RECENT HISTORY: LINEBACKERS
Texas’ top ‘backers
The Longhorns’ leading linebackers and freshmen linebackers the past four years:
2013: The top linebacker — Peter Jinkens, 49 tackles, 2 TFL; top freshman — Tim Cole, 10 tackles, 1 hurry
2014: The top linebacker — Jordan Hicks, 147 tackles, 3.5 sacks; top freshman — none (Edwin Freeman redshirted)
2015: The top linebacker — Peter Jinkens, 75 tackles, 6.5 sacks; top freshman — Malik Jefferson, 61 tackles, 2.5 sacks
2016: The top linebacker — Anthony Wheeler, 65 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 3 sacks; top freshman — Jeffrey McCulloch, 23 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
RECENT SIGNINGS: LINEBACKERS
The last 12 linebackers signed by Texas. Numbers in parenthesis reflect that player’s star rating from 247Sports’ composite rankings:
2017: Gary Johnson, Dodge City C.C. (4). On signing day, he was considered one of the Longhorns’ top gets, a former Alabama recruit who ended up going the JUCO route. He’s expected to play an ILB spot at Texas.
2017: Marqez Bimage, Brenham (3). Tom Herman flipped him from Houston after he left the Cougars for Texas.
2016: Jeffrey McCulloch, Aldine Davis (4). “The Shark” was one of Texas’ biggest splash signings announced on signing day. He had a relatively quiet freshman year, but did lead all freshman linebackers.
2016: Erick Fowler, Manor (4). Considered another big get, Fowler flipped from LSU to Texas on signing day. And he was UT’s lone local recruit signed in 2016. Had a quiet freshman season.
2015: Malik Jefferson, Mesquite Poteet (5). The gem of Charlie Strong’s 2015 signing class, Jefferson started from Day 1. As a freshman, he had 61 tackles, 7 TFL, 2.5 sacks and a defensive TD. He earned 2016 preseason Big 12 defensive player of the year buzz, though his season fell short of that. His 2016 stats, though, were an improvement on his strong first season — 62 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
2015: Anthony Wheeler, Dallas Skyline (4). Led Texas in tackles last season, with 65. He started two games as a freshman, with 36 tackles and recovered one fumble.
2015: Breckyn Hager, Austin Westlake (3). Has become one of the Longhorns’ most visible defensive players. Has played both linebacker and defensive end spots. Finished with 64 tackles his sophomore season, just one off Wheeler’s team lead. But he did lead the team with 13.5 tackles for loss. Played primarily as an OLB his freshman year, and DE his sophomore year. Back in 2015 he played in nine games and had 18 tackles and an interception.
2014: Edwin Freeman, Arlington Bowie (4). Redshirted in 2014, then was limited to only five games in 2015 because of a shoulder injury. Finished with 12 tackles, though three of them were for losses. Finished seventh in tackles last season and was second in TFL behind Hager, with nine.
2014: Cameron Hampton, Dallas Carter (3). Redshirted in 2014, then transferred out of the program that December. He ended up at Lamar, where he led the Cardinals last season with 85 tackles, seven tackles for loss and a sack. He’s a junior.
2013: Deoundrei Davis, Houston Cypress Woods (4). Another roster casualty. Davis never saw the field at Texas; he suffered a severe knee injury during his senior season, redshirted in 2013 and then was dismissed from the program early in the 2014 season.
2013: Naashon Hughes, Harker Heights (3). Has shifted to defensive end at Texas. Was fourth on the team in tackles in 2015 (57) and had 9 TFL, 5.5 sacks and 4 hurries, and as a junior last year started seven games with 24 tackles, 3.5 sacks and a blocked field goal. He’s a fifth-year senior now who’s started 26 career games.
2015: Cameron Townsend, Fort Bend Ridge Point (4). Redshirted his first year, and was mostly a special teams player in 2016.
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