MackBrown-Texasfootball texassports.com, the depth chart against our daunting season opener, the Aggies of New Mexico State University, has been released!
No surprises here, this topic has been well covered. Swoopes is expected to play to prepare him for a back-up role in 2014. I'd rather he be prepared for a back-up role by redshirting. There seems to be evidence that redshirt freshmen can make solid starters.
Johnathan Gray-Malcolm Brown OR Joe Bergeron
Gray represents the highest upside here and the best fit for our current direction on offense, in which the tailback is asked to command attention to all the gaps between the tackles. It's worth noting that Brown's vision and power up the middle could potentially make him the best option for 2013 (while Gray builds strength) should he finally demonstrate some consistency over the course of an entire season.
Alex De La Torre - Chet Moss
Linebacker de la mancha and his squire Chet will undoubtedly be used in many heroic quests on the goal line and 3rd and 2, ferrying water to Geoff Swaim and Malcom Brown after successful conversions.
Daje Johnson-Jacorey Warrick
In spread offense lingo, the H receiver means "Percy Harvin-type." Essentially a running back that receives the ball in space somewhere in the vicinity of the line of scrimmage. Warrick looks more the part of a slot receiver who can make sharp breaks inside against safeties and linebackers while Daje represents potentially the most dangerous weapon in Applewhite's arsenal.
John Harris OR Jaxon Shipley
The versatile possession receiver of the offense, potentially lined up on the outside or inside at slot. Here we see....what! Harris OR Shipley? I take this to mean that Harris' value as a blocker will see him on the field frequently in 2013. I also take this as a good sign that he's recovered the form that made him so tantalizing in 2013. I don't take this as a sign that Shipley will not be a leading receiver.
Mike Davis - Marcus Johnson
The X receiver is your truest outside receiver. Ideally a guy that teams don't want to trust their corners alone on the sidelines against. Marcus Johnson's presence here is both a sign of his great potential and the appalling condition of our depth chart at receiver in an offense that will often deploy three or four such players on the field at a time.
Geoff Swaim OR Greg Daniels - MJ Macfarland
It appears we've given up on the 11 personnel dream of 2004-2005 and gone with the blockers here. My guess is they line up as halfbacks or fullbacks as often as they do as in line tight ends.
In the event that we play four receivers, I'd expect Shipley to be inside here at Y and Harris to remain outside at Z.
Those waiting for the Harrison Revolution will need to wait. Let's not forget though, Hawkins at Left Tackle was not a problem area for Texas in 2012.
These are two Longhorns I'm excited about for the future. Flowers presents the straight ahead power we're looking for here in the future.
Same story as always here. Lots of athleticism and mobility here, could have problems with squatty nose tackles, same as the last two years.
Mason Walters - Kent Perkins OR Curtis Riser
Hopefully Perkins isn't also following Walters' path of not working out at tackle and moving inside to guard. Hopefully a measure to get him on the field quickly because of his prodigious talent...
We're looking real good here.
Hoping we're back to our entitled ways of knowing that every important kick is going in.
The weakside end in Diaz's schemes is basically your featured blind-side pass rusher, although in the Alamo Bowl he featured Okafor as a pass-rusher as a strongside 9-tech.
We're loaded here with playmakers, each of them has the athleticism to be a terror on the edge or handle the zone drops in Fire Zones.
Malcom Brown - Hassan Ridgeway OR Alex Norman
An important note: The nose tackle in Diaz's defense is often lined up in a 3-tech technique. In our base fronts, the 1-tech is trying to slice into the A-gap and blow through the middle or command a double team. The 3-tech is isolated on a guard and tasked with driving his ass into the backfield and dominating half the interior line.
Anyways, that's why our most talented defensive tackle is listed at this position. Ridgeway's emergence and positioning here is exciting, hopefully he can surpass Norman soon who totally underwhelmed in the spring game.
Chris Whaley - Desmond Jackson
Ashton Dorsey not listed due to a calf injury, evidently. Here's where we stick our quick penetrators and ask them to slice up the middle or stunt like wild men in all our blitz packages. Hopefully Whaley's athleticism yields more consistent results this year. We know we have something solid in Jackson.
Cedric Reed - Reggie Wilson
Reed has drawn good reviews throughout camp and Wilson should get in the mix for his pass-rushing acumen. I'm optimistic that Texas can mostly replace Okafor's play against both the run and pass with Reed.
Peter Jinkens - Tevin Jackson
This is the nickel linebacker position, set to the field side of the offensive formation and asked to cover ground out there. Jackson's ability to play here (started here vs KSU) is surprising since his reputation is as more of a blitzer and box player. The fact that they trust him to cover ground or slot receivers out there is impressive.
But we'll be in nickel most of the time anyways so this position won't exist 75% of the time.
I'm not sure if this position will exist most of the time either as I see Hicks playing here with Jinkens sliding into the weakside spot. Pencil in this prediction:
Against run-heavy offenses that don't threaten our pass defense or perimeter expect an Edmond-Hicks-Nickel (Jinkens or nickelback) grouping with Hicks sliding into the middle and Jinkens to the weakside against teams with more dangerous spread passing games. If Edmond or Santos want to play they'll need to earn it against the run game.
That might as well read Jordan Hicks - Peter Jinkens.
Echols is probably the third corner off the bench but the 2nd unit's right corner. Hopefully this means that he has the potential to be the next lockdown guy when Byndom moves on.
Where's Diggs!!! He's not listed at either corner spot, which suggests either/both that he's locked down the nickel spot and we'll play that package most of the time or/and he's actually starting ahead of Thomas and Evans. The inclusion of Echols behind Byndom and these two names should have Longhorn fans excited about our future at corner.
In the last two years, Diaz labeled his Free Safety as the player who lined up to the field side of a formation.
In Palms you want your better run-stuffing safety to the boundary, where I expect this position to line up. In Man-free you want at least one guy who's good locked down on a slot receiver and one who can handle the deep role. We used Phillips in the deep role last year but I'm guessing the Free safety will typically be the deep man while Phillips and Scott will chase slots.
Quandre Diggs - Adrian Phillips
More personnel packaging options here with a "big nickel" and "little nickel" option. However, I think Jinkens is our true "big nickel" and Phillips will be the dimeback, like last year.
Anthony Fera - Will Russ
Looks like we'll be relying heavily on Fera's leg this year...Rose is still the kickoff man. McCrary holds snaps, Boyer snaps them deep and draws feature stories that reflect positively on the program.
Quandre Diggs - Daje Johnson
Diggs was great here last year, Daje needs to touch the ball frequently. I'm okay with trading 1-2 touchdowns over the course of a year for assurance that we won't fumble any punts.
Duke Thomas AND Mykkele Thompson - Daje Johnson AND Jacorey Warrick
I've noticed in the past that our better kick return units are not actually "crazy fast guy X with crazy fast guy Y" but "crazy fast guy X with willing open field blocker Y." Not seeing that reflected here. I would have liked to see a name like Harris here but we'll see how it goes.