With a new emphasis placed on a fast-paced offensive scheme in 2013 and going forward, speed and athleticism will be at a premium for the Texas Longhorns. Recruiting classes over the next three seasons — through to the 2015 class — are heavy with guys classified as “athletes” who could play on either side of the ball and in several facets of the game on the Forty Acres. One such player is already in Austin, former Tatum High School star, Jalen Overstreet.
The redshirt freshman once was a part of the quarterbacking depth chart at Texas, but after a strong spring camp which included an opportunity to showcase his running ability during the annual Orange / White game, he has changed positions and promises to be a huge X-Factor for the Longhorns as they approach on of the most important seasons in recent program history.
Due to his extreme athleticism, Overstreet could line up as part of several different packages within Major Applewhite’s new play-calling scheme. It’s reasonable to assume he will be used in the popular WildHorn direct snap formation, taking snaps in shotgun and using his feet to create space as quickly as possible. Given that the quick hit passing game will be at the core of the new up-tempo Texas offense, Overstreet will be certain to see some snaps in the slot as well.
Appplewhite can design plays using Overstreet in the slot — as well as guys like Daje Johnson and possibly even Duke Thomas — that can use speed as a premium, specifically in jet and sprint sweeps.
In short, it made no sense for Jalen Overstreet to remain buried on the quarterback depth chart behind David Ash, Case McCoy and Tyrone Swoopes when his talents could better be used elsewhere. It’s no longer going to be common to see players with his unique skill set simply waste away on the sidelines (see D.J. Monroe, Traylon Shead) in the brave new world of Texas football where new styles are being adopted both on the field and away from it in the race to stay afloat in a Big 12 Conference which has gotten tougher, and deeper as each year passes.
X-Factors are never a sure thing, but I’d be willing to bet on Jalen Overstreet being one in 2013.