Football

Commitment 101: De’Gabriel Floyd, the nation’s third-ranked outside linebacker, picks Texas

Posted March 31st, 2018

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Texas landed its fourth commitment of the 2019 class when 4-star outside linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd picked the Longhorns over programs like Oregon and UCLA. The 6-2, 220-pound product of Westlake Village (Calif.) is the first out-of-state commitment for the Longhorns and the second defender, joining 3-star defensive end T’Vondre Sweat of Huntsville.

Texas also holds commitments from 5-star wide receiver Jordan Whittington and 4-star dual-threat quarterback Roschon Johnson.

Floyd first made a trip to Austin to visit Texas during junior days. He walked away impressed with the visit and named the Longhorns among his top five along with UCLA, Oregon, Auburn and Florida on March 2; he had been offered by Texas on Jan. 28. Floyd, who will be at The Opening Finals in Frisco this summer, is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who hits with a thump and doesn’t mind playing in space.

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“I really liked the Rover position and how Todd Orlando likes to use the player,” Floyd said after Texas’ junior day in February. “Texas is real high. The atmosphere and the fact I have family here makes me real comfortable on my visit. It felt like home.”

Skill set: Floyd is the No. 3-ranked outside linebacker in the country and the No. 40-ranked overall prospect in the 2019 class, per the 247Sports composite. He’d be considered the best linebacker to come out of Texas for the last two years if he played in the state.

Floyd is a complete athlete who has also spent time at running back during his prep career. He’ll translate full-time to outside linebacker in college because of his combination of size, athleticism and physicality. Floyd is being recruited for the Rover position, which was occupied by Malik Jefferson last season.

Floyd was a one-time USC commit and has more than 25 offers. He essentially had a choice of any program in the country and settled on Texas because of his relationship with Orlando, and his enjoyment of the city. His former Pop Warner coach resides in the area and Floyd considers him family.

Immediate impact: Players like Gary Johnson and Anthony Wheeler will be out of eligibility by the time the 2019 class arrives on campus and Texas expects Ayodele Adeoye to take the place of Johnson. That will leave the Rover spot open for competition when Floyd arrives and he’ll be expected to compete for the starting spot, or at least provide help on the two-deep, as a freshman. He’s a caliber of player who doesn’t redshirt in the modern game. Texas will find a way to incorporate him into the defense or the special teams from day one.  

Fitting into the program: Texas went to California in the 2018 class to sign quarterback Cameron Rising. Coincidentally, the two know each other from the 7-on-7 circuit and Floyd pointed to his familiarity with Rising as a reason he liked the vibe in Austin. The Longhorns will always rely on the talent-rich grounds of Texas for the bulk of its recruiting efforts, but Herman has shown a willingness to attack out-of-state when he feels a need can’t be filled by the talent inside the borders.

Recruiting at the position: Texas would like to sign at least three linebackers and Floyd was an important piece to the puzzle because the Longhorns weren’t high on many outside linebackers from the state. The only in-state inside linebacker with a UT offer is David Gbenda, a four-star prospect from Katy Cinco Ranch. Players like NaNa Osafo-Mensah and Jermaine Johnson are defensive ends who could become outside linebackers in Orlando’s scheme. Florida prospect Rian Davis is another name to watch.

2019 Texas Longhorns recruiting class

PlayerPos. SchoolStarsCommitment date
Roschon Johnson QBPort Neches-Groves4July 21 (2017)
T'Vondre Sweat DEHuntsville3Feb. 28
Jordan Whittington WRCuero4March 10
De'Gabriel Floyd OLBWestlake Village (Calif.)4March 31
Kenyatta Watson IIDBGrayson (Ga.)4May 1
Brayden Liebrock TEChandler (Ariz.)3May 8
Tyler JohnsonOLConroe Oak Ridge4May 25
Jared WileyTETemple3May 26
Jake SmithWRNotre Dame Preparatory (Ariz.)4June 3
Peter MpagiDEGeorge Ranch3June 16
Chris AdimoraSMayfair (Calif.)4July 1
Marques CaldwellCBAlvin3July 7
Marcus Tillman Jr.OLBJones (Fla.)3July 28
Javonne ShepherdOTNorth Forest4July 29
Derrian BrownRBBuford (Ga.)4Sept. 16
Tyler OwensSPlano East4Sept. 24
David GbendaILBKaty Cinco Ranch4Sept. 30
Marcus WashingtonWRTrinity Catholic (Mo.)4Oct. 26
Myron WarrenDEMany (La.)3Nov. 19
Jacoby JonesDEButler C.C.3Nov. 21
Caleb JohnsonOLBFullerton College (Calif.)3Dec. 17
Kennedy LewisWRMelissa3Dec. 18
Isaiah HookfinOTFort Bend Dulles4Dec. 21
Bru McCoyATHMater Dei (Calif.)5Jan. 25

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