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Spring Timeliness Part II: Defense

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Muschamp showed less than a Mennonite show girl. Hang on 'til UCLA.

DT

Kheeston Randall is the next NFL manufacture on the Tolleson conveyor belt. Great quickness and his strength at the point of attack has improved greatly. He's staying low now and that's an important consideration given that he's a legit 6-5. I expect All-Big 12 level play this Fall.

Calvin Howell had two plays back-to-back on the first drive that summed him up nicely: a 10 yard double team pancake ride courtesy of Huey and Hix followed by a nice pop on Tre Newton for a TFL after he outquicked a zone block. Calvin will make some plays for us, hopefully giving us play comparable to what Randall gave last year. This offseason is big for him.

I don't see how Tyrell Higgins gives us anything but relief snaps. He's just not big enough to hold up down after down.

Kyle Kriegel revealed a sneaky knack for taking a gap on a nice TFL. Same stuff he did playing against 170 pounders in high school. Not close to ready for prime time though.

Derek Johnson is a project. Not receiving a down of defensive coaching in high school hurt him. Right now he's just eating space and feels around inside instead of playing with intent, but he's a redshirt freshman with a NFL body. Give him a year or two and remain patient. He's on a different developmental timetable from his peers. Ferdinand the Bull.

DE

We've got a number of guys running 3rd team that would start at the lower tier schools in the Big 12. And when our freshmen report, we'll have fourth teamers that could do the same. None of them are Kindle or Orakpo, but the quality three deep is unmatched.

Eddie Jones and Alex Okafor looked good. Alex is getting stronger and filling out and Eddie still has his first step. Eddie also did a nice job of squeezing down on running plays. The Acho to DT calculus may be as much a function of Okafor's development as Calvin Howell's.

Russell Carter is a negligible pass rusher and that will force him deeper down on the chart when Wilson and Jeffcoat roll in. Not a bad player. It just sucks to be a 6.5 at the Playboy Mansion.

Dravannti Johnson looks great physically and he's moving more fluidly. I thought he was stiff coming out of high school and early on in Austin. He has loosened up his hips with Mad Dog pilates and he certainly looks the part. Norman Watkins clone physically. Situational pass rusher. Would wreck shop as a 3-4 OLB in College Station opposite Von Miller.

Tevin Mims looks good physically and he made some effort plays. Doesn't have it as a pass rusher yet.

LB

Keenan Robinson put on good weight. I wouldn't call him instinctive, but he's so active, moves well sideline to sideline, and covers big chunks of ground. He'll still miss a tackle here or there.

Earnest Goes to Camp. Dustin played well against Baylor last year, gave us a solid half against Bama, and he has done nothing but progress under Muschamp's tutelage. He doesn't thump like Muckelroy did, obviously.

Tariq Allen may get his ankles broken in the open field (hello Jeremy Hills), but he is huge, fairly instinctive, and will bang. If it were 1982, Tariq Allen would be The Man.

Neither of the Tolkien dwarves, Roberson or Nkwopara, much impressed me. Their ability to tunnel may come in handy though.

CB

Chykie offered a missed tackle on Barrett Matthews on a 3rd and long that allowed a TD drive to continue. Dude looks like a corner though, so there is that. Most teams would be pleased to have him as their #3.

I will not insult you with an Aaron Williams or Curtis Brown analysis. We'll have the best starting corners in the Big 12.

Love Adrian White. Everyone spooged over the fact that Chris Whaley "won" a matchup with a guy he outweighs by 85 pounds with a head of steam and his pads turned upfield.

Winning being defined as "getting tackled in the open field." Uh, awesome.

I was impressed with the little guy coming up fearlessly and making the tackle when so many corners attempt a turf dive foot grab. I'm not looking at you Deon Beasley. Love White's competitiveness.

I barely noticed Eryon Barnett other than an open field tackle on Chris Whaley late.

We need more corners. Damn you Marcus Davis.

S

I don't believe Mark Fisher will be starting.

Kenny Vaccaro drank nine Red Bulls and snorted cayenne pepper pre-scrimmage and then attempted to decapitate several teammates. You don't have to look hard to see that he was a champion powerlifter in high school when he uncoils his hips on someone. I'm curious to see the winner in his internal race between anger management and stardom.

Christian Scott is a NFL safety physically and attitudinally. Remember that he lacks game snaps and that he's still growing into the gig. He's going to make some mistakes, but they'll likely be running through people.

Didn't really track Gideon much. Hopefully his shoulder is right. He made strides last year and I hope he can continue.

Overall, I don't see many freshmen cracking our two deep, but Dorsey and Bible have a shot at getting snaps at DT, Reggie Wilson and Jeffcoat could make some waves at DE, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Jordan Hicks or Tevin Jackson make a statement backing up Acho or Robinson. We'll play a bunch on special teams though.

Thoughts? Opinions? Rants about an obscure player that only you "get" that deserves recognition?


Cool Pic by Patrick Meredith.