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Anthony Wheeler looking to step up at Mac

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NCAA Football: Texas at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Members of the special forces often opine that men rarely rise to the occasion. They fall to the level of their training.

No unit has proven that more over the last two years than the Texas linebacking corps.

And Anthony Wheeler’s career has embodied that maxim. The junior from Dallas Skyline has always looked the part at linebacker, but like many of his peers, inexperience, poor coordination and a lack of fundamentals have betrayed a unit that has looked more imposing coming off the game day bus than in the box score.

If the positive chatter around summer practices is to be believed, that’s changing.

The word is that Wheeler has seized the #1 Mac job completely aided by clearer understanding of his role and a productive offseason in the weight and film room that’s enabled a more physical, decisive presence.

Todd Orlando doesn’t need Brian Urlacher inside to run his defense, but he does demand that the Mac linebacker be junkyard mean, persistent, consistent in tackling and intelligent enough to communicate to the rest of the front. In Thinking Texas Football, we specifically mention Wheeler as the purest test case for Orlando’s pure position coaching ability. The 2017 season will show the proof in the pudding, but early indications are promising.