Texas and Texas A&M have competed head-to-head for several elite prospects during the 2020 recruiting cycle. Vernon Broughton, Demond Demas and Jaylon Jones were all players both teams had very high on their recruiting boards. Another player who joined them was Xavion Alford, a talented safety out of Shadow Creek High School. Alford has had the Longhorns and Aggies high on his list throughout his recruitment, but as he inched closer to his decision, both schools really began to turn up the heat. Ultimately, it was a battle won by Texas, giving the Longhorns another extremely talented defensive back in the 2020 class.
Alford is ranked the 8th best safety in the country and the 140th player overall, according to the 247sports composite rankings. Texas was able to beat out Texas A&M, LSU, and Florida for his commitment.
Name: Xavion Alford
High School: Shadow Creek
City & State: Pearland, Texas
40-yard time: 4.55
Three Best Traits:
- Ball Skills – Alford really stands out with his ball skills when defending the pass. He takes really good angles when playing the ball, and routinely finishes with INT’s when given the opportunity.
- Acceleration – Alford’s game plays faster because of his ability to get downhill in a hurry. He diagnoses plays well and always does a good job of getting himself in position to make plays.
- Clean projection – Unlike some of the other defensive backs Texas has taken in the 2020 class, Alford profiles almost exclusively at safety. His frame and projection all point to him being able to stick in the back end and an impact player.
Areas for Improvement:
- Playing the run – One of the biggest adjustments Alford will have to make at the college level will be disengaging blockers and filling lanes in the run game.
- Tackling reliability – Alford isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder and deliver a blow, but he would benefit from becoming slightly more reliable in the open field against offensive players and making sure he is getting guys to the ground on a consistent basis.
Keeping up with the theme of defensive back recruiting since Tom Herman took over, Texas is getting another player who is athletic and not afraid of contact. Alford profiles as an ideal fit at safety on the 40 acres. He possesses the ability to get downhill in a hurry and strike quickly, while also having the athleticism to cover a lot of ground in the passing game. His frame will likely allow him to add a few pounds once he gets to campus, which should benefit him in the run game and being able to play in the box when he needs to.
A potentially huge factor in Alford’s recruitment is fellow Houston area DB Joshua Eaton. It has been rumored that both players could potentially end up at the same school, so Alford’s commitment could go a long way in helping the Longhorns with Eaton.
Texas continues to do itself a lot of favors in the secondary with the way they are selling playing time. The Longhorns are likely going to debut packages with 7 or 8 DB’s on the field at the same time this upcoming season, helping prove to recruits that playing time should not be an issue. When looking at the 2020 class as a whole, the Longhorns are in a really good place heading into the season when looking at the number of commitments they have secured since the summer began.
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