Senior class highlights, some in their own words

Anthony Wheeler at the Texas Bowl. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Anthony Wheeler at the Texas Bowl. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Only a handful of seniors were available on Tuesday to the local Austin media. Prior to their last home game as Longhorns, Inside Texas asked them what one of their favorite moments, or clip to lead off a highlight reel would be.

The answers were entertaining, but it took some effort to figure out what highlight games or clips would be for those who were not available on Tuesday. I went senior-by-senior to try and figure out which game or moment was the best of their careers.

Austin Allsup (Will Gallagher/IT)

Austin Allsup (Will Gallagher/IT)

OL Austin Allsup, Lorena HS, Austin, TX
The walk-on OL from two hours up the road was able to play in Texas’ 56-0 blowout of San Jose State in 2017, but fans will remember Allsup for receiving a scholarship prior to the 2018 season.

Calvin Anderson (Will Gallagher/IT)

Calvin Anderson (Will Gallagher/IT)

OL Calvin Anderson, Westlake HS, Rice, Austin, TX
Anderson had a tall task in replacing current Dallas Cowboy Connor Williams at left tackle, and didn’t receive the role immediately. He had to work up the depth chart in the early portion of fall camp, but has solidified as a solid backside protector in the Big 12. He helped paved the way for Texas to defeat Oklahoma, and even lined up split out against Kansas State. Videos of the Rice grad completing a Rubik’s cube behind his back for LHN are just a small part of what Anderson has provided to the Longhorns in 2018.

Andrew Beck (Will Gallagher/IT)

Andrew Beck (Will Gallagher/IT)

TE Andrew Beck, Plant HS, Tampa, FL
Beck injured his ankle before his senior year in 2017, and Texas had the smart idea to redshirt him in order to have him back for his fifth year. It takes a certain type of player to delay graduation, but Beck wanted another crack at playing Longhorn football. He also wanted to add to his meager stat line. Through three years with 37 games played, Beck had 12 receptions for 159 yards and 2 TDS. He has proven to be a constant at tight end this year, and has put in a career year. He only has one touchdown, but he has surpassed his career output in only 10 games. Beck has 22 catches for 216 yards, and has led the team as a captain in its best year since before he arrived on campus.

 

Kris Boyd. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Kris Boyd. (Will Gallagher/IT)

DB Kris Boyd, Gilmer HS, Gilmer, TX
Boyd made a name for himself quickly with his big hit on a punt return in South Bend against Notre Dame. Boyd’s career has been like that of a hockey goalie; he’s made plenty of tremendous saves but his miscues and scores allowed stick out in the mind of fans. He was second team All-Big 12 in 2017, and came back to be a senior presence in the defensive backfield that has several young players receiving play time. His 15 PBUs in 2017 were the most for a Longhorn since 2011. Boyd’s been up and down in 2018, but his effort has stayed regardless of coach. Boyd’s career highlight likely is his game-sealing interception of Patrick Mahomes in 2016.

Davante Davis (Will Gallagher/IT)

Davante Davis (Will Gallagher/IT)

DB Davante Davis, Booker T. Washington HS, Miami, FL
The only member of Charlie Strong’s Florida Five that has made an impact at Texas, Davis had a strong freshman year before a moderate sophomore slump. He saw time last year behind Boyd and Holton Hill, and took on the responsibility of often guarding a team’s best receiver in 2018. This season has been his best statistically. He’s on pace for a career high in solo tackles, and had a career game in Texas most recent matchup against Texas Tech with an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

Jarmarquis Durst (Will Gallagher/IT)

Jarmarquis Durst (Will Gallagher/IT)

DB Jarmarquis Durst, Oak Ridge HS, Tarleton State, Conroe, TX
Durst saw action in 2017 as a walk-on, and was high on the depth chart in the spring. Durst was one of the walk-ons in the summer who were put on scholarship, with his announced by one of the people he helped in Jamaica on a service trip. Durst has been a special teams contributor the entire 2018 season, and recorded a tackle against Maryland.

Chris Fehr (Will Gallagher/IT)

Chris Fehr (Will Gallagher/IT)

TE Chris Fehr, McNeil HS, Austin, TX
Fehr was a local product who has drawn praise behind the scenes from both Charlie Strong and Tom Herman’s staff. He was rewarded with an appearance on the final kneel down against TCU.

Breckyn Hager (Will Gallagher/IT)

Breckyn Hager (Will Gallagher/IT)

DL Breckyn Hager, Westlake HS, Austin, TX
There will never be another Breckyn Hager, of that there’s no doubt. Hager, like Boyd, sprung onto the scene with a big hit in South Bend, but his was more of the personal foul variety. Hager went from MLB who struggled, to specialty pass rusher, to defensive line starter in his junior and senior seasons. He’s had a lot of memorable moments off the field in press settings, but his two performances while wearing No. 60, in 2017 in the Texas Bowl and in 2018 against Oklahoma, were huge for the Longhorns, and likely for Hager.

Jerrod Heard scores a TD on Cal with 1:11 remaining. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Jerrod Heard scores a TD on Cal with 1:11 remaining. (Will Gallagher/IT)

WR Jerrod Heard, Guyer HS, Denton, TX
“The best one right now is at the end of the Texas Bowl when we were all on the stage with the confetti. That would be the start of the reel right there because that’s what I always wanted. Just to experience that, I was very grateful for it.”

DS Jak Holbrook, McCallum HS, Austin, TX
Has been a deep snapper for Texas since 2016 and few people know his name, which is exactly what you want from your deep snapper.

