Texas football adds versatile 2025 4-Star TE Emaree Winston

Emaree Winston
Emaree Winston / Lori Schmidt / Columbus Dispatch / USA

A huge day on the trail for head coach Steve Sarkisian and Texas football with high school and NCAA Transfer Portal recruiting on Dec. 18 finished with a commitment from the highly touted four-star Calhoun (GA) tight end Emaree Winston.

Texas got its second commitment in the 2025 class from the blue-chip tight end from Georgia, Winston.

Winston was also the third of three commitments the Longhorns landed on Dec. 18. He committed to Texas over the UCF Knights and Ohio State Buckeyes during an announcement at his high school early this week.

Texas football gets its second commit in the 2025 class with 4-Star TE Emaree Winston

Seeing what All-Big 12 junior tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders was doing in Sark's offense and the opportunity to compete for early playing time with a program in the SEC are the big factors that attracted Winston to Texas.

Sanders played a big role in this recruitment in general. He built a good relationship and and kept an open line of communication with Winston throughout the recruiting process so far.

The NFL Draft upside for Sanders and his development at Texas in the last few years also caught Winston's eye (per 247Sports).

"I see what they’re doing with JT. Me and him have the same skillset I’m guessing. And knowing he’s about to go be a second- or third-round pick and that could be me in the next four or five years."

Special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jeff Banks and the Longhorns really started to make some headway with Winston after he included Texas in his top six schools early in the fall. He replaced the North Carolina Tar Heels with Texas among his six finalist schools a few months ago.

Soon after Texas cracked his top six schools, Winston visited for the Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Oct. 7 against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Winston has also developed close relationships with Sark and Banks. He feels like he's a natural fit at tight end in Sark's offense and he likes the direction of the program as the Longhorns head into the SEC in 2024.

Winston gives Texas a physical, smart tight end in the 2025 class

Winston is a versatile and physical tight end who is a bit smaller in stature than your average tight end in the modern game, but he is a smart player who just finds ways to get open and exploit opposing defenses.

The 6-foot-2 and 230-pound Georgia native tight end is an underrated athlete who has many of the attributes that a coach and offensive playcaller wants out of a player at the position who can block and threaten defenses in the receiving game.

Winston is a multi-sport athlete who plays football and basketball at Calhoun High School. He shows a good combination of strength, speed, and verticality in football and basketball at the high school level.

Regarding his athletic profile, Winston packs a real punch as a compact tight end who can work from multiple different spots lining up at the line of scrimmage pre-snap. He has the speed and route tree necessary to flex out as a receiving threat. Winston can also line up in line or in the backfield and be a reliable blocker for the run or the pass.

It's noteworthy that Winston is physical and versatile enough to still line up in-line or in the backfield and get out to the flats or the middle of the field in the short and intermediate passing game.

Winston's physicality and strong lower base make him a force as a blocking tight end

Winston will be a force to be reckoned with in one-on-one blocking matchups against smaller linebackers and defensive backs, especially once he gets out in space or downfield blocking for the ball carrier. He has a non-stop motor, showing effort through the whistle regardless if he's blocking or the ball carrier.

Receiver and route running skills are major plusses

The unique combination of strength, speed, and football IQ that Winston brings makes him a difficult matchup for opposing defenses as a receiving threat. He's a capable route runner to find space to get open in the short and intermediate passing game. Winston is also a matchup issue for opposing linebackers and safeties when he goes on deep routes down the seams.

Winston poses a problem after the catch too. He's a strong runner and surprisingly elusive after the catch, making opposing defenders really have to get after it to get him to the ground. Winston will be a strong yards after the catch tight end at the collegiate level for the Longhorns.

Projection and fit at Texas

Winston is the definition of a physical football player who has a mature skill set that makes him ready to compete for early reps at the collegiate level. He's already got the muscle mass and versatility as a blocker as receiving threat at tight end necessary to compete for early reps in Sark's offense.

Texas has pitched the opportunity to get early playing time to Winston throughout this recruitment. The fact that he and the talented four-star Saraland (AL) quarterback KJ Lacey are the only two recruits committed to the Longhorns in the 2025 class right now is a sign that Sark and Banks feel they can build around these guys on offense.

Winston is the caliber of tight end that Banks wants, and is starting to load up this position group with at Texas heading into the SEC next year. You want to get these physically-imposing tight ends with the versatility to fill multiple roles in Sark's offense to maximize the depth in this room heading into the future. And Winston checks those boxes regarding versatility and physicality for the Longhorns in the 2025 class.

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