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NCAA Football Big 12 FootballTexas Longhorns

Jackson Jeffcoat Returns from Injury to Lead Texas Longhorns Defense

Brendan Maloney – USA TODAY SPORTS

Texas Longhorns senior defensive Jackson Jeffcoat is one of the most important players for the 2013 season and after sustaining a pectoral injury last season in the Red River Rivalry vs. Oklahoma needs to be 100 percent healthy for the Longhorns to dominate the line of scrimmage.

The Longhorns front seven struggled mightily last season after the injury to Jeffcoat and linebacker Jordan Hicks who missed the rest of the season after injuring his hip in the win over Ole Miss in the third game of the season.

A major point of emphasis this spring has been improving the front seven defense after finishing with the 88th ranked run defense that gave up a staggering 29 rushing touchdowns. One way to fix that is for Jeffcoat to dominate in a Jadeveon Clowney-like fashion.

Jeffcoat was regarded as the top player coming out of Plano West High School as Clowney was when he left high school, but unlike Clowney, Jeffcoat was slow to develop as a collegian. He only recorded two and a half sacks through the first 18 games of his career before finally living up to the hype in the second half of his sophomore season.

Prior to the injury in the Oklahoma game, Jeffcoat was getting to the quarterback with regularity racking up 12 sacks in his last 12 contests. His presence alone should help his fellow defensive linemen win one-on-one matchups while Jeffcoat demands double teams.

This is the final season for Jeffcoat and a dominating senior campaign can move Jeffcoat into the conversation for being a top 10 draft pick next season. But first he is focusing on leading the Longhorns defense and winning a Big 12 title.

 

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter and add him to your Google network.