Texas Football: 5 Freshmen the Longhorns Can Build Around
With every new recruiting class comes a limited number of potential stars. Some will develop into superstars destined for leadership. Others will fill into their roles, and the rest will fall by the way side.
The Texas Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class brought in 15 new players, with two coming from the junior college ranks, but perhaps only a handful of them will emerge as the foundation of the team in the next few years.
With such a small incoming class, the Longhorns figure to be well-equipped with experience and veterans at a number of positions, meaning the incoming freshmen will have ample time to acclimate to a new environment before serving as pillars for the program in due time.
Here are five freshmen that may become the cornerstones of the team in the near future.
Who better to build around than a quarterback with elite athleticism?
Tyrone Swoopes, at 6'5" 230 lbs., is of the Vince Young mold. Likewise, Swoopes is not without his shortcomings in the passing game, and many believe the Whitewright quarterback is a project to be developed over the course of a couple of seasons.
If David Ash finishes his career at Texas, Swoopes could be in position to secure the starting position by the start of the 2015 season.
If the Longhorns can manage to bring in the right pieces around Swoopes, then the dual-threat signal-caller could be exactly what the Horns need under center.
The Longhorns have sorely missed the centerpiece offensive linemen that can propel the offense into its highest potency.
Fortunately, Texas may have secured a number of highly-capable linemen to take the reigns up front in a few seasons.
Naturally a tackle, Perkins possesses the feet and balance to slide into any position along the line. That alone screams for early playing time, but as long as the 6'6" mauler progresses under Stacy Searels and adds weight without losing his movement, Perkins definitely has the look of a cornerstone lineman.
Athletic interior linemen are a necessity for an offense capable of multiple looks.
Darius James provides just that, a big body with great mobility at the first and second levels.
With the quality and depth already assembled on campus, it may take some time for James to enter the fold up front. But with Kent Perkins developing alongside James, the Longhorns have a formidable duo that projects very well for the next few years.
With a core featuring the likes of Perkins and James in the trenches, it's only a matter of time before the offensive line hits the spotlight.
Jake Raulerson's efforts as a recruiter never went overlooked as the first commit of Texas' 2013 class consistently put in a good word to some of the top recruits in the country.
Although Raulerson's words have had limited impact on the recruiting haul, his commitment to Texas has never been in question.
His devotion as a Longhorn could also go a long way in determining his place among the stars at Texas. However, his physical skills and athleticism often speak for themselves.
As a two-way player in high school, Raulerson excelled on both sides of the offensive line with power and a mean streak, something that Texas has been without for a while.
Raulerson appears to be starting his career at center, but his diversity and leadership qualities are what will make him a fan favorite and a strong football player.
What would a Texas recruiting class be without a potential star at defensive back.
Bastrop product, Antwuan Davis, appears to have the qualities of a standout cornerback under Duane Akina, and if Davis were to follow in the footsteps of former stars like Quentin Jammer, Michael Griffin, Michael Huff and Earl Thomas among others, then Texas snagged themselves quite the talent.
We all have seen the potential of a defense featuring a shutdown cornerback, and Davis' speed, tackling and size will allow him to compete with the best athletes on the field.
While there are a number of quality players in front of him, Davis has the makeup of something special to be seen in a few seasons.