Texas defensive back Caden Sterns (7) and linebacker Joseph Ossai (46) wrap up Kansas running back Dom Williams (25) during an NCAA college football game in Lawrence, Kansas, on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Football

Texas spring preview: Position-by-position look at the Longhorns’ spring roster

Posted March 9th, 2019

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The 2019 Texas spring football roster looks somewhat odd without Jerrod Heard’s name anywhere on it. Same is true for Shane Buechele. Alas, time marches on, and so do the Longhorns.

The spring roster just released offers plenty of names and questions.

For example, Texas is stacked at wide receiver with Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay, both of whom will be seniors this fall, leading the way. But there’s a slew of players across the age spectrum, all the way down to freshman Bru McCoy, a national high school player of the year award winner who’s already on campus.

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Offensive lineman Patrick Hudson’s name is missing. Coach Tom Herman said Hudson was “currently taking some time away from the team just to kind of figure out what he wants to do moving forward and weigh all of his options.” The Silsbee native has been sidelined by knee injuries.

Tight end Rob Cummins is now listed as a defensive lineman along with going from jersey number 99 to 90. The Horns are rebuilding their defensive line, and all help is welcome.

Running back Keaontay Ingram has added 10 pounds. The Carthage product was listed at 205 pounds last season, and Herman indicated he wanted Ingram to be heavier to withstand a bigger workload. Now he’s listed at 215 pounds.

Speaking of McCoy, he’ll wear No. 5. Fellow freshman Jordan Whittington will wear 21.

Here’s a look at each position group going into the fall with each player’s classification for the 2019 season:

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) celebrates his touchdown during the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Georgia on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Quarterbacks (3)

Sam Ehlinger simply needs to finish the spring healthy. That’s it. Period. He did not require offseason shoulder surgery but could have a lighter throwing schedule than normal. Casey Thompson has elevated to No. 2 after Buechele and Cameron Rising transferred out. Thompson, who redshirted last fall, needs to play well to keep that spot. Roschon Johnson will spend the spring learning the offense.

Sam Ehlinger, Jr. — Sam’s the man (and maybe a Heisman candidate)

Casey Thompson, Fr.* — Redshirted last year, now the top backup

Roschon Johnson, Fr. — Early enrollee will wear No. 2

Running backs (4)

The numbers have thinned out at this position because of transfers, but the coaching staff is probably fine with that. Ingram averaged a team-high five yards per carry last season. This is a good month for Daniel Young (3.6 ypc) to remind coaches of his talents. It’ll be interesting to see what Whittington — who originally figured to play receiver — can do. He was a multi-position star at Cuero.

Keaontay Ingram, So. — Exit Tre Watson; Ingram is the top option here

Jordan Whittington, Fr. — Nation’s No. 2-rated athlete will wear 21 at Texas, which could work either as a running back or a receiver

Daniel Young, Jr. — Short-yardage specialist

Kirk Johnson, Sr. — His career has been limited by injuries; his brother, Collin, has posted short videos with optimism saying this will be Kirk’s breakout year.

Texas wide receiver Devin Duvernay (6) scores a touchdown against West Virginia at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Nov. 3, 2018. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

Wide receivers (9)

Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay are firmly entrenched. But who’s going to replace the versatile Lil’Jordan Humphrey? The recruiting sites were gaga last summer over Brennan Eagles and Jordan Pouncey. Time for them to make a move. Joshua Moore had seven catches last season. John Burt will spend his spring running for the Texas track team.

Collin Johnson, Sr. — With Humphrey’s departure, No. 9’s the undisputed alpha among UT wideouts

Devin Duvernay, Sr. — Finally has his chance to shine in the spotlight

John Burt, Sr. — We won’t likely see him in pads; Burt is running track this spring

Joshua Moore, So. — Played in the first six games as a freshman (7-53-1) before suffering a season-ending injury

Bru McCoy, Fr. — The No. 1 athlete prospect in the country (and former USC signee) will wear 5 as a Longhorn

Brennan Eagles, So. — Came in with high expectations, but started just once and finished with 1 catch for 35 yards

Al’Vonte Woodard, Fr.* — Another highly-regarded receiver from the 2018 recruiting class; he redshirted

D’Shawn Jamison, So. — Didn’t make much of an impact as a freshman receiver, but did have a punt return TD at Kansas State

Jordan Pouncey, So. — Was mostly a special teams player as a freshman

Tight ends (4)

It’s hard to replace someone like Andrew Beck, a fifth-year senior last season who was a team captain and could virtually do it all. He had a career-high 28 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns in 2018. How will the Horns handle this position going forward? Cade Brewer and Reese Leitao were mostly role players last season and helped on special teams. Malcolm Epps is an athletic freak.

