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UT has playoff aspirations under Tom Herman. In order to get there, the Longhorns need defensive linemen like the one they landed today.
Four-star 2020 Cy-Ridge DL Vernon Broughton committed to Texas over LSU, Texas A&M, Ohio State, and Arkansas.
Eric Nahlin on the commitment: That was a little too close for comfort for a player I consider a must-get five-star talent. Texas was seemingly in great shape for much of the recruitment but clearly Vernon’s five official visits, Texas, Arkansas, LSU, Ohio State, and Texas A&M, gave him a lot to think about.
Being an uncommon player creates demand, demand creates a frenzy, and with frenzy comes tedious moments. The staff clearly did a good job of building a relationship with not only Vernon but his mother, grandmother, father, and siblings. To land this family you have to present much more than the value of playing football at Texas.
I watched Vernon play last September already knowing he had the size and movement skills of a five-star. I came away impressed with how hard he played. That makes for a rare combination.
Physically speaking, Vernon Broughton is the template, the Vitruvian Man, for what Todd Orlando is looking for in a defensive lineman. His combination of size, mobility, quickness, and bend make him the ideal fit for a multiple front that will move him all over the place to create havoc. If you watched Charles Omenihu in the Sugar Bowl versus SEC power Georgia, just wait.
It’s no surprise that much of Broughton’s balance, footwork, and athleticism originates from his basketball background. Perhaps that’s the most exciting aspect about him as a player: he’s still learning to translate his natural gifts from the hard-court to the field. He’s nowhere close to being what he will be, and he’s already really good. He’s still shaping his body from power forward to defensive end. Though he stands 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, his body composition will change dramatically over the next few years with strength and conditioning. I’ve often written a player’s size doesn’t dictate whether or not he changes positions, his movement skills do. Broughton can remain at defensive end at 300 pounds because of those very movement skills.
Broughton is the type of player you can win a National Championship with. The 2020 and 2021 classes uniquely set up well for Texas to compete at the highest level. Texas will do well on the offensive line in both classes, but landing Broughton was a major step towards ensuring they do the same on the defensive line.
Today was a big day for the program. Vernon Broughtons are not easy to find and that compliment extends beyond the football field.
Excerpt from the Recruiting Notebook
How he fits at Texas: At 6-foot-5, 285, Broughton is more of a ready-made 4i than Texas usually finds at the high school level. He has some bend and explosiveness off the ball that combos with his reach to make him pretty deadly as a guy that can shoot a gap or set the edge. He’ll need some time to adjust to playing an inside shade against a tackle but he has the right stuff to match what Charles Omenihu offered as a guy that can both protect LBs and get penetration in the run game. He can then shade outside on passing downs to turn the corner. – Ian Boyd
Coach says: Strengths – Excellent height with a good frame and room to add bulk. Long arms. Very quick off the snap and has great acceleration. Shows some speed and power in pass rush. Will convert speed to power easily. Will sink his hip and dip his shoulder to get around the tackle. Shows very good upper body strength on some plays driving linemen back into the backfield. Good change of direction. Heads up player who diagnoses the play quickly and will close fast for a man this size. Good discipline against options. Shows some good form tackling. I see him as a 4i but seems like he isn’t done developing. A basketball player who shows some good lower body explosion. TE on offense (hmmm). Good student. Faith is important to him. Areas for Improvement/Concern –Would like to see him work on crossing the lineman’s face. His opponents’ highlights are few but show loss of the great motor seen on his highlights and some standing up out of his stance. Would like to see more consistent use of hands which should be weapons for this player. Not clear how much weight we can reasonably expect for this player to gain in college (beyond the “no-brainer 20 lbs” that most expect). Always a little nervous about position versatility as sometimes it can work against you until the coaches figure it out (see Roach, Malcolm).
How he affects Texas: Last cycle, the Horns missed on DeMarvin Leal, the state’s top DL. Texas won’t let that happen again. Broughton is the big dog on a porch of large canines. His combination of size and speed is impressive, and his basketball skills give him great feet and stamina. He comes from a large family so you can easily see the projection. Texas looks fine and dandy here early in 2019 and have made the four-star a priority. He can play multiple spots along Orlando’s defensive front, which makes him even more of a necessity. – Justin Wells
Broughton is the ninth member of Texas’ 2020 recruiting class joining Prince Dorbah (Highland Park), Kitan Crawford (Tyler John Tyler), Ja’Quinden Jackson (Duncanville), Jaden Hullaby (Dallas Bishop Dunne), Jaylen Garth (Port Neches-Groves), Jake Majors (Prosper), Logan Parr (Helotes O’Connor), and Hudson Card (Lake Travis)