LB Kyle Hrncir, Johnson HS, San Antonio, TX
Career walk-on who has been a constant on the scout team.

Gary Johnson (Will Gallagher/IT)

Gary Johnson (Will Gallagher/IT)

LB Gary Johnson, Douglas HS, Dodge City CC, Douglas, AL
A two-year player from Dodge City CC, Johnson quickly stepped into a contributing role in his first season before taking over the rover position. With Malik Jefferson at his side, Johnson was able to find alleys and make hits in the backfield. He accumulated six tackles for loss and two sacks last year as part of his 57 total tackles. This year, he’s taken on a larger role in the defense at rover. Through the same amount of games, he has 10 more tackles, seven more tackles for loss, and 2.5 more sacks than his junior campaign. All three of Johnson’s double-digit tackle games have been this season, but his four TFL performance against USC stands out above those other games.

PJ Locke (Will Gallagher/IT)

PJ Locke (Will Gallagher/IT)

DB PJ Locke III, Central HS, Beaumont, TX
A late flip from Oregon in the 2015 cycle, Locke found himself on the field early in his career at the nickel position. He has held that spot almost his entire 34-game career at Texas. Tom Herman praised Locke early and often in his time at Texas and continues to going into Locke’s final game. His top moments include several big hits, including one against Tulsa this season, but his seven tackle, 1.5 TFL, 0.5 sack performance against Tech was as important as any given the health situation of the Longhorn defensive backfield.

Phillipp Moeller (Will Gallagher/IT)

Philipp Moeller (Will Gallagher/IT)

WR Phillip Moeller, Plano HS, Plano, TX
Another walk-on who received a scholarship before the season, two career games including the TCU kneel down.

DB Chase Moore, Verbum Dei HS, College of the Holy Cross, Los Angeles, CA
The brother of a Rhodes Scholar, Moore also excelled off the field during his career at Texas. He became the tenth Longhorn to be named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works team. More about the off-field impact Moore has made, including mentoring at The Boys and Girls club, YMCA and Special Olympics can be read here.

Chris Nelson (Will Gallagher/IT)

Chris Nelson (Will Gallagher/IT)

DL Chris Nelson, Victory Christian HS, Lakeland, FL
“Probably the belly rub, and probably my Notre Dame game. It was rocking here. I’ll never forget that day. Coming off the bus, my coach told me ‘they don’t know your name.’ It stuck with me since day one. Once he said that getting off the bus, I went out there and made a statement.”

Charles Omenihu (Will Gallagher/IT)

Charles Omenihu (Will Gallagher/IT)

DL Charles Omenihu, Rowlett HS, Rowlett, TX
“It’s got to be a sack. It’s going to be that first. Probably a strip sack, whatever ones I had. Probably USC, USC is one. I’d put all the quarterbacks that were drafted high that I sacked. I got Baker (Mayfield), Sam Darnold, whoever else, I’d put them first. You’ve got to put the rich boys first. (What about the home run swing?) Oh yeah, that would be up there too. Kyler Murray, he’s going to be rich too. Got to put that one up. Drew Lock, he’s going to be rich, too. You’ve got to put those guys there.”

DL Edward Pequeno, Memorial HS, McAllen, TX
Career walk-on who has landed on the Big 12 Commissioner’s honor roll three times.

DS Michael David Poujol, Memorial HS, Houston, TX
A legacy (Michael Poujol) who has served his community during his time as a back-up long snapper.

Elijah Rodriguez (Will Gallagher/IT)

Elijah Rodriguez (Will Gallagher/IT)

OL Elijah Rodriguez, Cy-Creek HS, Houston, TX
“I’d just say the entire USC game this season. It was a whole lot of fun. That was a good team we were playing against, and we were all competing really hard. To come out with that win and see all my teammates smiling and rejoicing, that was a really awesome experience.”

Josh Rowland (Will Gallagher/IT)

Josh Rowland (Will Gallagher/IT)

K Joshua Rowland, Madison Central, Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, Madison, MS
Rowland was Tom Herman’s first commit as head coach, and had an up and down year as the full time kicker in 2017. His 49-yard field goal last year in Ames is his best play.

LB Cameron Townsend, Ridge Point HS, Missouri City, TX
A fourth-year player who has become a special teams contributor in his redshirt junior season, made tackles in the TCU and WVU games.

Patrick Vahe vs TCU. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Patrick Vahe vs TCU. (Will Gallagher/IT)

OL Patrick Vahe, Trinity HS, Euless, TX
“I think it would be 2016 when we played Notre Dame here when Swoopes ran that ball in and the crowd went wild. That’s pretty much one of my favorite plays. I felt like I was in a national championship at the time. There are so many plays out there.”

Tre Watson (Will Gallagher/IT)

Tre Watson (Will Gallagher/IT)

RB Tre Watson, Centennial HS, California, Corona, CA
One of the few players who has played for and against Texas, Watson was much needed experience for a running back room that needed a leader to show some young rushers the ropes. Watson has been a reliable back all year, with several spectacular outbreak games. His best game came in the loss to WVU, where he had 80 yards and a score on the ground plus 35 yards and a score through the air. His performance against Oklahoma is also notable, including his TD reception on the wheel route against Mark Jackson.

Anthony Wheeler (Will Gallagher/IT)

Anthony Wheeler (Will Gallagher/IT)

LB Anthony Wheeler, Skyline HS, Dallas, TX
“For sure the fumble recovery. That was real emotional and exciting. That was a wonderful game.”

RB Tim Yoder, Plano HS, Plano, TX
Yoder is a First Team Academic All-Big 12 and made one career appearance against Kansas last season. He’s widely known for his bench press ability