Each week, I’ll do a brief recap of the Texas Longhorns true freshmen that played and those that are still eligible for a redshirt. I’ll also take a look at the depth chart for the upcoming game and add my thoughts on who we could possibly see hit the field moving forward.
Stats are collected from the “participation report” that’s posted on the Texas athletics website after each game.
Freshmen who saw playing time vs Notre Dame (10)
- QB Shane Buechele
- RB Kyle Porter
- WR Collin Johnson
- WR Devin Duvernay
- C Zach Shackelford
- DE Malcolm Roach
- DL Jordan Elliott
- DT Gerald Wilbon
- LB Jeffrey McCulloch
- S Brandon Jones
A total of 10 freshmen got on the field either on offense, defense, or special teams at one point or another during the game. the 10 were split evenly with five being offensive players and five being defensive players.
Additional freshmen listed on the Week Two depth chart (4)
- WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey (3rd string)
- OL Jean Delance (2nd string)
- OL Denzel Okafor (3rd string)
- DL D’Andre Christmas (3rd string)
If we assume that those four players will likely get in on the action at some point during the season and possibly as soon as this Saturday, then that currently leaves 14 true freshmen that could potentially redshirt.
Remaining freshmen with a good chance to play (2)
Next to each player is a percentage listing the chance we’ll see that player hit the field this season, which would burn their redshirt.
- DE Andrew Fitzgerald (85%) — If/when he gets healthy, we’ll likely see Fitzgerald on the field rotating in. Jordan Elliott playing and being listed on the outside on the depth chart tells you Texas needs depth there as soon as they can get it (Cottrell has been banged up too).
- OLB Erick Fowler (65%) — If he’s ready to play, I’d imagine Fowler sees the field either at linebacker or at defensive end. Since he joined late, he’s playing catch-up. So it’s really a matter of if he’ll catch up soon enough this season to where the coaches think he’s ready and it makes sense to play him. Depth at linebacker could also play a part here since it’s not the deepest, and that could help him see the field.
Players expected to redshirt (12)
- WR Davion Curtis
- WR Reggie Hemphill-Mapps
- TE Peyton Aucion
- OL Tope Imade
- OL J.P. Urquidez
- OL Patrick Hudson
- DL Marcel Southall
- DL Chris Daniels
- LB Demarco Boyd
- DB Chris Brown
- DB Eric Cuffee
- DB Donovan Duvernay
Of the 12 left, here are my thoughts on the chances we see each of the freshmen listed below. Remember, the percentages reflect chances we see them on the field this season, voiding their redshirt.
- WR Davion Curtis & Hemphill-Mapps (5%) — Given the log jam that’s currently at the WR position, I’d imagine neither of these guys will see the field unless Texas absolutely needs them too. Texas is pretty set at wide receiver.
- TE Peyton Aucion (5%) — Moving Vasser from defensive end to tight end pretty much solidifies a redshirt for Aucion.
- OL Tope Imade, J.P. Uriquidez, Patrick Hudson (15%) — This group may be the most interesting to watch. I’m guessing Coach Mattox and Coach Gilbert don’t want to put another freshman into the lineup or even on the depth chart unless they absolutely have to. I’m pushing it to 15% really because of Hudson.
Though Hudson may have freakish strength, without seeing him play, we don’t know where he stands with the scheme and technique part of blocking (getting to his blocks, getting in position, etc). So he very well could need this season to develop more.
- DL Chris Daniels, Marcel Southall (10%) — From the looks of it, Daniels and Southall will be the two odd men out among the freshmen defensive linemen. Wilbon and Elliott have already played and Christmas is listed on the depth chart. And with sophomore Chris Nelson emerging, the Texas coaches can probably afford to sit these two guys all season if they can.
- LB Demarco Boyd — (10%) The most likely way Boyd sees the field is if injuries pop up. Again, Texas isn’t as deep as you’d like at linebacker. But if Texas can avoid it, I doubt we’ll see Boyd hit the field this season.
- DB Chris Brown (10%) — Similar to Boyd, I’d think Brown sees the field if injuries pop up. Otherwise, even though he had some buzz in fall camp, chances are we probably won’t see him this season if it’s preventable.
- DB Eric Cuffee, Donovan Duvernay (5%) — Neither of these guys are needed, and both likely aren’t ready to play either if it can be avoided.
I touched on it some throughout, but there’s always the possibility of seeing a player get on the field unexpectedly if injuries pop up. Strong also believes in getting guys on the field if he feels like it will keep them more engaged in practice and meetings.
For reference, the ‘Horns had seven scholarship players redshirt last season. Heading into Week Two, I’m expecting 12 to redshirt at the moment.
Projecting who will redshirt is of course up for discussion and will likely be a fluid number that decreases a bit throughout the season. With that in mind, I welcome your thoughts below.