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2014 FB Daniel Gresham commits to Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The way Daniel Gresham remembers it, the vow was made in late April.

He and touted 2014 offensive tackle Demetrius Knox were sitting in class at Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal when Knox got word of one of his first scholarship offers.

Gresham turned to him and said he’d had something on his mind. Knox did too.

They blurted out the idea in near-perfect synchronicity.

“Let’s go to college together.”

On Tuesday, Gresham took the first big step toward making that a reality by making his verbal commitment to Texas.

The 5-foot-11, 226-pound fullback prospect never thought he’d have the opportunity to do so. But when the Longhorns gave him his first offer last Thursday, Gresham knew he had to jump on it.

“I kept praying that my first offer would come,” Gresham said. “When I found out I got that official offer, I had tears in my eyes.”

By Monday, he couldn’t wait any longer. He called Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite and told him he was ready to become commit No. 4 for the Longhorns’ 2014 class.

Staying close to home was a priority for Gresham, but it was the role Applewhite sold him on that convinced him he’d found exactly what he wanted.

The Longhorns have recruited Gresham to play fullback, but he’ll also line up at tailback and become a key cog in the passing game out of the backfield.

“Coach Applewhite told me to pay attention to how they used running backs last year,” Gresham said. “He said I’d block but I’d also get a lot of carries and a bunch of receiving yards. They like to run routes with their backs and he likes that I have soft hands.”

His role could end up being much like the one Cody Johnson held down for Texas from 2008 to 2011. Johnson came into the program with similar size -- 5-10, 225 -- and scored 36 career touchdowns as both a fullback and running back.

As a sophomore, Gresham rushed for 580 yards and 10 touchdowns on only 80 carries while sharing the load with UTSA signee Brian Vaughn. He’ll expand his role for All Saints as more of a feature back this fall.

First, though, he’ll work on making sure Knox sticks to his word and joins him in burnt orange.

Knox has a variety of offers on the table, and Texas and Ohio State have emerged as his two favorites.

Though he’d like to take his time and more visits before reaching a decision, Knox’s bond with Gresham is still the top factor in his decision.

They’ve become inseparable best friends over the past two years. When Knox moved to Fort Worth from Garland, Texas, in the summer before their freshman year, Knox lived with Gresham for nearly a month while his mother looked for a house.

Since then, they’ve been like brothers to one another. They help each other on homework, study together for tests and keep each other in line.

And they’re not looking to lose that relationship anytime soon.

“I’ve always just wanted to play with Daniel in college, and I’ve finally got that chance right now with Texas,” Knox said. “They’re No. 1 to me right now.”

Longhorns offensive line coach Stacy Searels has made Knox one of his highest priorities since he scouted the 6-5, 300-pound tackle this spring, and he’s recruiting Knox to play left tackle.

Gresham is ready to start recruiting him, too, and he can’t imagine any scenario in which the duo wouldn’t end up together in college.

“It’s amazing to know I will have a close friend in college with me, a guy who wants to make our dreams come true,” Gresham said. “We’ve got big, big dreams. We’re going to push each other every day in college.

“We’ll make sure that I help him become an All-American linemen, and he’ll make me an All-American back.”

Gresham is the second back to join the Longhorns’ 2014 class after Houston Eisenhower’s Duke Catalon made his pledge last week.

The class is off to an impressive early start, Gresham said, but it features one glaring omission: his best friend.

“I love playing with him,” he said, “and I want to keep running behind him.”

Now it’s time to put Knox’s promise to the test.