against quality peers. He's a clear DT all the way and his ability to contribute early will be dependent on Randall and Humphrey's progress. Clearly a Top 100 guy off of potential alone.

Kyle Kriegel DT 6-5 260 Elysian Fields, TX

He projects to be a 290+ DT. He'll redshirt and camp in the weight room. He needs to do his Kriegel exercises. Kyle dominated bad competition with tenacity, solid techs, superior size, & good straight line speed. Interestingly, his forte was not relying on his size exclusively but using leverage, taking a blocker's shoulder, and shooting gaps to dominate the LOS. His most obvious downside is that he's not particularly fast off of the ball and he's the type of yes-sir, no-sir high effort kid with good measurables that camp fever cannot resist. I was intrigued by his ability to keep a low pad level inside at 6-5 and that suggests some real flexibility; that makes me wonder what he'd look like at OT and not just DT. On defense, I'd imagine that his upside looks something like KU's Jake Laptad. Project? Yes. Reach? Mebbe. Egregious? No.