Many teams are still preparing for their spring games, while the Texas Longhorns have already finished theirs. They got a head start on a lot of the other teams in the country and should have a much better feeling on where their team is at the moment.
Head coach Mack Brown said he will not be releasing a depth chart anytime soon, but that doesn't mean that we can't. Well, we'll at least try to put together the most realistic depth chart until the real one comes out about a week or so before the regular season kicks off.
With the spring practices and spring game over for the Longhorns, here's how the post-spring depth chart should look.
I think we all know Ash will likely be the starter heading into the regular season, but it's not official until coach Brown makes it so. Ash seems like the more complete quarterback at this point, and with McCoy's performance in spring ball, it only helps improve his chances. Ash should be the starter, but for now this will remain a mystery on who it really it.
Brown was one of the few bright spots for the Longhorns offensively last season. He averaged over four yards a carry his freshman season. He runs with a great combination of speed and power and has the potential to become a dark-horse Heisman candidate as the season goes on. He'll remain the starter heading into his sophomore season.
Davis was the Longhorns leading receiver last season in yards and receptions, which alone should earn him a starting role on this team. He has great height at 6'2" and is excellent at making plays with his feet after the catch. He's a deep threat receiver and should be able to make even more plays next season with another year under his belt.
Goodwin provides much-needed experience on this offense as he heads into his senior season. But he also provides speed and big play making ability. Last season, he had receptions of 80, 47, 45, 37 and 27 yards. His track skills really show off when he's on the football field and that only helps spread the defense out and makes this offense more effective.
Shipley also has big-play ability and was extremely effective last season his freshman year as he caught 44 passes for 607 yards. He has decent speed, runs excellent routes and rarely drops a pass that's thrown in his direction. He's a versatile receiver and somebody who will just continue to move the chains for the offense. Expect an even bigger season for the sophomore wide receiver.
Mack Brown and company are really concerned about the tight end position and that's because nobody has really stepped up quite yet. But from the looks of it, I'd be surprised if it wasn't Grant who was the starter come week one. He has great size at 6'3", 230, caught 16 passes last year and three of them were touchdowns. He isn't the best blocker in the world, but as a receiver, he's the best option the Longhorns have at the position.
Hawkins is a JUCO transfer who's done a fabulous job in spring practice and in the spring game. He rarely gets beat and always keeps his man in front of him. He has great size, quick feet and does a solid job in help creating passing lanes. Expect him to be protecting the quarterbacks' blindside this season.
Hopkins played the tackle position last year, but will likely switch to his more natural position which is left guard. Well, truth is Hopkins can play nearly any position on the offensive line, but with his mobility, he's most effective at the guard position. He's fantastic at opening up running lanes and the switch should really improve the running game.
Don't think there should be any question with about this. Espinosa started all 13 games for the Longhorns last season at the center position and did a solid job. He was a big reason for the running success last year and is one of the more complete offensive linemen on this roster.
Walters started all 13 games at right guard last season and was a team captain for the Longhorns during the Red River Rivalry last season. He plays the game with a high motor and an aggressive style and is really tough to get around due to his massive 6'6", 300 pound frame. Once again, he's another solid piece along this offensive line.
Cochran took over in the middle of the season as a starter. He played well enough to be named first-team Freshman All-American by Yahoo! Sports. He's extremely strong and is great at opening up running lanes. At the same time, he's mobile enough to get to the outside as well. He should pickup where he left off last season.
Jeffcoat led the team with 17 tackles for loss last season and also had eight sacks, which led the team as well. He's extremely fast and has a knack for making the big play. No question, he'll be the starter on the defensive line this year.
Dorsey played in 12 games last season and finished with five tackles for a loss and a sack. He'll receive much more playing time with a few members on the line no longer around. He simply overpowers linemen and can get to the quarterback in the hurry or be a force in stopping the running game. Regardless, he's just another talented lineman on this talented Texas defense.
Jackson has a high motor that tends to play bigger than his 6'2", 280 pound frame. He plays the run well, gets to the quarterback in a hurry and often requires double-teams to prevent him from making an impact on the ball carrier. Jackson is simply a hard worker that I doubt will accept being a backup. Expect to see him win the battle for the last defensive tackle starting spot.
Okafor is much like Jeffcoat. He's a returning starter and was one of the more productive defensive players in the Big 12 last season. He racked up 12.5 tackles for loss and had six sacks on top of that. Not much left to say, other than the fact you can count on him once again being a starter on this defensive line.
The Longhorns lack depth at the linebacker position, but still have Jordan Hicks who finished last season with 55 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He's a playmaker on the football field and has great speed to where he can cover ground from sideline-to-sideline. He's just a flat out athlete that makes a difference on the football field.
Edmond saw limited action his freshman season, but will likely end up in a starting role next season. Here's a few things his teammates said about his talents when watching him this spring.
"He is a true middle linebacker," safety Kenny Vaccaro said. "I'm back there, and I'm looking, and holes open up, and he just fills them quick."
Once again, another playmaker for this Texas defense.
Cobbs was injured last season and the Longhorns defense really suffered because of it. Here is what Mack Brown said about his absence.
“We really were hurt by Demarco not being out there,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “He's been a good player that's made some highlight plays. But he hasn't been consistently healthy. So like our backs, he's another guy that needs to be healthy and stay on the field.”
Cobbs is another fast linebacker that will make plays for this Longhorns defense and create pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Byndom was a first-year starter last season and intercepted two passes and had 54 tackles. He became a first-team all Big 12 and showed everybody just a glimpse of what he is capable of.
"Carrington has gotten tougher every minute he's been here," Head coach Mack Brown said. "Very good athlete."
You can expect him to be a starter once again.
Diggs showed last season that he deserves a spot as a starting corner after intercepting four passes last season as a freshman. He's not the biggest corner in the world at 5'11, but he does have great speed that allows him to keep up with receivers stride for stride. He's also not afraid to get physical receivers and show them that he won't back down despite his small frame.
Vaccaro will expected to become one of the leaders on this defense as he's one of the few starters that will be a senior this season. He's a guy that fly's around the field and makes plays wherever is needed. He intercepted two passes last season and finished with 71 tackles, which was good for third on the team last season.
Phillips missed the entire spring due to an injury, but he'll be ready to go by the time the regular season kicks off. That's why he's listed as the starting strong safety for the Longhorns. He's a versatile player who can play corner or safety and is great at playing the pass or coming up in run support. Expect him to be 100 percent by the time the season starts and for him to be the starter.
Nobody knows who the starting kicker for the Longhorns is going to be with Justin Tucker graduating during the offseason. Many believe it's going to be Pruitt, but that has yet to be decided. He looked good during the spring game, but during practices they have all struggled. Nick Jordan is a true freshman who will arrive in the fall and will be given every opportunity to succeed as well.
Since Justin Tucker was last year's kicker and punter, the Longhorns are stuck looking for a punter as well. Although this position looks a lot more stable than the kicking situation, due to William Russ playing the position well in practice. He's got a very strong leg and should be a solid replacement heading into the season.
Jaxon Shipley should remain the punt return man due to his big play ability and crafty moves in the open field. He returned a punt for 20 yards last season and has the ability to take a few the distance if he's given a block or two.
Marquise Goodwin has returned kickoffs the last three seasons and has done a fabulous job. His freshman season he returned a kick back 95 yards and averaged a little over 22 yards a return last season, while breaking one for 40 yards.