March 9, 2016
For the second time in a matter of weeks, Katy Cinco Ranch linebacker David Gbenda made his way to Austin for an unofficial visit. This time, the trip produced an offer from the Texas Longhorns, Gbenda revealed on Sunday evening:
The 6’0, 212-pounder is one of the hottest commodities around the state, in part because the in-state linebacker class isn’t particularly strong at the top in the 2019 cycle. In recent weeks, Gbenda has picked up offers from Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, TCU, and Texas A&M.
The Horned Frogs and the Aggies are at the top of his list, along with the Longhorns, who picked up three 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions in the immediate aftermath of the offer. Another projection is now cloudy.
As a junior, Gbenda produced 56 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and two sacks. At The Opening Houston Regional camp in February, he ran a 4.74 40-yard dash, a 4.34 shuttle, and posted a 32-inch vertical, all good results. Since Gbenda relies on his athleticism to range from sideline to sideline and doesn’t have ideal size, the easy Texas comparison is to Gary Johnson, though Gbenda isn’t nearly as fast.
Since the Texas defense relies on a nose tackle and consistent slanting to keep the linebackers free, Gbenda is a good fit — like Johnson, he’s at his best when able to make plays without an offensive lineman climbing into his face at the second level.
Early on, it seems as if Texas is in excellent position to eventually land a commitment from Gbenda, which would provide a good start to the 2019 linebacker class as defensive coordinator Todd Orlando pursues higher-rated prospects like De’Gabriel Floyd and Lakia Henry.
Gbenda is a consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 332 player nationally, the No. 10 inside linebacker, and the No. 43 player in Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.