FootballFootball Recruiting

Gbenda Picks Texas

David Gbenda. (courtesy of Nike)
David Gbenda. (courtesy of Nike)

KATY — When David Gbenda learned that the Texas Longhorns were interested in his services, his confidence began to grow. When Tom Herman extended Gbenda and offer in front of David’s father on a late Sunday afternoon, his heart began to grow.

And when Gbenda called Herman and Todd Orlando today to commit to UT, his dreams were a reality.

The 6-foot, 210-pound linebacker from Cinco Ranch in Katy pledged to the Longhorns today. He choose Texas over OU, TCU, Iowa State, and Texas Tech among his 20+ offers.

Excerpt from the Recruiting Notebook:

David Gbenda, LB – Katy Cinco Ranch (6-foot, 210)

How he fits at Texas: Gbenda is a great picture of what a modern inside-backer looks like in high school. He’s explosive downhill and both unafraid and skilled at getting low and blocking up blocks by backs or guards. This will only be increasingly true when he’s playing at 230 or so and has received instruction on diagnosis and block destruction. He’s also tremendously quick laterally and can scrape over the top or run under blocks when the angles are right to make tackles playing sideline to sideline. Gbenda is probably explosive enough to play rover for Orlando but I expect him to be a Mac down the road due to his capacity for physical, plugging play between the tackles. – IB

Coach says: Strengths – Excellent acceleration especially in pass rush situations. Disciplined with his gap assignment. Good use of hands to fend off blockers. He sees the ball in traffic and understands leverage in the run game. Good top end speed and adequate agility. Shows good sideline-to-sideline ability and a good motor. Seems to have good upper body strength with room to add bulk. Special teams highlights show great open field speed and he appears to be a very willing contributor. Reasonably productive with 6.2 tackles per game. Competitive. Areas for Concern – Should continue to grow and add bulk / strength. Pass defense film is limited so his ability to cover is unclear.

How this affects Texas: Admittedly, I didn’t know much about Gbenda until last Sunday, but after an impressive Opening Regional showing, I went to the tape. It didn’t lie; he can play. And at a position that Todd Orlando covets, linebacker. He’s in the Gary Johnson mold – athletic, hungry, and destroys gaps and ball-carriers. Texas hosted him two weeks ago at Junior Day weekend. Then a return trip last Sunday with his father only pushed the Horns to the top of the list. UT wants at least three LBs in 2019, and Gbenda fits at Rover, and can grow into a Mike. – JW

Gbenda is the 18th member of Texas’ 2019 class joining Tyler Owens (Plano East), Derrian Brown (Buford – GA) Javonne Shepherd (Houston North Forest), Marcus Tillman (Jones – FL), DeMariyon Houston (Millwood – OK), Marques Caldwell (Alvin) Chris Adimora (Lakewood – CA), Peter Mpagi (George Ranch), Jake Smith (Notre Dame Prep – AZ), Jared Wiley (Temple), Tyler Johnson (Conroe Oak Ridge), Brayden Liebrock (Chandler – AZ), Kenyatta Watson II (Grayson – GA), De’Gabriel Floyd (Westlake – CA), Jordan Whittington (Cuero), T’Vondre Sweat (Huntsville), and Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves).

Justin was born a sports fan. From the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, and Texas Rangers, he fell in love with sports at a young age. Justin lettere...