With the Texas Longhorns season opener against the Maryland Terrapins just days away, the official depth chart was released just moments before Tom Herman’s Monday morning press conference.
UTs depth chart against Maryland pic.twitter.com/ZQqpUT6Mjt— Sports Night (@Sports_NightTX) August 28, 2017
Sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele earned the nod at starting quarterback over true freshman Sam Ehlinger, which has been the worst kept secret on the Forty Acres dating back to spring football.
A starting running back is yet to be named, as first-team reps will go to either Kyle Porter or Chris Warren III. Herman did note during his press conference that if Porter hadn’t missed time with a shoulder injury, he’d likely be the clear first-string running back.
Collin Johnson, Devin Duvernay and Reggie Hemhill-Mapps will be the first-team unit at wide receiver, while Dorian Leonard, John Burt and Lil’Jordan Humprey hold the spots behind them.
In the wake of Andrew Beck’s season-ending foot injury, Garrett Gray is the starting tight end.
As of now, Tristian Nickelson will be the starter at right tackle ahead of Denzel Okafor, although that’s a battle that may drag on into the season. The entire starting line from left to right is Connor Williams, Patrick Vahe, Zach Shackelford, Jake McMillion and Nickelson. Herman did note that aside from needing to solidify the right tackle role, the Longhorns offense line may only fall short of Ohio State’s 2014 national championship unit.
Defensively, there aren't any surprises considering what’s been reported all offseason long holds true to date.
Poona Ford will serve as the starting nose tackle, while Chris Nelson and Malcolm Roach will be the starting defensive ends. Naashon Hughes is the starting B-Backer and joining him will be Malik Jefferson and Anthony Wheeler at the starting Rover and Mac, respectively.
The starting secondary is comprised of Kris Boyd and Holton Hill at cornerback, P.J. Locke III at nickelback, and Brandon Jone and DeShon Elliot as the starting safeties.