21. Texas Longhorns Returning Starters: 16 Returning Star: DE Jackson Jeffcoat Key Loss: LB Keenan Robinson
Player to Watch: WR Jaxon Shipley
13-12. Thats the Longhorns record over the past two seasons, something that nobody associated with this football team is proud of. But, this year's squad could win 10 games thanks to the return of 16 starters. Quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy split snaps last season but it appears Ash will get the bulk of snaps this season. Ash is a smart player with a good arm but isn't quite mature yet. Junior McCoy has no consistency but has the raw potential to be great. This backfield is deep and talented and will carry this offense. Sophomore Malcolm Brown had an okay freshman year and will continue to improve. If he can stay healthy he could improve significantly on last season's 742 yards. Back is sophomore Joe Bergeron also but he'll probably take a backseat to the next big thing at Texas. Jonathan Gray was the second-most prolific back in Texas high school history and will make plays in 2012. Gray has great speed and has the vision to spot lanes. In order to help Ash and McCoy this Longhorns squad must find a big play receiver. Sophomore Jaxon Shipley has the potential and smarts to become that guy. Also back is junior Mike Davis who has the size and senior Marquise Goodwin has the experience. Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin hopes to find an effective tight end. Senior D.J. Grant or junior Dominique Jones could fill that role. This offensive line keeps on improving with the return of junior guard Mason Walters and tackle Trey Hopkins. The Longhorns like to play gritty defense and it worked last year as the Longhorns had the nation's 11th best defense. The defensive line has two great defensive ends in Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor. These two combined for 15 sacks last year, a number that could improve to 20 plus. Other than these two though the line is weak. Gone are Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho leaving these linebackers depleted. This secondary could end up being the nation's elite. Cornerbacks Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs are sticky and will give quarterbacks headaches. Senior safety Kenny Vaccaro shows promise. The Longhorns are slowly turning back into a championship contender just give them time.
Heisman Hopeful: Malcolm Brown
Big 12 Rank: 6th
College Football Preview: 21. Texas Longhorns
Reviewed by Tom McGowan