Texas football flips priority 4-Star LB Tyanthony Smith from Texas A&M

Bevo, Texas football
Bevo, Texas football / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Among the last outstanding flip targets for Texas football in the 2024 class flipped his commitment from the Texas A&M Aggies on the first signing day on Dec. 20. The touted four-star Jasper (TX) linebacker Tyanthony Smith announced at his signing day ceremony that he flipped his commitment from Texas A&M and signed with Texas.

Smith was committed to the Aggies since June 30, before flipping to Texas on Dec. 20.

Texas has consistently prioritized Smith's recruitment, as he is one of just a handful of linebacker prospects this staff reserved a spot for in the 2024 class.

Texas football flips and signs former 4-Star Texas A&M LB commit Tyanthony Smith

Smith was among Texas's top in-state linebacker priorities in the 2024 class this fall. After he committed to Texas A&M over Texas and the USC Trojans during the summer, the Longhorns remained in consistent communication with the blue-chip linebacker from East Texas.

The relentless pursuit of Smith on the recruiting trail, namely by co-DC/LB coach Jeff Choate, is one major factor that ultimately kept the Longhorns in the running for Smith's commitment after Texas A&M fired head coach Jimbo Fisher last month. Choate's strong relationship with Smith combined with Texas's prioritization of him at the linebacker position in the 2024 class sold him on Austin ultimately being the right place for him to be.

Smith is the 22nd high school recruit to commit and sign with the Longhorns in the 2024 class on the first day of the Early Signing Period on Dec. 20. According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2024 Texas recruiting class ranks fifth nationally and third in the SEC behind the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs.

Smith gives Texas a rangy off-ball LB

The 6-foot-2 and 205-pound East Texas linebacker Smith is a productive and rangy defender who possesses a modern skill set for the position. He's got a lengthy wingspan and good sideline-to-sideline speed, making Smith an ideal fit at off-ball linebacker.

Smith is one of the more fundamentally sound linebacker recruits coming out of high school in the 2024 class. He's a good fundamental tackler and does well playing his angles in space. Smith is quick to close on the ball carrier, whether he's coming off the edge or up the middle as a delayed blitzer or chasing down the ball carrier in space.

Smith is a good cover linebacker. He has a good understanding of route concepts and offensive play development since he's played on both sides of the ball at multiple positions in his high school football career at Jasper. Smith's above-average straight-line speed, physicality, and instincts are also qualities that make him a solid linebacker in pass coverage.

Areas of improvement

The first area of improvement for Smith is definitely the need to add muslce mass to his frame. At around 200 or 205 pounds, Smith is on the lighter side of off-ball linebacker prospects in the 2024 class. He ideally must add at least 20 or 25 pounds of muscle mass to his frame before he's ready to compete at the Power Five level.

And while Smith is a good cover linebacker from a physical tools and instincts perspective, he still needs to improve his technique in coverage. He can get caught flat-footed, resulting in him getting ran past downfield, in pass coverage against faster skill weapons.

Projection and fit at Texas

Since Smith must add weight to his frame before he'll be ready to compete against SEC skill players, he's expected to be an impact player by his second or third year on campus. He has time to be patient and develop in the weight room and from a technical perspective in coverage since Texas has so much young depth and talent at the linebacker position.

Texas signed a deep and talented linebacker class during the 2023 cycle that it feels good about heading into the SEC in 2024.

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