Texas offensive linemen J.P. Urquidez (71), Tope Imade (67), Derek Kerstetter (68) and Patrick Hudson (73) look for a block as they run drills during practice at Wright Whitaker Sports Complex, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

BEVO BEAT Football

The Texas 22: Starting at right tackle — Derek Kerstetter

He arrived at Texas as a probable guard or center, but ended up starting the final 10 games — almost all at right tackle. Go figure.

Posted August 28th, 2018

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We’re breaking down Texas’ starting lineup. We’re doing two a day, one offensive and one defensive player, in alphabetical order on both sides.

Derek Kerstetter

Sophomore offensive tackle, 6-6, 305

High school: San Antonio Reagan

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Signing class: 2017

Career games: 10

Career starts: 10

Who he was — before Texas

Kerstetter was a big win for Tom Herman and the offensive staff in the 2017 class. He was committed to Oklahoma State when Herman left Houston for Texas. Kerstetter was a three-star recruit who participated in the U.S. Army All-American Game as an interior prospect who played guard and at center despite spending his prep career at tackle. He was a three-time all-district selection. He was ranked as the No. 30 offensive guard in the country and the No. 619-ranked overall player in the country.

Texas lineman Derek Kerstetter (68) works against Kansas State defensive end Tanner Wood (34) in their game in Austin on Oct. 7, 2017. Kerstetter started the final 10 games last year. (Nick Wagner/American-Statesman)

Who Kerstetter has been here — so far

Kerstetter was expected to play guard or center in college, but that never happened. He started 10 games as a freshman in 2017. His college debut was a start in the third game, against Iowa State.

He started every game after that, though he did move to left guard in the win over Baylor. He was overmatched at times when his youth and lack of strength showed against the better rush ends in the conference, but considering his age and the fact that he wasn’t prepared to start until the season began, Kerstetter showed enough to give fans hope at right tackle.

He’s also shown the versatility to move inside if needed.

Who Texas needs him to be this season

When Kerstetter enrolled, it was hard not to make quick comparisons to Connor Williams. Last season as a freshmen, he started the final 10 games. Herman essentially threw him into the deep end and forced him to swim. And it worked.

Now, the Horns have someone who could possibly end up being a four-year starter when it’s all said and done. Like all linemen, he continues to add heft to his frame. Kerstetter checks in at 305 pounds. As long as he keeps that nasty streak, he will be just fine.

Filling in the lineup

So far …

THE OFFENSE

QB: Former Westlake star Sam Ehlinger was born to lead the Longhorns

RB —

WR: Legacy Longhorn Collin Johnson wants to put it all together

WR: He catches, he runs; Lil’Jordan Humphrey gives UT versatility

WR: Jerrod Heard’s journey to wide receiver has been a winding one

TE: Andrew Beck is eager to return from last year’s injury

LT: Calvin Anderson is back where he started (playing football in Austin)

LG —

C —

RG —

RT: Derek Kerstetter may have arrived as a guard, but he’s a tackle now

THE DEFENSE

DE: Texas hopes Breckyn Hager can revert to the 2016 version of himself

DT —

DL —

DE —

LB —

LB: Gary Johnson’s favorite destination spot? Wherever the ball is.

LB —

CB: Kris Boyd: Is the former Gilmer star ready to be UT’s alpha corner?

CB: Davante Davis gives Texas experience at the corner spot

NB: P.J. Locke III provides the Texas D with valuable experience

S: Brandon Jones enters Year 2 as a starter with defensive momentum

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