In a few days, the early enrollees for the Texas Longhorns will travel to the Forty Acres to start their careers in burnt orange and white, going through winter conditioning and then spring practice.
So with the bowl season over for the Longhorns, the senior class departed, and two key members of the 2017 recruiting class committed to returning to play for Texas this fall, let’s take a look at a projected depth chart going into the spring.
2020 Texas spring depth chart
|QB||Sam Ehlinger||11||Casey Thompson||8||Roschon Johnson||2||Hudson Card|
|RB||Keaontay Ingram||26||Jordan Whittington||21||Daniel Young||32|
|XWR||Brennan Eagles||13||Malcolm Epps||85||Al'Vonte Woodard||83|
|HWR||Jake Smith||16||Joshua Moore||14|
|ZWR||Marcus Washington||15||Kennedy Lewis||84|
|YTE||Cade Brewer||80||Jared Wiley||18||Brayden Liebrock||89||Reese Leitao||81|
|LT||Sam Cosmi||52||Reese Moore||76||Isaiah Hookfin||65|
|LG||Tyler Johnson||72||Tope Imade||73|
|C||Derek Kerstetter||68||Rafiti Ghirmai||74||Jake Majors|
|RG||Junior Angilau||75||Willie Tyler||55||Logan Parr|
|RT||Denzel Okafor||78||Christian Jones||70|
|DE||Ta'Quon Graham||49||Jacoby Jones||36||Myron Warren||92|
|NT||Keondre Coburn||99||T'Vondre Sweat||93|
|DT||Moro Ojomo||98||Daniel Carson||88||Vernon Broughton||Sawyer Goram-Welch|
|DE||Joseph Ossai||46||Marqez Bimage||42||Byron Vaughns||50|
|MLB||Juwan Mitchell||6||David Gbenda||33||Cort Jaquess||57|
|ROV||Ayodele Adeoye||40||Marcus Tillman||13|
|CB||D'Shawn Jamison||5||Anthony Cook||4||Donovan Duvernay||27|
|S||Caden Sterns||7||Chris Brown||15||Montrell Estell||39||Xavion Alford|
|S||BJ Foster||25||DeMarvion Overshown||31||Tyler Owens||44||Jerrin Thompson|
|CB||Jalen Green||3||Kenyatta Watson II||2||Marques Caldwell||24|
|NB||Chris Adimora||11||Josh Thompson||29|
|P||Ryan Bucjevski||8||Cameron Dicker||17|
|H||Ryan Bucjevski||8||Zach Edwards||43|
|DS||Justin Mader||54||Zach Edwards||43|
|KR||D'Shawn Jamison||5||Jake Smith||16||Montrell Estell||39||Jordan Whittington||21|
|PR||D'Shawn Jamison||5||Jake Smith||16|
— The quarterback room will once again have more ideal depth this spring after spending the 2019 season with two scholarship players. Whether Roschon Johnson returns to that room for his sophomore season is one of the more compelling storylines for the spring, as it could be difficult for him to get playing time at running back with Jordan Whittington presumably healthy after his redshirt season and the summer arrival of Bijan Robinson. If Johnson wants to play quarterback at Texas, he needs those reps this spring.
— Johnson’s decision about his future position with the Horns won’t happen in a vacuum — the future for Whittington hasn’t been a topic of debate to the same extent because he’s been injured this season, but it’s still fair to wonder if a move to receiver might be in his future. Whittington was originally recruited in that position and could fill the void at flanker if Brennan Eagles moves to X to replace Collin Johnson.
— And that’s the projection here, as Eagles is the most experienced returning wide receiver on the roster and would fit well to the boundary because his speed is a dangerous threat to opposing defenses that would be able to draw bracket coverage, much like Johnson when he was healthy.
— With Eagles at the X, that moves Marcus Washington to the field to battle with Kennedy Lewis for the starting job. The new wide receivers coach will need to do some strong work across the board for next season, but particularly at that position. Al’Vonte Woodard could also challenge for that role.
— The offensive line is a tough read right now with plenty of moving pieces. According to the coaches, Denzel Okafor is better outside than inside, so he stays at right tackle with Derek Kerstetter moving to center. That leaves an opening at guard and while Tope Imade has the most experience, the bet here is that Tyler Johnson has a better chance of being ready to play. Keep an eye on Willie Tyler, too.
— Along the defensive line, the story is similar with the move to a four-man front that will give Moro Ojomo a chance to become the starter at defensive tackle. Ta’Quon Graham could also see time there, but the better bet is that he remains outside. This is a position to watch because the defensive ends have bulked up to play the 4i and may now drop some weight to maximize their explosiveness off the edge.
— Marqez Bimage will benefit from the scheme change, but look for Joseph Ossai to come into his own with a role that more consistently plays to his strengths.
— There will be plenty of competition at linebacker since neither Juwan Mitchell nor Ayodele Adeoye has played well enough to believe that their respective jobs are secure. The coaches really like David Gbenda’s sideline-to-sideline speed and Marcus Tillman could be back for spring practice.
— Nickel is the spot to watch in the secondary with Josh Thompson back and Chris Adimora flashing in the Alamo Bowl. Projecting Adimora as the starter is a stretch here given Thompson’s speed and experience, but Adimore could quickly reward that confidence. One difficult decision that new coordinator Chris Ash will have to make is how to get DeMarvion Overshown on the field.
— Cameron Dicker and Ryan Bujcevski both return, so that means that the focus in the return games should be making sure that D’Shawn Jamison has the football with players in front of him who can make some successful blocks.