Following the early signing period, Tom Herman emphasized the need for Texas to have a strong recruiting finish along the defensive line. Herman got the first piece of that strong finish with a commitment from defensive end Daniel Carson, who ranks as 22nd strong-side defensive end in the country, according to the 247sports composite rankings. A Missouri native, Carson has been on the Longhorns recruiting radar for a while. Tom Herman and Oscar Giles extended an offer on March 31st, and Carson officially visited Texas during the San Jose State game on September 9th. Nebraska was long thought of to be the biggest threat to Texas, but the Longhorns ultimately won out and secured a big commitment.
At 6’5 260 pounds, Carson has the frame and skills that makes him an ideal fit as a 4i technique defensive end in the Todd Orlando defense. He shows a willingness to take on and fight through blocks in the run game. I was thoroughly impressed with his ability to defend the run, especially the QB run and zone read. He moves well for his weight and displays good athleticism. His senior highlights include multiple instances of him chasing down ball carriers from behind on screen passes. Carson lined up as a 5 technique often in high school, but also has limited experience as a 4i, which is where he will end up at Texas.
Carson displays the ability to be a good pass rusher, as evidenced by his 19 sacks between his junior and senior seasons, but will need to continue to work on refining his technique and pass rush moves
In a 3 man front, it is tough to find an ideal fit at 4i. Charles Omenihu and Chris Nelson both played out of position to fill the role for the 2017 season, but a guy like Carson is exactly what Oscar Giles and Todd Orlando are looking for.
Carson is the first defensive end to join the 2018 recruiting class. Credit to Tom Herman, Giles and assistant director of player personnel Bryan Carrington for staying on Carson and building a long standing relationship that helped lure the talented prospect to Austin. The Longhorns are hoping to take 1 or 2 more defensive lineman along with Carson and defensive tackle Keondre Coburn. Ideally, Carson will most likely get a redshirt year in 2018, but may be asked to play significant snaps as early as 2019 with the graduations of Chris Nelson, Charles Omenihu and Breckyn Hager. Regardless of when he sees the field, Carson has the traits and ability to become a multi-year starter at defensive end for the Longhorns.
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