Mansfield Legacy defensive end Taaj Bakari is officially a Cowboy. Bakari sent in his letter of intent to play for Coach Gundy next season.
Listed at 6-2 275 lbs, Bakari was a load for most offensive tackles he went up against in high school. As a junior, Bakari finished 65 tackles (6 tackles for a loss), with five sacks, and caused two fumbles. As a junior he earned 15-4A First Team All-District honors after finishing with 44 tackles and 6 sacks.
Bakari held offers from TCU, Colorado, Colorado State, and North Texas, and is listed as the #57 defensive tackle in the country according to ESPN.
Here is ESPN's take on Taaj
D-Line prospect with adequate height and a stocky build and will need to work to try and pack on some more good mass to his frame. Displays very good playing strength and adequate first step quickness and snap anticipation can improve.
Versus the Run
Displays ability to come off the ball with pad level and shoot his hands and be able to hold ground one-on-one and fight double teams. Doesn't consistently uncoil and explode into blockers and can give ground. Flashes good upper body and hand strength to press blockers and shed.
Bakari demonstrates the tools to be a solid, well-rounded player in the defensive trenches. Lacking slightly in ideal size and he needs to make improvements, but can with development at least be a solid effective contributor to a power conference D-Line.
Bakari joins Darrion Daniels and Motekiai Maile as the defensive tackle signees of this class. With the departure of both James Castleman and Ofa Hautau, I would expect Taaj to have a shot to make the two-deep roster next fall.
Check out his highlights from Hudl