Texas Football Recruiting: Impact LB commit Jake Ehlinger brings Horns

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The second preferred walk-on added to this Texas football recruiting class in the span of just a few days brings something interesting for the defense.

The number of preferred walk-ons present for the incoming 2019 Texas football recruiting class seems to be ever-growing this week. On Jan. 17, Texas football recruiting landed the commitment of an underrated hometown three-star pro-style quarterback Sam Saxton. You usually don’t get a quarterback rated as highly or as skilled and valuable as Saxton as a preferred walk-on. Even a blue blood football program as well-known and respected as the Texas Longhorns isn’t accustomed to this kind of haul of preferred walk-ons on the recruiting trail.

Another key preferred walk-on was added to the incoming Texas football recruiting class, this time with a more noticeable name. Two-star Westlake High School and Austin, TX, native inside linebacker Jake Ehlinger became the latest preferred walk-on add for the Texas Longhorns in the 2019 recruiting class.

The only offer Ehlinger had during his recruitment came from the FCS Ivy League Penn Quakers back in May 2018. Ehlinger ranks as the No. 137 2019 high school inside linebacker in the nation, and outside the top 400 prospects in the state of Texas. His recruiting classifications aren’t what brings a good draw with him to the Forty Acres.

What the brother of 2019 Heisman contending quarterback Sam Ehlinger brings the Horns is a fighting spirit that should carry over to the defensive side of the ball. Walk-ons do tend to be more effective at linebacker than at any of the skill positions. As long as a linebacker buys into the system and can play fast and physical, he can make an impact in some regard during his collegiate career.

A strong linebacker haul for the 2019 Texas football recruiting class can pretty much stay put in terms of jockeying for position on the depth chart during the off-season. Ehlinger isn’t going to make an instant impact on the field for the Horns, but the urgency he plays the game with at the high school level can definitely translate on the Forty Acres.

If nothing else, adding preferred walk-ons to this Texas football recruiting class brings depth on both sides of the ball that wouldn’t be there otherwise. Adding something to the quarterback and linebacker rooms can help stabilize the turbulence caused by the transfer market nowadays.

And, if Jake is anything similar to Sam Ehlinger, we’ll get to see something special added to this locker room. Sam guided this team to a victory in the Allstate Sugar Bowl over the Georgia Bulldogs just by his will running the ball. Who knows what Jake can bring on the field immediately since he probably won’t get the opportunity for early playing time.

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But the strength Jake plays at inside linebacker with at the Westlake football program is one factor that can help players at his position succeed at the Power Five level. At 6-foot-0 and 205 pounds, Ehlinger does have the size coaches look for out of an inside linebacker. More than anything, this is cool to see two prospects like Jake Ehlinger and Sam Saxton follow their dreams and make their way to the Forty Acres over other offers entering the 2019 off-season.