With the eighth game of the 2022 season looming for the No. 20 Texas Longhorns on Saturday against the No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater, the concerns for head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff go beyond the gameplan with three freshmen now at four appearances.
So the Texas coaches will have to decide whether wide receiver Savion Red and cornerback Terrance Brooks will make their respective fifth appearances this season.
Freshman redshirt tracker
|Lance St. Louis||X||X||X||O||O||O||O|
X = did not play, O = participant, O* = redshirt burned
As a development prospect with one catch for five yards this season, Red is the stronger candidate to redshirt, although he has already established himself as a strong blocker. The real question for Sarkisian and company is whether it’s worth envisioning Red as a fifth-year player in the era of the transfer portal and one-time transfer waiver.
Like Red, Brooks isn’t a regular special teams contributor, but as a much more highly-recruited prospect than Red, the odds of him spending five years on the Forty Acres are equally low. So it’s possible that Brooks could still earn a spot on special teams while continuing his needed development at cornerback. One calculation for the staff? Nickel back Jahdae Barron played outside at his old position on the final drive against Iowa State, so there are other options if a starter goes out at cornerback as junior Ryan Watts did last weekend.
Freshman deep snapper Lance St. Louis is also set to burn his redshirt against Oklahoma State, but that seems like a formality after he took over for senior Zach Edwards when Big 12 play began against Texas Tech.
Here’s the list of players who have burned their redshirts through seven games:
- Running back Jaydon Blue — After sitting out his senior season at Klein Cain, Blue enrolled early for spring practice and now has eight carries for 17 yards with a long run of 10 yards while receiving five carries against Oklahoma.
- Left tackle Kelvin Banks — Banks has started all seven games, cementing his role on the blindside with strong pass protection and improving run blocking with a monster performance against Iowa State.
- Right guard Cole Hutson — Like Banks, Hutson is a seven-game starter who has recovered after a poor performance against Texas Tech, improving in each of the last three games with a higher baseline level of play.
- Right tackle Cam Williams — The 6’5, 364-pounder plays on the kicking units for the Longhorns.
- Edge Justice Finkley — The early enrollee earned a spot on the depth chart as the backup to Ovie Oghoufo at Buck end and has four tackles this season, including a half sack against Oklahoma.
- Edge Ethan Burke — The latest addition to this list, Burke has five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a quarterback hurry this season. A member of the two-deep depth chart, Burke isn’t logging a high number of snaps, but he is ahead of schedule.
- Cornerback Austin Jordan — A summer enrollee, Jordan is a surprise member of the rotation at cornerback, backing up Watts by beating out Brooks for a spot on the depth chart. Jordan has three tackles and a half tackle for loss.
- Nickel back Jaylon Guilbeau — In the season opener, Guilbeau came out against the ones against Louisiana-Monroe, but Barron has been more impactful with two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. But Guilbeau is still in the rotation and has 14 tackles, a half tackle for loss, a pass broken up, and a quarterback hurry.
- Kicker Will Stone — Serving as the kickoff specialist, the left footer has been a little bit inconsistent, kicking two balls out of bounds while recording 16 touchbacks on 48 kickoffs. Texas is allowing 17.93 yards per return in kickoff coverage, No. 36 nationally.