Cade Brewer, Jr. — Now he’s the most experienced TE on the roster, with 3 starts in 24 career games played

Reese Leitao, So. — Was mostly a special teams player last season after redshirting in 2017

Malcolm Epps, Fr.* — Redshirted last season

Jared Wiley, Fr. — Played quarterback at Temple but is transitioning to tight end in college

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) celebrates a touchdown with offensive lineman Samuel Cosmi (52) and offensive lineman Calvin Anderson (66) during an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Offensive tackles (5)

The Horns were fortunate that Calvin Anderson was so good as a graduate transfer. He had a terrific season at left tackle, but it was only a one-year situation. Samuel Cosmi started most of the season at right tackle. Derek Kerstetter has trained at both guard and tackle. Don’t get too worked up over who’s listed at tackle or guard. Offensive line coach Herb Hand will try them at both.

Samuel Cosmi, So. — A redshirt season in 2017 helped him; he started the last 13 games last year at right tackle

Derek Kerstetter, Jr. — Versatile lineman has 15 starts in 24 career games played, mostly at right tackle and right guard

Tyler Johnson, Fr. — One of the highest-regarded pieces of the 2019 signing class, he may be asked to play early

Reese Moore, Fr.* — Redshirted his freshman season last fall

Christian Jones, Fr.* — Redshirted his freshman season last fall

Offensive guards (5)

The biggest offseason news was the late acquisition of Parker Braun, a first-team All-ACC pick from Georgia Tech. He’s coming to Texas a graduate transfer, but won’t be here for spring practice. Braun is a plug-and-play starter,  just like Anderson was. That’s bad news for some who thought they could earn playing time just by hanging around. Keep tabs on Junior Angilau and Rafiti Ghirmai this spring.

Denzel Okafor, Jr. — Has seen duty at both tackle and guard

Junior Angilau, Fr.* — Redshirted last fall

J.P. Urquidez, Jr. — Hasn’t made much of an impact yet; redshirted in 2016, didn’t play in 2018

Rafiti Ghirmai, Fr.* — Redshirted last fall

Tope Imade, Jr. — Same situation as Urquiez; redshirted in 2016, hasn’t played in 2017 or 2018

Texas center Zach Shackelford (56) kneels while taking a break during a spring practice at the Denius Fields on April 17, 2018. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Centers (1)

Texas coaches have come to bank on Shackelford in the middle. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing that spot. The big man from Belton is a legitimate candidate for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation’s best center. Last year, senior Elijah Rodriguez was considered Shackelford’s backup.

Zach Shackelford, Sr. — With Patrick Vahe departed, Shack’s the veteran presence on the line with 40 career games and 27 starts under his belt

Defensive ends (6)

This time last year, not many people thought Charles Omenihu would have the year he did. This group is loaded with potential. It’s up to defensive line coach Oscar Giles to squeeze it out of them. Malcolm Roach missed five games last season with a fractured foot but had four tackles against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Ta’Quon Graham also forced a fumble that night.

Malcolm Roach, Sr. — Texas needs him to step up and take over as an edge rusher

Marqez Bimage, Jr. — The chance to make a splash is there for him with the way the roster shakes out

Ta’Quon Graham, Jr. — Another lineman with a chance to impress; he had two sacks and a forced fumble in 2018

Moro Ojomo, Fr.* — Redshirted last fall

Daniel Carson, Fr.* — Redshirted last fall

Peter Mpagi, Fr. — A good candidate to redshirt this season

Texas defensive lineman Gerald Wilbon (94) recovers a fumble by Georgia running back D’Andre Swift (7) during the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019 in New Orleans. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Defensive tackles (4)

Think about the talent Texas has fielded in the middle the last two years — Poona Ford and Chris Nelson. Both were solid anchors that many overlooked when the season began. Gerald Wilbon and D’Andre Christmas-Giles are both cut from similar molds, although neither should copy the “Nellie Rub.” Todd Orlando’s defense is built around holding the point of attack.

