In 2015, consensus three-star prospect Connor Williams emerged as the starting left tackle for the Texas Longhorns and stabilized a critical position. In 2016, head coach Charlie Strong and his staff may have to turn to much more heralded prospect on the other side in Under Armour All-American Jean Delance, at least for depth purposes.
Coming out of the spring, senior Kent Perkins is the likely starter at right tackle, but his most natural position is inside at guard and there aren't many other options outside -- junior Tristan Nickelson was on skates for much of the Orange and White game after promising moments as a sophomore, and neither redshirt freshman Garrett Thomas nor fellow redshirt freshman Buck Major are ready for playing time.
Much like Williams, who played some tight end for Coppell before serving as an undersized tackle, there's no questioning Delance's athleticism.
Much like a number of other prospects in the 2016 class, Delance improved significantly from his junior to his senior season, though he plays such a valuable position and has such a prototypical build that his stock didn't see the late jump afforded to defenders like Andrew Fitzgerald.
At 6'5 and 299 pounds, Delance has ideal height, length, and body distribution -- major reasons why he got that invite to Orlando and finished the 2016 cycle with 26 offers and the No. 12 ranking among all offensive tackles in the class.
So he looks the part and possesses extremely light feet for an offensive lineman, as he looks like a tight end and moves like one, too, even though he weighs close to 300 pounds now.
When he does get his hand placement correct and drives his legs, he can get good results, but he doesn't always roll out of his hips or get an ideal power base prior to contact.
Since the Longhorns may need him to contribute early in a reserve capacity, if not as a starter as soon as he steps on campus, Delance will be an interesting test case for the developmental ability of position coach Matt Mattox, who hasn't been able to work with prospects of Delance's ability at previous stops like Tulsa, Bowling Green, and Eastern Illinois.
For the North Mesquite product to come anywhere close to the production of Williams last season, who posted the only positive grade among the 14 true freshmen offensive tackles to play at least 240 snaps last season, Delance will have to refine his pass-setting technique, which tends to be inconsistent, and continue improving his punch as a pass blocker and run blocker.
But given all of Delance's physical attributes and a vein of nastiness that runs through his game, it's hard to count him out, especially given the need the Longhorns have at the position.