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) /
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Billy Walton, EDGE

A truly underrated three-star commit that could easily get overlooked among the recruits in the Longhorns 2023 class before too long is the former Oklahoma State Cowboys pledge and South Oak Cliff edge rusher Billy Walton. As one of the most versatile recruits along the defensive front among targets of the Longhorns 2023 class, Walton will be a developmental player with a higher ceiling than most anticipate once he arrives on campus.

It will also be worth watching the development of Walton at South Oak Cliff High School this fall as he’s already shown to learn and improve at a fast pace in the last few seasons. Walton continues to prove to be a more and more dynamic outside linebacker/edge rusher in the last two or three years.

There are some areas of Walton’s game that is already more mature than most would anticipate in a developmental prospect too. The fundamental tackling ability that Walton shows on film should translate immediately against Power Five competition. And that culminates with his non-stop motor and sneaky closing speed to present a lethal edge guy rushing the passer and blowing up the rusher in the backfield.

Walton still needs to add some size to his frame and work on his timing in pursuing the quarterback and/or ball carrier off the line of scrimmage. While Walton is smart in how he reads the direction of the ball carrier once the play is in motion, he tends to be a little slower to diagnose the play off the snap.

Nonetheless, Walton’s anticipation has also improved in the last couple of seasons at South Oak Cliff. As he has started to become more productive as a true edge rusher in the last two years, Walton’s play diagnosis has naturally improved.

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Walton is the type of productive edge rusher/outside linebacker/defensive end that could be a really impactful player along this defensive front three or four years down the line. In the right developmental system, Walton has the ceiling of a solidified blue-chip recruit. And with a solid season senior at South Oak Cliff, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Walton earns that coveted blue-chip status in the next few months.