It’s widely considered that last night’s epic win over Notre Dame in front of a vast national audience will ultimately yield a fruitful bounty from the Errrrbody Tree for the 2017 class. The first fruit has fallen, as Temple defensive end Taquon Graham made it official this morning and let Charlie Strong know he’ll be coming to Austin.
Even though Graham’s HUDL is private, his interest in the Longhorns has been public knowledge for quite some time. Nahlin at IT has been on this one like white on rice, and it had been a bit surprising that Graham took this long to pull the trigger. There was a brief summer flirtation with OU, but the Sooner’s commitment to three down DL with the ends eating blocks as 4i’s isn’t a fit with the kind of quick-twitch edge rush that Graham brings to the table. On that tip, it was nice to see such a diversity of alignments for Charlie’s D against OU even if some results were lacking - we can tell credible stories to a wide range of front seven talents on how they can be plugged in and thrive.
Graham figures to fit as a classic 4-3 weakside end or rush-focused Fox guy, and he’s got the athleticism to handle both roles even if his 6’4” frame fills out to over 250 pounds. Since you could probably count the one-on-one wins by Longhorn edge rushers on one hand last night, it’s certainly nice to bring another heat seeker into the fold. And while “early momentum” isn’t really Charlie’s recruiting M.O., it never hurts to have a national narrative of “Texas May Be Back!” reinforced by the tangible addition of a 4* stud jumping on board amidst the afterglow.
Welcome aboard, Taquon - there should be plenty more fun games like the one you saw last night.