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Which 2012 Longhorn Senior Rises? The Coveted Gaskamp Award Hangs In The Balance

<em>Can senior DJ Grant win the coveted Gaskamp Award?  </em>
Can senior DJ Grant win the coveted Gaskamp Award?

Every year, an underestimated senior makes a significant contribution to the Longhorn football team. Trust me - it will happen. It's science. That senior is then enshrined as a Barking Carnival Legend, receives our potent karma, and gets laid a lot. Also, a classy tote bag.

For some background:

Russell Gaskamp was a highly recruited OL prospect from Oklahoma that came to Texas with great acclaim and then gathered dust like a Salt Lake City Planned Parenthood. In 1998 – then a fifth year senior – he was a struck by a meteorite doused in Gamma rays, won the starting center job, played well, and helped Ricky win the Heisman.

Thereafter the award goes annually to the senior that no one expects a damn thing from who has spent much of their career marginalized, ignored, downtrodden, or injured.

I won't say that the Gaskamp Award is on par with the Heisman Trophy, but if you say it, I won't stop you. It's certainly more prestigious than the Bednarik, Fields Medal in applied mathematics, or an Emmy.

Some past winners include:

2000 - Brandon Healy

2001 - Maurice Gordon

2007 - Nate Jones

2008 - Henry Melton/Chris Ogbonnaya

2009 - Ben Alexander

2010 - Eddie Jones

2011- Fozzy Whittaker

You get the drift now, I think. Here are our senior candidates (once you exclude obvious stars Kenny Vaccaro and Alex Okafor):

RB - Jeremy Hills, Ryan Roberson, DJ Monroe

WR - DeSean Hales, Marquise Goodwin*

TE - DJ Grant, Barrett Matthews, Luke Poehlmann

P - Alex King

You can construct narratives for several of these guys to win. Let's break it down:

Jeremy Hills, Lord of the Scrimmage. Probably little chance given the depth chart. Ryan Roberson absolutely has a shot if he can be a strong lead blocker. DJ Monroe has the athletic ability and he's eligible (only 664 career rushing yards), but the new kickoff rules and a crowded backfield hinder his snaps.

DeSean Hales has Jeremy Hills' scrimmage genes; very Gaskampian if he emerged a la Nasty Nate Jones in 2007. Marquise Goodwin gets an asterisk because he has played for three years and caught 94 career balls, so I'll only allow his inclusion if he turns in a performance substantially better than his career norm. We're talking minimum 850-1000 yards rushing/receiving combined and 5-6 tds.

DJ Grant feels Gaskampian, but I'm concerned about MJ McFarland stealing his thunder. Barrett Matthews is a great long shot pick (Caesar's has him at 28-1) because he may be our primary lead blocker if Roberson doesn't pan out. Poehlmann could make his stripes as a jumbo TE or as a season-saving fill-in for a nicked up OL.

Alex King is a crafty son of a gun who probably transferred in for one year specifically to win a Gaskamp Award. I asked the panel of myself if he was eligible and I/we determined that Duke football was not considered prior football starting experience. If he goes all Reggie Roby, dude could win this thing.

Who wins the 2012 Gaskamp Award? Why?