Giant pickup for Horns

UT commitment Zach Gentry

Charlie Strong and Shawn Watson took a chance on Zach Gentry (Albuquerque, NM/Eldorado) before many of the other big-name programs did, so the four-star quarterback is showing UT's staff the same respect in taking a chance with them.

Gentry, who stands nearly 6-foot-7 and 232 pounds, committed to Texas via Twitter on Monday afternoon.

"Ultimately it was the coaching staff that sold him," Eldorado head coach Charlie Dodson said. "He's been a believer in those guys since they committed to them at Louisville. He has high praise for Coach Watson.

"The coaching staff is the thing he's going for."

"They were the first ones to offer him after San Diego State, New Mexico, and New Mexico State. That was the first school he went to last year, at Louisville, too. The coaching staff is the thing he's going for. He loves the atmosphere and the love for Texas football that is unmatched."

Gentry chose the Longhorns over Alabama, Tennessee, and Oklahoma State. But he also had offers from Baylor, Penn State, Maryland, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon State, San Diego State, and TCU.

"Zach is a special kid," said Dodson, adding that Gentry is now nearly 6-foot-7. "Everyone who comes through is amazed at not only his ability with his arm - but with him being (so tall) - how well he moves.

"I think that's what's so surprising with those coaches that come through is how much balance he has with his body. Sometimes you have 6-6 or 6-7 guys who can't make the throws."

Dodson said Gentry can easily sling the ball 70 yards. And while Gentry hasn't been timed in the 40-yard dash lately, he would likely run in the low 4.6 range, Dodson said.

"The thing that sticks out about Zach is that he is probably going to be a better college player than he is in high school," Dodson said. "Being (so tall) he was a little bit of a late developer. His motor skills had to catch up with his body because he grew so fast. He's 230 pounds right now. He'll be 240 next year. He's an athlete, a very good basketball player. I don't think he's reached as far as where he's going to get as far as his arm strength."

Gentry's height has caused him some issues, according to Dodson. He arrived as a freshman at 6-4 and then hit a growth spurt later that year.

That spurt was partially to blame for a chunk of bone getting displaced from his knee, Dodson said.

"He actually had a part of his kneecap that came off in between his freshman and sophomore year that they had to surgically put back on because he was growing so fast."

"He actually had a part of his kneecap that came off in between his freshman and sophomore year that they had to surgically put back on because he was growing so fast," Dodson said. "That set him back three months."

Then his ligament pulled away from his growth plate in his throwing arm (right) during his first 7-on-7 tournament.

"So he's had all kinds of issues because of him growing so fast," Dodson said.

That aside, Gentry has matured into one of the nation's top QB prospects. He was even supposed to have a conversation with Nick Saban earlier Monday but that never transpired.

Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin stopped by to see Gentry last week, as did members of Oklahoma State's staff. He'd taken an unofficial visit to Tennessee he liked so much there were undoubtedly those out there who were confused as to which UT he actually committed to.

He was one of the top QBs on Texas board, if not the top, along with Kai Locksley and Kyler Murray.

The deal with Texas really seemed to be sealed when he visited Austin in April. He'll likely be back in town when Texas hosts an Elite Quarterback Academy from June 9-11.

He's Texas' 10th commitment in 2015 and the first since three-star safety Keivon Ramsey on April 19.

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