Much has been made of the Texas Longhorns‘ struggles on defense. Losing LB Jordan Hicks and DE Jackson Jeffcoat didn’t help last season’s efforts; however, it did help junior DE Cedric Reed.
Reed was thrown into the mix last season after Jeffcoat went down for the season due to his injury. Listed at 6-foot-6 and 258 pounds, the Cleveland, Texas native will compliment Jeffcoat this season at the other end position where he will try to reduplicate and double on last year’s 2.5 sack total.
Reed’s size is a nightmare for opposing teams. As tall, if not taller, than most offensive linemen he will be facing and the arm length to swat passes will make him a headache for offensive gameplans. Since his time began at Texas, Reed has gained 18 pounds, all muscle and strength, and honed in on pass-rushing skills that have made him as quick as much as he has become more aware.
Reed is yet another product of the ongoing addition to Texas’ success in developing their talent at specific positions as there have been seven Texas DE’s taken in the last 10 NFL drafts. While there remains to be a big question at the DT position, it looks as if the Longhorns will have themselves a two-headed monster on their passing-rushing attack.
With most of the Big 12’s teams trying to find out who will be their guy at QB, Texas has two guys at DE that will capitalize on the under-talented, inexperienced conference QBs they will face. Of course, most already know about Jeffcoat, but had it not been for his time filling in last season, there would hardly be anyone who knows much about Reed.
The Longhorns are going to get back injured players and gain some with the development of players like Reed. His potential was on display last season and he passed the eye test. Another key player to watch for this season, Reed is going to be as important to the team as he will the defense alone. 2013 is going to feel a lot more like the Texas Longhorns many have been waiting for since the departure of Colt McCoy, and Reed will have plenty to do with that change.