LB Keenan Robinson
9-3-11 RICE
9-17-11 at UCLA
10-1-11 at Iowa State
10-8-11 Oklahoma @Dallas, TX
10-22-11 at Baylor
10-29-11 KANSAS
11-5-11 TEXAS TECH
11-12-11 at Missouri
 11-26-11 at Texas A&M
Coach: Mack Brown
133-34, 13 years

2010 Statistics

2010 RESULTS: 5-7
at Rice WON 34-17
at Texas Tech WON 24-14
vs. Oklahoma LOST 20-28
at Nebraska WON 20-13
at Kansas State LOST 14-39


Co-Off. Coordinator/RB Coach: Major Applewhite
Previous: Texas RB Coach (2008-10)

Co-Off. Coordinator/QB Coach: Bryan Harsin
Previous: Boise State Off. Coor.

Def. Coordinator/LB Coach: Manny Diaz
Previous: Mississippi St. Def. Coor.

Receivers: Darrell Wyatt
Previous: Kansas Co-Off. Coor/WR Coach

Tight Ends: Bruce Chambers
Previous: Texas TE Coach (2003-10)

Offensive Line: Stacy Searels
Previous: Georgia OL Coach

Defensive Tackles: Bo Davis
Previous: Alabama DL Coach

Defensive Ends: Oscar Giles
Previous: Texas DE Coach (2005-10)

Defensive Backs: Duane Akina
Previous: Texas DB coach (2001-10)


2010 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR


The Longhorns are coming off a 5-7 season. For most schools that may be an OK concept but with the expectations Mack Brown has built, that won't cut the beef. The not-so-good news is that many of the same players that disappointed a year ago are back again. And they are the same players that will be counted on to boost the efforts in the win column. If this 2011 preview looks like a computer program stuck in an infinite loop where the only recourse is to reboot, then Texas fans may want to bypass this year's preseason analogy. The tolerance level of coaches and fans for many of these returning players is running on empty. Many of the personal letdowns a year ago were accomplished with very highly touted prep superstars. Either their egos have risen above their abilities or the coaching staff is not doing their job.

And so Mack Brown made the decision to retool much of his staff. The offensive coordinator under Brown for the last 15 years, Greg Davis, "resigned". Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp took over at Florida while three other assistants left the UT fold also. Everyone was off the mark last year. Access to the program has never been more closed to the media and the public. There will be no "official depth chart" and all that's fine. But don't expect any handouts coach. Based on the unranked egg laid to close 2010, the over-hyped misinformation or the over-inflated recruiting stars Texas is dang lucky to be getting any Top 25 love.

Ask any Texas media person what kind of season they predict for 2011 and most every source would be guessing. This team needs the entire summer and then some to get back a sniff of its lost charm. These issues start first with an unsettled quarterback, a running game built by committee approach that still flounders and an offensive line that is severely lacking in depth. Not to mention the fact the tight end position has been completely ignored. Notice however that these issues all rest on the offensive side, which is a prime factor as to why these offensive unit grades are sub par.

Truth be told, yes, a massive array of raw talent exists on this roster...on both sides of the ball. And the incoming recruits keep piling it on. This is probably why a 5-7 type of season seems so impossible. If Texas is to recover quickly, they will do it with their front seven on defense. Granted there is a shortage of defensive tackles outside of Kheeston Randall but the rest are top-tier athletes. The young cornerbacks are a concern and probably a big reason why new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has kept the new schemes dialed down. His Fire Zone approach seems like the perfect fit where the schemes can appear complex to opponents while keeping the thought process relatively basic for his defenders. Diaz has some talent at his disposal, but many of his players are young, raw, unproven, or all of the above. There isn't a Sam Acho or Brian Orakpo type at first look. By Diaz own words if the group that played in the spring game comes back at the same level this summer, Texas would be in big trouble.

Cutting back on the turnovers will do wonders for this squad. Even so, while Texas shouldn't prepare for a repeat of 2010 they also should not expect more than an eight win season. To the naked eye, this team doesn't look too much different on the field that would suggest the 5-7 season is but a distant memory. Quarterback play and how the new coaching staff develops the wealth of talent at certain areas will either quiet the naysayers or provide them with more ammunition. Mack Brown's job isn't on the line, but he certainly feels the weight of the steer.

Projected 2011 record: 8-4

LB Emmanuel Acho
2010 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Garrett Gilbert, 260-441-17, 2744 yds., 10 TD

Rushing: Cody Johnson, 134 att., 592 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Mike Davis, 47 rec., 478 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Justin Tucker, 23-27 FG, 27-27 PAT, 96 pts.

Punting: Justin Tucker, 35 punts, 41.2 avg.

Kicking: Justin Tucker, 23-27 FG, 27-27 PAT, 96 pts.

