Evaluating 3 most underrated Texas football commits in 2023 class

Steve Sarkisian, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Steve Sarkisian, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
2 of 3

S’Maje Burrell, LB

Texas tackled a big position of need in the 2023 class early on by landing a commitment out of the fast-rising and touted four-star North Crowley linebacker S’Maje Burrell. As one of the early commits in the Longhorns 2023 class this offseason, Burrell has already risen pretty far up the recruiting rankings in the last few months.

Burrell went from being a mid-to-upper-tier three-star recruit in the composite rankings a few months ago to a solidified four-star this summer.

Yet, I still don’t believe that does the potential of Burrell as a standout middle linebacker with a modern skill set justice in this class. Burrell clearly has the potential to be a top-150-rated prospect in the nation for this cycle.

What makes Burrell such a special talent for the Longhorns in the 2023 class is a combination of size, speed, and football IQ that makes him an incredibly potent off-ball linebacker in the modern game. Burrell’s ability to find the football, especially in chasing down the ball carrier defending the run, makes him a very productive linebacker on a consistent basis.

Combine that with Burrell’s closing speed and hard-hitting nature and you get a middle linebacker that is ready to make some big plays at the next level.

That football IQ and raw speed and agility that Burrell brings to the table at the linebacker position means that he is also effective in pass coverage. Burrell does tend to overpursue at times in pass coverage. And that will be the main area of improvement for Burrell before he’s ready to assume major live-game reps at the Power Five level.

Burrell’s over-pursuit and frequent missed tackles at times should be considered his main weaknesses. But he’s got time to work on his fundamentals before he’ll be asked to assume a big role with the Longhorns.

For the time being, Burrell should be considered one of the most impactful defensive commits in the Longhorns 2023 class that will be a big-time player for this linebacker corps.