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Phil Steele Review, Part Two: Unit Rankings (Defense)

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This morning, the offensive unit breakdowns of Phil Steele. Now, the defense.

Defensive Line

Texas #3

Phil's Comment: Texas allowed just 61 ypg rush (2.3) in '06 despite losing DT Derek Lokey (500 bench) to a broken leg after 8. Frank Okam and Roy Miller are one of the top DT duos in the NCAA. Six are back with starting experience and they add in RB Henry Melton (PS#13) and rFr Eddie Jones (PS#1) while true Dre Jones (PS#5) was in for the srping.

I'm with Steele on loving this unit, and his glowing remarks didn't even get include the names Brian Orakpo, Lamarr Houston, Brian Ellis, or Ben Alexander. Andre Jones is a keeper, but with the big three in front of him, I won't be surprised if we see a redshirt.

Phil's Top 10 Defensive Line Units: LSU, USC, Texas, Florida State, Georgia Tech, UCLA, TCU, Virginia Tech, Iowa, Virginia

Linebackers

Texas #9

Phil's Comment: The top 6 LBs all return from '06 and they will have to battle to hold onto their jobs. Sergio Kindle (PS#1) was injured at the start of the year and limited to 21 tackles. Four other VHT backups will steal some time. This is a good sized unit with the top 6 averaging 232 lbs. Depth is abundant on this unit.

Our first big surprise of the review, as Steele buries last year's disappointing season from the linebackers and projects the '07 group as a top 10 unit.

While there are certainly questions about this unit, I think Steele may be right. Especially if Bobino can take a step forward and be more consistent in the middle.

Phil's Top 10 Linebacker Units: USC, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, LSU, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Oregon State, Texas, Virginia

Defensive Backs

Texas Not Ranked In Top 30

Phil's Comment: None.

It's the offensive line on one side of the ball and the secondary on the other. Make or break units for this Texas team, and possibly determinative in terms of BCS bowling. If either or both perform well, Texas should win the Big 12. If both struggle, buckle up - it could be a disappointing season.

--PB--