The Texas Longhorns have had to alter their recruiting strategy over the last year, with the latest manifestation a Sophomore Day last Saturday that produced a handful of offers and a commitment from 2015 Sherman (Texas) offensive lineman Aaron Garza.
Currently ranked as the second-best offensive linemen in Texas in the Lone Star Recruiting Top 100 and the no. 23 player overall, Garza is a 6-4, 300-pounder who held an offer from Baylor prior to his commitment, though 247Sports also reports an offer from Michigan.
The Sherman product joints West Orange-Stark safety Deionte Thompson (Alabama) and Houston Clear Lake tight end Jordan Davis (Florida State) as the three prospects in the state of Texas who have already given their pledges as early recruiting and commitments continue to go down at an ever-faster rate.
Just months ago, the Longhorns were not accepting commitments or extending official offers in the 2014 class as opposing schools started to see commitments trickle in, forcing changes. Now, the Longhorns have offered several of the top prospects in the state and accepted the commitment from Garza nearly 22 months from Signing Day 2015.
The big offensive lineman told 247Sports that he knew quickly when he arrived in Austin that he wanted to become a Longhorn ($):
I knew that Texas was the place for me as soon as I stepped on campus, so it was an easy decision. I've always been a big Longhorn fan, so this is like a dream come true for me.
Listed variously at 6-3 or 6-4 and at 307 pounds by 247Sports, Garza is mature for his age in terms of physical development -- on film, he already looks like an older player and possesses solid feet and good overall body quickness in pass protection, though he projects as an interior player at the next level and may not be a plus-player pulling in the run game unless he can improve his mobility there. There is also evidence on film that he can pack a significant punch both in the run game and in pass protection, which is hardly a given even for older offensive linemen who are quality prospects.
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