- William Wilkerson, RecruitingNation
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His real name is Donald Catalon. But you can call him “Duke.”
For the time being, he also has another moniker: Texas commitment.
The 2014 running back from Houston Eisenhower informed Longhorns coaches Friday morning that he would like to become their latest bit of good news in what has turned into a week full of it.
“I like how Coach [Major] Applewhite really shows you how to run your plays,” he said.
Catalon spoke with head coach Mack Brown, who gave his newest commitment a bit of advice.
"He said that since I have committed now to stay away from others because they are going to be trying to get me and that he wants me to go to games and etcetera," Catalon said.
Catalon was one of the 20-plus juniors that the Longhorns extended official offers to on Thursday.
He is the third addition to Texas’ 2014 class, all of which have come since Thursday afternoon. Wide receiver Lorenzo Joe (Abilene, Texas/Cooper) was the first to pledge in what became a banner day for a program that unexpectedly shift its recruiting philosophy.
Normally the Longhorns wait until after signing day in February and offer prospects at a junior day. But that has changed. HornsNation has confirmed that at least 21 2014 recruits have been officially offered.
Defensive end Derick Roberson (San Antonio/Brennan) joined Joe in committing late Thursday night, and now the Longhorns have added one of the state’s top running backs to their stable.
Catalon, who checks in at 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds, chose the Longhorns over offers from SMU and Texas Tech.
He has already familiarized himself with the campus and the coaching staff by attending both Longhorns camps in June. The first one he attended but only in support of some teammates.
The following week he returned and really made a name for himself.
“After the camp I had talked with Coach Mack Brown and Coach Applewhite in Coach Brown’s office,” Catalon said. “Coach Brown was basically asking me how my grades were and talked about how I looked out there. He liked my speed and my ability to play football.
“It was big for me because they are one of the top schools, and I wasn’t expecting that.”
Catalon saw his role increase dramatically from his 22 carries (for 142 yards) as a freshman to his sophomore season when he carried the ball 165 times for 1,148 yards and six touchdowns.
That 7.0 yards per carry average clearly intrigued Texas enough to give him the opportunity to join a backfield that could be in question by the time he makes it to Austin.
The Longhorns only have one commitment from a running back in 2013 from Kyle Hicks (Arlington, Texas/Martin).
Now, earlier than ever during Mack Brown’s tenure, Texas has a commitment from a running back before he’s even played a down during his junior season. And Donald couldn’t be happier to be that guy.
Neither could Duke for that matter. You know, that Texas commitment.