After losing three starters to graduation following the 2018 season, the Texas Longhorns are hoping to quickly integrate Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets graduate transfer guard Parker Braun into Herb Hand’s offensive line once preseason camp begins.
The biggest challenges for the two-time All-ACC selection will be honing the pass-blocking ability that Braun rarely had to use at Georgia Tech and beating out players who have spent more time working with Hand.
Both starting guards are gone, opening up spots for Braun, where he’ll compete against redshirt freshman Junior Angilau and juniors Derek Kerstetter and Denzel Okafor. Since Kerstetter and Okafor both have starting experience for the Longhorns, those two players are viewed as most likely to start at right guard and right tackle, leaving Angilau as the primary competition for Braun on the left side.
However, head coach Tom Herman indicated at Big 12 Media Days that Braun will have to out-compete Kerstetter and Okafor.
“He’s got to beat out at least one of Derek Kerstetter or Denzel Okafor and, let’s — again, he was not with us in the spring — forget the offensive system he came from and the things he was being taught and asked to do are completely different than a conventional offense like ours,” Herman said.
Texas didn’t bring Braun in to stand on the sidelines when the first-team offense is on the field, so Herman expressed confidence that Braun will adjust quickly.
“We feel like, with his resume, he’ll be able to do that,” he said. “The proof is in the pudding, too. It’s like trying to learn another language in four weeks. I don’t know if they have a Rosetta Stone for spread offense or whatever.”
Braun has already overcome one potential hurdle — getting his weight up after Georgia Tech listed him at 280 pounds last season. While working out on his own before graduating, Braun was able to gain about 20 pounds and is currently listed at 300 pounds by Texas.
Now it’s all about pulling off the transition from Paul Johnson’s triple option offense to Herman’s pro spread attack.
“We know that the physical tools are there,” Herman said. “It’s the technique and fundamentals that he’s going to have to learn very, very quickly. We hope he’s able to pick that up.”