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August 17, 2013
One month ago, it looked like a two-team race for Kevin Shorter between Texas A&M and Arkansas. But a dark horse in the race, the Texas Longhorns, came charging down the stretch to make it a trio of teams vying for Shorter's commitment.
On Saturday afternoon, the longshot won out with a commitment, with Shorter announcing that he's committing to the Longhorns.
"I've made my mind up that ill be going to UT," Shorter announced on Twitter.
Shorter becomes the Longhorns' 23rd commitment of the 2014 recruiting class and UT's third running back pledge, joining Donald Catalon and D'Onta Foreman.
Earlier this summer, the 6-0, 193-pound Shorter had cut his list down to the Razorbacks and the Aggies, but persistent recruiting efforts by Texas running backs coach Larry Porter and area recruiter Bo Davis helped get the Longhorns back into the mix.
Shorter visited UT for the Texas Stampede recruiting event July 27 and then returned the next week for an unofficial visit. He spent a lot of time talking with the Texas coaches on those visits, including Porter and head coach Mack Brown and he came away impressed with what he heard and saw.
"They showed me how I can help their offense out, be a part of a big school and graduate," Shorter said after the Stampede visit. "How they can help me if I don't get my degree, I can come back and get it. That's a great feeling.
"He (Porter) made a pretty strong (sales pitch). They showed me a presentation about how I can help their offense, things like that. He's a great guy. He's down to earth and he's not going to beat around the bush."
A versatile athlete, Shorter stars for Newton on the football field, on the basketball court and on the track. In football, he had schools recruiting him both as a running back and a defensive back. Texas has told Shorter he'll be brought in exclusively as a running back, where his speed, hands and athleticism make him a threat as both a runner and a pass catcher.
"He's one of those really versatile guys. He's a really good running back but he's also a very good pass catcher," Newton head coach W.T. Johnston said. "I think that's his importance - there aren't a lot of kid like him who can play the ball like him. Plus he's going to end up being a big kid. I think hell be about 215 pounds when it's over."
A three-star prospect, Shorter is ranked No. 48 on the 2014 Lone Star Recruiting Top 100. He rushed for 1,810 yards and 31 touchdowns on 151 carries (11.99 ypc) as a junior last year.
Along with the offers from Texas, Arkansas and Texas A&M, Shorter held scholarship offers from schools like Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas Tech and UCLA, among others.
"Shorter brings a lot of versatility to the field. He's a weapon as a back or a receiver. He has some nice size, but it's his speed and vision really set him apart," said Rivals.com regional recruiting analyst Jason Howell. "His quick feet allow him to start and stop and change direction and he's the kind of guy I envision Major Applewhite getting creative with and using him in a number of different ways."
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