The Longhorns went without a defensive end in the Class of 2008, but during Saturday’s Junior Day, Texas picked up a big one for 2009 when Kyle Kriegel of Elysian Fields High School gave his commitment to Mack Brown and the Horns.
With three senior defensive ends on the roster and no freshmen signed for 2008 at the position, DE is a huge priority for Texas in recruiting and on Saturday the Longhorns picked up their first D-line commit for 2009 in Kyle Kriegel of Elysian Fields High School.
The 6-5, 235-pound defensive end went to Texas’ Junior Day on Saturday and gave Texas head coach Mack Brown his commitment immediately after receiving his scholarship offer. The coaching staff, in particular, stood out to Kriegel.
“It was the way the coaches were, they were great, and the school and the whole thing,” said Kriegel. “It just went well.”
Kriegel first burst onto the recruiting scene in 2007 when, as only a sophomore, he posted 116 tackles, nine sacks, 38 tackles for a loss, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries for Elysian Fields High School. At the time, the young player held great potential and Elysian Fields head coach Ted Patton could see it.
“He’s a real tenacious player,” Patton told Scout.com after Kriegel’s sophomore season. “He’s a tall, lanky kid and he’s going to develop. He’s just young, but you know he was All-State in the AP and the TSWA also.”
Well, he most certainly did develop. Kriegel added another 10 pounds of mass and was dominant in his junior season, posting a school record 15 sacks to go with his 128 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one touchdown on a fumble return. The prolific season earned Kriegel 2A defensive player of the year honors from the Texas Sports Writers Association while helping Elysian Fields to the Class 2A Division II state championship game.
In terms of typical recruiting, Kriegel’s commitment comes very early in the process. But the Longhorns get so many early commitments that a majority of the class is usually wrapped up by the end of February. It’s likely to be the case again this season, meaning that just as 2009 recruiting is starting, Texas will be nearly done.