Now, after a four-year absence of an offensive threat at the tight end position, the Longhorns are making it an emphasis in their recruiting strategy. Texas has two tight ends committed in its 2013 recruiting class, one of whom is 6-foot-6, 230 pound Durham Smythe from Belton.
Smythe is currently ranked as a top 50 recruit in the state of Texas, and is the No. 13 ranked tight end in the nation according to Rivals.com. During his junior year of high school, he snagged 22 catches for 341 yards and three touchdowns.
Most notably though, Smythe is coming from the same school as current Texas quarterback David Ash.
“It’s pretty cool to refuel and be back at school with him again, he’s a great leader,” said Smythe. “I only got to compete with him my sophomore year, so I didn’t play with him much, but I look forward to being under his lead and learning from him as a Longhorn.”
Smythe represented the US in the IFAF Under-19 World Championship this past weekend and was able to spend time on the Forty Acres in his off time.
“It’s a pretty rare, but cool opportunity to play for your country, and I’m enjoying meeting some of the players my age that will head off to college soon as well,” said Smythe.
Despite losing to Canada by a score of 23-17 in the gold medal game, Smythe hauled in four catches for 33 yards, and was named to the All-Tournament Team after producing seven receptions for 55 yards throughout the week.
Although Smythe has one more year of high school ball to play, he still expressed excitement about being a future Longhorn, despite growing up on the opposing side of Texas his whole life.
“It’s a pretty crazy story that I actually ended up here,” said Smythe, referring to his decision to come play football at Texas. “I had a dad that played at Baylor, a sister that attended Tech, and many of my friends are going to Texas A&M. So it’s weird that I actually ended up in Austin, but I’m happy to be here and play on one of the top programs in the country.”
Seeing the success that Smythe has had on the field, one question still remains: can he be the next wunderkind that the Longhorns are looking for at the tight end position? While Vince Young and Colt McCoy had some great targets at the end position to throw to, the exit of Finley left a hole in the Texas depth chart for several years.
During the last few seasons, Blaine Irby was plagued by a horrible knee injury that cost him most of his collegiate eligibility, while Greg Smith and Dan Buckner never quite blossomed into the players they were projected to be.
Smythe hopes he can help the Longhorns return to top form and end the search for the next great UT tight end, but with players like M.J. McFarland in front of him on the depth chart, he will have to prove his worth once he’s puts on the burnt orange.