Five Surprises About the Longhorns Depth Chart

Kurt WaltonCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2010

Five Surprises About the Longhorns Depth Chart

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    Game week is here.

    Rice is on the horizon. That means the team is officially doing game preparation. It also means they've released the depth chart.

    Who's in and who's out? That's the burning question. Underclassmen and upperclassmen have been battling it out all spring. As you'd expect with a ball club coming off a national championship showing, many players have had their starting roles solidified for a long time, but some roster spots were up for grabs. Some will inevitably be disappointed and others will be excited. Let's go over 5 surprises about the 2010 Longhorns starting roster.

The Top Spot at RB

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    The job goes to Cody Johnson.

    The kid from Waller, Texas has been working his tail off all spring and summer long and that's only fitting because he's slotted as the top guy at tailback. Even though coaches have been gushing about him for weeks, this is still something of a surprise because everybody had assumed it was a choice between Tre' Newton and Fozzy Whittaker and that Johnson was destined to be a third down back.

    Not so. Cody earned it. He outworked everybody else. He's got a fire in his belly. We'll see if that translates to the field.

Freshman Receivers

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    True freshman standout Mike Davis breaks into the starting rotation as the number five receiver.

    This may not be much of a surprise to some; the coaches have hinted that a frosh might get in the picture and that Mike Davis was showing up an hour early to practice, clipboard in hand, eager to learn. But no one could be sure he was the guy who would get the nod, rather than Darius White.

    Though he might get in the mix, DeSean Hales isn't listed on the depth chart at all. Pretty surprising considering the rapport he reportedly established with Garrett Gilbert in the offseason. That just tells you that this Davis kid is something special.

No Room for the Big Guy

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    It doesn't look like we'll see too much of Chris Whaley. Not this week, at least.

    This whale of a man was expected by nearly everyone to be the H-back, but it looks like Greg Smith is going to be the starter instead.

    Not sure what changed the minds of the coaches, but this may be a sign of things to come. Unless he can pull a Cody Johnson and slim down, expect him to move to the other side of the ball à la Lamarr Houston.

Defensive Tackle

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    Another big surprise: Tyrell Higgins displaces Alex Okafor in the top spot at defensive tackle.

    I'm not sure if anyone was expecting this. I wasn't. I thought Pflugerville High School product Okafor was a man-child; so much of a beast that he got substantial playing time as a true freshman.

    Is Tyrell Higgins just that good or did Alex maybe get a little complacent in camp? Maybe he'll earn his starting roster spot back, but at least for now, Tyrell Higgins is our man.

    Standout recruit Calvin Howell is slotted as third string.

And Your #2 Quarterback is...

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    Case McCoy.

    Wow. Talk about a surprise. Whether it is his family ties to the organization or not is up for debate. But apparently he made his case on the practice field.

    Puns aside, he's got a great pedigree and coaches have been saying all along that the more physically-gifted of the two (Connor Wood, by far) may not be the one who gets the nod and that intangibles are a big factor.

    Connor Wood was one of the most highly-recruited quarterbacks of last year's class. You have to think he's a little bit disgruntled. Almost seems like déjà vu. A highly-touted stud quarterback loses out to a guy named McCoy. Sound familiar?

    Let's just hope things turn out better for Connor than they did for Jevan Snead. And, of course, it's still early, so this is in no way permanent.