Texas football gets SEC-sized LB in Bama transfer Kendrick Blackshire

Texas football added an experienced middle linebacker with SEC size and physicality to the LB room in former Alabama junior transfer Kendrick Blackshire.
Kendrick Blackshire
Kendrick Blackshire / Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

The streak keeps on getting hotter for Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian with NCAA Transfer Portal recruiting early this offseason. Texas has landed three commitments in as many days since it hosted three key portal visitors on campus last weekend.

The third and most recent of the portal commitments for Sarkisian and the Longhorns staff is the former Alabama Crimson Tide junior linebacker Kendrick Blackshire. He joins former Oregon State Beavers redshirt junior slot receiver Silas Bolden and Alabama sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Bond among the three portal commitments for the Longhorns since Jan. 14.

Texas football adds SEC size to the linebacking corps in former Alabama LB Kendrick Blackshire

It just so happens that Texas went three-for-three landing commitments from the portal visitors it hosted in Austin over the weekend.

Blackshire is also the third portal defender the Longhorns have landed a commitment from in this transfer cycle. Texas has also landed defensive portal commitments from the former Clemson Tigers junior safety Andrew Mukuba and UTSA Roadrunners redshirt sophomore edge rusher Trey Moore.

Blackshire adds quality depth and proven experience to Texas's LB room and special teams unit

The 6-foot-2 and 245-pound Blackshire was a consistent impact player on special teams and a contributor on defense in the linebacker rotation for the Tide last season. Blackshire's ability to fill many different roles on the special teams was impressive during his time at Alabama in the last three seasons.

He played double-digit snaps on the kick return and coverage units and with the punt coverage and field goal blocking teams in the last two seasons in Tuscaloosa. Kick coverage, kick return, and punt coverage, is where Blackshire contributed the most on special teams last season at Alabama.

He ranked among the five-highest-graded players on Alabama's special teams coverage unit in 2023.

On defense, Blackshire was a reliable force whom Alabama's defense could count on in run defense and roving the flats in pass coverage. He registered six run stops in run defense for the Tide last season.

Blackshire brings that size and physicality you need at middle linebacker against those big blockers in the SEC.

The experience factor that Blackshire brings to the middle linebacker position at Texas also shouldn't be overlooked. Blackshire has played multiple years and in some big games in the SEC at Alabama, which can help the development of rising sophomore Texas mike linebacker Liona Lefau.

It also takes some pressure off Lefau that he won't have to be the guy right away at middle linebacker for the Longhorns in 2024 after the departure of All-Big 12 senior Jaylan Ford. Lefau can take time to develop while gaining knowledge from the experience Blackshire brings as a veteran voice in the linebacker room.

Texas's pitch and connection with Blackshire won his commitment

The Longhorns' pitch to Blackshire was to contribute to the defense and special teams unit while developing his game for the NFL in a system that suits his skill set and physical profile. Texas also gives Blackshire a chance to succeed with a high-caliber team and a good coaching staff to develop him and take his game to the next level.

"They give me the best opportunity to play at the next level. Just with the overall state of Texas and how Texas loves football, all the attention they're getting and they're going to continue to get because they do have a great team and a great staff."

Horns247 reported that Blackshire spent time with new Texas LB coach/co-DC Johnny Nansen during his visit to Austin last weekend.

"The new linebacker coach they hired from Arizona, he's awesome. He's a great coach, very easy to work with."

It's clear that Nansen has already made an impact with his ability to connect with these players Texas is pursuing in the portal to build this defensive front with SEC-caliber players entering the conference in 2024.

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