2014 National Signing Day: Texas Longhorns Fill DT Need in Big Way

By Tyler Brett

The Texas Longhorns came into National Signing Day with a serious need for an influx of talent at the defensive tackle position. New head coach Charlie Strong has built his success on the defensive side of the ball using tenacious defensive lines to get after opposing offenses. Texas had to add some bulk to their interior line on signing day and they accomplished that in a major way adding two huge pieces in Chris Nelson and Poona Ford on Wednesday.

After failing to sign a single defensive tackle in 2013, Texas knew it had to do better in 2014. Strong started things off well on Wednesday morning with Nelson, a former commit of Strong’s with the Louisville Cardinals, signing on to come to Austin this fall. The 6-foot-2, 295 pound, three-star standout possesses phenomenal athleticism for a player his size and will provide a strong presence in the middle to chase plays down along the line of scrimmage.

But the defensive tackle position quickly went from being just filled with this recruiting class to becoming a possible strength of the team in the afternoon when Ford signed on as well. The four-star defensive tackle was recruited by Strong at Louisville and decommitted as well to follow his coach to Texas. He has elite strength at his interior position with unmatched explosiveness and a non-stop motor that more than makes up for his less-than-ideal size (6-foot, 285-pounds). He has the ability to collapse a pocket on a quarterback right up the middle and will provide a serious boost to the defensive line of the Horns in 2014.

Charlie Strong is looking to get off to a fast start as the head coach at Texas and his work on National Signing Day was a fantastic start. The team addressed a serious area of need and filled it with a pair of major impact recruits who will find their way into the starting lineup early and often in 2014. Can they hold down the middle of the defense and return Texas to the top of the Big 12?

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