Jeffrey McCulloch to Texas: Longhorns Land 4-Star OLB Prospect

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2016


One of the nation's top linebackers has decided where he'll spend the next few years. Aldine Davis product Jeffrey McCulloch announced his commitment to Texas on Wednesday, choosing the Longhorns over Oklahoma, Alabama and a number of other high-profile programs.

ESPNU showed McCulloch revealing his school of choice:


WHEN WILL TEXAS STOP? https://t.co/3sb2cjJi40

McCulloch is the No. 59 overall player and the fourth-ranked outside linebacker in the 2016 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

The Houston native has made a name for himself as an explosive talent, earning invitations to most of the nation's biggest camps. According to 247Sports' Steve Wiltfong, he made 59 tackles (18.5 for loss), 9.5 sacks and 11 quarterback hurries during his junior season.

"I just try to be an aggressive pass-rusher who can cover anybody down the field," McCulloch told Damon Sayles of Bleacher Report in February 2015. "Honestly, I didn't think [my nickname, "The Shark"] would stick. I thought it was just us being silly at first. Then after awhile, I heard teammates saying it, then friends were saying it, then teachers were saying it."

Despite the fervor surrounding his commitment, experts have long considered him a near-lock for Texas. 247Sports' crystal ball predictions gave the Longhorns a 100 percent chance of landing McCulloch. Head coach Charlie Strong's background as a defensive mastermind helped Texas stand out in his initial recruitment. 

”I like having a defensive head coach,” McCulloch said, per Jason Higdon of Horns Digest. “The practice has high intensity and the stadium is awesome and is packed with great fans. Coach Strong is building a championship contending team."

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McCulloch brings an overall skill set that could make him an instant-impact player. He's listed at 6'2 ½" and 230 pounds, which could allow him to shift into a number of different roles on defense.

It's not unreasonable to think he'd be an excellent inside linebacker, since he's equipped with the toughness and roving speed to make plays on the outside.

Either way, it's a huge coup for Strong as he continues building his 2016 class. The Longhorns appear well on their way to building a defensive foundation that can push them into the future.

Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter. 

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