Texas Longhorns football: Should Jalen Overstreet change positions?

Jalen Overstreet - ESPNU

After being passed on the depth chart by Tyrone Swoopes, the future for the Tatum product is up in the air.

Several months ago I was sitting in a Subway eating my dinner and a customer started up a conversation about Texas football with the sandwich artist on duty.

The topic of quarterback came up and the customer, savvy fan that he is, casually mentioned that he wasn't a big fan of David Ash and that he thought the young quarterback with dreadlocks was ready to steal the starting position away from the incumbent Ash, even though he didn't know his name, which I offered without telling him that there was a virtually zero percent chance that his scenario could come true.

Keep in mind that this was after head coach Mack Brown named Ash the clearcut starter and before said savvy fan or anyone else could see Overstreet throwing live after he redshirted last fall.

All that merely to point out that players like Overstreet, who drew buzz that he could have a package of plays installed for him last fall after a short time on campus, tend to be favorites for those parts of the fanbase that love back-ups and prefer to paint their trendiness on a blank canvas.

After the open practices and a spring game that featured only one throw from Overstreet, a swing/screen pass to John Harris that the big wide receiver took for 19 yards, it's hard to say much definitely about the East Texas product as a quarterback.

His accuracy was hardly terrible in the open practices and in the spring game, he took off and ran rather than wait in the pocket too long or force a pass, so he has at least a rudimentary understanding of protecting the football and making the correct decisions.

And with five carries for 45 yards after taking out a sack that featured a quick whistle considering that Overstreet, like Tyrone Swoopes, was live to be tackled in the game, it was clear that Overstreet is very much the strong athlete, as well as a guy who carries his 212 pounds extremely easily.

Now, however, those trendy fans are calling for Tyrone Swoopes and the buzz around Overstreet and any possibility of seeing the field at quarterback has diminished to virtually nothing.

In large part that's because Swoopes has officially passed Overstreet on the depth chart, despite arriving in January.

Given that it's so hard to tell where exactly Overstreet is in his development other than behind three of the other quarterbacks on campus, it's also hard to predict what happens next.

A strong athlete, Overstreet could play a number of other positions at Texas if the decision is made that he should play somewhere other than quarterback.

The expectation was always that the 'Horns wouldn't open the 2013 season with five quarterbacks still on the roster, but there isn't much transfer buzz around Overstreet or fellow redshirt freshman Connor Brewer leaving town, so the most likely way for Texas to start the season with four quarterbacks is for Overstreet to make a switch.

On the offensive side of the ball, the two possibilities are running back and wide receiver.

Demarco Cobbs came in at a similar height to Overstreet and with a similar skillset as a high school quarterback and all-purpose playmaker, but he wasn't able to stick at running back for more than a couple of practices during his first fall on campus.

It's possible that Overstreet could fare better at the position and the move would fill a major need for Texas with only three pure running backs on scholarship for the fall, along with all-purpose threat Daje Johnson. The negative there is that Overstreet is rather on the tall side for a successful running back, though he compares favorably in terms of side to Alabama back TJ Yeldon, who is the same height, as is Georgia's Todd Gurley, almost.

Wide receiver is also an option, as Overstreet definitely has the athleticism to make a difference there and there's a need with Cayleb Jones and Kendall Sanders both likely to face suspensions to start the season.

However, based on the ability of Overstreet to handle shotgun snaps, which was an easy during the spring game, it's questionable whether he has the hands to play wide receiver, though limited sample size caveats apply, not to mention the fact that catching passes and snaps aren't exactly the same thing, even if the latter is typically taken for granted.

The better bet would seem to be the defensive side of the ball, where Overstreet may have the speed to play safety or, more likely, play linebacker, where he would have the necessary sideline-to-sideline speed to combat spread offenses.

In fact, that may be the position where Overstreet could make the quickest dent, especially with early enrollee Deoundrei Davis still recovering from his knee injury, Tevin Jackson working his way back from a shoulder separation, and Overstreet possessing better speed than bigger 'backers like Kendall Thompson, in addition to a smaller guy like Tim Cole.

So Texas fans, should the 'Horns simply wait to make a decision on Overstreet's future or should he make the move this summer to spend time at his future home during workouts and 7-on-7?

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