The Texas Longhorns have received an important 2014 commitment in 4-star offensive tackle Demetrius Knox.
With the addition of Knox, Texas already has six recruits committed for 2014, so it is setting itself up very nicely for success in the 2014 recruiting cycle.
Jason Suchomel of OrangeBloods.com reports on the commitment:
The top-ranked OL prospect in the state of Texas for the 2014 class, Knox had Texas as his clear leader as recently as a few weeks ago before saying last week that he'd leveled the playing field somewhat and he wasn't ready to name a top team. On Monday, Knox again moved Texas to the top of his list and this time he slammed the recruiting door shut with a commitment to the Longhorn coaches.
"UT. It's official," Knox said via text.
Knox is still just a junior, but he projects to be a very talented player. Here's my complete scouting report on Texas' newest 2014 commit:
- Name: Demetrius Knox
- Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
- School: All Saints Episcopal School
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- Height: 6'5" (247Sports)
- Weight: 300 lbs (247Sports)
- Rankings: 4-star (Scout.com), 4-star (Rivals), 4-star (247Sports), Watch List (ESPN Recruiting Nation)
For being as big and physically dominant as he is, Knox is an incredibly technical player. He has very good footwork and is a fundamental blocker, so as he continues to get stronger, his technical skill will give him the ability to be dominant.
He gets great leverage at the point of attack and plays with incredible explosion out of his stance. As a run blocker, he utilizes low pad level and is constantly driving and moving his feet, which combined with his size makes him incredibly good.
You can see his ability to get low and drive in the pictures below. Notice how his helmet is lower than the defender's, pointing to low pad level, and you can see he's getting great leverage and push by bending his knees:
He's then able to lower his level even more, which gives him great leverage, and from there he can use his strength to push back the defender, who is essentially straight up. At this point, a term we would use is that he has his defender on "roller skates," meaning the defender will essentially have no traction against the block and will be thrown backwards:
Knox ends this play with a "screen block," which in coaching terms means that he blocked the defender right off the screen of the film. He was able to do that because of his size and power, but as you saw, much of it had to do with his technique and leverage:
Knox's technique also comes into play as a pass-blocker. He has very quick footwork, which allows him to shuffle back and move laterally through the pocket, so he's able to either move behind the pocket with a defender, or step with him side to side.
Source: Film clips via this video.
For as quick as his footwork is, it can get a little bit choppy in pass protection. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, I would like to see him work on getting a bit more fluid in his pass protection. More slide and less chop will help him keep his balance against quicker defensive lineman with more experience and pass-rushing moves at the college level.
It's not a huge negative, but it's something worth pointing out.
What would you rank Knox?
Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to see his star ranking go up to five in his senior season.
Knox already has great size, and I expect he'll add some more strength through his senior season and into college. His technique and fundamentals will also continue to get better with more experience, and mind you, they are already very good.
He could end up being an elite left tackle for Texas in a few years, so the Longhorns are very lucky to be getting his commitment so early in the recruiting process.