Gerald Wilbon, Sr. — Has the chance to step up; has played in 33 games but with only one start so far

D’Andre Christmas-Giles, Jr. — Hasn’t done much so far; has played 19 career games with no starts

Jamari Chisholm, Sr. — JUCO transfer from 2017 has played in 14 career games

Keondre Coburn, Fr.* — Saw some action as a freshman, but redshirted

Jacoby Jones, Jr. — Newcomer is a JUCO transfer

Linebackers (8)

If Gary Johnson could play one more year with this unit, Texas might have something truly special. But Johnson has moved on, opening the door for others. Jeffrey McCulloch, Joseph Ossai and Ayodele Adeoye could make a fascinating, athletic trio. Demarco Boyd returns after sitting out one season for assaulting another motorist after a traffic accident.

Jeffrey McCulloch, Sr. — Was active last fall, with 33 tackles, 4.5 sacks, an interception, one forced fumble, one quarterback hurry and two pass breakups

Ayodele Adeoye, Fr.* — Made it into four games last fall, then redshirted

Joseph Ossai, So. — Started twice as a freshman, finished 2018 with 20 tackles and a sack

Marcus Tillman Jr., Fr. — The freshman from Florida will wear No. 13

DeGabriel Floyd, Fr. — Another freshman, the Californian will wear No. 1

Byron Vaughns, Fr.* — Redshirted last fal

Caleb Johnson, Jr. — JUCO transfer is a newcomer

Demarco Boyd, Jr. — Has made it into four games in his first three seasons

Texas defensive back Anthony Cook (4) wrangles Iowa State wide receiver Tarique Milton (14) during an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Cornerbacks (5)

Last year’s starting corners — Kris Boyd and Davante Davis — just ran full throttle at the NFL scouting combine and are getting ready for next month’s draft. Kobe Boyce, Anthony Cook and Josh Thompson are likely to be the ones stepping up this fall. All got key playing time in tight games last season. Cook had 18 tackles and one sack last season. Jalen Green had two tackles in the bowl game. It’s about finding the right pair in the pass-happy Big 12.

Josh Thompson, Jr. — Started 3 games last fall, should be a factor at corner and nickel

Jalen Green, So. — One of the gems of Texas’ 2018 signing class

Anthony Cook, So. — Like Green, was one of the big gets of the 2018 class

Kobe Boyce, So. — Was a backup corner last year; has two starts in six career games

Montrell Estell, So. — Has been mostly a special teams player and backup DB so far

Safeties (4)

Brandon Jones flirted with going pro after but smartly decided to stay. Now he’s likely to be one of the most experienced safeties in the league and one of the most dangerous. Caden Sterns had a strong start but faded down the stretch last season. B.J. Foster, the hard-hitting sophomore from Angleton, could become another fan favorite for his tenacity.

Brandon Jones, Sr. — Will miss spring workouts but is the most experienced safety on the roster

Caden Sterns, So. — Had a fast start last season; will look to spread that over an entire season as a sophomore

B.J. Foster, So. — Came on strong over the last half of 2018, and had a very strong showing in the Sugar Bowl win over Georgia

Chris Brown, Jr. — Started two games last season, against TCU and Texas Tech

DeMarvion Overshown, So. — Has also played linebacker; was limited by injuries last year

Texas place kicker Cameron Dicker (17) kicks a field goal against Georgia during the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Specialists

It must be nice for Herman to go into a full calendar year not worried about his kicker or punter. Cameron Dicker became a household name after his 40-yard field goal beat Oklahoma. Ryan Bujcevski averaged 40.3 yards per punt in his first season. Texas managed only one big play last season in the return game when D’Shawn Jamison had a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown at Kansas State.

