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Texas lands DE Andrew Fitzgerald (Updated with profile)


Mike Roach
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Flower Mound Marcus DE Andrew Fitzgerald committed to Texas per his Twitter. 

 

 

 

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Photo: Student Sports

 

In what once looked like a position group devoid of talent and options on the recruiting trail, the Longhorns filled a huge need by adding their second defensive end in two weeks. Flower Mound (TX) Marcus end Andrew Fitzgerald announced his commitment to Texas today on his twitter account. He joins Malcolm Roach who committed last week as options for a defensive line that needed talented depth. Fitzgerald is seen as a rising prospect in his senior year with offers from UCLA, Oregon, Kansas State, Baylor, California, and North Carolina.

Texas, under Charlie Strong have been a much more methodical group in recruiting who choose to take their time with film evaluations and players entering their senior season. Fitzgerald is a perfect example of that wait and see mentality that is counter to what most schools are doing on the recruiting trail. Aside from the offers listed, Fitzgerald also shows offers from Virginia, Vanderbilt, Navy, Army, and Air Force which indicate intelligence and leadership qualities. As Texas fans are learning, this is the time when recruiting really starts to heat up for Charlie Strong.

Film Analysis: 
Fitzgerald is a big kid at 6’5 245 lbs., with room to pack on more. His frame suggests versatility including the possibility to play the three technique in an even front or the 5 technique in an odd front. He plays with a good low base that keeps him anchored against the run where he is strong setting the edge at the point of attack. He has a good motor and pursues plays down the line with the ability to turn and run after plays that get downfield. Fitzgerald’s agility and lateral quickness are apparent right away as he stays square to the line while controlling zone blocks to hold his gap. He plays with great discipline and rarely gets caught out of position. Against the pass he lacks that quick first step people look for, but he can be a threat from the strong side with power, quickness, and a crafty set of pass rushing moves. Fitzgerald uses his hands really well to keep linemen off balance and dictate the matchup. He does play a little high at times and will need to work at playing with leverage consistently but those are coachable things.

Final Verdict:
Charlie Strong seemingly recruits two types of players. One type are the high ceiling athletes while the other are solid athletes who are very smart. The two traits aren’t mutually exclusive and Fitzgerald shows us that. His body development will really tell the story here, but he has the ability to be a multi-year all conference player with an NFL future. It’s a great pickup even if the strong end position isn’t as sexy as some fans would like.

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I'm going to be completely honest, I didn't know anything about this kid prior to an hour ago.

 

That said, I just watched his HUDL. This kid looks impressive. Really impressive. Like, why isn't he a 4* impressive. He had great explosiveness off the snap. I questioned if the opposing lineman had their eyes closed at times because he just shot right past them. He NEVER quit on a play. The experts can tell us more about his wing span but going off of that video, players don't get past him if they're within reach. I'm really happy with this. He looks like one of those three star players that Strong likes to turn into a draft selection. I can't wait to hear more from those who know way more than myself.

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I'm going to be completely honest, I didn't know anything about this kid prior to an hour ago.

 

That said, I just watched his HUDL. This kid looks impressive. Really impressive. Like, why isn't he a 4* impressive. He had great explosiveness off the snap. I questioned if the opposing lineman had their eyes closed at times because he just shot right past them. He NEVER quit on a play. The experts can tell us more about his wing span but going off of that video, players don't get past him if they're within reach. I'm really happy with this. He looks like one of those three star players that Strong likes to turn into a draft selection. I can't wait to hear more from those who know way more than myself.

 

Everything I've read says that he's a really late bloomer and doesn't really have the top-end potential of other kids - hence the 3-star rating.

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Everything I've read says that he's a really late bloomer and doesn't really have the top-end potential of other kids - hence the 3-star rating.

I always hesitate to trust remarks on potential. How can you really grade that? How much does potential play into effort? Players like JJ Watt, Steph Curry and so forth didn't have enough "potential" until they did.

 

That said, these guys know more than I do. I've seen six minutes of highlights. That's not enough to say anything one way or the other.

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I always hesitate to trust remarks on potential. How can you really grade that? How much does potential play into effort? Players like JJ Watt, Steph Curry and so forth didn't have enough "potential" until they did.

 

That said, these guys know more than I do. I've seen six minutes of highlights. That's not enough to say anything one way or the other.

 

Potential IMO is more akin to he may get bigger but he won't get faster, his arms won't get longer type.  I don't know about his frame--it's a guess as to whether he's maxed out physically but I would venture that he'll get bigger, can't help but get stronger and move inside.  Once inside, then his speed and motor are an asset and his potential changes.  He shows multiple moves, can tackle and track the ball carrier, displays a high motor....I think it's easier to project when players don't do certain things well which isn't the case here.   

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I always hesitate to trust remarks on potential. How can you really grade that? How much does potential play into effort? Players like JJ Watt, Steph Curry and so forth didn't have enough "potential" until they did.

 

That said, these guys know more than I do. I've seen six minutes of highlights. That's not enough to say anything one way or the other.

Honestly - I doubt some of these guys doing the ratings have seen anymore than the 6 minute hudl footage you've watched.

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Honestly - I doubt some of these guys doing the ratings have seen anymore than the 6 minute hudl footage you've watched.

 

I'm quite certain this is true, but it's not very hard to rate a player without ever seeing him play. If he has offers from Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Miamai and Florida State.....you can pretty much bet that he can play. Used to be that an offer from Texas was worth about a 1/2 star bump. 

 

I don't have facts, but I've always believed that Rivals used the "who offered him" system as a big factor in determing star ratings.

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I'm quite certain this is true, but it's not very hard to rate a player without ever seeing him play. If he has offers from Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Miamai and Florida State.....you can pretty much bet that he can play. Used to be that you could add Texas to that list and bump him up a half star.

 

I don't have facts, but I've always believed that Rivals used the "who offered him" system as a big factor in determing star ratings.

I agree for the most part - in which case, based on his offer list, Fitzgerald is right where he should be. On the other hand you have Okafor who has a very impressive offer list but is sitting with 3 stars - just like C Williams last year.

 

As for Rivals - I've given up on them. I don't think they even try anymore.

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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    Week
    Opponent
    W/L
    9/4
    Louisiana
    W 38-18
    9/11
    @Arkansas
    L 21-40
    9/18
    Rice
    W 58-0
    9/25
    Texas Tech
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    @Iowa State
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    11/27
    Kansas State
    W 22-17

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