COLLEGE STATION — A Dotted Line from last week focused on ranking the nine 2019 Texas commitments that we’ve seen in live action as seniors. Last Friday, I traveled to A&M Consolidated to watch Huntsville defensive end and future Longhorn T’Vondre Sweat, play his first district game of the season. The three-star performed as well as any player in the cycle, recording four sacks and manhandling his side of the line of scrimmage.
It helped Huntsville to a 27-7 win over one of the top teams in its district.
“I was pretty happy with how I performed tonight, and the rest of the defense really stepped up to shut them out in the second half,” Sweat said. “Some of those were coverage sacks and they deserve credit. I found a rhythm as the game went on with my pass rushing moves and they were trailing, so we knew they had to pass.”
Sweat, a 6-4, 265-pound defensive lineman who plays on the edge for Huntsville, is the most underrated prospect in the Texas class. Most of the headlines surrounding the 2019 group revolves around out-of-state talent like De’Gabriel Floyd and Jake Smith. In-state pledges like Tyler Johnson and Jordan Whittington get the most attention from the fans. Sweat ranks No. 36 on the 2019 Fabulous 55.
But Sweat could end up the player looked back upon as a real find, specifically defensive line coach Oscar Giles, who has built a tight relationship with Sweat and his family.
“Coach Giles is just a good man. A man I know can teach me about football and life,” Sweat said. “Texas likes where I am on my height and weight. I do need to get faster to stay on the edge and not grow into a defensive tackle. Getting to the quarterback is tougher in college.”
Sweat is completely settled on Texas. He was the first defensive player to commit when he pledged on Feb. 28. He’s also the lowest-ranked defensive player in the Longhorns’ ninth-ranked class. Only Temple tight end Jared Wiley is ranked lower on the national scale. None of that bothers Sweat, who finds his identity with end results rather than opinions.
“I’m committed to Texas. I don’t care who is ranked higher or lower and all that,” he said. “It’s nice that people think I’m a good player, but all that matters is that Texas thinks I’m good enough. Huntsville is in a hard location for a lot of scouts and stuff because we’re not really East Texas or Houston. Maybe we get overlooked?”
The big-bodied defensive end made the trip to Austin for the USC and TCU victories. He spent his time hanging out around campus, building relationships with the current players and helping the Longhorns convince the top targets on the board that Texas is the best choice. Those targets include five-star talents like Bru McCoy and Trey Sanders. Current Longhorns like Caden Sterns and BJ Foster are already impacting recruits.
“Caden is a dog. The amount he’s already playing proves that Texas will play the best guy no matter the age. That gives us motivation to show up ready to perform,” Sweat said. “BJ Foster is a good role model and someone who is a real leader for a young guy. I’m excited to be on defense with those guys.”
Sweat could potentially grow into a defensive tackle. He’d probably be considered an interior defensive line prospect if the Longhorns ran a four-man front. He’s the ideal size to play three-technique and use his speed as an advantage over guards. Texas prefers to use three big defensive linemen up front, allowing linebackers to roam and make plays. Sweat likely fits into the same position as current Longhorn Charles Omenihu.
“I love the defensive scheme at Texas,” Sweat said. “I’ll probably get to play multiple positions, but defensive end is the position I’m starting my career at when I arrive on campus.”