Tackles: Keenan Robinson, 113 tot., 61 solo

Sacks: Emmanuel Acho, 3 sacks

Interceptions: Blake Gideon, 2 for 22 yds.; Keenan Robinson, 2 for 0 yds.

Kickoff Returns: D.J. Monroe, 21 ret., 20.5 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Carrington Byndom, 1 ret., 13.0 avg., 0 TD


2011 College Football Preview
OFFENSE: John Chiles-WR, James Kirkendoll-WR, Greg Smith-TE, Tre' Newton-RB, Kyle Hix-OT, Michael Huey-OG, Britt Mitchell-OT
DEFENSE: Sam Acho-DE, Eddie Jones-BUCK, Dustin Earnest-MLB, Chykie Brown-CB, Curtis Brown-CB, John Gold-P, Aaron Williams-NB (NFL)

Who is the starting quarterback? Well that depends on who you ask. In a nutshell, three guys are fighting to start in the opener against Rice and the winner is still undetermined. None of these signal callers appear good enough to start if the game were played today. Garrett Gilbert's first season as a starter in 2010 left much to be desired. The Gatorade and Parade National Player of the Year coming out of Lake Travis High School in Austin tossed 17 interceptions to just 10 touchdown passes. So much of the Longhorn media and fan base seem to be jumping on the Case McCoy bandwagon now. And why not? His brother Colt is only the all-time winningest quarterback in UT history. Case probably made a better “case” if the spring game was any indication. He guided the second-string offense against the first-string defense and moved the ball more consistently than Gilbert, Connor Wood and David Ash, the others fighting for this position. Some even feel that redshirt freshman Connor Wood out of Houston may have the best arm of the bunch. All of them seem hit-or-miss at this juncture and will continue to be a work in progress. Coach Brown has said, "By the first game we'll have to have two quarterbacks that separate from the others. But I don't know if that'll be until after (fall) camp." Basically, there is no starting quarterback, which certainly raises a red flag. Again...who is the starting quarterback? Wood seems to have the better arm, McCoy makes better decisions, but Gilbert has 13 games under his belt. Go with experience.

Senior Fozzy Whittaker reportedly has made the best adjustment in this new offense after fighting through injuries much of his career. He has managed to rush for 847 yards while appearing in 29 career games. Whittaker has received a ton of reps through the spring. The top two backs are currently he and fellow senior Cody Johnson at 250 pounds. Johnson will still line up at tailback but continues to see action at fullback, especially in short-yardage and goal line situations. Coaches will take a long look at youngsters Jeremy Hill and Traylon Shead, both of them redshirted last fall. Hill stands out a bit with his quickness. Return specialist D.J. Monroe came back from running track and pushed for the right to carry the ball on an occasion. With the struggles of this Texas running game being well-documented during the last several seasons, much of the hopes for a recovery revolve around the ballyhooed Malcolm Brown, a headliner of the most recent recruiting class who won't arrive on campus until summer time. He may not be ready from a playbook standpoint, but he will be the best athletic option available. Veterans Whittaker and Johnson are the top two in the clubhouse, serviceable but not star material. Early projection ... look for another year of running back by committee, especially during the first half of the season.

Gone from this group are James Kirkendoll and John Chiles. Regardless, based on talent alone, many feel this year's class of route runners may be better from top to bottom. Most of them however have yet to prove anything equating to the fact there is little experience to choose from. Depth is an issue. The team's leading returning pass catcher Mike Davis is a star in the making. He's the best receiver and possibly the best overall offensive performer. Davis' sure hands, straight-line speed and athleticism earned the confidence of the Texas staff early last season as plays were designed to get him the ball in open space. While Davis may be the best receiver package, Marquise Goodwin is the best athlete on the entire roster. This winter he set the all-time NCAA long jump record, shattering a 23-year old record. If he can translate that ability onto the field he could easily develop into a go-to-weapon. Malcolm Williams has been logging time at the new H-back position, which is usually a sign that his days are numbered at wide out. His role will be diminished to a large degree. One player consistently mentioned to help out immediately is recent signee Jaxon Shipley, who chose not to enroll at UT early this spring in order to work out with his older brother Jordan Shipley, one of the best receivers in Longhorn history. DeSean Hales did some nice things this spring. Darius White can be a real weapon when his mind is in the game. John Harris is an emerging force. While the individual resumes state there are more than a half-dozen or so that have a huge upside, none appear ready to make a name in the Big 12 yet. Everything is based on potential only.

