Days after after accepting Southaven (Miss.) four-star Aaron Bryant’s commitment, Texas and coach Steve Sarkisian decided to close on another defensive lineman in the 2022 class. Marlin four-star Jaray Bledsoe verbally pledged to the Longhorns over Texas A&M, Alabama, and Baylor on Monday.
Bledsoe is No. 69 (94 score) in the On3 2022 Football Player Rankings. He is the No. 9 prospect in the Inside Texas 2022 Top 75 and the No. 2 defensive tackle.
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound standout was a first-team all-district selection at running back and defensive lineman as a junior at Bremond in 2020 before moving to Marlin.
He tallied 104 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and two sacks on the defensive side while adding 1,259 yards on the ground with 21 touchdowns in 2020.
Bledsoe holds 14 offers including Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Penn State. He took official visits to UT and Texas A&M in June, and ultimately decided that Austin was his future destination.
Evaluation on Bledsoe from the Recruiting Notebook
How he fits at Texas: Bledsoe has some unreal explosiveness at 6-foot-4, 270 pounds. He played a few different positions along the defensive line as a junior, working some as a 4i-technique and other times further inside as a nose or 3-technique. He has reach but currently relies a lot on his initial burst off the ball, there’s some untapped upside for him as a pass-rusher when he learns to use his hands more. Bledsoe has clear skill as an interior run defender, he gets off the ball too quickly for linemen to get a good handle on him and violently explodes through contact. It looks profoundly not fun for high schoolers dealing with his size, speed, and aggression. In Pete Kwiatkowski’s defense I’d expect to see him develop some pass-rushing moves and serve as a 3-technique, his ability to finish plays with closing burst (check out the running back film) should make him a menace there in time. – Ian Boyd
Excerpt from the Inside Texas Top 75 for 2022
After seeing Bledsoe in person, he could easily end up a top 5 in the state in a loaded class. Simply put, he looks like the upside prospect that Nick Saban has had littered all over his defensive line for a decade. Has the frame, long arms, big hands, dunks the basketball with ease and is blessed with elite initial quickness and reactive quickness. – Gerry Hamilton
With Ernest Cooper we talk about the floor, and Bledsoe has that too because of the certainty he’ll spin down, but this young man has a cathedral ceiling. His initial quickness and closing speed in the backfield is something to behold. – Eric Nahlin
Bledsoe is the 19th commit of Texas’ 2022 class joining Aaron Bryant (Southaven – MS), Ronald Lewis (Warren Easton – LA), Eoghan Kerry (Mater Dei – CA), Derrick Brown (Texas High), Austin Jordan (Denton Ryan), Connor Robertson (Austin Westlake), Cole Hutson (Frisco), Jamarion Miller (Tyler Legacy), Will Stone (Austin Regents), Lance St. Louis (Williams Field – AZ), Zac Swanson (Brophy College Prep – AZ), Kristopher Ross (North Shore), BJ Allen (Aledo), Trevell Johnson (Arlington Martin), Maalik Murphy (Junipero Serra – CA), Jaydon Blue (Klein Cain), and Armani Winfield (Lewisville).
Cover photo by Gerry Hamilton for Inside Texas