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The way-too-early Texas depth chart for 2019

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Making some educated guesses about how the next Longhorns team will come together in the fall.

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Georgia vs Texas Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Sugar Bowl win over the Georgia Bulldogs capped the first ten-win season for the Texas Longhorns since 2009, but head coach Tom Herman and his staff will have some significant challenges on their hands heading into next season.

The departure of a large senior class that helped restore the program to national relevancy included eight starters on defense and three starters along the offensive line.

Early in January, the staff got some good news, as junior wide receiver Collin Johnson announced that he will return for his senior season in 2019, bolstering a talented wide receiver corps that broke through in 2018.

Junior safety Brandon Jones made the same decision, but the one early defection for the Longhorns is junior wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

Texas will also add another talented recruiting class that should once again provide several instant-impact contributors, particularly at linebacker. There are still a handful of spots left in the class, too, with National Signing Day looming in early February, but as January progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that Texas may only add one or two prospects to the signing class.

So here’s a look at how the depth chart could come together next fall.

Way-too-early depth chart

11 Name No. Name No. Name No. Name No. Name No. Name No.
11 Name No. Name No. Name No. Name No. Name No. Name No.
QB Sam Ehlinger 11 Casey Thompson 8 Roschon Johnson *
RB Keaontay Ingram 26 Daniel Young 32 Kirk Johnson 28 Derrian Brown *
XWR Collin Johnson 9 Brennan Eagles 82 Malcolm Epps 85 Marcus Washington *
HWR Bru McCoy * Jordan Whittington * Jake Smith * Joshua Moore 14
ZWR Devin Duvernay 6 John Burt 1 Al'vonte Woodard 83 Kennedy Lewis * Jordan Pouncey 86
YTE Cade Brewer 80 Reese Leitao 81 Brayden Liebrock * Rob Cummins 99 Jared Wiley *
LT Sam Cosmi 52 Reese Moore 76 JP Urquidez 71 Isaiah Hookfin *
LG Parker Braun * Junior Angilau 75 Christian Jones 70
C Zach Shackelford 56 Derek Kerstetter 68 Tyler Johnson *
RG Denzel Okafor 78 Tope Imade 67 Rafiti Ghirmai 74
RT Derek Kerstetter 68 Denzel Okafor 78 Willie Tyler * Javonne Shepherd *
Defense
DE Malcolm Roach 32 Moro Ojomo 98 Jacoby Jones * Myron Warren
NT Keondre Coburn 99 Gerald Wilbon 94 D'Andre Christmas-Giles 55
DE Ta'Quon Graham 49 Marqez Bimage 42 Jamari Chisholm 91 Daniel Carson 88 T'Vondre Sweat *
BLB Joseph Ossai 46 Byron Vaughns 50 Peter Mpagi *
MLB Ayodele Adeoye 40 De'Gabriel Floyd * David Gbenda *
ROV Jeffrey McCulloch 23 Caleb Johnson * De'Gabriel Floyd * Marcus Tillman Jr. *
CB Anthony Cook 4 Kobe Boyce 38 Marques Caldwell *
S Caden Sterns 7 Chris Brown 15 Tyler Owens * Montrell Estell 39
S Brandon Jones 19 BJ Foster 25 Chris Adimora *
CB Jalen Green 3 D'Shawn Jamison 17 Kenyatta Watson II 27 Donovan Duvernay 27
NB Josh Thompson 28 BJ Foster 25 Chris Brown 15 D'Shawn Jamison 17
JB BJ Foster 25 DeMarvion Overshown 31 Tyler Owens *
Special Teams
PK Cameron Dicker 17 Chris Naggar 45
P Ryan Bujcevski 8 Cameron Dicker 17
KR D'Shawn Jamison 17 Jordan Whittington *
PR D'Shawn Jamison 17 Jake Smith * Brandon Jones 19
Not listed Patrick Hudson (illness) 73
Demarco Boyd (indefinite suspension) 36

There are some moving pieces, certainly, particularly along the offensive line and with an incoming wide receiver like Jordan Whittington, who could play inside or outside.

Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando will also have to decide how he wants to organize his secondary — for instance will BJ Foster play nickel back as a sophomore to allow Josh Thompson to slide over to cornerback? That was my guess original here, but plenty can change between now and the season opener against Louisiana Tech in a little less than nine months.

And, in fact, after Brandon Jones named sophomore cornerbacks Anthony Cook and Jalen Green as his breakout defenders in late February, I moved both into starting positions and moved junior Josh Thompson back to nickel, where he played last season.

Additionally, offensive lineman Patrick Hudson has not practiced since his heat-related issues this fall and left the team after the fall semester. Linebacker Demarco Boyd has not been with the team as his aggravated assault case moves through the court system.