Texas Longhorns football has officially released a depth chart ahead of the game against the UTEP Miners this Saturday. After an off-season of uncertainty, the unknowns are clearing up for Texas and revealing a promising outlook.
For example, the starting quarterback position is no longer listed as “Shane Buechele or Tyrone Swoopes”. Shane Buechele is listed as the starter, with Tyrone Swoopes backing him up and of course starring in the 18-Wheeler package.
Texas releases its offensive depth chart pic.twitter.com/uSSPZlSnTy— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) September 6, 2016
Here is Texas' defensive depth chart pic.twitter.com/zsWcpEgbOA— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) September 6, 2016
Here is Texas' special teams depth chart pic.twitter.com/i2Ph1bGEqU— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) September 6, 2016
Besides Buechele, the rotation is less packed with newcomers than BON and other media outlets originally anticipated. For example, Baylor flip and prized recruit Patrick Hudson is still absent from the two-deep chart, and standout freshmen wide receivers Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay are not starting.
But even without star recruits such as Hudson and late-enrollee linebacker Erick Fowler making the list, the depth chart is still chalk full of youth. As college football writer Bruce Feldman noted, the Longhorns have 39 freshmen and sophomores in the depth chart, 12 of whom are starting. Compare this with only five senior starters and it’s easy to see why the tower could be lit orange for many weekends in the coming years.
One of those five senior starters is former walk-on Dylan Haines. Haines is listed first at safety against UTEP despite leaving the Notre Dame game with a head injury. The senior with a team-high 24 starts is in many ways the glue of the defense, so his return should be a relief to Longhorn fans.
Ultimately, Texas has a balanced, but young depth chart heading into the UTEP game. Though the 1-0 Miners should not be overlooked, expect Charlie Strong to provide freshmen more playing time. Safety Brandon Jones, running back Kyle Porter, and the previously mentioned receivers Johnson and Duvernay in particular should record their first significant stats.