Cy Ridge defensive lineman Vernon Broughton is a top target for Texas in the 2020 cycle. (Mike Craven)

Football

Commitment 101: Four-star defensive tackle Vernon Broughton provides Texas with size, upside

Posted July 17th, 2019

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Texas landed its biggest defensive target, literally and physically, on Wednesday when four-star Cy Ridge defensive tackle Vernon Broughton picked the Longhorns over Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Ohio State. The 6-5, 286-pound prospect is ranked eighth on the 2020 Fabulous 55. He held 25 offers and was a first-team all-district selection as a junior. Broughton recently participated in The Opening Finals. 

“I’m really cool with coach Herman and coach (Oscar) Giles. Herman is involved 100%. He texts me every other day asking me if I’m good and how I’m feeling,” Broughton said at The Opening earlier in the month. “My family is only a few hours away (from UT) and it’s a great facility.”

Broughton is Texas’ ninth pledge in the 2020 cycle, and its first along the defensive line. Broughton joins outside linebacker Prince Dorbah and cornerback Kitan Crawford as the only defenders committed to Texas in 2020. The remaining targets along the defensive line include local defensive ends Princely Umanmielen and Alfred Collins.

Skill set: Broughton is a former defensive end growing into an athletic defensive tackle. He’ll be moved around in Texas’ odd man front. His continued growth will determine his eventual landing spot, whether it be at nose guard or as a jumbo defensive end like Charles Omenihu or Ta’Quon Graham. Broughton didn’t start playing football competitively until he was a freshman in high school, meaning his potential is untapped. The upside is as immense as Broughton’s frame because of his length, strength, and athleticism. 

Texas missed on the state’s best defensive lineman in 2019 when DeMarvin Leal picked Texas A&M. The Longhorns evened the score by landing Broughton in 2020, the state’s best defensive line prospect. Broughton is a versatile athlete with experience playing on the edge. That should give him advantage pass rushing against interior linemen. Broughton is a future starter if he proves himself as a consistent force against the run. 

Immediate impact: Broughton won’t need to contribute immediately in 2020 if Graham and fellow junior Marqez Bimage progress in a predicted fashion. Broughton will arrive on campus with experienced and talented depth in front of him at defensive end and defensive tackle. That’s not a bad thing for a prospect still learning the finer techniques of football. He’ll be allowed to grow on the field and in the weight room as he supplies depth as a true freshman. It’s his sophomore season when Texas will start to lean on Broughton to provide a real impact. 

Fitting into the program: Broughton was one of Texas’ first defensive targets in the 2020 class. The staff knows him well, and Broughton is aware of the demands placed on football players under Herman. Broughton is also another star player from the Houston area and a big win in recruiting over Texas A&M. The four-star is a perfect schematic fit for Todd Orlando’s defense because of his versatility and ability to play in a four-man or odd front. 

Recruiting at the position: Texas’ defensive scheme doesn’t require true nose tackles in the way a normal four-man defensive front dictates in recruiting. Texas prefers to sign the occasional big body like Keondre Coburn, but it mostly prefers the body styles of 2020 targets Princely Umanmielen and Alfred Collins. The two local prospects are Texas’ top two defensive end targets with Texas A&M considered the top competition for both signatures. It’s unlikely Texas takes another true defensive end in the cycle with Coburn and Moro Ojomo on campus. 

Texas' 2020 recruiting class

A list of Texas commitments in the 2020 recruiting class.
PLAYERPOS.SCHOOLSTARSCOMMITMENT DATE
Hudson CardQBLake Travis4May 25 (2018)
Logan ParrOGSan Antonio O'Connor4Oct. 28 (2018)
Jake MajorsOGProsper4Jan. 24
Jaylen GarthOTPort Neches-Groves4Feb. 17
Jaden HullabyATHBishop Dunne3March 30
Ja'Quinden JacksonQB/ATHDuncanville4June 3
Kitan CrawfordCBJohn Tyler4June 21
Prince DorbahOLBHighland Park4July 9
Vernon BroughtonDTCy Ridge4July 17
Van FillingerDECanyon Court (Utah)3July 18
Andrej KaricOTSouthlake Carroll3July 24
Bijan RobinsonRBSalpointe Catholic (Ariz.)5Aug. 2
Ethan PounceyCBWinter Park (Fla.)4Aug. 6
Jerrin ThompsonSLufkin4Aug. 11
Princely UmanmielenDEManor4Aug. 12
Xavion AlfordSAlvin Shadow Creek4Aug. 16
Quentin JohnstonWRTemple4Aug. 17
Joshua EatonCBAldine Macarthur4Aug. 23

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