August 14, 2009

Countdown to kickoff: No.15 - Kheeston Randall

Name: Kheeston Randall

Position: Defensive tackle

Classification: Sophomore

Prep credentials: The former Beaumont Kelly star was a four-star prospect (5.8) who was ranked as the nation's No.18 defensive tackle and was a member of the Rivals 250. Randall was ranked as the state's No.14 overall prospect by Lone Star Recruiting, while Rivals ranked him as the state's No.29 player.

Click here to see Randall's high school film

2008 stats: The true freshman played in eight games, recording two tackles and a pass break-up.

2008 Honors: None

Scouting Report: As Randall enters his second season in the Texas program, the pressure is on for him to perform right now, which is a tough thing to ask of a kid still trying to make the transition from small private school to major college football. The good news is that Randall isn't your average private school football prospect and the 6-5, 288-pound tackle showed a willingness to mix it up and throw his body around in limited playing time as a true freshman.

From a physical standpoint, Randall has all of the physical tools that major college programs covet. Although he's a stout athlete, he's far from touching his ceiling as an athlete, especially in the strength department, and the big question is whether he's ready to assume a front-line role on the Longhorn defense or if he's still a season away. At he heads into the fall camp, Randall appears to be a player that's somewhere in the middle.

At the very least, Randall can plug the run and hold up well at the point of attack. One of the areas that Randall has to improve on is getting off of blocks. There are times when he does a great job off the snap - he'll have great pad level, leverage and positioning against his blocker, but he allows himself to remain engaged, rather than getting off the block and finishing the play. Of course, like a lot of young players, he still has a tendency to play a little high, which negates his strengths as a player and athlete, while rendering his ability to finish a play.

As a pass rusher, Randall is still developing, but he has tremendous upside in this area and he's already flashed his possibilities in the first week of workouts. When he does get off the ball quickly, he's got a very good first step and if he can get across the line of scrimmage, he can pretty much collapse an entire pocket by himself.

The big hope… Randall plays his way into the starting rotation and by the time the Oklahoma game rolls around, he's starting to make plays and not just holding down his spot at the line of scrimmage.

The big worry… He's a young kid and this is a huge step for him. It wouldn't be a stretch to think it might take him another year before he truly arrives.

Did you know? Randall has volunteered at Some Other Place Soup Kitchen
NFL Scouting report:"I can't say I know much about him."

The bottom line: This is a kid that has a ton of ability, but it's impossible to know at this point what he's going to give this defense. One thing is certain - he's going to play, it's possible that he'll start and he'll be the No.3 guy in the rotation at the start of the season at the very least. He's not that far away from being a player that can play a high level and he's got two months to get there before the Longhorns will truly need some standout play.

No.16 - David SnowNo.17 - Curtis BrownNo.18 - Malcolm WilliamsNo.19 - Keenan RobinsonNo.20 - Vondrell McGeeNo.21 - Blake GideonNo.22 - Adam UlatoskiNo.23 - Ben AlexanderNo.24 - James KirkendollNo.25 - Jared Norton

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