Texas Football: Predicting the Depth Chart Heading into Fall Camp
Texas is a combined 13-12 during the last two seasons, which isn't exactly sitting well with the fans in Austin at the moment. Longhorn fans are used to winning titles and competing for national championships, this losing stuff isn't exactly something they are familiar with.
The good news is that this may be a team that could take Texas to its first BCS bowl since 2009.
The Longhorns return 17 starters, including eight from a defense that finished 11th in the country a year ago. On paper, this is one of Mack Brown's most talented teams, especially with another loaded recruiting class coming in to help as well.
With Brown refusing to release any type of depth chart before the season begins, here is out best guess of what the 2012 depth chart would look like, as we inch closer to the 2012 college football season.
Starter: David Ash, Sophomore
Backup: Case McCoy, Junior
This will be a battle that will last until the very last day of camp, but if the season was to start tomorrow, Ash would be the starter. He seems to make the least boneheaded decisions with the football, is more polished as a passer, and can hurt you with his legs as well.
I'm not sure either one is a difference maker at quarterback, but Ash is the better player at the moment.
Starter: Malcolm Brown, Sophomore
Backup: Joe Bergeron, Sophomore
Together, both young backs combined for over 1100 yards and 10 total touchdowns. Bergeron has a great chance to top Brown as the starter, but both talented backs will see the field often in 2012.
This 1-2 punch is one of the best in the entire country.
Starter: Jaxon Shipley, Sophomore
Backup: Marquise Goodwin, Senior
Shipley has the size at 6'1", and playmaking ability to become a real weapon in this offense. After hauling in 44 passes his freshman year, I expect Shipley to continue to be an effective player, and take another step forward in his young career.
Starter: Mike Davis, Junior
Backup: DeSean Hales, Senior
Davis started 11 games last season and led the team with 45 receptions for 609 yards. I would like to see him get the end-zone a little bit more, but Davis is one of the better receivers this team has.
Starter: Miles Onyegbule, Sophomore
Backup: John Harris, Sophomore
Onyegblue didn't do much last season, but his future is bright with Texas. He has the size at 6'4", and great hands. I really hope the quarterbacks can give this man the football in 2012 because he can truly shine this season.
Starter: Barrett Matthews, Senior
Backup: M.J. McFarland, Freshman
Matthews has played in 38 games, although has not been used much in the passing game. Still, his experience and blocking ability will be needed on this football team.
Starter: Donald Hawkins, Junior
Backup: Luke Poehlmann, Senior
Hawkins is a junior college transfer, who will have the toughest job on the offensive line in 2012. When attending Northwest Mississippi Community College, Hawkins only allowed four sacks in over 600 snaps played.
Starter: Trey Hopkins, Junior
Backup: Sedrick Flowers, Freshman
Hopkins started all 13 games at right tackle last season, but will move to the guard position in 2012, which is his more natural position. He is a 2011 academic All-Big 12 first-team selection.
Starter: Dominic Espinosa, Sophomore
Backup: Garrett Porter, Junior
Espinose started all 13 games at center last season and was named to the Yahoo! Sports freshman All-America second-team.
Starter: Mason Walters, Junior
Backup: Thomas Ashcraft, Junior
Walters is the best offensive lineman the Longhorns have, and he has 25 starts under his belt during the last two years. He has a serious nasty streak to his game and was named second-team All-Big 12 last year.
Starter: Josh Cochran, Sophomore
Backup: Luke Poehlmann, Senior
Cochran is a former left tackle, but will be able to switch to the left side with Hawkins taking over. He is a big, athletic player, who plays the game with a very high motor.
Starter: Jackson Jeffcoat, Junior
Backup: Cedric Reed, Sophomore
Jeffcoat started all 13 games at defensive end and led the team with eight sacks. Arguably the best defensive player on the team, as he was also a second team All-Big 12 selection.
Starter: Desmond Jackson, Sophomore
Backup: Brandon Moore, Junior
Jackson played a little bit as a freshman last season, although in 2012, the former 5-star recruit will get a chance to show what he is really made of.
Starter: Ashton Dorsey, Junior
Backup: Chris Whaley, Junior
Dorset played in all 12 games last season, including starting four at the defensive tackle position. He is an experienced player, who has played in 21 career games, and is capable of pressuring the quarterback, as well as clogging up running lanes.
Starter: Alex Okafor, Senior
Backup: Reggie Wilson, Junior
Okafor is a player you will see in the NFL very soon, as there isn't much this guy can't do on the football field. He will return for another season and be a key factor on this defensive line once again in 2012.
Starter: Jordan Hicks, Junior
Backup: Tevin Jackson, Sophomore
Despite playing hurt throughout the year, Hicks finished the year with 55 tackles and four passes broken up. Now that he finally has some starting experience under his belt, expect the junior linebacker to really emerge as one of the leaders of this defensive front.
Starter: Steve Edmond, Sophomore
Backup: Aaron Benson, Sophomore
After seeing action in 12 games last season, the former 5-star recruit will enter the starting lineup this year. He has the size, toughness, and speed to become a difference maker on the defensive side of the ball. Big things are expected from this young man in his second season.
Starter: Demarco Cobbs, Junior
Backup: Kendall Thompson, Sophomore
Cobbs is one of the fastest linebackers in the country, who will make up for a subpar sophomore season, after missing six games with a broken arm. Like every starting linebacker on this roster, Cobbs is a stud, who is ready to make a name for himself.
Starter: Carrington Byndom, Junior
Backup: Josh Turner, Sophomore
Byndom broke up 15 passes last season in 13 starts at cornerback. He was also named first-team All-Big 12.
Starter: Adrian Phillips, Junior
Backup: Sheroid Evans, Sophomore
Phillips does a little bit of everything for the Longhorns defense. He finished last season with 39 tackles, three tackles for loss, four passes defended and two interceptions. With 24 games under his belt, he will move up as a full-time starter.
Starter: Kenny Vaccaro, Senior
Backup: Mykkele Thompson, Sophomore
Vaccaro has played in all 38 games since he first stepped on campus back in 2009. He finished third on the team with 71 tackles and broke up eight passes. He also earned All-Big 12 first-team honors.
Starter: Quandre Diggs, Sophomore
Backup: Duke Thomas, Freshman
Diggs is a former 4-star recruit, who will remain in the starting rotation after playing in every game his freshman season.
Starter: Nick Jordan, Freshman
Backup: Ben Pruitt, Freshman
Texas has some serious issues at the kicking position, which is why they are hoping freshman Nick Jordan can fix those problems. He is one of the highest-rated kicking recruits of the 2012 class.
Starter: William Russ, Sophomore
Backup: Ben Pruitt, Freshman
Russ did not attempt a punt at all last season, but did attempt to kickoffs, averaging 59 yards an attempt. Much like the kicking situation, this is a position that you just have to kind of wait and see what happens.