Texas picked up its third commitment in a 23-day span Tuesday, securing in-state safety DeShon Elliott, who announced the news on Twitter. Head coach Charlie Strong continues to compile a class he'll be counting on to pay immediate dividends in Austin, and the 3-star recruit fills a need in the defensive backfield.
The 6'1", 200-pound safety from Rockwall-Heath High School (Rockwall, Texas) is pledge No. 8 for the Longhorns in this 2015 recruiting cycle. He chose Texas over several options, including Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Baylor.
It's a statement pledge for Texas, a program that has struggled to compete with the Aggies on the recruiting trail in recent years. Elliott is coming off a junior season that featured 70 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions.
He's a ferocious hitter who spends a lot of time in the box in run support. Elliott likely received looks at outside linebacker, particularly on the weak side, during his recruitment process.
His athleticism serves him well in the secondary, where he doesn't have to worry about shedding blocks from offensive linemen on a regular basis. He pursues and hits like a torpedo out of the backfield, instilling an intimidation factor against opposing receivers and running backs alike.
Elliott's ability to blend big hits and capable coverage skills may remind many Longhorns fans of former Texas secondary standout Kenny Vaccaro, who now suits up with the New Orleans Saints. Expect him to deliver clean, explosive highlight tackles early in his collegiate career, especially on special teams kick coverage.
He will face a transitional phase while learning the nuances of back-end pass coverage schemes in Austin. His development as a safety valve who can orchestrate the defensive secondary and identify routes will ultimately determine how quickly Elliot rises on the depth chart at Texas.
Strong pinpointed Elliot as a key target early in his tenure, extending an offer during a February junior day. He quickly swayed the defender into viewing Texas as a front-runner, which 247Sports reporter Blake Munroe pointed out last month:
The Longhorns have landed Elliott, offensive tackle Ronnie Major and Charles Omenihu since Feb. 22, providing Strong with mounting momentum on the recruiting trail. Texas' eight-player class currently ranks ninth nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings.
All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.