On Monday Dec. 15, the Texas Longhorns received two pieces of news no coaching staff wants to get right at the start of a recruiting Dead Period.
First, four-star offensive lineman and Houston, Texas native Toby Weathersby eliminated Texas from his list. Weathersby then announced that his top three choices were between Arkansas, Ole Miss, and LSU.
Next, it was announced that four-star linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. — a former Texas commit — had declared his intent to play at Tennessee.
Thankfully for those who call Darrell K. Royal Stadium home, three-star Victory Christian Academy (Lakeland, Fla.) linebacker Cecil Cherry made a surprise announcement that he was committing to play football for the Texas Longhorns.
Cherry had previously been committed to Tennessee, but he made his official visit to 40-Acres when the ‘Horns played West Virginia in Austin on Nov. 8. Since then, he’d been quite friendly with the Texas community, and it was rumored that he pulled his commitment from Tennessee when its fans weren’t receptive to the sentiments.
The 6’0″, 235 pound linebacker had received offers from Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Miami, Arizona State, and Wisconsin — just to name a few.
While experts say he could stand to gain some weight, Cherry is expected to make an immediate impact and fill a much needed role, likely as a middle linebacker. Like all recruits, the point is to develop, grow, and improve, so his weight isn’t regarded as an intangible or issue that needs to be addressed immediately, although on the flip side, many credit his compact, “bulky” frame to his low explosiveness against the run.
On film, he looks a little tight in hips, but he should continue to show improvement, by focusing on growth and playing with a looser, more confident execution.
I predict that Cherry will begin his career by making an immediate impact on special teams, but as he develops within the system, there’s no reason why he can’t become a solid playmaker for the Longhorns’ defense.
*Photo credits to 247 Sports