Devin Duvernay, one of the top wide receiver prospects in the Class of 2016, committed to play college football at Texas on Wednesday. A gifted athlete with high-end playmaking ability, it shouldn't take long for him to make an impact for the Longhorns.
ESPN.com's Gerry Hamilton was the first to report the commitment, and he provided the following comments from Duvernay:
[I'm] going to Texas. I just feel like they are coming up, and feel good about [head coach] Charlie Strong and his staff's plan and they are going to turn this thing around. I feel like [offensive coordinator] Coach Sterlin Gilbert is kind of the missing piece to help out the offense. I feel like he can add me in, and add some speed to the receiving core.
Duvernay is a 4-star prospect who ranks as the No. 4 wide receiver, No. 4 player from the state of Texas and No. 36 overall prospect in his class, according to 247Sports. The outlet noted he received interest from more than three dozen schools before making a choice.
He previously committed to Baylor but decided to reopen his recruitment in the wake of the school's sexual assault scandal. That became possible because Baylor failed to submit Duvernay's national letter of intent paperwork, per ESPN (h/t Julie Boudwin of the Times-Picayune).
At this point, the Sachse High School (Texas) product remains a raw talent on the outside. He's going to need more polish before he becomes a consistent threat in the passing game. What made him stand out from the crowd was his top-tier athleticism.
Here's an example from the Dallas Nike Football Combine (via Student Sports):
It's easy to see why he's also a threat on special teams. Get him the ball in space and he can make people miss. Once there's a lane, there aren't many players who can chase him down.
He's also planning to use that natural speed in other ways. Michael Taglienti of Saturday Blitz passed along comments from the receiver about his college plans back in August: "I plan on doing both track and football in college."
Given his need for more work in terms of route running, along with learning the offense, it wouldn't be a surprise if he initially makes his impact on special teams. Returning kicks and punts while playing a rotational role on offense would be ideal at the outset.
The short-term outlook should become clearer once he arrives on campus. His long-term potential is intriguing, though. As long as he becomes more proficient in technical areas, his natural talent could help him blossom into a major threat for the Longhorns.
Exactly how long it will take before Duvernay becomes an every-down contributor on offense is a mystery at this point. But there are certainly a lot of reasons for Texas fans to get excited about the signing. He's a major piece to add to the 2016 class.