Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford against West Virginia in a game at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Nov. 8, 2014.

BEVO BEAT Football

Despite concerns about line depth, Charlie Strong won’t seek graduate transfers

Posted April 19th, 2016

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Though he’s worried about depth on both of his lines, Texas coach Charlie Strong says he won’t seek a fix through graduate transfers.

Instead, Strong said on Tuesday that he’ll rely on the nine high school linemen he signed in February.

“We have enough guys that are coming in,” Strong said on the Big 12’s teleconference.

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After quarterback, where Texas could start newcomer Shane Buechele, the offensive and defensive lines are generally the hardest positions for a true freshman to come in and play. So it’s a little concerning Strong is counting down the days until six high school players on defense and three more on offense ride into Austin to fill out the depth chart.

A graduate transfer would provide a seasoned option, though Strong made it sound like he’s not interested in going that route. In his three seasons at UT, Strong has never acquired a graduate transfer though he thought he was getting USC quarterback transfer Max Wittek in 2014 before an eligibility snag killed the deal.

Generally, most graduate transfers have announced where they’ll be going by this point of the year, though that is not always the case.

Depth concern is most pressing at defense tackle where there’s little to speak of after veterans Paul Boyette, Poona Ford and Chris Nelson. Texas signed five 2016 tackles, including four-star recruits Jordan Elliott (Houston Westside), Chris Daniels (Euless Trinity) and D’Andre Christmas-Giles (New Orleans St. Augustine).

Defensive coordinator Vance Bedford said recently that he will play every freshman who arrives to campus weighing 300 pounds.

“With the freshmen coming in, we have to get them up to speed,” Strong said.

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