With only T’Vondre Sweat on the board for the 2019 DL class thus far, Texas added more beef up front with the commitment of DE Peter Mpagi. Although Mpagi won’t stand out in terms of stars or his overall composite score, he is a prospect that will have a high ceiling in college. Mpagi will fit in on Todd Orlando’s defense nicely after taking some time to learn from several experienced upperclassmen. His addition will only help fill the inevitable holes that will be left by the departures of Charles Omenihu and Breckyn Hager.
After a stellar junior season, Mpagi started to gain the attention of several blue blood programs like Texas and Nebraska. Ultimately, Mpagi’s love for the Longhorns won the day. Mpagi will need some time to beef up and get stronger, but after a year with Yancy McKnight, he could become a valuable contributor to the Texas defensive front.
Name: Peter Mpagi
High School: George Ranch
City & State: Richmond, TX
Height: 6’4 (Nike)
Weight: 224 (Nike)
40-yard: 4.64 (Unverified)
2016 – 5 Sacks
2017 – 33 Tackles, 5 TFL, 9 Sacks,
- Shows great lateral quickness. Mpagi has the athleticism to handle assignments that a college linebacker would normally be tasked with.
- Utilizes hands extremely well. Mpagi was able to take advantage of often undersized linemen by using his hands to gain leverage and get to the backfield.
- Displays a great motor. He never gives up on plays and is always making some type of impact around the ball.
- Always finds a way to get to the quarterback. It’s not surprising to see that Mpagi had 9 sacks this season. Most impressive was Mpagi’s ability to get to a mobile quarterback running outside the pocket.
- Possesses a high football IQ. Mpagi frequently got his hands up in situations where he wasn’t able to get into the backfield and caused interceptions.
- Holds a great frame for the position that will allow him to grow into a physical presence coming off the edge.
- While Mpagi certainly possesses quickness, he needs to improve on his first step off the ball. He does not currently have the explosiveness that coaches like to see in edge rushers.
- Has a tendency to move inside. Needs to improve on the outside rush, as linemen in college will not be as prone to allowing successful inside moves off the edge.
- Needs a year or two under Yancy McKnight to become a stronger physical presence. Add that with being coached by Todd Orlando and you have a good recipe for success.
- Mpagi is very predictable. That’s not something that is surprising out of a high school lineman, but he will need to mix it up in college.
Although Mpagi is a late bloomer, it’s hard to see why more schools did not notice him sooner. The numbers he put up in 6A high school football is impressive. Mpagi is essentially a Charles Omenihu prototype. He has the quickness and athleticism to be a solid pass rusher off the edge for the Longhorns.
There is certainly room for improvement in his game, but none of his weaker traits are uncommon for an edge rusher. The one thing that stands out most about Mpagi is that he already uses his hands very effectively. If he can learn how to gain a quick first step off the ball, he will become a nuisance for Big 12 tackles.
The defensive line is one of several units that Texas and Oscar Giles needed to add depth to — especially with the departure of Charles Omenihu and Breckyn Hager at the end of the 2018 season. T’Vondre Sweat and Peter Mpagi might not be the biggest fish available, but they are certainly quality players that could be key producers in the future.
Even though Texas did not get off to a hot start with the 2019 class, they are slowly gaining momentum on the recruiting trail. Tom Herman’s recruiting class ranks in the top 5 nationally in average composite rating, which will only continue to rise. Where offering late usually is a negative to a recruit, Herman used the time to his advantage. He knew Mpagi was very interested in the Longhorns, and evaluated patiently to sell Mpagi on the fact that Texas offers players they are sure about. In the end, the strategy paid off, and Tom Herman has added yet another quality recruit to the 2019 class.
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