By Cody Daniel @CodyDanielRS on May 24, 2014
The Texas Longhorns have a multitude of questions that need to be answered before the 2014-15 season kicks off, and still have some work to do before they are back into the National Championship picture. They lost some valuable talent, along with Mack Brown’s departure, and those holes will need to be filled. These five players in particular have the biggest shoes to fill in 2014.
I’m not talking about the fan-favorite running back, but rather, the smothering defensive lineman who will anchor the inside for Texas next season. Brown contributed in a variety of ways on defense, but never excelled tremendously. With Chris Whaley off to the NFL, Brown will need to become a dominating force inside for the Longhorns.
It’s been a while since Texas has had a true lockdown cornerback and they lost their best corner Carrington Byndom to the NFL. The Big 12 has become a pass-happy league and Quandre Diggs will need to fill Byndom’s shoes and even rip out of them if the Texas secondary doesn’t want to get carved up next season.
Cedric Reed easily has the biggest shoes to fill after Texas lost their defensive anchor and leader Jackson Jeffcoat to the NFL. Reed was a first team All-Big 12 selection, but will need to become one of the premier defensive ends in college football if he is going to fill Jeffcoat’s shoes and help the Longhorns' run defense continue their dominance.
With the departure of the Longhorns' leading receiver, Mike Davis, Texas will be in need of a go-to option. This is an even taller task for Jaxon Shipley considering the uncertainty surrounding the Texas quarterback situation. But if the Longhorns want to compete for a Big 12 Championship, Shipley will need to step up as the primary receiver.
This, to me, is the most obvious role that needs to have somebody step up in the biggest way. Of course, David Ash will have no problem overcoming what Case McCoy did for Texas last season, but the shoes Ash needs to fill are those of the previous elite quarterbacks at Texas. As the senior leader, Ash needs to lead Texas to a Big 12 Championship at the very least, which is very possible with his supporting cast.
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