Cameron Dicker, So. — No worries at placekicker; the Lake Travis product was solid as a rock as a freshman

Ryan Bujcevski, So. — Had his ups and downs, but finished with an average of 40 yards per punt

* — indicates redshirt freshman

2019 Texas Longhorns spring roster

No.NamePos.Ht.Wt.ClassHometown (Previous school)
1John BurtWR6-3195Sr.-4LTallahassee, Fla. (Lincoln)
1DeGabriel FloydLB6-2240Fr.-HSWestlake Village, Calif. (Westlake)
2Roschon JohnsonQB6-2215Fr.-HSPort Neches (Port Neches-Groves)
3Jalen GreenDB6-1190So.-1LHouston (Heights)
4Anthony CookDB6-1190So.-1LHouston (Lamar)
5Bru McCoyWR6-3215Fr.-HSSanta Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)
6Devin DuvernayWR5-11210Sr.-3LSachse (Sachse)
7Caden SternsDB6-1210So.-1LCibolo (Steele)
8Ryan BujcevskiP6-0185So.-1LSydney, Australia (Marist Catholic College Penshurst)
8Casey ThompsonQB6-1190Fr.-RSNewcastle, Okla. (Newcastle)
9Collin JohnsonWR6-6220Sr.-3LSan Jose, Calif. (Valley Christian)
11Sam EhlingerQB6-3230Jr.-3LAustin (Westlake)
13Marcus Tillman, Jr.LB6-1235Fr.-HSOrlando, Fla. (Jones)
14Joshua MooreWR6-1170So.-1LYoakum (Yoakum)
15Chris BrownDB5-11195Jr.-2LHouston (Elsik)
15Travis WestWR6-0180Fr.-RSDallas (Woodrow Wilson)
17Cameron DickerK6-1210So.-1LAustin (Lake Travis)
17D’Shawn JamisonDB5-10185So.-1LHouston (Lamar)
18Tremayne PrudhommeQB6-1190Fr.-RSHouston (Aldine Davis)
18Jared WileyTE6-6245Fr.-HSTemple (Temple)
19Kartik AkkihalWR6-2200Fr.-RSAustin (Vandegrift)
19Brandon JonesDB6-0210Sr.-3LNacogdoches (Nacogdoches)
21Turner SymondsDB6-1185Fr.-RSFort Worth (Fort Worth Country Day)
21Jordan WhittingtonRB6-1215Fr.-HSCuero (Cuero)
23Jeffrey McCullochLB6-3245Sr.-3LHouston (Davis)
23Jarrett SmithRB5-7200Fr.-RSWebster (Clear Brook)
25B.J. FosterDB6-2210So.-1LAngleton (Angleton)
26Keaontay IngramRB6-0215So.-1LCarthage (Carthage)
27Donovan DuvernayDB5-9200Jr.-SQSachse (Sachse)
28Kirk JohnsonRB6-0215Sr.-2LSan Jose, Calif. (Valley Christian)
29Josh ThompsonDB6-0200Jr.-2LNacogdoches (Nacogdoches)
30Caleb JohnsonLB6-0235Jr.-TRMurrieta, Calif. (Vista Murrieta/Fullerton CC)
30Mason RamirezDB5-10205Sr.-SQRound Rock (Round Rock)
31DeMarvion OvershownDB6-3210So.-1LArp (Arp)
32Malcolm RoachDL6-3290Sr.-3LBaton Rouge, La. (Madison Prep)
32Daniel YoungRB6-0230Jr.-2LHouston (Westfield)
35Russell HineLB6-2215So.-SQAustin (Regents School)
36Demarco BoydLB6-0240Jr.-1LGilmer (Gilmer)
36Jacoby JonesDL6-3265Jr.-TRFlorissant, Mo. (McCluer North/Butler CC)
37Jaren WatkinsRB5-5160So.-HSLittle Rock, Ark. (Pulaski Academy)
38Kobe BoyceDB6-1175So.-1LCorinth (Lake Dallas)
