Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Longhorns had one of the most experienced offensive lines in the country in 2013 but have the polar opposite situation this season.
Offensive coordinator Joe Wickline is often regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in the country. He coached seven All-Big 12 and three All-American offensive linemen during his time at Oklahoma State. But Wickline faces a serious task at trying to rebuild the Longhorns offensive line.
"Especially at this time of year, I just want to find five players," Wickline said. "Let's just get five on the field, and once they're there, we will adjust accordingly."
Here is what is known about the current state of the offensive line: Texas has 12 scholarship offensive linemen, the center is likely the only position locked down on the line and the Longhorns have a combined 10 starts between the guards and tackles.
Outside of center Dominic Espinosa, the offensive line is very green. Sedrick Flowers is the only guard with a start under his belt, but he proved to be a reliable backup last year and saw playing time in all 13 games of the 2013 season. Curtis Riser and Taylor Doyle are the only other guards who have any playing time under their belt.
Redshirt freshmen Rami Hammad and Darius James were both highly touted recruits in the 2013 class and bring a lot of upside to Wickline's line. Former head coach Mack Brown referred to the 2013 signees as one of the best offensive line classes he had ever signed in his 16 years at Texas.
It's too early to nail down the starting guards but one could assume Flowers, James and Hammad are leading the charge.
The offensive tackle's have much more experience than the guards. Kennedy Estelle started eight games in 2013 and Kent Perkins was used as a reserve tackle in six games and picked up one start during his true freshman campaign last season. Desmond Harrison was one of the top-rated junior college offensive linemen in the country during his two-year stint at Contra Costa Community College, but he only played in seven games in 2013.
Wickline wants to find his five starters, but he also wants his players to be able to play different positions on the offensive line.
"It forces them to learn the entire offense and scheme from a protection standpoint," Wickline said. "It's all about competition."
The offensive line may not have its starting five guys settled but one thing you can count on is weekly competition from the unit.
"This will continue through the season," Wickline said of the competition. "It will continue through game five, game eight, the bowl game, it's week-by-week."