I’m not often shocked by anything when it comes to recruiting anymore considering how wild crazy it has become over the years. You have to be ready for just about everything due to the unpredictability of teenagers and that can be quite exhausting at times.
With that said, many across the recruiting world were shocked and caught off guard this evening when top junior college tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson announced to the world that he was committing to Texas over Alabama, Louisville, and Oregon.
Wood-Anderson made a surprise official visit to Texas this summer and came away very impressed with what he saw in Austin, but later visits to Louisville and a return visit to Tuscaloosa muddied the waters significantly and had everyone, but Wood-Anderson wondering where he was going to end up.
It’s no secret that the tight end position is awfully thin in Austin and the Texas staff is looking to lock up a couple of studs this cycle, and with Wood-Anderson now in the fold, they are halfway to their goal.
Listed at 6’5, 245 pounds, the first thing that jumps out at you about Wood-Anderson is how well he moves for his size. If that size is anywhere close to being accurate then this kid is going to be an absolute problem and mismatch nightmare for linebackers, safeties, and corners. First clip you see of him is him splitting a corner and a safety on a post route for a 51 yard touchdown that he finishes off with a nice over the shoulder catch. Not bad.
As a receiver he displays good hands, he finds holes in the zone, he shows the ability to beat man coverage, he attacks the ball and shows he has good ball skills. He isn’t shy of contact with the ball in his hands and shows the ability to run through arm tackles and is definitely going to get his fair share of YAC. His ability as a receiver makes him a plug and play caliber of player for Texas and is something they currently lack on the depth chart.
Wood-Anderson isn’t strictly a flex tight end either. He has been used as an inline tight end and shows on film that he is willing to get his hands dirty as a blocker, and that is something that Tom Herman has put an emphasis on finding at the position. While he doesn’t have an extensive amount of clips of him blocking, he at least shows effort and looks willing and capable to put his hands on a defender as blocking tight end and that will be important when it comes to him getting on the field.
Full disclosure: We had no idea that the pick was going to be Texas for Wood-Anderson, but this is a HUGE pickup for Herman and his staff. DWA has the ability to be an instant impact kind of player at the tight end position and it has been quite a while since Texas has had that kind of talent at the position.
With Wood-Anderson now in the fold it is going to be interesting to see how it impacts the rest of their recruiting board at the tight end position. Malcolm Epps has been kicking around the idea of committing soon, but it will be curious to see if the brakes are tapped in that recruitment. Wood-Anderson’s commitment could signal them going all-in on guys like Luke Ford and Mustapha Muhammad, as both recently visited and sat down with the staff this summer.
Regardless of how you slice it, Texas is injecting talent into the tight end position that has seriously lacked it since the days of Jermichael Finley and there is no doubt that the position won’t be neglected any longer.