Taquon Graham was clearly one of the nearly 11 million viewers fixated on Texas’ upset win over Notre Dame on Sunday night. While he likely made his decision prior to the Longhorns’ victory, the defensive end recruit announced his verbal commitment on Monday and continued a strong week for the Austin-based program.
The nearly 25-offer recruiting tour didn’t dissuade the Texas native from choosing a school that consistently resided among his finalists.
“Texas has always been that childhood school,” Graham said, via EJ Holland of Texas.247Sports.com. “I grew up watching Texas. Everything around here is all Texas. I felt comfortable there. I’ve liked them for a long time. It felt right.”
Its coaching staff’s strong rapport with Graham helped as well for the Longhorns in a recruiting derby that included Oklahoma, TCU, Georgia, Oregon, USC and many others. He made three unofficial visits to Texas since April, sandwiching an Oklahoma trek over the summer. Graham visited TCU and Texas A&M during the spring, however, before shifting his focus to the Longhorns.
“I really like coach [Charlie] Strong,” Graham said, via Holland. “He keeps it real with you, and he’s a great coach. My mom really likes him too. I like Coach [Brick)’Haley a lot. He’s a great coach. I just feel comfortable around them.”
The weak-side defensive end ranks as 247Sports’ No. 32 overall Texas recruit and the No. 12 weak-side defensive end in the country. The 6-3, 255-pound prospect becomes the Longhorns’ eighth 2017 pledge and is the second defensive lineman in that contingent. He joins Lagaryonn Carson in that regard.
Overall, 247Sports ranks Graham as a top 200 player nationally, with the Temple, Texas, native coming in at No. 189.