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Final Depth Chart Projection: Defense

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We'll continue with a look at June's defensive depth chart projection and an analysis of what to expect when the Arkansas State depth chart is released tomorrow morning

BON June Projected Depth Chart: Defense

WHAT'S CHANGED

DEs No change. Texas essentially has four starters, which will help keep everyone fresh and allow Akina to keep bringing the heat from the edge. From a pass rush standpoint, this is an elite group. We still need to see how they fulfill their run-stopping responsibilities, but it's nothing I'm worried about. Mack Brown has recruited this position as well, or better, than any other on the field.

DTs No change. Okam, Lokey, and Miller are each all-conference players. Thomas Marshall is a solid fifth-year player who can steal minutes, but look for Ben Alexander to start getting solid reps as well. The depth here is fine for 2007, but with Okam and Lokey graduating, the Andre Jones arrest becomes problematic.

OLBs Derry will assuredly start weakside, with Killebrew being your starter strongside. For all the talk about Killebrew improving, he'll have to prove it on the field to hold off exciting young talent behind him. I thought Muckelroy might supplant Killebrew before the season opener, but the coaches seem intent on remaining with the status quo, at least for now.

MLBs Bobino remains the starter, and though he led the team in TFLs last year, he was blocked far too often last season. Bobino must keep himself free to make plays. Jared Norton has had a strong fall camp and will serve as backup.

CBs Brandon Foster has been all the rave this fall, and though it's a feel-good story, he's vastly undersized. He does have great speed, and as a fifth-year senior, experience, but if he's not as good as advertised, Texas will turn to younger options. On the right side, Beasley may still win the job, but a lot of observers think Chykie Brown is more ready. Brown has better size; I wouldn't be surprised if this job becomes his. True freshmen Ben Wells and Curtis Brown may not redshirt and could see important minutes this fall if injury befalls the starters. Ryan Palmer will also be in the rotation, though playing Foster and Palmer together would be a disaster.

Safeties Marcus Griffin is the starter at strong safety and is playing tremendous football, if you believe the reports coming from camp. Two seniors - Drew Kelson and Erick Jackson - will battle for the free safety starting job. Some think Jackson's won the job already.

Special Teams No real change here, unless Gerland loses his job to walk-on Justin Moore.

--PB--