Teams normally build their identity in the fall, and find their cornerstones in the spring. Last spring is when Todd Orlando determined that Brandon Jones was going to be a key piece of the puzzle in 2018 and what exactly he was going to offer (superior tackling and run support). They also established that Lil’Jordan Humphrey was one of the best players on the team and spent the fall figuring out how to maximize his abilities.
Obviously there’s a lot to figure out for this unit heading into 2019. The entire starting front five, the nickel, and both cornerbacks are gone. All were not only senior multi-year starters. The best units are often built around seniors and Texas still has their share of those, but there are many holes to fill just to fill out a starting lineup.
Orlando doesn’t have to figure it all out this spring, the main priority will be determining who “the guys” are and what they do best. Then the rest of the depth chart can be filled out from there as they figure out how to surround the key players with the right guys in roles that will allow the main contributors’ best traits to dominate a game. For instance, Brandon Jones would probably be best utilized if surrounded by good coverage players that could free him up to drop down and be more active against the run.
Here are some of the big questions and tasks for Texas to answer this spring as they look for the guys they’ll be leaning on when building out the identity in the fall.
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