The production from the tight end position has been slim the last three seasons. While the skill level seems to be better for 2011 across the board here, NFL talents won't be found. Dominique Jones will likely continue to split time with Barrett Matthews at the top of the depth chart. Jones saw action in six games last fall recording one start while highly regarded prep tight end Matthews has logged an appearance in 25 career opportunities including five starts last fall. Blaine Irby, who missed nearly three years with a knee injury, has practiced this spring albeit in a very careful fashion. Irby was once considered the future for Texas before the devastating injury. Getting him back to pre-injury form would be huge, but the odds of that happening are not realistic. Returning starter Malcolm Williams has moved from receiver to the new H-back position as coaches try to find a way to fit the senior into this scheme. If these tight ends can avoid the bad luck that's plagued the position over the past few years, this group has a chance to make a difference. Bryan Harsin's new offense will call on this position to make more plays.

This unit demands the most scrutinized and agonized debates this off-season. Last year there was few holes for the ball carriers, short-yardage situations seemed desperate and false starts doomed many drives. New line coach Stacy Searels, who held the same job creating solid fronts at Georgia the past four seasons, is trying to size up his new faces. Trey Hopkins appears to have had the best spring for this group. The rising sophomore is an upgrade at either guard or tackle and can play both. He's a perfectionist who has earned the respect of his teammates. Fellow sophomore Mason Walters has a chance to be special and returning starter David Snow is a staple at center. Snow is a freak when it comes to measuring strength. He has NFL qualities and the time is now for him to take over the leadership role. Tackle is somewhat iffy. Paden Kelly demonstrated some potential last fall filling in for injured Kyle Hix. Senior Tray Allen, who has yet to start a game for Texas, finally needs to live up to his billing as a Parade All-American coming out of high school. His development would help out immensely. Allen missed all of last season with a broken foot suffered in the weight room. If Hopkins, Kelley, Snow and Walters can stay healthy while someone else steps up to provide some quality time, then this line could be better than people think. However depth is extremely thin with a huge drop-off after these bulls. Any sign of an injury bug could prove devastating. The bottom line is that this group has underachieved in a major way. Maybe the talent is there and Searels is the answer in the form of better coaching. An offensive lineman from Texas has not been drafted to the NFL since Tony Hills became a Steeler in 2008. Coach Searels thinks this can be a good year. Just believing could be the first step.


WR Mike Davis


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Garrett Gilbert-Jr (6-4, 218) Case McCoy-So (6-2, 200)
Connor Wood-RFr (6-4, 220)
FB Cody Johnson-Sr (5-11, 250) (TB) Ryan Roberson-Jr (5-10, 235)
TB Fozzy Whittaker-Sr (5-10, 198) D.J. Monroe-Jr (5-9, 175)
Malcolm Brown-Fr (6-0, 215)
WR Darius White-So (6-3, 200) John Harris-RFr (6-3, 206)
WR Marquise Goodwin-Jr (5-9, 177) DeSean Hales-Jr (5-11, 175)
WR Mike Davis-So (6-2, 186) Jaxon Shipley-Fr (6-1, 183)
HB Malcolm Williams-Sr (6-3, 228) Blaine Irby-Sr (6-3, 237)
TE Barrett Matthews-Jr (6-2, 235) Dominique Jones-So (6-3, 240)
OT Tray Allen-Sr (6-4, 310) Josh Cochran-Fr (6-6, 275)
OG Trey Hopkins-So (6-4, 290) Thomas Ashcraft-So (6-5, 310)
C David Snow-Sr (6-4, 295) Dominic Espinosa-RFr (6-4, 295)
OG Mason Walters-So (6-6, 305) Garrett Porter-So (6-6, 305)
OT Paden Kelley-So (6-7, 305) Luke Poehlmann-Jr (6-7, 285)
K Justin Tucker-Sr (6-1, 185) William Russ-RFr (6-4, 193)



Defensive end may be the best-manned position on the team. That might sound surprising knowing that the departed Sam Acho was an All-American presence on the field and in the locker room. Combined with the loss of Eddie Jones, the thought was that this could be a major position of need. This is one question that has been answered in a major way. Between Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor, the Longhorns have two potential game-changers. Jeffcoat has been a monster and represents a possible All-Big 12 performer on the outside. Okafor has been moved to end from tackle where he predominately played last fall, a spot that he was not best suited for. Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz called Okafor the barometer of the defense, delivering a clear message that he will need to be accounted for on every snap. Kheeston Randall is a fixture at tackle. He is another possible All-Big 12 player on this DL. The big concern is who will play next to him. Texas had the identical issue a year ago. The Longhorns never resolved it and were gashed up the middle fairly consistently as a result. Sophomores Ashton Dorsey and Calvin Howell have looked promising but neither has been able to capitalize on the chance to start full time. Redshirt freshman Greg Daniels, who has grown to about 280 pounds is another option. No one is quite sure if this team has a true No. 2 defensive tackle. The good news is that the starting ends appear to be world-beaters.

