SAN ANTONIO -- Sudden-impact defensive help is on the way for the Texas Longhorns if Saturday's U.S.…
El Paso Andress
National Rank at DT: 3
Overall State Rank: 5
Star Rating: « « « « «
Inside Texas spent some time with El Paso Andress Defensive Coordinator Dusty Meitler, who was effusive in his praise of defensive tackle Andre Jones, a varsity starter since his freshman year in high school:
IT: What are his strengths as a football player? Clearly he's got a lot of them.
Meitler: His number one strength is that he's a great kid. His number one goal has always been to play college football. And you have to remember, he's only 17 right now, so he started for us as a freshman when he was just 14 years old. He has great determination. He's from an inner-city school, and his mom's a trucker, so he's a tough kid, too. He plays football and basketball, and it's fun to watch him get double- and triple-teamed on the basketball court. He's an amazing player on the field. On the weekends, he was always with the coaches, watching film. He's a great story. He's tenacious and physical. He's everything you'd want.
IT: What did the UT coaches say they liked about him?
DM: The really liked his quickness – he's got a great first step. And again, remember, he doesn't turn 18 until August, so he's going to get even better, and he can grow. He's big, but he's not fat at all. The potential for him is what UT really liked – he's got huge upside, and great agility.
IT: In what areas do you think he needs to improve?
DM: I know I keep coming back to it, but he's awfully young, so he'll just need to grow as a person. He'll need to get stronger, physically, but he'll also have to grow mentally. Now he won't be able to rely just on his physical game.
IT: Was he a team leader?
DM: Oh yeah. In practice, he went 100 percent all of the time. We'd have to slow him down, because we were afraid he was going to get kids hurt. He led by his actions on the field, and those actions were something to see.
IT: Did he play any other positions?
DM: Believe it or not, he played fullback for us on the goal line, and he got in there at tight end, too, a couple of times. He was great as a fullback – he's extremely athletic and powerful.
IT: Where do you think he'll play at UT?
DM: Oh, he'll more than likely play tackle. He's a Frank Okam-type, as far as body is concerned. I don't think the UT coaches would be surprised if he got into the tackle rotation this year for those guys.
IT: What's impressive about his measurables?
DM: Everything. He runs the 40 in 5.1 and has a 28-inch vertical leap, a 400-pound bench press and a 475-pound squat.
IT: What was his defining moment in high school?
DM: Well, he started as a freshman, the first freshman to ever start for us. And in the playoffs during his freshman year, we went into four overtimes against Amarillo High, and he held his own. Again, this is a 14-year-old playing 5A football. That says a lot about him. That says all you need to know about him.
UT Signing Day Bio: Prep All-American and three-time all-state selection … versatile two-sport starter who earned seven prep letters and was a three-time El Paso Times all-city selection … tabbed first-team All-America by Parade Magazine … became just the third player in El Paso history to earn that honor … also named to the USA Today All-USA second team … is the first player in El Paso history to be named to that team … played in the 2007 U.S. Army All-American Bowl … first player from El Paso to be selected for the All-American Bowl … tabbed the Texas 4A Defensive Player of the Year by the Texas Sports Writers Association … a first-team member of Dave Campbell's Super Team … named the preseason Outstanding Defensive Player by Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine … tallied 304 tackles, 18 sacks and five forced fumbles as Andress' only four-year starter in school history … earned first-team 4A all-state from The Associated Press and the Texas Sports Writers Association as a senior … named district 2-4A MVP … led Andress to an 8-2 record and the second round of the state playoffs … tallied 68 tackles and two sacks … earned honorable mention all-state from The Associated Press as a junior … was also an all-district (2-4A) and all-city selection … notched 87 tackles and seven sacks … named honorable mention 4A all-state by The Associated Press as a sophomore … also earned all-district (2-4A) and all-city … posted 91 tackles and four sacks … tabbed all-district 2-4A as a freshman … tallied 58 tackles and five sacks … also lettered for three years in basketball … earned a place on the honor roll as a senior … spent time reading at various elementary schools in El Paso … enjoys helping others … born 8/3/89 in Racine, Wis. … immediately moved to Indianapolis, Ind. … lived in Indianapolis until 2002, when he moved to Edinburg, Texas … then moved to El Paso for high school.
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