The Texas Longhorns are now less than two weeks away from their opener against New Mexico State, which means that it's time to take another look at how the first depth chart against the Aggies might look.
|Wide Receiver (H)||8||Jaxon Shipley|||||27
||Daje Johnson|||||11||Jacorey Warrick|
|Wide Receiver (Z)||2||Kendall Sanders|||||16||Bryant Jackson
|Tight End (Y)||82||Geoff Swaim||OR
||||9||John Harris|||||17||Miles Onyegbule|
|Right Tackle||78||Josh Cochran|||||74||Taylor Doyle|||||76||Kent Perkins|
|Right Guard||72||Mason Walters|||||62
|Center||55||Dominic Espinosa|||||73||Garrett Porter|||||50||Jake Raulerson|
|Left Guard||75||Trey Hopkins|||||66||Sedrick Flowers|
|Left Tackle||51||Donald Hawkins|||||68||
|Wide Receiver (X)||1||Mike Davis|||||80||Marcus Johnson|||||86||Jake Oliver|
|Tailback||32||Johnathan Gray|||||28||Malcolm Brown
Alex De La Torre
|Place-Kicker||9||Anthony Fera||OR||28||Nick Jordan|||||23||Nick Rose|
|||||1||Shiro Davis|||||52||Bryce Cottrell|
|Tackle (Nose)||90||Malcom Brown|||||96||Chris Whaley|||||81||Hassan Ridgeway|
|||||92||Reggie Wilson|||||42||Caleb Bluiett|
|Strongside LB||3||Jordan Hicks|||||11||Tevin Jackson|||||8||Aaron Benson|
|Middle LB||33||Steve Edmond|||||55||Dalton Santos||||
|Weakside LB||19||Peter Jinkens|||||11||Tevin Jackson
|CB||6||Quandre Diggs|||||29||Sheroid Evans||OR||21||Duke Thomas|
|Free Safety||2||Mykkele Thompson|||
|Strong Safety||17||Adrian Phillips|||||26||Adrian Colbert|||||16||Kevin Vaccaro|
|Punt Returns||6||Quandre Diggs|||||8||Jaxon Shipley|||||27||Daje Johnson|
|Kickoff Returns||27||Daje Johnson
|Kickoffs||23||Nick Rose|||||28||Nick Jordan|
|Snapper (PAT/FG)||37||Nate Boyer|||||45||Kyle Ashby|
|Snapper (Punts)||45||Kyle Ashby|||||37||Nate Boyer|
-- The coaches have had a lot of positive things to say about junior college tight end transfer Geoff Swaim, who has always been known as a blocker, but showed more ability in the passing game as a senior than expected. While he's still not blowing anyone away as a big-play threat, reports out of practice indicate that he's more steady than McFarland, who is listed here as a co-starter because he'll still see significant playing time when the Horns want a flex tight end on the field. However, look for Swaim to be the choice when the offense needs an attached tight end.
-- The right tackle position continues to be an area of concern for Texas. It's been some years since Taylor Doyle was considered a viable option outside and Kent Perkins would benefit from a redshirt season. If Desmond Harrison doesn't get to play this season -- and the prognosis still seems grim there -- Trey Hopkins may have to move back outside with the second team, which could reduce his time with the first team, thrusting Sedrick Flowers into a bigger role.
-- The pressure is on for guys like Flowers, Kennedy Estelle, and Curtis Riser. If they can't get it done, the upside of this team is severely limited.
-- The most important player on the team is David Ash. A hamstring injury has slowed down Tyrone Swoopes this fall and his development has taken a similar hit, perhaps because of the injury or just because things are moving too fast for him at the moment. Mack Brown doesn't think he's ready at this point and that means that Case McCoy again looks entrenched in the back-up role, though Texas may need to play Swoopes this season in order to have a back up with some experience next season.
-- After Malcom Brown, who seems like a no-brainer to start, there still doesn't seem to be much separation between Ashton Dorsey, Chris Whaley, and Desmond Jackson. The inclusion of Marcus Hutchins on the depth chart isn't because he's ahead of Paul Boyette and Alex Norman, but rather because he's switched sides of the line and that's notable. Hopefully Hutchins is a better defensive tackle than he was an offensive lineman.
-- It never really made that much sense, but Texas is indeed playing Jordan Hicks on the strong side and Peter Jinkens on the weak side, though Jinkens would seem to be a better fit on the strong side where he could play a hybrid position and keep three linebackers on the field. Meanwhile, Steve Edmond seems to have separated from Dalton Santos, so there is no longer an --OR-- at that position.
-- Texas doesn't list a nickel corner on their official depth charts, so Quandre Diggs is still the starter at the boundary position, though the real battle is actually between Sheroid Evans and Duke Thomas. Evans is the starter at the moment, but expect Thomas to see significant playing time as well.
-- In the kicking game, the battles at place kicker and punter reflect the comments from Brown late last week. As for the return game, those positions are more speculative at this time, but with no freshmen likely to make an impact there, the spring game probably represented a fair indication of where things still stand.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Complaints?
More from Burnt Orange Nation:
- Johnny Manziel and the changing Texas narrative
- Texas Longhorns football: Mack Brown press conference recap
- Texas Longhorns football: Defense relying on player development
- 2016 WR Reggie Hemphill commits to the Texas Longhorns
- The Summer of Παπαπέτρου
Want to know more about why the Texas defense fell apart last season and how Manny Diaz can fix it? What about insight into Major Applewhite's influences and how they will impact the new Texas offense? Or why you should believe in David Ash making the jump this season? Get all the answers in 2013 In the Huddle: Texas.