As we mentioned yesterday, the 2013 Texas Longhorns recruiting class included 15 commits — smaller by design, as specific needs were targeted and a larger class wasn’t in the picture given the overall youth of the 2012 squad.
A byproduct of this class we have noticed in taking a closer look at the depth chart is the lack of depth beyond the two-deep in one of the most important positions on any defensive unit — defensive tackle.
With the last-minute commitment of Waco High star Andrew Billings to the Baylor Bears on Tuesday afternoon, Texas’ last chance to earn a DT commit went right out the window. It’s hard to say whether the effort among the coaches on the defensive side of the ball tasked with such recruiting (see Manny Diaz, Oscar Giles, Bo Davis), whether DT just wasn’t a priority, or, if this truly was just an oversight– something that would be very difficult to believe given the intense scrutiny the Texas program is under from both local and national media these days.
Facts are, the defensive line depth is thin– no pun intended.
With the departure of one starter, Brandon Moore, to the NFL, one starter in Junior Desmond Jackson returns, but apart from him the Longhorns will depend on sophomore Malcom Brown — who played well when he played in 2012 — and seniors Ashton Dorsey and Chris Whaley who have been solid but unspectacular on their time on the Forty Acres.
With a single injury to any of these three guys, things get ugly quick. Sophomores Paul Boyette and and/or Alex Norman would nominally be called upon in that instance, but neither has the experience to make the impact the top three on the depth chart do.
This is what Texas faces without the type of impact recruit at defensive tackle who could have been called upon to play some minutes here and there, and more likely, in the case of injuries which are almost pre-destined for defensive linemen.
It’s an unfortunate situation where blame is hard to assign.