Efforts to turn the Texas Longhorns football program around are beginning to show results, not only in wins over the Baylor Bears and Oklahoma Sooners, but also in the number of young players excelling on the field.
The 'Horns placed three players on ESPN's True Freshman All-America Team — linebacker Malik Jefferson, offensive guard Patrick Vahe, and offensive tackle Connor Williams. No team nationally had more, and only College Football Playoff qualifier Alabama matched the number.
Here's what the Worldwide Leader had to say about Jefferson:
The 6-3, 232-pound Jefferson lived up to his billing as one of the top prospects in the country. He started nine games and finished second on the team with 61 total tackles, including seven for loss. He also forced a fumble and led the Longhorns with six quarterback pressures.
Vahe was a key get for the Longhorns on the recruiting trail, and it didn't take him long to find his way into the starting lineup. He's a powerful run-blocker from his right guard position, and started Texas' first 10 games before missing the last two because of a knee injury.
The Longhorns' starting left tackle from day one, the 6-foot-5, 283-pound Williams was one of two true freshman starters in Texas' offensive line this season. He wasn't a highly rated recruit but enrolled early and played beyond his years.