As the Texas Longhorns prepare for the 2013 football season, it's worth assessing the entire scholarship chart to take a deeper look into the immediate and distant future for the program at each position.
(Italics indicate a player who is committed but not yet signed.)
|1||Mike Davis||Jaxon Shipley||Kendall Sanders||Jacorey Warrick|
|2||Jaxon Shipley||John Harris||Marcus Johnson||Jake Oliver|
|3||John Harris||Bryant Jackson||Jake Oliver||Montrel Meander|
|4||Bryant Jackson||Kendall Sanders||Jacorey Warrick||Chevoski Collins|
|5||Kendall Sanders||Marcus Johnson||Montrel Meander||Lorenzo Joe|
|6||Marcus Johnson||Jacorey Warrick||Chevoski Collins||Armanti Foreman|
|7||Jacorey Warrick||Jake Oliver||Lorenzo Joe||Dorian Leonard|
|8||Jake Oliver||Montrel Meander||Armanti Foreman||Emanuel Porter|
|9||Montrel Meander||Chevoski Collins||Dorian Leonard||Garrett Gray|
|10||Chevoski Collins||Lorenzo Joe||Roderick Bernard||Roderick Bernard|
|11||Dorian Leonard||Emanuel Porter||Keke Coutee|
|12||Emanuel Porter||Garrett Gray||Reggie Hemphill|
|13||Garrett Gray||Keke Coutee|
With four wide receivers in the 2014 class at this time with Chevoski Collins on offense for the time being and six pledges in the 2014 class, the Texas Longhorns have a glut of wide receivers for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, with a full 16% of the roster in 2014 being occupied by players at the position.
Of course, the position is taking an increased importance moving forward with play caller Major Applewhite utilizing more personnel groupings with four wide receivers, though those looks could often include a flex tight end. In the immediate future, the concern this season is the lack of size and blocking ability for the outside receivers, as the Horns are heavy on slot threats, one of the reasons why the loss of Marcus Johnson for these few weeks is so significant, not to mention the sting of Cayleb Jones departing.
The hope is that players like Jake Oliver, Dorian Leonard, Emanuel Porter, Lorenzo Joe, and Garrett Gray will eventually be able to provide that physical presence on the edge without sacrificing athleticism.
Facing the coaches will also be the significant decisions about how many players to redshirt in the 2013 and 2014 classes. This fall, only Jacorey Warrick looks like a lock to see some playing time after a breakout fall camp, but redshirting the other three would also result in Warrick being the only graduating senior with a potentially large junior class that would leave some major voids in 2017.
Texas might be better off moving some of these players through the program, especially in the large 2014 group, which will most likely experience some attrition at some point. The upcoming season will provide some perspective on how the rotation shakes out, which will make it easier to project how many receivers will redshirt in the 2014 class, as well as conclusive information about how the staff is managing the 2013 group.
In recruiting, efforts in 2015 aren't as crucial with the large 2014 class, but adding a big-play guy like Kemah Siverand would be a significant coup, while the 2016 group is already off to a strong start with the recent pledge of Reggie Hemphill, who averaged 40 yards per catch as a freshman last fall.
Also, 2015 will be the first season Texas hasn't had a Shipley at wide receiver since 2003. A sad, sad thought, indeed.
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.