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Texas Football: 2007 Depth Chart Released

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Like most Texas depth charts, it has more "ors" than a Viking longship. Everyone is a starter! Yea!

Here it is, with some commentary:

OFFENSE

Position No. Player | No. Player | No. Player

Flanker (Z) 9 Nate Jones | 10 James Kirkendoll OR 23 Brandon Collins
Tight End (Y) 16 Jermichael Finley | 86 Peter Ullman OR 19 Blaine Irby
Right Tackle 74 Adam Ulatoski | 64 Kyle Hix
Right Guard 71 Chris Hall OR 55 Cedric Dockery | 63 Michael Huey
Center 67 Dallas Griffin OR 71 Chris Hall | 65 Buck Burnette
Left Guard 52 Charlie Tanner | 72 Britt Mitchell
Left Tackle 79 Tony Hills | 56 Tray Allen
Split End (X) 6 Quan Cosby OR 4 Limas Sweed
Tailback 25 Jamaal Charles | 3 Chris Ogbonnaya OR 2 Vondrell McGee
Fullback 49 Luke Tiemann | 24 Antwan Cobb
Quarterback 12 Colt McCoy | 7 John Chiles
Place-Kicker 39 Ryan Bailey | 15 Hunter Lawrence

Comments:

WR: Injuries have depleted the WR corps. Nate Jones gets the start and look for him to have 25+ catches this year. The freshmen WRs have impressed and Kirkendoll and Collins will both burn their shirts as Montre Webber, Phil Payne et al begin to explore the SFA football program. Cosby is always reliable and Limas will play hurt all year. Shipley & Pittman are injury X factors, the former always so.

TE: Finley is the guy and should have a monster year of 40-50 catches. Ullman is our blocker. Irby loses his shirt in situational aces formations.

OL: We're clearly going to rotate 4 at guard/center: Dockery (OG), Hall (C/OG), Griffin (C), Tanner (OG). Chris Hall has become our Swiss Army knife in the interior OL. Burnette's return to health will throw him in the mix. OT is a nightmare if Ulatoski or Hills go down. We'd be starting true freshmen at either position - Top 10 teams don't do that. Thanks Webb and Watts. It's hard to make that 11:00 am class.

RB: The OR between Ogbonnaya and Vondrell McGee is heartening. Ogbonnoya is a situational runner in short yardage and change of pace guy; McGee is our future at the position. If we don't work Vondrell heavily against our manageable opponents and work him in the mix for 5 carries per game against the notables, we'll regret it if JC blows up and goes pro.

QB: I suppose Chiles loses his shirt, but Mack sort of dodged the question of whether he'd play against Arkansas St during the press conference. We'll run two distinct offenses, no matter what the coaches claim. A Colt McCoy offense (see Applewhite offense circa 2000) and a John Chiles offense (see freshman year VY).

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DEFENSE

Position No. Player | No. Player | No. Player

DE (Quick) 98 Brian Orakpo | 32 Eddie Jones
Nose Tackle 96 Derek Lokey OR 99 Roy Miller | 92 Ben Alexander
Tackle 97 Frank Okam OR 99 Roy Miller | 94 Thomas Marshall
DE (Power) 95 Aaron Lewis | 36 Lamarr Houston
Strongside LB 40 Robert Killebrew | 42 Dustin Earnest
Middle LB 44 Rashad Bobino | 11 Jared Norton
Weakside LB 33 Scott Derry OR 38 Roddrick Muckelroy | 10 Keenan Robinson
Right CB 29 Ryan Palmer | 7 Deon Beasley OR 8 Chykie Brown
Free Safety 26 Marcus Griffin OR 4 Drew Kelson | 1 Tyrell Gatewood
Strong Safety 21 Erick Jackson OR 19 Ishie Oduegwu
Left CB 28 Brandon Foster | 3 Curtis Brown OR 12 Earl Thomas
Punter 17 Trevor Gerland OR 43 Justin Moore OR 39 Ryan Bailey

Comments:

DL: Is as expected. I expect our four DEs to combine for 25 sacks this year. Lokey, Miller & Okam, though not great pass rushers, will stuff the inside. This is a great unit with lots of depth and the strength of this team - more than our ballyhooed WR corps.

LB: What can you say? Experience wins out here, even if that experience is in not making plays. And we have Muckelroy with an OR next to the one starter who is consistently reliable. I pray that we start a rotation here and that Darwinian processes commence. Sometime around Killebrew's 3rd personal foul would be nice.

DB: Everyone is a starter! Are we actually saying that Kelson and Griffin are fighting for the starting spot while Oduegwu and Erick Jackson battle for the other? A proofread would be nice, B'mont. It appears both senior CBs will get the start. Not a surprise. We'll wait until our first scorching (and loss) to "throw all jobs open, not talk to the media, and get better as a football team." I seriously pray one or both of these guys can pull a Maurice Gordon/Russell Gaskamp senior year out of their behinds.

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SPECIALISTS
Position No. Player | No. Player
Kickoffs 15 Hunter Lawrence | 39 Ryan Bailey
Punt Returns 6 Quan Cosby | 7 Deon Beasley
Kickoff Returns 6
Quan Cosby
Vondrell McGee
Chykie Brown

Gunners 21
29 Erick Jackson
Ryan Palmer | 28
9 Brandon Foster
Nate Jones | 19
7 Ishie Oduegwu
Deon Beasley
Holder 8 Jordan Shipley | 6 Quan Cosby
Deep Snapper (PAT/FG) 53 Greg Smith OR 96 Derek Lokey | 95 Aaron Lewis
Deep Snapper (Punts) 58 William Harvey | 33 Scott Derry

Comments:

Special teams should be a strength, but much of that will be predicated on Hunter Lawrence's ability to put the ball in the end zone and for Ryan Bailey to remain nails inside 40 yards. Punting game will be mediocre. I love Chykie and Vondrell as potential returners. I don't think Quan is as explosive as every other Horn fan seems to believe, but he'll be reliable and if you block the return correctly, he can take it to the house.

Conclusion:

It's not wise to put too much into depth charts (this can all change in a quarter), but this an interesting reconfirmation of our our general predisposition to risk aversion. We're paper thin on the OL and at QB. WR, once thought to be a clear strength, is somewhat murky until we learn the extent of our injury situation. The choices in our Back 7 can only make you shrug. It is what it is. Any notion that this is a team that it is a legitimate MNC player (as all of the polls suggest) is illusory.

A Big 12 Title and a BCS bid would be a very successful year.