By Dan Kelley on June 21, 2014
This season will be the start of a new era for the Texas Longhorns, with the departure of former head coach Mack Brown and the arrival of Charlie Strong. With the new coaching staff, no job is safe. The added competition could mean a lot of new faces on the field and a number of contributors turning into stars. Here are five guys who could have breakout seasons for Texas football in 2014.
While Jordan Shipley is the clear No. 1 receiver for Texas, Marcus Johnson should be immensely valuable as the Longhorns' big-play threat. At 6-foot-1, he won't have a size advantage over opposing corners but he does have the speed to burn them down the field. As a sophomore last season, Johnson made 22 receptions for 350 yards, for nearly 16 yards per reception.
Kent Perkins has a good chance to compete for a starting job on the right side of the line, at either tackle or guard. Perkins is recovering from knee surgery but he expected to be ready for the season. Perkins was one of the most heavily recruited lineman in 2013 and has plenty of potential. This year he may be able to turn that potential into production.
After a solid sophomore season, Malcolm Brown looks like a near-lock for All-Big 12 honors. Texas may need another defensive tackle to step up, to keep blockers from keying in on Brown too much, but Brown is good enough to impact games either way. He should make a habit of terrorizing ball-carriers in 2014.
If DE Shiro Davis emerges as the pass-rusher that the Longhorns think he can be, then this defensive line could be truly fearsome. Davis is incredibly athletic and has impressive speed off the edge. With Brown in the middle and Cedric Reed at the other end, Davis should have plenty of room to operate.
Sheroid Evans is returning from an ACL-tear last season and could be ready to make a big impact this year, if he makes a full recovery. Evans played in five games last year, before the injury, and he looked good. He is also one the fastest players on the Texas roster and has the potential to excel in coverage.
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