AUSTIN (KXAN) —Tom Herman and the current Texas coaching staff signed 12 defensive backs during their first three recruiting classes with the program.
Given the current condition of the Longhorns’ secondary, it all makes sense.
The Longhorns depth at defensive back is under attack by a string of injuries. Sophomores Jalen Green and Caden Sterns are expected to miss four weeks. Junior Josh Thompson is out an undetermined amount of time with a broken foot. All those injuries happened in the win against Oklahoma State.
Texas is hoping to get sophomore B.J. Foster and DeMarvion Overshown back sometime after the bye week and before the West Virginia game.
Even if those two return soon, there will be several fresh faces getting significant playing time in a Longhorns’ secondary that ranks 122nd in passing yards allowed in the NCAA.
It will definitely be trial by fire.
The Longhorns have a couple veterans able to offer up sage advice like Malcolm Roach and Brandon Jones. Roach is the son of a football coach and Jones is in his fourth season with Texas. However, linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch says he won’t need to do much coaching.
“Don’t mess up,” McCulloch said.
The senior linebacker was partially joking — his response is actually a vote of confidence.
“I’m not terrified to be on the field with them. They do have some inexperience. They should be ready to go, it’s just the way we train. I’m not expecting a drop off,”McCulloch said.
Junior Chris Brown has bounced around during his career at nickelback and safety, but has made a real positive impact on the field in recent weeks.
The coaching staff cross-trains most of the secondary to be able to play multiple positions. That will certainly help over the next few weeks.
“The more versatile, the better athlete you are. The more you can do, the move value it adds to your game. That’s what we preach here. It helps us when we’re in situations like we’re in,” Chris Brown said.