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The Dotted Line: Kyle Flood must improve Texas Longhorns' offensive line

Texas hired former Rutgers coach Kyle Flood to be the Longhorns' new offensive line coach.

New Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian brought offensive line coach Kyle Flood with him to Austin from Alabama to help save the trenches. The Longhorns simply can’t compete for Big 12 championships on a regular basis until Texas becomes a destination for elite offensive line targets.

More importantly than recruiting the talent, at least with offensive linemen, is development. Flood inherits some young, talented offensive line to mold.

On campus

Jake Majors, freshman

FYI: Four stars, from Prosper; ranked 195th overall nationally, No. 5-ranked center (2019)

Majors slid into the starting center position when Derek Kerstetter was lost to injury late in the season. The true freshman started the final two games, including the Alamo Bowl. The running game never looked better last season than it did with Majors starting in the middle. Bijan Robinson rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries in the win over Kansas State. Roshcon Johnson added 139 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries in that game.

Majors was recruited as the future at center. He was an Under Armour All-American after a stellar all-district career at Prosper, which included multiple all-district honors. He was the fifth-ranked center in the nation and 34th on the 2020 Fabulous 55. 

Andrej Karic, freshman

FYI: Four stars, from Southlake Carroll; ranked 364th overall, 26th-ranked offensive tackle (2020)

Karic was a member of the same recruiting class as Majors, and it looks like the Longhorns signed multiple-year starters in both players. Karic took over at left tackle after Samuel Cosmi opted out of the end of the season to prepare for the NFL draft. Karic flourished, easing concerns about the post-Cosmi era and officially earning his first start in the Alamo Bowl. In that game, Texas set a school record for total offense in a bowl game (638 yards). Robinson ran for 183 yards on 10 carries. 

Christian Jones, sophomore

FYI: Three stars, from Houston Cypress Woods; ranked 724th overall, 56th-ranked offensive tackle (2018)

Jones was a late find for Tom Herman and his staff in 2018, landing him near national signing day. He has outperformed higher-rated prospects from that cycle, starting 10 games in 2020. He spent nine of those 10 games at right tackle. He took a redshirt in 2018. He played in 13 games as a reserve as a redshirt freshman in 2019. Unless Kerstetter returns for another year, Jones is the favorite to start at right tackle. 

Tyler Johnson, freshman

FYI: Four stars, from Conroe Oak Ridge; ranked 58th overall, 8th-ranked offensive tackle (2019)

Johnson was the highest-rated offensive line prospect to sign with Texas during the Herman era. ESPN ranked him 16th nationally. Injuries plagued him throughout his first two years. He took a redshirt in 2019 and didn’t appear in 2020 until he started at right guard in the Alamo Bowl. If healthy, he should be the favorite to start at right guard in 2021.  

Texas offensive lineman Junior Angilau (75) celebrates with teammates after their 38-10 win over Utah in the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Junior Angilau, sophomore

FYI: Four stars, from Salt Lake, Utah; ranked 125th overall, 10th-ranked offensive tackle (2018)

Angilau is a hard-nosed, experienced lineman entering his fourth year on campus. The Utah native started 12 games as a redshirt freshman in 2019. He started all 10 games at left guard in 2020. He was a prized recruit in 2018, earning Army All-American honors. 

Other offensive linemen on campus: Denzel Okafor, Tope Imade, Logan Parr, Isaiah Hookfin, Rafiti Ghirmai, Jaylen Garth, Hayden Conner (2021), Max Merril (2021)

From Steve Sarkisian's debut to a West Virginia tiebreaker:A deeper dive into Texas' 2021 schedule

2022 targets

Kelvin Banks, OT, Humble Summer Creek

FYI: 6-5, 300; four stars; No. 4-ranked offensive tackle 

Offers: 23

Banks is a two-time all-district selection. He’s a big, long lineman with the ability to play tackle or guard in college. He's arguably the most college-ready offensive tackle in the state for the Class of 2022. He’s a bully at the point of attack and carries 300 pounds with ease. He’ll only improve as he converts more of his frame into muscle. 

Kam Dewberry, offensive tackle, Humble Atascocita 

FYI: 6-4, 313; four stars; No. 11-ranked offensive tackle 

Offers: 33

Dewberry is my favorite tackle prospect in Texas for the 2022 cycle. The four-star reminds me of 2019's Kenyon Green, who is now a two-year starter at Texas A&M. Like Green, Dewberry is capable of playing tackle or guard. The two shared an offensive line for one year at Atascocita. Dewberry started at left tackle as a freshman for a Class 6A program that went several rounds deep in the playoffs. Moving into his senior season, he’s among the most experienced players in Texas. 

Jaylen Early, offensive tackle, Duncanville

FYI: 6-4, 260; four stars; No. 27-ranked offensive tackle 

Offers: 30

Duncanville is a football factory and Early is the next big man from the south Dallas powerhouse. Early arrived on the recruiting scene as a sophomore, helping Duncanville go 15-1 and reach the Class 6A Division I state championship. He's a two-time all-district selection. A strong junior season placed him in the conversation for the state’s best tackle prospect because of his unusual athleticism for a young man his size. 

Devon Campbell, guard, Arlington Bowie

FYI: 6-4, 295; five stars; No. 1-ranked guard

Offers: 29

Campbell is the best offensive lineman in Texas. He’s a mauler in the running game, throwing prep defensive tackles around like ragdolls. He holds an offer from nearly every major program in the nation and he’ll be the top priority up front for the Longhorns. He could be a first-year starter in 2022 for most college programs. Oklahoma and LSU are Texas’ main competition. 

Others are reading:First-year coach Steve Sarkisian now has Texas’ roadmap with compete 2021 schedule

Connor Robertson, guard, Austin Westlake

FYI: 6-4, 296; three stars; No. 26-ranked guard

Offers: 21

Robertson is a local product from Westlake, which is minutes from Texas’ campus. It’s also home to four-star quarterback and fellow Texas target Cade Klubnik. Robertson raised his profile during a 2020 playoff run that resulted in Westlake claiming the Class 6A Division I state championship a year after winning the Class 6A Division II title. Robertson is athletic enough to slide to tackle if needed, but guard or center are his best options. 

Neto Umeozulu, guard, Allen

FYI: 6-4, 300; three stars; No. 13-ranked guard

Offers: 28

Umeozulu started at right tackle as a sophomore. As a junior, he played right and left tackle, ending the year with the District 5-6A offensive lineman of the year award. He’s most likely an interior prospect to colleges with a future at either guard or center. Umeozulu became a hot name in January, earning offers from Auburn, Ohio State, Oregon and LSU in a two-week span.