After firmly ensconcing himself in the ranks of the nation's best pass-rushers, expectations could not be higher for Jeffcoat entering what is likely his last season in burnt orange.
Among all defensive returnees in the conference, Jeffcoat has 1.5 more sacks and four more TFL than any of his counterparts.
Something else that the casual fan may have forgotten is that Jeffcoat recorded 7.5 of his 8.5 sacks through the final seven games, which is sheer dominance. Not to say that he will be able to record a sack per game, but if he can keep his motor running high and can force teams to double-team him, then this entire defense is going to have a field day.
A lot of Jeffcoat's success will also depend on how well his fellow sack-maven, Alex Okafor, performs this season.
The two bookends fed off of each other beautifully over those last seven games in 2011, combining for 11 quarterback takedowns over that stretch. If Okafor can perform on a similar level in 2012, Jeffcoat will have more room to work with and will not have to fight off as many double-teams to get in the backfield.
Jeffcoat will also benefit greatly from playing in front of a secondary that will be among the stingiest in the country.
With corners Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs each able to be left one-on-one with the best receivers in the nation and safety Kenny Vaccaro a leading candidate for Big 12 Defensive Player of Year, opposing quarterbacks are going to have a difficult time finding throwing lanes. And the longer they take to find those lanes, the more time Jeffcoat has to beat his man and get the quarterback on the ground.
With future NFL talents playing both beside and behind him, Jeffcoat should take the Big 12 by storm and realize his full potential in his junior season. Anything less than double-digit sacks this season would be a real surprise for Jeffcoat, who is expected to dominate to the tune of possible Heisman consideration, according to HeismanPundit.com.
Though winning the Heisman may be a stretch, rest assured that Jackson Jeffcoat will fully arrive for the Longhorns in 2012.