High four-star wide receiver Devin Duvernay, originally a member of the 2016 Baylor recruiting class, just announced that he'll be playing for Charlie Strong and the Longhorns.
With apologies to Derrick Dockery (and with a hat tip to Scipio,) this is the most important set of DD's to arrive on the 40 Acres since Jayne Mansfield.
If you haven't gotten the chance to check out Duvernay's on-field work just yet, take a moment to peruse teh HUDLz:
One-Sentence Scouting Report: This dude moves like a rocket and he's made out of smoke.
He can change direction with the swiftness of a poorly-polling politician, and he also boasts the long speed to outrun angles along with a sufficiently sturdy base (5'11", 195) to power through the arm tackles and thigh slaps that used to waylay JGray and then immediately get back up to gear.
One of the best comps I've seen for Duvernay is a slightly faster version of pre-baseball Quan Cosby - and for those of you who don't recall, pre-baseball Quan was an absolute witch with the ball in his hands. The good news for Texas' 2016 fortunes is that The Duve won't have to step on campus running 2008 Quan Cosby-caliber routes in order to make his presence felt. He can do plenty of Game One business on simple bubble/tunnel screens and RPOs, adding some extra incentive for teams to keep defenders aligned in his neighborhood and a step or two farther from Downhill D'Onta and the run game. He's also shown the ability to throw that full-speed KD Cannon hip flip to the post that can freeze and then burn a safety who's isolated in space. And when Texas is rolling out three- and four-wideout sets with punishers like John Burt and Collin Johnson on the outside, Big XII safeties are going to be isolated in unforgiving space like a post-Nostromo Ellen Ripley.
The return of truly scary skill-position dudes to the 40 Acres is proceeding apace, but it's no stretch to say that Texas didn't have anyone on campus who can punish a stretched-out defense from the slot as effectively as Duvernay. Outside of a time portal dropping 2017 Marvin Wilson into the middle of the defensive line, it's hard to think of another true freshman athlete that could add as much instant impact alongside Texas' current mix of talent.
The Longhorns came by this June Christmas present thanks to Baylor doing Santa's work...though you probably have to switch a couple of letters around there to get a sense of who's really been calling the shots down Waco way.
As you may have heard, pretty much every 2016 Baylor signee who would warrant a freed-up summer scholarship from a P5 institution started petitioning for their freedom a few weeks ago. It turns out that when you've got options, you'd rather not play for the [detailed description redacted in accordance with SBNation policy] that has clearly broken out in Waco. In the spirit of true Christian fellowship, Baylor is hanging on to 2016 guys like Patrick Hudson, Parrish Cobb, Brandon Bowen and JP Urquidez like grim death and hotboxing them in the hopes of creating a false "play for us or lose your entire 2016 season" scenario in their minds. Now Devin is evidently an extremely escapable dude, but how did he work his way out of that trap so swiftly?
Furthering the Quan Cosby parallels, Devin has a twin brother named Donovan who, while less highly regarded as an athlete, is a D1 take in his own right. (After Quan elected to play baseball out of high school, his brother Quincy played for...wait for it...Baylor, in their pre-Ramsay Bolton era.) The Duvernays were largely viewed as a package deal during the 2016 recruiting cycle, and Baylor's willingness to recruit Donovan (as well as their demonstrated ability to let plus athletes run riot in the slot) played a major role in securing Devin's signature.
But exactly what happened with that signature is kind of a funny story.
As it turns out, Devin's LOI never got submitted and processed with the NCAA while brother Donovan's did. That had the effect of nullifying Devin's commitment to BU and making him an effective free agent who was able to talk to any school that he liked. Forgetting to submit the paperwork on your class' most dynamic athlete kinda of seems like an inexplicable cock-up in the AD's office. But a possible explanation has turned up that would make the situation a little more explicable and a lot more...welll...Baylor-y.
A guy who suddenly found himself without a scholarship in May, and who might not be highly coveted enough to land in a great spot off-cycle AND whose brother is already on campus could have been potentially persuaded to go ahead and greyshirt in 2016 in order to effectively free up another scholarship. Now it would have been the height of idiocy to intentionally attempt that kind of play with Devin...but suppose you planned to do it to Donovan instead and accidentally moved the wrong brother's form to the "oops, I forgot" pile?
Normally, Hanlon's Razor would tell us to go with the incompetence explanation over the malice angle when it comes to explaining something like this. Of course, ol' Hanlon is of limited utility when both incompetence and malice are as thick on the ground and tightly entwined as they've been through every twist and turn in Baylor's ongoing fiasco. Whatever the specific circumstances of Devin's Great Escape, he's undeniably fortunate to flee a program that's now evoking comparisons to [redacted by the ghost of George Carlin, who thought this line was just a bit too mean-spirited].
And the Longhorns are undeniably fortunate to have him. Welcome aboard, Devin.