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Recruiting: Texas lands 2021 LB Morice Blackwell

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2021 Arlington Martin LB Morice Blackwell woke up on Mother’s Day and made a big decision to commit to Texas.

Blackwell chose the Longhorns over offers from Texas Tech, Utah, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Notre Dame.

Eval and fit at Texas:

Morice Blackwell, LB – Arlington Martin HS (’21)

How he fits at Texas: Blackwell plays pretty big for his size. Martin plays him off the ball in space quite a bit and leans on his lateral range to get him into the box to stop runs. In the Texas scheme he projects as an inside linebacker who can get a little depth and width in his alignment and still have the range and physically to fit runs in the box like a linebacker. The projection would be that he can grow into a 6-foot-1, 220-pound guy that can run well for an inside backer and has the right mentality and force to hold up taking on blocks in the box. – Ian Boyd

Coach says:
 Strengths – Great height and well-proportioned with long arms. Will fill out nicely with another 20-30 pounds. Great lower body explosiveness on self-reported vertical appears at least partly evident on game film as well with very good short area burst. He has at least average straight line speed as well as very good lateral movement. He is an instinctive player who diagnoses the play very quickly and arrives at the ball with little wasted effort and an instinct to make a hit. Good inside/outside versatility but I see him more as an outside threat. Appears very comfortable in space and is a decisive overhang player. Good gap discipline in the run game. Squares up the runner often if not always. Some effective special teams highlights. Some effective blitz play.

Areas for Improvement / Concern: Loses more speed than I’d expect with change of direction. Will get caught peeking at times and other times appears to be watching the play more than playing. Plays a quicker, finesse game and would like to see more upper body strength. Needs some refinement with his hand work.

How this affects Texas: The three-star outside linebacker has an impressive offer list to go with his sturdy frame and great film. Notre Dame, Alabama, and Georgia are among his early suitors, with Texas looking to build momentum with the Arlington product. He likes the Longhorns and was looking to visit before the global shutdown. This’ll be a good test for new LB coach Coleman Hutzler, with a helping hand from CB coach and DFW stalwart Jay Valai. The 2018 Newcomer of the Year and 2019 Defensive MVP in District 4-6A has one of the sexiest stat lines in the state. 240 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, four sacks, four PBUs, three INTs, three safeties, and five fumbles returns, two for scores. This is a relationship UT needs to prioritize. – Justin Wells

Blackwell is the ninth member of Texas 2021 class joining Jordon Thomas (Port Arthur Memorial), Landen King (Humble Atascocita), 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).