As the 2011 college football season creeps closer, we now take a look at the Texas Longhorns' defensive depth chart for their season opener against the Rice Owls.
The Longhorns had an unexpectedly awful season in 2010, finishing at 5-7, despite having a very talented team and one of the top recruiting programs in the country.
In addition to a nonexistent running game and disappointing play from quarterback Garrett Gilbert, an underachieving defense was one of Texas' downfalls. Despite the best efforts of defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, a normally-dominant Longhorns defense inexplicably struggled.
With the departure of Muschamp to the Florida Gators, head coach Mack Brown lured Manny Diaz away from Mississippi State to take over the Texas defense.
Now that Sam Acho, Curtis Brown, Aaron Williams and Chykie Brown have all left for the NFL, Diaz will spend all summer and fall evaluating and selecting players to operate in his scheme. But, he won't be short on talent; the Longhorns are known to reload year after year, and 2011 won't be any different.
Texas will look to rebound this coming season, and here are the defenders at each position that will lead the way on opening day.
Sources: MackBrown-TexasFootball.com, NationalChamps.net, Rivals.com, Bleacher Report