The 2012 Texas Longhorn recruiting class is in, and the dust has settled. Let's take a quick look at who may have an immediate impact on the 2012 season.
RB Jonathan Gray - The headliner of all headliners should not only see the field, but immediately move into Fozzy Whitaker's role in the WildHorn. Some think he may bring more than that to the table, however, as a freshman...Gray is as close to a surefire NFL star as we have seen out of high school, and the staff knows his days may be limited on the 40 acres. They will use him early and often. Look for Joe Bergeron to take on a more short-yardage/goal-line role, and Malcolm Brown (RB) to share touches with Gray. Jeremy Hills will fade into the ether, and DJ Monroe will find himself catching more passes as his carries are diminished to exclusively jet sweeps.
OG Curtis Riser - Since this class primarily consisted of OT's, Riser stands alone in the OG department. But he stands tall. Outside of Gray and the JUCO takes, Riser may be the most college-ready of the newbies. If Trey Hopkins and Mason Walters didn't exist, Riser would be starting this fall. Still, he will see the field plenty in the interior line rotation.
OT Donald Hawkins - The groundbreaking entrance of Mack Brown into the Cam Newton world of JUCO will pay immediate dividends for the Horns. Hawkins will slide into one of the tackle spots opposite Josh Cochran, thereby relieving Hopkins of tackle duties and allowing him to shine as a natural guard. This is David Ash's favorite recruit, because he will single-handedly transform the O-line into possibly the best in the Big 12, with dependable stalwarts at every position.
WR Cayleb Jones - The rangy, athletic receiver cut from the same cloth as Vikings great Cris Carter should see the field immediately with the loss of Darius White. Whether or not Mike Davis lives up to his potential will not affect Cayleb's playing time. He is a natural play-maker, and will challenge Jaxon Shipley for the best hands on the team.
ATH Kendall Sanders - I did not list him at a position, because he will truly play a hybrid offensive play-maker position. Whether he lines up in the backfield, the slot, out wide, or returning kicks, Sanders is an electrifying player that will ease the loss of Fozzy Whitaker, as well as bring some Ramonce Taylor excitement to the team.
The rest of the offensive recruits will redshirt and gain valuable knowledge and improvement after a year of learning the system and re-shaping their bodies under the watchful eye of Bennie Wylie. One possible exception to that would be ATH Jalen Overstreet, if he proves he can learn quickly enough to step in as a WildHorn QB.
Stay tuned for To Shirt or Not to Shirt? (Defense)
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