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Jay Boulware had Everman’s Juan Davis committed but was searching for another tight end to add to the 2021 class. His search ended in Colorado. Gunnar Helm from Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, CO committed to the Longhorns, choosing Texas over 27 other offers including Alabama, Colorado, Iowa State, LSU, Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and Washington.
How Gunnar Helm fits at Texas
Helm is a pro-spread tight end prospect. He’s already getting work at his Colorado high school as a flexed out receiver and some as an in-line blocker. He’s effective as a receiver, cutting into open spaces, catching the ball, and using his size to present a big target and box out defenders. As a blocker he’s not yet doing Texas-type work base blocking big ends but mostly bullying outside linebackers and safeties in space. Like everyone else Texas has recruited at that position, he’ll need a lot of time to bulk up and get used to heavy duty blocking work in the box. The receiving stuff will come much more easily, assuming he’s not limited by weight gains which at 6-foot-6 is unlikely. – Ian Boyd
Strengths: Impressive frame for the position and he will add Scipio’s requisite bulk with ease. A natural pass catcher whose highlights include in-line Y and flex positioning as well as a good number of blocking highlights. Looks comfortable and flexible in his pre-snap stances. Comes off the ball quickly and under balance. Eats up the cushion quickly on pass routes and looks fluid in the hips as he cuts. Seems to have a good number of routes on film (e.g., 9, post, sail, hook). Finds the soft spots in zone very well. Will keep most plays alive by looking to find room to work or a block to make if his QB is scrambling. Uses his body well to shield defenders and has a good number of back shoulder fades and jump balls suggesting he could be a real red zone weapon. Hands appear soft and natural. He adjusts very well to the poorly thrown ball (and 90% were poorly thrown) and tracks the ball well. Secures the ball cleanly. Shows very good straight line speed and balance after the catch. Looks to finish down the field as he gets “north-south” quickly.
Areas for Improvement / Concern: Lateral agility probably average for a man this size. A lot of his blocking highlights show him demolishing much smaller guys. Does not seem to show the whole route tree although he’s effective at what’s on film. Would like to see some double moves (that he seems like he should be able to deliver). Not a lot of challenge at the line of scrimmage.
Helm is the fifteenth member of UT’s Class of 2021 joining Jamier Johnson (John Muir – CA), Ishamel Ibraheem (Dallas Kimball), JD Coffey (Kennedale), Isaac Pearson (ProKick Australia), Casey Cain (Warren Easton – LA), Jonathon Brooks (Hallettsville), Morice Blackwell (Arlington Martin), Jordon Thomas (Port Arthur Memorial), Ja’Tavion Sanders (Denton Ryan), Derrick Harris Jr. (New Caney), Billy Bowman Jr. (Denton Ryan), Juan Davis (Everman), Hayden Conner (Katy Taylor), Jalen Milroe (Katy Tompkins).