Thursday, August 2, 2012
Texas tops Big 12 defensive lines
By David Ubben
Colleague Travis Haney continued our series at ESPN.com on college football's best position units by ranking the nation's top 10 defensive lines.
Only one Big 12 team made his list, and it's the Texas Longhorns.
No question here. Texas is in a league of its own in the Big 12 when it comes to the defensive line. Ends Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor are the league's two best, and Okafor was named Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by the media.
The Longhorns checked in at No. 3 on Haney's list, behind only Florida State and LSU.
The kicker for Texas? Jeffcoat and Okafor get plenty of attention, but the depth at defensive tackle might take this line to the next level.
Ashton Dorsey returns along with sophomore Desmond Jackson, but juco transfer Brandon Moore and incoming freshman Malcom Brown could have a big impact. If that rotation starts collapsing pockets up front, flushing quarterbacks into the flats, Jeffcoat and Okafor are going to be racking up big, big numbers this year. Look out for former running back Chris Whaley on the line, too.
Texas is going to have a fearsome front four all season, regardless of who's on the field, well-deserving of a spot in the national top three.
TCU and Oklahoma may have the next-best defensive lines in the league, but nobody's got one like Texas does this year. We'll see how much damage the Longhorns do.