Right now, Texas Longhorns sophomore wide receiver Collin Johnson won’t make his eighth career start against the Oklahoma State Cowboys this weekend, as he was demoted at the X position on Monday’s depth chart.
The new starter there is senior Dorian Leonard, who has eight catches for 84 yards this season. The Longview product started seven games last season after John Burt struggled early in the year, eventually catching 29 passes for 397 yards and three touchdowns.
Johnson has been inconsistent this season — alternating seven-catch performances with two-catch performances — in addition to receiving some public challenges from his coaches in the past.
Head coach Tom Herman also acknowledged the difficulty of getting Johnson touches heading into the Kansas State game and was personally involved in addressing those challenges. As a result, Texas used more 10 personnel with another wide receiver lined up next to Johnson in the boundary so defenses couldn’t bracket Johnson so easily and also threw him more short passes, including screens.
For whatever reasons, that game plan fell by the wayside against Oklahoma and Johnson notably struggled some in establishing himself physically against man coverage. On Monday, Herman said that Johnson simply didn’t play his best game in the Cotton Bowl.
In other depth chart news, sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele is still listed as a co-starter with freshman Sam Ehlinger, though it seems clear that Ehlinger will get the start against Oklahoma State this weekend unless he’s hurt.
Junior right guard Jake McMillon is also listed as a co-starter with junior Terrell Cuney after sitting out the Oklahoma game due to a hand injury. Herman didn’t provide an update on McMillon on Monday, but the guess here is that he returns this weekend.
Defensively, there weren’t any changes, despite the poor play of junior cornerbacks Kris Boyd and PJ Locke III at times.