AUSTIN — Texas coach Charlie Strong landed recruits in February, June, July, and August in the Class of 2016. That’s one heck of a recruiting cycle.
Manor 4-star LB Erick Fowler is the final piece, has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse and will enroll today at Texas, per his father and a source close to the team. He’s the perfect Fox, so Big 12 quarterbacks are now the prey.
“I’m proud of my son,” said Erick’s dad, James Fowler. “Very proud. Big accomplish in Erick’s life. His mom is super proud of him. You know we are his No. 1 fans. I can’t wait to see the whole Texas Football team shine. Just very proud of my son.”
Fowler flipped from LSU to Texas on National Signing Day, and was part of one of the biggest news stories of the day on February 3rd. As a source close to the staff said today,” 28 out of 28 ain’t bad.” UT inking all 28 of its pledges from 2016 is remarkable and just another building block for the foundation of the Longhorns future.
Throughout the entire process, Strong and Texas DC Vance Bedford kept in touch with Erick, making sure he was always working hard and in good spirits.
“We talk all the time,” said James Fowler. “They’re like family to us. We’re grateful.”
The Fowlers are also appreciative to the Texas faithful that stood by Erick while he waited to finish summer school and be cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. “Thank every one (all Texas fans) also for believing in Erick.” said James Fowler.
As for if Erick, an Army All-American participant, sees the field as a freshman, his dad thinks he’s got a good shot to see snaps in his first year. It would help quench his thirst for his favorite snacks; quarterbacks.
“He’s hungry for QBs,” said James Fowler. “Tell all QBs beware.”
Excerpt from the Recruiting Notebook from 10/2015:
Erick Fowler, LB – Manor (2016): Hudl/Highlights
How he fits at Texas: Fowler’s skill set is really that of a well balanced linebacker, even though he spends most of his time screaming around the edge. One thing that really stands out about him is how he’ll keep his eyes on the ball while casually demolishing the blockers trying to get in the way, a trait that suggests he could become proficient at reading keys and playing downhill as an inside linebacker. He’s got excellent lateral quickness, tackles in space well, and is one of the better pass-rushers in the class so Texas should make it a point to land him and then he can probably play fox, sam, mike, or will based on need. – IB
Coach Says: I’ve been on the Erick Fowler bandwagon since I laid eyes on his sophomore tape in which he racked up 19 sacks. I’m certainly not hopping off the bandwagon now, though I am on the fence on the talk how he will be used at the collegiate level. Will he be an edge guy? Will he lineup in the middle? Are they just going to use him as a versatile chess piece and line him up in a variety of spots and blitz the hell out of him? Wherever they decide to utilize him at, they need to make sure they unleash this young man and let him wreck plays on the other side of the LOS.
How this affects Texas: The key for Texas was always getting that OV in January, which happens this weekend. UT has a few aces up its sleeve, one of which is 2017 QB commit, Sam Ehlinger, who has built a nice relationship with Fowler. Another is proximity. It sounds good when you’ve decided to leave your roots/family to go out-of-state, but then when the time comes to actually move, you start missing mom’s cooking, fishing trips with dad, and hanging out with close friends. The only hang-up I have with Fowler flipping to UT is that he’ll OV to Baton Rouge right before NSD. This one will come down to the wire. I like UT’s chances. – JW