After back-up offensive tackle Paden Kelley announced that he will give up football on Friday, the Texas Longhorns suffered another hit at the position with the news on Monday afternoon that early enrollee Camrhon Hughes, a Harker Heights product, will redshirt the 2012 season after tearing his ACL playing basketball, the school announced.
Besides the inability to find a kicker capable of consistently putting the ball through the uprights, the depth at offensive tackle may have surpassed the quarterback position as the biggest concern entering the 2012 season.
There's a reason why need to develop depth this spring and what has happened in the last four days at offensive tackle further illustrates why he was concerned. At this point, the Longhorns need to place both starting tackles in protective bubble wrap. Or at least keep them well away from the basketball court. You hear that, Donald Hawkins and Josh Cochran?spoke about the
Known as a raw prospect coming out of high school, Hughes needed the reps this fall for his development as a player and will now need to stay close to Bennie Wylie and continue working hard to avoid putting on bad weight during his rehabilitation -- a major concern for any lineman who suffers an injury, but especially true for those linemen who depend on their agility as their greatest asset. Which is virtually all of them. Or the good ones, at least.
The injury will also have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the line. Luke Poehlmann was already slated to be a crucial back-up, even prior to Kelley's decision, but the loss of Hughes puts more pressure on second-year lineman Garrett Greenlea, who was working with the third team during the spring, as well as freshman Kennedy Estelle, who had looked likely to redshirt prior to the injury to Hughes.
I wrote back in early April that Brown could stay up at night this offseason worrying about his depth. It appears that offensive tackle will be the position that causes that lost sleep.