Linebackers Keenan Robinson, Emmanuel Acho and Jordan Hicks join defensive ends Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat to form the guts of the Diaz defense. These are the two best-equipped units on the entire team. The Ohio five-star linebacker Hicks was awarded the HS Butkus Award, given to the nation's top high school linebacker in 2009 and was the coupe of his recruiting class for Mack Brown. Hicks was emerging as the talk of spring before a broken foot cut short his availability. In his absence Demarco Cobbs, who is making the transition from safety to linebacker, saw even more action, which could prove extremely beneficial for the exceptional speedy 210-pound newcomer. While Hicks and Cobbs have helped secure this unit, coach Diaz has stressed the key to the defense's success next season revolves around senior linebackers Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson. Both are coming off great junior campaigns and have been honored as All-Big 12 selections. Robinson will be a three-year starter and was the team's leading tackler last fall. The 2011 Preseason All-American is a two-time All-Conference linebacker. Emmanuel Acho, who is the brother of 2010 defensive star Sam, has been a disruptive force thus far in his collegiate career posting 147 tackles (93 solo), 22 TFL, five sacks, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two INTs, seven PBU and eight pressures for his career. And just to demonstrate that Mack Brown has not lost his recruiting touch, look for incoming prep All-Americans Steve Edmond and Kendall Thompson to provide immediate depth.

Not too many teams across the country exist at this level that could lose three NFL caliber talents and not take a step back. Longhorn fans need to take note and maintain some degree of patience with this secondary. The young starting cornerbacks consisting of sophomores Carrington Byndom and converted safety Adrian Phillips have been predictably spotty. Coach Diaz has stated however that Philips has established himself as one of the most dependable players on the team. But the lack of experience with these corners is still pretty frightening. The top back ups have no experience either. But talent is another story. Quandre Diggs who was ranked by ESPNU as the No. 1 cornerback prospect nationally in the recruiting class of 2011 enrolled early and has begun to provide glimpses of why he just may earn time as a starter in just his first season. The experience factor at safety is much better with Blake Gideon, Christian Scott and Kenny Vaccarro. But Gideon and Scott, though capable, did not always excel last season. This time last year, everyone was calling Christian Scott a future superstar at safety. Now, it's Kenny Vaccaro being called maybe the best player in the Longhorn secondary. He is the headhunter with a vicious hitting ability. Coaches have stated that one could "flip a coin" to determine the starters among this trio. While the talent scale looks good, expecting a unit comprised of several unproven players to perform much better than its more experienced predecessor is a stretch.


DB Blake Gideon


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Jackson Jeffcoat-So (6-5, 253) Dravannti Johnson-Jr (6-2, 235)
DT Ashton Dorsey-So (6-2, 295) Greg Daniels-RFr (6-5, 270)
DT Kheeston Randall-Sr (6-5, 295) Calvin Howell-So (6-4, 290)
DE Alex Okafor-Jr (6-5, 260) Reggie Wilson-So (6-3, 252)
SLB Jordan Hicks-So (6-2, 228) Demarco Cobbs-So (6-2, 210)
MLB Keenan Robinson-Sr (6-3, 235) Steve Edmond-Fr (6-3, 235)
WLB Emmanuel Acho-Sr (6-2, 240) Kendall Thompson-Fr (6-3, 230)
CB Carrington Byndom-So (6-0, 175) Quandre Diggs-Fr (5-10, 192)
CB Adrian Phillips-So (5-11, 199) A.J. White-So (6-0, 175)
S Kenny Vaccaro-Jr (6-1, 214) Christian Scott-Sr (6-1, 217)
S Blake Gideon-Sr (6-1, 205) Nolan Brewster-Jr (6-2, 205)
P Justin Tucker-Sr (6-1, 185) William Russ-RFr (6-4, 193)




While the return game for Texas needs an uplift, the kicking and punting duties appear to be in good hands (or feet as the case may be) with senior Justin Tucker coming back. His 85% field goal accuracy earned him honorable mention All-Big 12 status last fall and ranks second on the UT single-season list. He was also good on all his extra point attempts. In his career he has kicked off 258 times and racked up 52 touchbacks. If that were not enough he also doubles as the team's starting punter after sharing time at this position with the departed Jon Gold last fall. Expect Tucker to continue to play a big role next season on special teams where he also could get a few looks from NFL scouts. Decorated prep kicker Will Russ will be a back up to Tucker but could wind up taking over one of the jobs depending on the coaches view of whether they want Tucker to concentrate on one area. The return game was one of the more surprising collapses for Texas last year. No reason exists why the Longhorns should not have some of the country's best return units with guys like D.J. Monroe and Marquise Goodwin leading the way. Also watch out for high profile true freshman Quandre Diggs, who is a natural punt returner that has opened the eyes of Coach Brown.