Texas football added a commitment from one of its top priority recruits on the offensive side of the ball in the 2024 class to cap this weekend in five-star Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei offensive tackle Brandon Baker. The elite offensive tackle recruit out of the powerhouse California high school program Mater Dei was the top target remaining on the board this fall for offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Kyle Flood.
The nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle recruit in the 2024 class in the 247Sports Composite and On3 Industry Ranking is the 18th prospect to commit to the Longhorns and the third offensive lineman this cycle. Baker committed to Texas over the Oregon Ducks, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Baker joins four-star North Richland Hills (TX) Richland interior offensive lineman Daniel Cruz and three-star Humble (TX) Atascocita interior offensive lineman Nate Kibble among the 2024 OLs committed to the Longhorns 2024 class.
Texas football adds No. 1 2024 OT Brandon Baker over Oregon and Ohio State
This was an impressive victory for Flood and the Longhorns on the recruiting trail to get Baker in their 2024 class. Flood continues to do good work on the recruiting trail with elite offensive tackle recruits. Two cycles ago, Flood and the Longhorns essentially flipped the elite five-star Humble (TX) Summer Creek offensive tackle Kelvin Banks from Oregon in the 2022 class.
Relationships and the ability to immediately impact an already talented group along the offensive line heading into the future for the Longhorns won Flood this recruitment over Ohio State, Oregon, and Nebraska. Baker told Greg Biggins of 247Sports that he has a “really good relationship with coach Flood” and he’s “building a really strong offensive line”.
"“I have a really good relationship with coach (Kyle) Flood and when we talk, it means something. He’s a really good coach and he’s building a really strong offensive line. He thinks they’re putting something special together and he really wants me to be a part of that.”"
Baker can immediately compete for a starting spot at Texas
Among the top selling points for Flood and the Longhorns in this recruitment was the ability to compete for a starting spot immediately at offensive tackle next year. Texas is set to lose redshirt senior right tackle Christian Jones due to exhausted eligibility next offseason.
Like Banks did last year, Baker will be able to compete for a starting spot as a true freshman on campus.
Baker adds a polished OT with good length to the Texas O-Line
The 6-foot-4.5 and 300-pound elite offensive tackle recruit Baker is hands down the highest-upside offensive lineman committed to the Longhorns in the 2024 class. He’s got good length and polished technical ability.
With an arm length at a reported 34 inches (per On3), Baker fits that “big human” mold that Flood and the Longhorns covet along the offensive line.
Baker’s technique, football IQ, and footwork are about as good as it gets for an offensive tackle still playing at the high school level. He plays with excellent pad level and drive to finish blocks. His drive, aggressiveness, and strong lower base mean opposing defensive linemen and edge rushers aren’t getting away once Baker engages.
The biggest strength Baker brings is his run-blocking ability. He consistently plays with a chip on his shoulder, which shows when he finishes blocks. Baker is a quick and effective run blocker who thrives as a pulling blocker or sealing the edge for the rusher.
Baker can climb to the second and third levels of opposing defenses to open some big holes for the back.
In pass protection, Baker is a stabilizing presence that brings excellent footwork and technique. Body control and hand placement are also plusses for Baker in pass pro.
All in all, Baker is one of the most polished and effective offensive tackle prospects from the high school ranks in the 2024 class. He’s one of the best run blockers among offensive tackles in this class and his pass protection is well above average.
Areas of improvement
While Baker will come into college as one of the most polished offensive tackle recruits in the 2024 class, he does have limited upside due to limited athleticism. He’s still improving his flexibility and drive as a pass blocker, especially against bigger defensive ends.
Baker could also use his hands more violently upon engagement.
Projection and fit at Texas
When you think of an immediate impact offensive tackle who could start for the Longhorns immediately in 2024, Baker is that guy. He’s got the makings of a three-year starter at right tackle. It’s crazy to think of Texas’s potential in the future with Banks starting at left tackle opposite Baker, assuming he wins the starting job at right tackle over Cam Williams next year.
The jump in competition also shouldn’t be an issue for Baker as he’s taken on some tough matchups as a starting offensive tackle at the No. 1 high school football program in the nation, Mater Dei.