Where will Texas Longhorns safety signee DeMarvion Overshown play when his first preseason camp begins in a matter of days?
The position question has surrounded evaluations of the Arp product ever since he committed to the Longhorns in May 2017, with some wondering if Overshown — who is now listed at 6’3 and 210 pounds by the school — could spin down from safety to linebacker.
Last week, head coach Tom Herman indicated that Overshown will get an opportunity at perhaps his ideal position.
“I think you’ll see him start in the Lightning package as the Joker — the boundary, weak-side, drop-down safety, play on the line of scrimmage, but yet play in the middle of the field, play the centerfield, play a Robber position as we like to call it — and we’ll just figure the rest out as his body continues to develop.”
The Joker role in the Lightning package last season came to prominence when defensive coordinator Todd Orlando made it the base Texas scheme after Iowa State successfully used a dime defense against the Longhorns.
After falling out of favor in the safety rotation, senior Jason Hall started the final four games of the season at the Joker position, providing Orlando with a defender who could do everything Herman described above.
Dropping into coverage, Hall recorded his first interception since 2015 against Baylor. Attacking the line of scrimmage, the 6’3, 216-pounder recorded a sack and two quarterback hurries. In total, he finished with 22 tackles, mot of them late in the season.
In an effort to replace Hall, Herman plans on giving juniors Malcolm Roach and Jeffrey McCulloch a chance to play B-backer in Orlando’s odd-front nickel defense. Meanwhile, sophomore safety Chris Brown will get a chance to earn the job at the Joker position.
Brown certainly has the physicality to earn playing time as the Joker, but Brown is four inches shorter than Overshown and without his unique length. Overshown also has experience playing close to the line of scrimmage since he played defensive end for Arp as a sophomore.
Overshown’s skill set is unique among the defensive backs in the 2018 Texas recruiting class and an ideal fit for the Joker position.
Now the only question is how long it takes for Overshown to transition to the college game before he can become an effective Joker for Orlando.