Spring Breakdown: Texas in the trenches

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas is beginning to put the pieces together for the 2019 season as the Longhorns are halfway through Spring Practice.

The Longhorns Orange-White Spring Game is April 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. Before the Longhorns kick off, we’re diving in to how the current roster shapes up.

*This is part four of a KXAN series evaluating the Texas Longhorns spring football roster position by position*

Offensive line: Sam Cosmi, Zach Shackelford, Parker Braun, Denzel Okafor, Tope Imade, Junior Angilau, Derek Kerstetter

Defensive line: Gerald Wilbon, Malcolm Roach, Taquon Graham, Keondre Coburn, Marqez Bimage

Breakdown: Texas has some refilling to do on both sides of the trenches, but the Longhorns coaching staff is optimistic both units will be better in 2019. Offensive line coach Herb Hand likes to have 7-9 linemen that are net-positive players and cross trained at several positions. The 2019 group should be able to check both of those boxes. Sophomore Sam Cosmi could be moving from right tackle to left tackle and Zach Shackelford is the stabilizing, senior voice at center. Tackle Calvin Anderson was a massive difference-maker last year coming to Texas as a grad transfer. Parker Braun is that transfer this year, coming to the Longhorns from Georgia Tech as a two-time All ACC guard.

On defense, Texas is replacing all three starters up front. Malcolm Roach and Taquon Graham are expected to start at the ends. Roach missed a majority of the 2018 season, but is back for his senior season. There’s a competition at defensive tackle between Gerald Wilbon and Keondre Coburn. Coburn was the best defensive tackle in the state coming out of high school in 2017. Longhorns defensive coordinator said if the season started this week, Wilbon and Coburn would be splitting time in the middle. The DT battle will be one to watch at the Orange-White game.

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