With recruiting ready to wake from its August coma, let’s take a look at what traits are missing from the class, and in some cases even the program, as we embark on the season-long push to the first National Signing Day.
If equating building a football team to building a car, a great group of wide receivers would be aftermarket wheels and performance tires. The coaching staff would be navigation, electronics, sensors, and in the case of Will Muschamp, the fuses. The offensive line would be the engine; the quarterback the drivetrain. Etcetera.
This is not a ranking of the most important players, though #1 is the same in my view. Judging by some of the angst heading into the season many of you feel the same way towards this player.
This is a list of who I think will perform at the highest level this season. Maybe not in the first game, or second, but over the course of the entire season.
In the last decade or so the tight end position has infringed on the domain of wide receivers. Especially in the NFL, it has become a glamour position that prizes athleticism over grunt work. But for Tom Herman’s offense, glamour is in the grunt work that helps the offense operate as intended. He’ll take any and all modern day mutants at the position, but they must possess the willingness to aid in the running game first and foremost.
At Texas, no other position on defense has been more inconsistent this decade than linebacker. This is best exhibited twice in near mirroring fashion.
The most populated position grouping on the Texas roster is defensive backs. You don’t really notice this until you get ready to write about each player, or until you want to run dime and have a legitimate two deep.
Texas doesn’t just have bodies at the position, it has solid and experienced veterans with talent still yet to surface, solid role players, and an exciting crop of youngsters with the potential to put any question of who the real DBU is to sleep for the next decade. Insert Sterns and Foster joke here.
Given the scheme, and Sam Ehlinger’s resemblance to Larry Csonka when carrying the ball, it’s fitting to lump quarterbacks and running backs into the same preview.
In the second installment of preseason positional previews, we’ll look at the most important unit on the team, and definitely the most important heading into the season: offensive line.
Other than recruiting there isn’t a whole lot in the off-season to tide us over other than talking about the team. Because of that, most of you know the current roster about as well as anyone. However, I do find it a worthwhile exercise to reassess each position and player one more time ahead of the season as a way to resharpen our familiarity with each.
At this same point in the 2018 recruiting cycle nobody — coaches included — foresaw the following players signing with Texas: wide receiver Josh Moore, defensive lineman Moro Ojomo, defensive lineman Daniel Carson, defensive lineman Michael Williams, offensive lineman Christian Jones, and offensive lineman Mikey Grandy. Even with Grandy giving up football this grouping increased the ceiling of the class immensely.