Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Longhorns [Print without images]

Thursday, January 24, 2013
DT Davious Ballard a 2015 to watch

By Damon Sayles

IRVING, Texas -- One glance of defensive tackle Davious Ballard (Irving, Texas/Irving) makes for instant eye candy for college coaches. At 6-foot-4, 290 pounds and possessing very little fat, Ballard is a physical specimen.

Throw in that he’s only a sophomore, along with the fact that he has a 3.8 grade-point average, and it makes Ballard that much more intriguing.

Ballard is a player that Irving High School head coach Aaron De La Torre feels can be one of the top 2015 defensive tackles not only in Texas but also nationwide. Ballard finished his sophomore season with 35 tackles, three sacks, three pass breakups and 12 tackles for loss -- in only five games.

“It was a lot of work,” Ballard said. “We made a lot of progress this year, but we’re still doing work to get ready for next season.”

Ballard is hoping the offseason will be his breakout period. In his short time as a varsity player, Ballard already has attracted the attention of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Tulsa. While all of the schools are nice, Ballard said one in particular stands out early.

“I kind of like Texas right now,” Ballard said. “There’s something about them.”

It would make sense, particularly with the occurrences this past week. His teammate, offensive lineman Rami Hammad, committed to the Longhorns on Wednesday. Also, Alex De La Torre, Aaron’s son, is a freshman fullback for the Longhorns.

Ballard knows he has a long way to go to become the player he wants to be, but he’s on the right path. He bench presses 305 pounds and squats 405, and he’s planning on getting stronger and working on getting off the ball quicker throughout the spring and summer.

“It’s all about hard work and dedication,” Ballard said. “I’m looking to improve on my quickness. I don’t talk a lot. I just play the game and do my thing.”