Before the season began, I chatted with Orangebloods.com's Geoff Ketchum about the outlook of the team. When I asked him to project the defense, he said:
Kindle's already been discussed in this list, and now it's time for Drew Kelson. The junior linebacker had a terribly disappointing year, considering the lofty expectations surrounding him after a very solid sophomore campaign which had peaked with a near-MVP performance in the Rose Bowl. Kelson played in all 13 games as a sophomore in 2005, all of them, for the first time, at linebacker. The former safety recorded 36 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, an interception, and a sack.
Like Kindle, though, Kelson suffered an early setback to his 2006 season when he injured his ankle in the first game of the year. He missed three games to injury, never returned to his 2005 form, finished with only 15 tackles, and wound up behind a mediocre trio of linebackers on the Texas depth chart.
There are rumors Duane Akina may bump Kelson back to safety for the 2007 season, a move that would make many Longhorn fans happy. It's hard to say, though, whether Texas is more needing of help at linebacker or in the secondary. Wherever he plays, Kelson will be asked to rebound from a disappointing '06 season to help bring the defense back to where Texas fans expect it to be.