The Texas Longhorns flag flies in the end zone prior to kickoff against West Virginia at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

BEVO BEAT Football

Class of 2017: Destination Texas — Temple’s Ta’Quon Graham

Posted May 21st, 2017

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RECENT HISTORY: DEFENSIVE ENDS

Texas’ top ends

The Longhorns’ top-performing defensive ends and freshmen DEs over the past four years:

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2013: The top end — Jackson Jeffcoat, 86 tackles, 22 TFL, 13 sacks, 19 hurries; top freshman — Bryce Cottrell, 5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 hurry

2014: The top end — Cedric Reed, 73 tackles, 10 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 8 hurries; top freshman — Hughes, 28 tackles, 5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 2 hurries

2015: The top end — Naashon Hughes, 57 tackles, 9 TFL, 5.5 sacks; top freshman — Charles Omenihu, 17 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble

2016: The top end — Breckyn Hager, 64 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 forced fumble; top freshman — Malcolm Roach, 33 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks

Texas Longhorns (44) Breckyn Hager looks on during the Orange and white spring football game at the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

RECENT SIGNINGS: DEFENSIVE ENDS

The last 12 defensive ends Texas has signed. Numbers in parenthesis reflect that player’s star rating from 247Sports’ composite rankings:

2017: Ta’Quon Graham, Temple (4). His penchant for producing sacks could land him playing time as a freshman.

2017: Max Cummins, Fort Worth All Saints Episcopal (3). Started his high school career at Lake Travis but ended it as a private schooler. Might be a candidate for a redshirt season.

2016: Andrew Fitzgerald, Flower Mound Marcus (4). Charlie Strong called him the dark horse of Texas’ class — if you can consider a four-star recruit a dark horse, that is. We may not find out till this fall, however; Fitzgerald redshirted.

Texas #32 Malcolm Roach at Royal-Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas on Friday, November 25, 2016.
James Gregg/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

2016: Malcolm Roach, Baton Rouge Madison Prep Academy (3). A four-time all-state pick who also was named Baton Rouge’s metro defensive player of the year, Roach was one of the big surprises of the 2016 class. Had eight tackles for loss and three sacks, pairing with Breckyn Hager as pass-rushing specialists.

2015: Charles Omenihu, Rowlett (3). Started seven games last season, finishing with 26 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Entering his junior season.

2015: Quincy Vasser, Navarro College (3). A junior college end who never made an impact at Texas — 10 total tackles in his two seasons.

2015: Breckyn Hager, Austin Westlake (3). Has emerged as one of the big playmakers of Texas’ defense. Sometimes lined up at linebacker, but was at his best as an edge rusher. After making a freshman splash on special teams and at outside linebacker, Brecker was moved to the line in 2016 and finished second on the team in tackles and led UT in tackles for loss. How will Todd Orlando use him?

2014: Derick Roberson, San Antonio Brennan (4). Was rated right at the top of Texas’ 2014 class along with Jerrod Heard and Armanti Foreman, but never found his role as a Longhorn. He redshirted in 2014, was in on only six tackles in 2015 and then ended up transferring to Sam Houston State last season. He’ll be a junior there this fall.

2014: Jake McMillon, Abilene (3). Redshirted in 2014, played defensive line in 2015 and then moved over to offensive guard in 2016. Started five games on the offensive line last season, against Oklahoma State, Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech and TCU.

2012: Hassan Ridgeway, Mansfield (4). Played in 36 career games, including 18 starts, with 92 tackles and 9.5 sacks as a Longhorn. Was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

2012: Caleb Bluiett, Beaumont West Brook (3). Switched back and forth from defensive end and tight end throughout his UT career. Ended up playing in 44 games with 12 starts. As a tight end, he had 10 career catches for 178 yards and two touchdowns; as an end, he had 43 tackles, 4.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss.

2011: Cedric Reed, Cleveland (4). Went undrafted after two strong seasons to finish his UT career. Started his pro career on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad, but now is a Miami Dolphin.

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