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Commitment Spotlight: Vernon Broughton

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If you asked many people or fans who follow recruiting who the most important target was for Texas in the 2020 cycle, most would have responded defensive lineman Vernon Broughton. In 2019, Texas failed to reel in the state’s top defensive lineman in DeMarvin Leal, who picked Texas A&M. A year later, Texas could ill-afford to miss out on another top talent along the defensive line. Broughton’s recruitment was anything but a slam dunk, but in the end the Longhorns won out, securing perhaps their biggest commitment to date in the 2020 class.

As stated above, Broughton’s recruitment was a bit of a roller coaster for Texas fans. Early on, it appeared the Longhorns had the edge, but Texas A&M, Arkansas and Ohio State quickly put on the full court press. Texas received the first official visit from Broughton this spring, then had to sweat it out as 4 other schools had the opportunity to make their pitch. Texas A&M was likely the runner-up in his recruitment, giving the Longhorns a head-to-head recruiting win over the Aggies. Broughton is ranked as the 6th best defensive tackle in the country and the 70th best player overall, according to the 247sports composite rankings.


Film Analysis

Player Information

Name: Vernon Broughton

Position: DL

High School: Cypress Ridge

City & State: Houston, Texas


Height: 6’5

Weight:  286

40-yard time: 5.03

Shuttle: N/A



Three Best Traits:


  • Athleticism –For a guy who weighs north of 280, Broughton carries his weight extremely well. On tape, he consistently shows the ability to chase down ball carriers from behind and move sideline to sideline.  
  • Football IQ- Broughton shows a knack for diagnosing plays and putting himself in a strong position to make tackles. On film, he displays the ability to defend the zone read well and rarely plays tentative around the ball carrier. 
  • Scheme fit– This is not a knock on Breckyn Hager or Charles Omenihu, but both players were probably best suited to play the DE spot on a 4-man front. Hager in particular struggled at times playing in the 4i technique in Todd Orlando’s 3-man front. Broughton is exactly what Orlando and defensive line coach Oscar Giles envision when they are constructing their defensive. Broughton should be around 300 pounds once he plays his first game on the 40 acres, and possesses the ability to stop the run while freeing up room for the linebackers to roam around and make plays.
Three Areas for Improvement:


  • Continuing to develop as pass rusher– Broughton will likely need to few more pass rushing moves to get by college level offensive lines. As is the case with most dominant high school defensive lineman, he doesn’t have to display too many moves to be effective.
  • Using his hands– Piggybacking on the thought of improving his pass rushing, one of the biggest things Broughton will be working on with Oscar Giles once he arrives on campus will be using his hands. In both the run and pass game, Broughton has the raw size and athleticism to get himself in position to make plays, but his ability to move bodies and work through defenders will be a key factor in determining how early he may see the field.
  • Continuing to play with leverage- There are times where he shows the ability to get his pad level low and play with great leverage, but it is something Broughton is still learning. A player of his size and athleticism will need to work on playing with consistent technique.


 It is pretty easy to see why Broughton was one of the most coveted players in the country. He possesses almost everything a defensive coach wants in the trenches. He may be 6’5, but the athleticism is real and he likely isn’t done adding weight. The first two years under Todd Orlando, Texas went through stretches where they struggled to generate pressure from 3-man fronts, particularly from their defensive ends. Broughton should be almost a perfect fit at 4i defensive end. He has the strength and weight to hold his own against offensive tackles while also having the ability to take on guards on stunts or when Texas deploys a 4-man front.

Final Verdict

Texas has taken a slow and methodical approach to the 2020 class, with Broughton only representing the 9th commitment for the Longhorns. It was expected the summer months would be a time where Texas experienced some momentum on the recruiting front. Broughton and LB Prince Dorbah have both pledged to the Longhorns in July, and Safety target Chris Thompson is set to announce his commitment on August 1st.

It could be argued Broughton’s commitment is the biggest commitment along the defensive line since Keondre Coburn pledged to Texas in 2017. Tom Herman has made it clear Texas must be dominate in the trenches to get back to where they want to be. Broughton’s commitment gives Texas another key to the piece to the puzzle as they look to put another top 5 recruiting class in 2020.

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I read that VB2 has only played football for 3 years. If true, the upside and ability to learn leverage, hand technique could make him really great. I do hope he can stay at 300 or less and play 4i. 

Collins is a must on the other side. I think both are huge needs in the class. 

I also prefer Van Fillinger as my 3rd DL and then keep recruiting the big Nose from Louisiana, Gilloury I think. 

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