UTEP has received a commitment from the #71 overall prospect in the state of Texas, linebacker Brandon Durant. Durant, out of Copperas Cove, is ranked by Rivals as the 71st best player in the state of Texas. He has been ranked as high as #40 on the prestigious list. At 6'0, 180, it seems doubts about his size may have been why he dropped a bit, but from the Orangeblood's assessment of his skills, he has great potential.
At 6-0, 180 pounds, he's an undersized kid, but Cove moves him around throughout each game between safety and linebacker - at times he plays near the line of scrimmage and at times he'll drop back in deep coverage. Although he's undersized and needs to add muscle to his frame, he's an aggressive player that's unafraid of throwing his body into a bigger player. His ability to play sideline to sideline makes him an attractive nickel linebacker type. The bottom line with this kid is that he's a playmaker and one of the best pound-for-pound defenders I've seen in the 2011 class.
The signing was first reported by Miner Illustrated, and was confirmed yesterday by the Killeen Daily Herald. Durant told MI:
"This is a solid commitment," Durant said. "I had a couple of offers and I just didn’t feel like those were the ones for me. I wanted to get it (the decision) out of the way so I could focus on my team and my senior year." "Coach (Robert) Rodriguez, he’s my coach and I really liked him," Durant told Miner Illustrated. "Cooper Brock goes there and Donald Buckram too and I spoke to them about it (UTEP) and they said they really like it. I’m ready to get out there."
Rivals also reports that Durant runs a 4.6 forty yard dash. Recruiting expert Jeff Howe thinks Brandon has a high IQ. Durant becomes the third member of UTEP's 2011 class, including A.C. Patterson and Wardell Crutchfield III.