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Saturday, August 17, 2013
Texas adds three-star ATH Shorter

By Sam Khan Jr.

The options were plentiful for three-star athlete Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton). But in the end, he decided that his best bet was heading to the Forty Acres.

The 6-foot, 188-pound prospect from Southeast Texas announced on Saturday that he was staying in-state and gave his commitment to Texas. Shorter posted the news on his Twitter page on Saturday afternoon.

"I've made my mind up that ill be going to UT #HookEm," Shorter tweeted.

Newton head coach W.T. Johnston confirmed the commitment in a text message.

Shorter, the nation's 61st-ranked athlete, had 25 offers to choose from and had a final three of Arkansas, Texas and Texas A&M. He visited all three campuses within the last six weeks and originally planned to decide Aug. 3, but postponed his decision in order to take a couple more visits.

Some believed Arkansas might have the inside track on Shorter. His cousin, D.J. Dean, is a freshman cornerback at Arkansas and the two were high school teammates at Newton.

Texas didn't appear to be the favorite, especially after Shorter had a positive visits at both Arkansas and Texas A&M last month. But shortly after his trip to Aggieland, he made two visits to Texas in the span of a week. He visited the Longhorns for the Texas Stampede, then made return trips to Texas on Aug. 2, a visit that appeared to seal the deal.

Texas running backs coach Larry Porter, who led the recruitment of Shorter, was upfront with Shorter about the Longhorns plan for him and how they felt about the talented athlete.

The Longhorns got into the mix in the spring and Shorter got a chance to meet with the coaching staff several times when he was in Austin for the Texas state high school track and field championships.

Texas has two running backs in its 2014 class: ESPN 300 back Donald Catalon (Houston/Eisenhower) and Texas City (Texas) High School running back D'Onta Foreman.

At the next level, Shorter projects as a running back, one of the positions he plays for Newton. Last season, he compiled more than 1,800 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns. On defense, he recorded 58 tackles and three interceptions from the safety position and has the ball skills to play secondary in college.

A strong track athlete, he was the Texas Class 2A silver medalist in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 11 3/4 inches.

What are the Longhorns getting in Shorter? A versatile, dynamic playmaker with the ability to contribute in several areas. As a running back he can catch the football (he had 15 receptions for 315 yards and four touchdowns last year) and as mentioned above, can play both sides of the football.

ESPN Scouts say he would be a "good-sized corner, a safety who needs to fill out a bit or a decent-sized offensive performer." He's an explosive athlete who possesses "very good speed and does not get caught from behind."

Assuming he winds up at running back, he becomes the third back in Texas' class at a position the Longhorns could use added depth. The Longhorns have three scholarship running backs on the 2013 roster.