- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
Back in August, Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints) was ready to commit to Texas. He made a phone call to offensive line coach Stacy Searels to give his pledge.
But Searles didn’t answer. On that Aug. 6 afternoon, Texas was in the middle of a preseason practice. So Knox waited, and after talking it out with his family and coaches he decided to hold off.
After taking visits and considering all his options, the ESPN Watch List offensive tackle decided his first decision was the right one.
“I know now it would’ve been the right choice,” Knox said.
Knox committed to Texas on Monday afternoon, becoming the Longhorns’ sixth pledge for their 2014 recruiting class.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman chose Texas over Ohio State, Alabama and TCU and also held offers from Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Michigan, Notre Dame and a half dozen other schools.
“UT just looked better for my future,” Knox said. “I felt like it was the best situation for me and my future. It’s a blessing and I’m real happy. My job now is to dominate in the weight room, get stronger in the offseason and help my future team get other recruits excited.”
At six pledges, the Longhorns are now tied with Florida State as the school with the most 2014 pledges so far. All six Texas commits are members of the ESPN Watch List.
Knox found a better way to deliver his pledge than an impromptu phone call to Searels. A few hours before Texas took the field against TCU on Thursday night, he met with the coaching staff in Mack Brown’s office and broke the good news.
For the coveted lineman, the decision was difficult but one that he had no regrets about. He took unofficial visits to three Texas games this season and felt the timing was right to end his recruiting process.
The fact that Texas already had a pledge from All Saints teammate Daniel Gresham was one of the biggest factors in Knox’s decision. He and Gresham promised each other they’d play together in college.
“He’s real happy,” Knox said. “We’ll be together for the next six years and win a national championship in college and another high school championship next year.”
Gresham hopes Knox's commitment spurs more additions to Texas' class.
"I'm glad that my boy and I will be playing college ball together," Gresham said. "I feel like Texas will gradually get back to powerhouse status and that the 2014 Class will be a big class of recruits for Texas. [Knox] committing shows other recruits that although Texas has been struggling, we believe that the Longhorns will be a great team in the soon to come years."
Another significant factor for Knox was staying in the state of Texas. He grew up in Ohio as a Buckeyes fan, but in the end he felt a degree from Texas would be the best pursuit for his post-football future.
“Ever since the second grade, Ohio State has been my idol school and dream school,” Knox said. “But I thought about it and talked to my coaching staff and my family. When I grow up, if the whole NFL thing doesn’t work, I want to come back and live and work in Texas.”
Knox has said he has no interest in taking visits or attending camps elsewhere now that he has committed. His recruiting process is over and he won’t be taking calls from other schools.
Now he’s focused on recruiting other prospects to Texas, starting with friend and fellow ESPN Watch List tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge).
“I’m going to do my best to get some other guys to come, too,” Knox said. “I’m good friends with him and I’ve been talking to him. I think I’ve got him on track. He’ll be coming for a visit to UT with me in February.”
As a junior, Knox helped lead All Saints to a perfect season and a 60-50 victory over Houston St. John’s for the SPC small-school state championship earlier this month.