BEVO BEAT

The Texas 22: Starting at left guard — Patrick Vahe

Posted August 22nd, 2017

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We’re breaking down who we think will be Texas’ starting lineup, a combined effort from Mike Craven, Brian Davis and Danny Davis. We’re doing two a day, one offensive and one defensive player.

PATRICK VAHE

Junior left guard, 6-4, 320

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High school: Euless Trinity

Signing class: 2015

Career games: 22

Career starts: 19

WHO HE WAS — BEFORE TEXAS

It was clear Vahe wanted to be part of Charlie Strong’s 2015 — he committed during the summer before his senior year over schools like LSU and Texas A&M. Vahe was a four-star prospect out of Euless Trinity, a factory of college football talent. Vahe was ranked as the No. 2 center prospect in the country and the No. 131-ranked overall prospect in the nation, per 247Sports’ composite. He ranked No. 19 on the 2015 Fabulous 55.

Vahe was a star at the prep level. He ended his Trinity career as a two-time all-state selection. He allowed only two total sacks his junior and a senior years. He was credited with 80 pancake blocks as a senior; Vahe was a second-team all-district selection as a sophomore and helped his program to three playoff appearances his final three seasons as a starter.

UT offensive lineman Patrick Vahe takes a break during practice at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium Sunday August 7, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

WHO VAHE HAS BEEN HERE — SO FAR

Vahe was considered a center leaving high school but found his way onto the field as a freshman by sliding over to left guard, where he started the first 10 games of his college career. He was tabbed as honorable mention All-Big 12 in 2015 and was named to several freshman All-American teams. Vahe was flat dominant at times, quickly adjusting to the added strength and athleticism of college defensive linemen.

Vahe, however, failed to take the next step as a sophomore. He played in all 12 games, starting nine, but his inconsistency was apparent and he reportedly wound up in Strong’s doghouse. Left tackle Connor Williams, who also started as a freshman next to him, watched his stock soar as a sophomore while Vahe’s remained stagnant.

WHO TEXAS NEEDS HIM TO BE THIS SEASON

There’s no doubt that Vahe needed a fresh start after getting crossways with the previous coaching staff. He eventually landed on the bench after starting as a freshman.

“My mind’s been on the wrong path,” Vahe said this spring. “My effort really wasn’t there. It really wasn’t what was needed for the team at that moment. But I’m on a different road right now.”

By all indications, Vahe is back to being the menacing blocker that won all those kudos in 2014. He was the offensive MVP in Texas’ first scrimmage this August. New coach Tom Herman basically has turned the left side of the offensive line over to Vahe and Williams and never looked back.

“It was my decision to get back to where I needed to be,” Vahe said. “The coaches were there to help me out, and I took advantage of that.”

The Texas 22 — so far:

Offense:

QB Shane Buechele,

WR Armanti Foreman

WR Reggie Hemphill-Mapps

TE Andrew Beck

LG Patrick Vahe

C Zach Shackelford

RG Jake McMillon

RT Tristan Nickelson

Defense:

DT Poona Ford

DT Chris Nelson

OLB Malik Jefferson

OLB Naashon Hughes

CB Kris Boyd

CB Holton Hill

NB P.J. Locke III

S DeShon Elliott

S Brandon Jones

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