AUSTIN (KXAN) — One of the top running backs in the country announced Wednesday his commitment to the Texas Longhorns.
Cedric Baxter Jr., a 4-star running back from Edgewater High School in Orlando, Florida, picked the Longhorns over Florida, Texas A&M, Central Florida and Miami and gave the Longhorns another big victory on the recruiting tail.
There was a little bit of fun, manufactured drama during the presentation when he went to pick up the Florida hat, but then a “special delivery” came in a big, white box. Baxter pulled out of a cowboy hat and cheers of “Hook’em” rang out in the school’s auditorium. He then traded the cowboy hat for a Longhorn hat that couldn’t quite fit over his dreadlocks, but that didn’t matter as he was surrounded by his family and coaches.
“The biggest factor is Coach (Tashard) Choice and my relationship with him,” he said after he made his pick. “I love the type of person he is, he’s a genuine guy and he keeps it real.”
Baxter said the relationship with Choice began while Choice was at Georgia Tech, and the fact Choice stayed recruiting him after moving to Texas was a big deal. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian made him a scholarship offer in June, he said.
“His athletic ability is the best in the country, and his selfless spirit is the best,” Edgewater coach Cam Duke said. “He puts others before himself.”
According to the 247Sports composite ratings, Baxter is the country’s No. 4 running back in the Class of 2023 and No. 11 overall recruit out of Florida. He’s the highest-rated running back the Longhorns have earned a commitment from and is the team’s 14th 4-star recruit landed this recruiting cycle. DeSoto’s Tre Wisner is the other running back committed to Texas out of the Class of 2023, also a 4-star recruit.
247Sports has Texas’ recruiting class at No. 5 in the country with two 5-star recruits, quarterback Arch Manning and safety Derek Williams out of Louisiana, to go with the 14 4-stars and six 3-stars.
Baxter had a message for Longhorn fans at the end of the ceremony, and it was a big statement.
“I’m gonna come in and put the work in,” he said, “and I promise I’m going to be one of the best backs in college football.”