Texas seems to generate some pretty decent safeties and cornerbacks (for the NFL). Guys like Aaron Ross and Earl Thomas are making their mark in the NFL and were products of some good Texas coaching. The Longhorns may have a couple more guys from this year’s group that could have a nice impact in the NFL but what they really need is a good group of guys to help them bolster their defense in 2011 and not have to worry about turning out NFL prospects.
The following is a look at the players that the Longhorns had in the secondary during the 2010 season. There is a quick look at their stats for the season and some insight into their status for the 2011 season.
CB-Curtis Brown-The 2010 season was Brown’s last at Texas as he will be moving on to the NFL (as a senior). During the 2010 campaign, Brown recorded a total of 26 tackles with 17 solo and nine assisted. He had one tackle for a loss, one interception and six pass breakups. The Longhorns will miss his leadership and ability in the secondary and will need someone to step up and take his place next season.
CB-Aaron Williams-Williams will not return for his senior season with the Longhorns as he has decided to go into the NFL Draft this April. Williams was one of the better kids in that secondary and will be missed. In 2010, Williams collected a total of 46 tackles with 30 solo and 16 assisted. He had five tackles for a loss, one sack, six forced fumbles with three fumbles recovered to go 12 pass breakups and one blocked kick.
Williams’s ability to make plays will definitely be missed this coming season and hopefully someone will be able to step up and take his place when it’s all said and done.
CB-Chykie Brown-The 2010 season was Brown’s final season with the Longhorns as he has now graduated. During the season (playing a total of nine games) Brown collected 19 total tackles with 14 solo and five assisted. He had two tackles for a loss with one sack one forced fumble, two quarterback hits and seven pass breakups. Brown is yet another player in the secondary that the Longhorns will miss next season and will have to replace in 2011.
CB-Carrington Byndam-Byndam, a freshman last season, saw action in 13 games and should have a pretty nice career the rest of the way for the Longhorns. In fact, it’s possible he could step in and be a starter next season but if not n 2011 definitely in 2012. Byndam played in a total 12 games for Texas last season recording a total of 20 tackles with 17 solo and three assisted. He also had one forced fumble, one pass breakup and one blocked kick for the Longhorns in 2010.
Look for Byndam to make a run at starting in 2011 and quite possibly be a starter depending on how things go during spring drills. He definitely has enough talent to be a starter but does he have enough to be an impact player at the cornerback position?
CB-A.J. White-White, a freshman last season, saw action in five games last season and had three tackles with one solo and two assisted. White will remain a backup next season but could see some additional action if he proves himself in spring drills and catches the eye of his new defensive coaches.
S-Christian Scott-Scott will be back for his senior season next year and should remain the starter at one of the two safety spots. Looking back at his production in 2010, Scott played in a total of 11 games and had 53 tackles with 36 solo and 17 assisted. He had one tackle for a loss, one sack, two forced fumbles, an interception and one quarterback hit.
Look for him to remain the starter next season and contribute even more in the secondary as the defense will count on him to help keep things in order in the backfield and make plays.
S-Kenny Vaccaro-A sophomore this season, Vaccaro backed up Scott at the safety position and should remain the backup in 2011. He played in a total of 12 games for the Longhorns and had 56 total tackles with 42 solo and 14 assisted. He had one forced fumble along with one interception, eight pass breakups and one blocked kick.
This year was a pretty good one for Vaccaro and while it’s more likely that he will remain a backup with the Longhorns next season its possible that he could make a run at the starting job. He’s definitely got the talent but he may just not have enough skill to maintain the starting job.
S-Blake Gideon-Gideon was the other starter at the safety position and he is going to return for his senior season with the Longhorns and will be counted upon to provide some stability in the secondary. In 2010, Gideon played in 12 games and had 68 total tackles with 42 solo and 26 assisted to go along with three tackles for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble and two interceptions. He also had four pass breakups and one blocked kick.
Gideon will be an important part of things in the secondary for the Longhorns next season. Having the experience at the safety position will go a long ways towards helping the Longhorns find stability in the secondary and excel in that area. It appears as if they are well set up there.
S-Adrian Phillips-Phillips was a freshman this past season and saw a little on the field action. He played in 11 games and recorded nine total tackles with six solo and three assisted. He also had one pass breakup.
Look for Phillips to see some additional action this coming season and could start eventually once Gideon graduates.
DB-Mark Fisher-Fisher saw action in just three games last year and had two assisted tackles. He should see some additional time on the field this coming season especially on special teams.
DB-Eddie Jones-Jones, a senior last season saw action in 12 games and participated in kickoff return duty for the team. He collected a total of 52 tackles with 32 solo and 20 assisted. He also had 10 tackles for a loss, six sacks, and one forced fumble. Jones won’t be around next season and someone will have to step up to replace him.
There were three other players that had some playing time this past season. They are Eryon Barnett (7 games), Bryant Jackson (1 game) and Cody Hill (5 games).
The Longhorns had other players that didn’t see any time on the field. They include Anthony Daddeo, Nolan Brewster, Josh Richardson, Sam Walker and Nate Boyer.
Things look pretty good for the Longhorns going into next season in the secondary and should consider it to be one of their strengths. As long as the key players in this group stay healthy and despite the fact they lost some key players in the secondary to the NFL they will still see success there in 2011.