Spring Breakdown: Time for talented secondary to step up


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 five of a KXAN series evaluating the Texas Longhorns spring football roster position by position*

Linebackers: Jeffrey McCulloch, Ayodele Adeoye, Joseph Ossai, Caleb Johnson, Marcus Tillman, Byron Vaughns

Secondary: Anthony Cook, Kobe Boyce, Jalen Green, Caden Sterns, Brandon Jones, B.J. Foster, Josh Thompson, Chris Brown

The 2017 Texas recruiting class pulled in a haul of defensive backs. Most of those players are heading into their sophomore seasons and will be counted on to anchor the Longhorns defense. The strongest position on the defensive side of the ball is safety. Senior Brandon Jones and sophomore Caden Sterns provide a dynamic 1-2 punch in the back of the defense and they’ll be needed to help the young corner backs. Davante Davis and Kris Boyd are out of eligibility so Tom Herman and staff will be relying on Anthony Cook, Kobe Boyce, Jalen Green and D’Shawn Jamison. Boyce is the only upperclassman of the group. Sophomore B.J. Foster is expected to start at nickelback. Texas fans are excited about what Foster might become after impressing during his freshman season.

The Texas linebacker corps is thin due to graduation, injuries and inexperience. Jeffrey McCulloch will be the senior charged with leading a small group of LB’s. Ayodele Adeoye will get every opportunity , but he must develop quickly to be a big defensive factor. Junior college transfer Caleb Johnson could be the replacement for Gary Johnson, and with limited eligibility he’ll be pushing for playing time early. The player to watch during the Orange-White game will be B-backer Joseph Ossai. He’s the x-factor of the Longhorns defense after showing his ability to pressure the quarterback during his freshman year. Ossai has the mean streak to be a star on defense and a thorn in the side of opposing quarterbacks.

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