Texas Football Recruiting: 5 Biggest Needs by Position for 2013 Class
Recruiting is the backbone of college football, but the ability to develop those talents coming out of high school is the real sweat and tears of the sport.
The subsequent 8-5 and 9-4 seasons are marks of progress, and the recruiting woes appear to be dissolving as well. But while the pure results on the field have many questioning the progress of the program, the truth is that the Longhorns still have holes to fill that can lift them even higher.
With National Signing Day just weeks away, Texas has to be quick about identifying its needs.
Here are five of the biggest needs for the Horns for the 2013 recruiting class.
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The offensive line arguably has been in the worst shape in some time. With multiple recruiting misses and underdevelopments ranging between the 2008 and 2010 classes, the Longhorns have been operating under duress for some time.
Some may argue that the offense has failed to take off because of a stable and powerful offensive line. Many fewer, however, can argue that the depth up front has been a challenge. Texas has relied on youth and has lived with the mistakes, but until it makes up the ground on the recruiting fronts, then the Longhorns could be in a rut for longer still.
Texas brought in a nice haul of lineman in its 2012 class, but the Horns have just two commits this year.
Whether or not the Longhorns decide to add to their 13-man class, the need to uncover gems along the offensive line is huge.
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Tight end has been a position of need since Jermichael Finley left back in 2007.
Perhaps it's a result of Texas high schools running more spread offenses, leaving tight end prospects on a very short list.
Nevertheless, the Longhorns still have not found a true, consistent option.
Texas has secured Geoff Swaim from the JUCO ranks as part of its 2013 class, and he should fill in immediately. But as far as hard-nosed prospects, by their standards, the Longhorns have missed more often than not in recent years.
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The Longhorns have improved considerably in recent years in their linebacker recruitment. The 2008, 2009 and 2010 classes yielded only Emmanuel Acho and Jordan Hicks as serviceable players up to this point, but the more recent recruiting hauls have brought in the likes of Steve Edmond, Kendall Thompson and Peter Jinkens.
The future looks bright at linebacker, but in a conference where the need for rangy linebackers is critical, Texas cannot afford to be missing right now.
Youth dominated the position last season after Hicks went out with a hip injury, and although the depth chart looks set for at least two seasons down the road, linebacker is a necessity.
With the defense relying on strong play from its linebackers, missing once or twice could cause some personnel issues if injuries bite hard.
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The Longhorns have secured just one defensive line commitment in their 2013 class in A'Shawn Robinson. While Robinson appears to be a home run at defensive tackle, the need for playmakers is significant.
The line is littered with young guns, but at the same time, the Longhorns have not exactly hit it home with many of those recruits in recent seasons.
Texas has to be looking to bring in at least one or two more defensive linemen before NSD. The 2012 class has some nice numbers, but if one or two fall out, then the Horns will want as many bodies as possible.
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For the 2013 season, the Longhorns will be top-heavy with upperclassmen in their secondary.
Bryson Echols, Duke Thomas, Kevin Vaccaro and Adrian Colbert are the only returning underclassmen, and the Horns will bring in cornerback Antwuan Davis and safety Erik Huhn to their roster.
Texas may indeed be closed down at the position for this year, but in maintaining its moniker as "DBU," as well as keeping adequate scholarship numbers, the Longhorns could look to add another.