Prior to this season, one of the biggest question marks regarding this year’s Texas Longhorns offense was the lack of experience and depth at wide receiver. It was clear that senior Mike Davis and junior Jaxon Shipley would lead the Horns, but beyond those two, there was a lot of uncertainly and lots of questions about which young players would step up. Four games into the season, it appears that those questions may have been answered by a couple of sophomores.
With news that Davis would be out for their game vs. the Kansas State Wildcats over the weekend, the door was opened for some of the younger, unproven players to prove themselves; Kendall Sanders and Marcus Johnson did just that, leading the team in receiving yards in the 31-21 victory.
Though Sanders started the game slowly, fumbling the opening kickoff which he then recovered, he made big plays when it mattered most. He ended the night with just three receptions, but one of those came on a 63-yard touchdown pass from David Ash and another on a critical third down conversion. He was the team’s top receiver, hauling in eighty yards on the night. He showed a tremendous amount of speed and proved that he can be another deep threat option for the Longhorns.
Additionally, it was the first collegiate start of Marcus Johnson’s career and he didn’t disappoint. He ended the night with five catches for 70 yards. Not only that, he made some huge blocks and played as hard as anyone on the field whether he was involved in the play or not which will earn him a great deal of respect from his coaches and teammates. Expect to see more of him throughout the season.
If these two young guys can play at this level consistently, not only will they add more much-needed weapons to this Texas offense this season, but they also give the position something to build on over the next couple of years.