Texas Longhorns football 2013: Projecting the depth chart

Erich Schlegel

Breaking down what the opening day roster for the 2013 Texas Longhorns football team could look like.

OFFENSE
Position No. Player | No. Player | No. Player
Wide Receiver (H) 8 Jaxon Shipley | 27
Daje Johnson | 16
Bryant Jackson
|
Wide Receiver (Z) 4 Cayleb Jones |
80
Marcus Johnson
|
Jake Oliver

|

Tight End (Y) 81
Greg Daniels
|
85
MJ McFarland
|
Geoff Swaim


|
Right Tackle 78 Josh Cochran |
Desmond Harrison
| 76 Garrett Greenlea
Right Guard 72 Mason Walters | 62
Curtis Riser
Center 55 Dominic Espinosa |
Darius James
Left Guard 75 Trey Hopkins | 66 Sedrick Flowers

Left Tackle 51 Donald Hawkins | 68 Kennedy Estelle
Wide Receiver (X) 1 Mike Davis | 2 Kendall Sanders | 80 Marcus Johnson
Quarterback 14
David Ash
| 3
Jalen Overstreet
|
7
Connor Brewer

Tailback 32 Johnathan Gray | 28 Malcolm Brown
| 27 Daje Johnson
Fullback 24
Joe Bergeron
| 13 Chet Moss | 36 Alex De La Torre
Place-Kicker 9 Anthony Fera
| 28 Nick Jordan | 23 Nick Rose

DEFENSE
Position No. Player | No. Player | No. Player
Buck 44 Jackson Jeffcoat
| 1 Shiro Davis
Tackle (Nose) 99 Desmond Jackson | 90 Malcom Brown |
97
Brandon Moore
Tackle 90 Malcom Brown
OR 85 Ashton Dorsey
| 96 Chris Whaley
Strong End 88 Cedric Reed
OR 92 Reggie Wilson
Strongside LB 7 Tevin Jackson | 24 Tim Cole
Middle LB 33 Jordan Hicks
| 55 Dalton Santos | 33 Steve Edmond
Weakside LB 19 Peter Jinkens
| 35 Kendall Thompson
CB 6 Quandre Diggs | 21 Duke Thomas
Free Safety Nick Marshall
|
25 Josh Turner
Strong Safety 17 Adrian Phillips | 2 Mykkele Thompson
CB 23 Carrington Byndom | Antwuan Davis
Punter 9 Anthony Fera
| 14 Will Russ

SPECIAL TEAMS
Position No. Player | No. Player | No. Player
Punt Returns 6 Quandre Diggs | 8 Jaxon Shipley
Kickoff Returns 27 Daje Johnson
| 21 Duke Thomas
OR 6 Quandre Diggs
2 Kendall Sanders

Kickoffs 23 Nick Rose | 28 Nick Jordan
Holder 86 Cade McCrary |
Snapper (PAT/FG) 37 Nate Boyer | 45 Kyle Ashby
Snapper (Punts) 45 Kyle Ashby | 37 Nate Boyer

Quarterback: The assumption here is that Case McCoy won't be back after hearing from a connected person on Twitter that he won't be back next season. Brewer stays as a result, but Overstreet passes him on the depth chart because he improves as a passer and fits what Applewhite wants the offense to look like moving forward with dual-threat signal-callers. Ash, obviously, is the starter and Swoopes redshirts.

Running back: Gray holds onto the starting job with Brown as his primary back up when Bergeron moves to fullback during the spring. The caveat is that unless Texas adds a running back in the 2013 class, it would be hard to move Bergeron unless the coaches see Daje Johnson as a guy who could fill in there if needed.

Wide receiver: This position looks much the same as it did in 2012, albeit with the loss of the no. 3 receiver in Marquise Goodwin. Kendall Sanders emerges to fill that role with Cayleb Jones also earning more playing time and Jake Oliver and Marcus Johnson battling for the remaining reps, which may increase as Applewhite moves to using more sets with three or four wide receivers.

Tight end/H-back/fullback: The use of these players is reduced because Applewhite wants the best 11 players on the field. Daniels remains as the blocking tight end, Swaim steps in as the blocking H-back/fullback, and McFarland is the wild card. Bergeron moves into the role of short-yardage back and fullback in the new Pro Set formations employed by Texas. Moss and DLT barely see the field.

Offensive line: The notable moves here are the addition of Desmond Harrison (projected), who battles Cochran for the right tackle job. Estelle emerges as a rotation player, as does Darius James, who pushes Dom Espinosa. Flowers and Riser are the question marks and may help define the upside of the line in their ability to give Hopkins and Walters some rests, necessary as Texas increases the tempo offensively and runs more plays.

Defensive end: Reed fills in ably at the strongside spot vacated by Okafor, splitting time with Wilson. Shiro Davis steps up on the other side to provide situational pass-rushing. Jeffcoat returns to hold it down on the weakside.

Defensive tackle: This is the position with the most potential for major changes in the depth chart. Jackson and Brown were the two best in the bowl game and A'Shawn Robinson could compete for playing time. Dorsey, Whaley, and Moore could find themselves in a serious battle to get on the field.

Linebacker: There's a big jump here -- moving Hicks inside to middle linebacker. Edmond wasn't cutting it and Santos won't be ready, in all likelihood, so the move of Hicks allows the two rising players in this group, Jackson and Jinkens, to get on the field beside the Ohio product. Demarco Cobbs may have to take his redshirt year since his ACL injury happened so late in the season. Or he could just get buried in the rotation.

Defensive back: Plenty of moving parts in the secondary, too, caused by the lost of the most versatile player on the team in Kenny Vaccaro. Diggs could well move to safety and play a similar role, but the thought here is that Nick Marshall commits and ends up as the starter there, a pretty big leap, admittedly.

Turner and Scott could also switch places, while the spring will be an important one for Mykkele Thompson as he battles to move from being an athlete out there at safety to becoming a true defensive back.

Special teams: A healthy Fera earns the punting and the placekicking duties, as Jordan still has some consistency issues. The most intriguing battle is at kick returner, where the Longhorns lost both of their starters. Daje Johnson and Kendall Sanders are potential difference makers there.

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