Defensive tackles on the 2011 roster -- Kheeston Randall (2011), Calvin Howell (2013), Derek Johnson (2013), Tevin Mims (2013) (possible spin-down), Kyle Kriegel (2013) (possible spin-down), Taylor Bible (2013/14), De'Aires Cotton (2013/14), Ashton Dorsey (2013/14)
Needs -- Two
|Name (School)||JD invite?||Offer?||Commitment odds||Favorites||Quick take|
|Desmond Jackson (Spring Westfield)||Feb. 13||No-brainer||
||An strong, explosive, gap-penetrating tackle in the mold of Dorsey and Bible who was unstoppable at the Army Junior combine. Uses his hands well for his age. His is a family divide -- his father an Alabama fan and his mother a Texas fan.|
|Marquis Anderson (Cibolo Steele)||Feb. 13||No-brainer||55%||
||Able to both hit and separate and explode through gaps, Anderson plays with remarkable violence. Lacks ideal thickness in his lower body. Not as talented as Jackson, but would be far more than just a consolation prize.|
|Quincy Russell (San Antonio Sam Houston)||Date unconfirmed||Possible||85%||
||Raw but talented -- similar to Cotton, but may have more athletic ability. Impressed at the Texas summer camp last year. Most likely zero or one tech in the class.|
|James Castleman (Amarillo)||Feb. 27||Possible||85%||
||Undersized at 255, Castleman helped lead Amarillo to the playoffs. Solid regional prospect not quite on the level of the other three. Little information available.
Other names to know -- Jordan Wade (Round Rock Stony Point)
Overview -- After lacking depth at the position in 2008 and 2009, the Longhorns reeled in massive recruiting hauls in 2009 and 2010 that even have the potential to increase in size with players like Mims and Kriegel potentially spinning down situationally and/or playing some five tech. Since it's often more productive and insightful to think about defensive linemen in terms of the techniques on the line they can play rather than thinking of them as defensive ends or tackles, Jackson and Anderson are probably best seen as three techniques, with Anderson also potentially having the ability to play some zero or one tech. Russell is perhaps the best pure one tech in the class. Castleman would have to add a significant amount of bulk to play at nose tackle -- consider him a three or five tech.
Since depth isn't as much of a concern as it has been the last several seasons, the Longhorns can afford to wait for players like Jackson and Anderson without endangering the need for pure numbers. However, it's so difficult to find bodies at the position and attrition has been at such a high level inside that securing two commitments in the class is extremely important, no matter what the depth chart looks likes.
Wish list --
- Desmond Jackson
- Marquis Anderson
The ideal here, as it is at every position, is to lock down the top players and then call the position complete for the class. Take Russell if either Jackson or Anderson head elsewhere.