39Montrell EstellDB6-1205So.-1LHooks (Hooks)
40Ayodele AdeoyeLB6-1250Fr.-RSSt. Louis, Mo. (IMG Academy [Fla.])
41Hank CoutoumanosDB6-0195Jr.-SQSouthlake (Southlake Carroll)
42Marqez BimageDL6-2270Jr.-2LBrenham (Brenham)
43Chris HannonDL6-2230Fr.-RSHouston (Second Baptist)
45Peter MpagiDL6-4245Fr.-HSSugar Land (George Ranch)
45Chris NaggarK6-1185Jr.-SQArlington (Arlington)
46Joseph OssaiLB6-4245So.-1LConroe (Oak Ridge)
47Luke BrockermeyerLB6-3225Fr.-RSFort Worth (All-Saints Episcopal)
47Chandler KelehanDS5-11195Fr.-RSMarshall (Marshall)
49Ta’Quon GrahamDL6-3295Jr.-2LTemple (Temple)
50Byron VaughnsLB6-4240Fr.-RSFort Worth (Eastern Hills)
51Jakob SellOL6-2305So.-RSDallas (Lake Highlands/Trinity Valley)
52Samuel CosmiOL6-6295So.-1LHumble (Atascocita)
54Justin MaderDS6-1235So.-1LMagnolia (Magnolia)
55D’Andre Christmas-GilesDL6-3320Jr.-2LNew Orleans (St. Augustine)
56Zach ShackelfordOL6-4305Sr.-3LBelton (Belton)
57Cort JaquessLB6-0240So.-1LSan Antonio (Churchill)
61Ishan RisonOL6-0260Sr.-SQKaty (Cinco Ranch)
63Troy TorresDL5-11320Fr.-RSEl Paso (Bowie)
67Tope ImadeOL6-5340Jr.-SQArlington (Bowie)
68Derek KerstetterOL6-5305Jr.-2LSan Antonio (Reagan)
70Christian JonesOL6-5305Fr.-RSCypress (Cypress Woods)
71J.P. UrquidezOL6-6300Jr.-SQCopperas Cove (Copperas Cove)
72Tyler JohnsonOL6-6315Fr.-HSConroe (Oak Ridge)
74Rafiti GhirmaiOL6-5300Fr.-RSFrisco (Wakeland)
75Junior AngilauOL6-6300Fr.-RSSalt Lake City (East)
76Reese MooreOL6-6300Fr.-RSSeminole (Seminole)
78Denzel OkaforOL6-4315Jr.-2LLewisville (Lewisville)
79Matt FrostOL6-3270Fr.-RSFolsom, Calif. (Folsom)
80Cade BrewerTE6-3250Jr.-2LAustin (Lake Travis)
80Kai MoneyWR6-0165Fr.-RSBrownsville (St. Joseph Academy)
81Reese LeitaoTE6-3245So.-1LJenks, Okla. (Jenks)
82Brennan EaglesWR6-4225So.-1LHouston (Alief Taylor)
83Al’Vonte WoodardWR6-1205Fr.-RSHouston (Lamar)
85Malcolm EppsWR6-6245Fr.-RSHouston (Dekaney)
86Jordan PounceyWR6-1205So.-SQWinter Park, Fla. (Winter Park)
87Austin HibbettsTE6-2235So.-SQCypress (Cy Falls/Blinn)
87Joshua MatthewsWR5-8180So.-SQConroe (Willis)
88Daniel CarsonDL6-4300Fr.-RSKansas City, Mo. (Chrisman)
88Kai JarmonWR6-0190So.-SQLos Altos, Calif. (Los Altos)
90Rob CumminsDL6-5260So.-SQFort Worth (All-Saints Epsicopal)
91Jamari ChisholmDL6-4305Sr.-2LValdosta, Ga. (Valdosta/NE Oklahoma A&M)
94Gerald WilbonDL6-3335Sr.-3LSt. Rose, La. (Destrehan)
96Tristan BennettDL6-3245Jr.-SQIrving (Ranchview)
98Moro OjomoDL6-2285Fr.-RSKaty (Katy)
99Keondre CoburnDL6-2340Fr.-RSHouston (Westfield)
Texas opens spring football practice on Monday.

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