Posted August 14th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Depth Chart, Football

Position Rating: B-
Starter: Lamarr Houston, Roy Miller
Reserves: Ben Alexander, Aaron Lewis, Michael Wilcoxon, ???

Roy MillerDefensive tackle is one of the most exciting positions on the Texas defense going into 2008 but also the spot where depth is the biggest concern. [tag]Roy Miller[/tag] and [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] are the starters and might be the best pair of interior defenders in the conference. The complete lack of both proven depth and warm bodies behind them could mean big trouble if either of the top two goes down.

Miller saw significant playing time as the third member of the tackle rotation last season and was one of the defense’s most consistent performers. This year the big run-stopping DT out of Killeen will be leaned on to be more of a playmaker while also holding down blockers to allow the defensive ends to get after the quarterback. Next to Miller will be the former defensive end Houston, who might be the player that has Texas fans the most excited. It’s been a long time since the team has had a pass-rushing presence on the interior, but the noise coming from insiders is that Houston is going to be a force on the interior. Both players have incredible upside and could be early round NFL draft picks soon.

Behind the starters things get a lot murkier as both on and off field issues have left the cupboard pretty bare at the position. Andre Jones, Brian Ellis, and Tyrell Higgins were all going to be relied on this season and now all are out of the program. The first player off the bench might be another former defensive end in [tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] who will probably continue to play both positions. The biggest key to the position will be the development of [tag]Ben Alexander[/tag] and [tag]Michael Wilcoxon[/tag]. The team desparately needs two guys to step up from that second group to be able to spell the starters or else promising true freshmen [tag]Jarvis Humphrey[/tag] and [tag]Kheeston Randall[/tag] better be ready in a hurry.

Update: In surprising news, [tag]Tyrell Higgins[/tag] is back on the roster as a walk-on.

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Defensive tackle [tag]Derek Johnson[/tag] from Hoxie, Arkansas committed to the Longhorns Wednesday according to Orangebloods.com. Johnson, originally from El Paso, is reportedly one of the top five players in Arkansas for the class of 2009.

The 6-foot-3, 290 pound Johnson is the second defensive tackle in this class, joining Calvin Howell out of San Antonio who committed in mid-May. Hopefully 5-star stud Jamarkus McFarland will come and join an incredible defensive line group.

The recruitment of three defensive tackles in this one class certainly lends creedence to the rumors that defensive tackles [tag]Tyrell Higgins[/tag] and [tag]Brian Ellis[/tag] may not be back on the team in the fall. If they’re gone then the big need at the position quickly became a huge one.

Check out the YouTube video of Johnson courtesy of Orangebloods message boards below (warning: the audio is obnoxious and very NSFW):


DMoney(short) from YouTube.com

Welcome to the Forty Acres Derek.

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Posted February 7th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Recruiting

We’ll be updating this list as we get news (mostly from Rivals) of which players have officially signed their letters of intent and if everything goes as planned will be the newest Texas Longhorns in August. The first two players to become Longhorns were Ian Harris out of San Antonio and Cody Johnson from Waller. Keep checking back here because we’ll update this list as we hear more names.

Confirmed Signings
Early Enrollees

Update: Just added Blaine Irby and Earl Thomas to the list which leaves only Christian Scott remaining. The stud safety just was the last player to commit to the Horns (just this weekend) and it looks like he’ll be the last one to fax in his letter of intent as well. Hopefully he’s not having any second thoughts. (10:38 am)

Update: Christian Scott’s letter is in and confirmed by both Rivals and Inside Texas (thanks Eric!). That means all 24 recruits, 18 today plus the 6 already on campus, are signed and will officially be Longhorns either this summer or in the fall if their grades are in order. Congrats to the class of 2007 and welcome to the family. (11:58 am)

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Posted January 22nd, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Recruiting

Ian HarrisIt looked like the Longhorns had their recruiting class wrapped up back in June, but there have been some unfortunate changes the last thirty days that have made things a little more interesting. This weekend the Longhorns hosted several recruits and apparently made a big impression on them. And there’s two more athletes coming in next weekend as well.

Defensive tackle [tag]Tyrell Higgins[/tag] and safety [tag]Christian Scott[/tag] were in town over the weekend on official visits. Higgins made it official as soon as he could and gave Mack Brown his verbal commitment before he left town. Scott left Austin uncommitted but the Longhorns are thought to be the leader for the services of the talented defensive back from Dallas. LSU and Oklahoma are the other teams in the mix.

Two players who were committed to Big 12 rivals until recently will be in town this coming weekend. Tight end [tag]Ian Harris[/tag] (pictured) was a Missouri commitment going into the weekend but today he’s a Texas Longhorn. Zach Pianalto’s decommit to North Carolina opened up a spot for another tight end in this class and Harris jumped on Texas’ offer as quick as he could. Wide receiver/cornerback [tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag] was an Oklahoma Sooner yesterday but now he’s set to visit the good guys. It would be a big surprise if he’s not a Longhorn soon.

Higgins and Harris are solid prospects who help round out Texas’ top three recruiting class. Scott and Kirkendoll would be huge additions who as an added bonus could be stolen from their rivals. We’ll have more news on those two when it happens and plenty more recruiting opinions as National Signing Day approaches on February 7th.

Update

Orangebloods is reporting that Kirkendoll is “nearly ready” and will officially commit to Texas this weekend. He is now listed in his profile as a “soft verbal.” Great news for Texas fans and bad news for the Okies. (1/24/2007)

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