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Texas Longhorns Football First Practice Notes: The OL

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It's just shorts and shells so don't get too excited, but the early starting OL lineup goes:

Hutchins-Flowers-Doyle-Perkins-Williams

The three inside guys have pretty good job security, but Wickline is looking for best starting five so a tackle not stepping up could conceivably impact the interior guys.  We don't want that to happen though.  Perkins and Flowers need to play like veteran badasses - they can't just settle for occupying someone.  They need to be putting DL asses into the LB's behind them and creating disruption.  Doyle can't give ground against the Andrew Billings types anymore either.  If we can get the inside zone running game cracking, this offense will have the ability to form a legitimate identity.  We go into much greater depth on why this is important in the Thinking Texas Football preview.

It's increasingly apparent that true freshman Connor Williams will be starting at tackle against the Irish.  That's exciting in every sense of that word.  Potential is exciting!  A defanged cobra in your bed linens - also exciting!  Marcus Hutchins - a former third string guard turned fourth string defensive tackle turned 1st string offensive tackle, phew! - will try to hold off a host of competitors to do the same.

This is what I wrote about Connor Williams back in February.  The paid recruiting evaluators (Eric Nahlin a notable exception) consistently shit the bed in projecting guys like him and it's mystifying to me.  Why the average recruiting evaluator can't comprehend that gaining size and strength is the easiest thing in the world for a big-framed kid is beyond me.  If you want some more insight, read this thread back when he committed in September.  The comments section is worth your time.

Connor headlines my all-underrated team.  Vahe appeals to my love of technical proficiency, aggression and sheer effort, while Williams is all about pure athletic upside and ease.  His flexibility and coordination jump off of the film.  I'm not sure why people who are paid to evaluate don't understand that big-framed athletic guys who are "undersized" (oh no!  he's only 255 as a junior in high school!) have no problem adding weight and when they do so, they generally become bigger athletic guys.  This is not hard.  Connor Williams will carry 295-300 pounds well and he'll do it soon. The former TE from Coppell is on a rocket growth curve and the plateau is nowhere in sight.

I liked Williams as a junior where he basically played jumbo TE for Coppell and I liked Williams even more as a senior when he dominated at offensive tackle.  He's just tapping the surface of his potential.  While a healthy program wouldn't even think of starting a player as young as Williams in the OL, his ability and our desperation may intersect as early as his freshman year.