Roundtable: Texas' next safety target? 

November, 30, 2012
11/30/12
10:30
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Every Friday, HornsNation recruiting writers William Wilkerson and Max Olson will answer a question about the Longhorns.

This week's question: What does Texas do at safety now that it missed on Marcell Harris?

Shaquille Fluker
Greg Ostendorf/ESPN.comGeorge safety commit Shaquille Fluker is taking an official visit to Texas next month.
Max Olson: Marcell Harris would’ve been one of the dream gets for this Texas recruiting class. Now it’s time to start thinking realistically.

No doubt about it, Texas did the best it could to try to win over the Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips standout. Getting an elite prospect from Florida to take three campus visits -- two of them out of his own pocket -- to Austin is about as good a shot as Texas could’ve asked for.

But now that Harris is a Gator, the fact remains UT is in need of a difference-maker at the safety position.

If you thought the loss of Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson made Texas’ linebackers look bad to start off this season, imagine the struggles the Longhorns’ returning safeties could face in 2013.

There’s just no replacing Kenny Vaccaro and all the things he brings to this defense. The physical, versatile Harris certainly could’ve helped.

On a 2013 defense that brings back veteran experience at nearly every position, the safety position appears to be the only question mark. Adrian Phillips, Mykkele Thompson and Josh Turner have all earned significant playing time but endured more than their fair share of ups and downs.

Behind them, Sheroid Evans, Adrian Colbert and Kevin Vaccaro haven’t proven much. Hard to know if they’re the answer.

You also don’t know what commit Erik Huhn can provide after recovering from a torn ACL, or where Chevoski Collins will start off his career. Another answer is undoubtedly needed.

Color me intrigued by the possibility of Georgia commit Shaquille Fluker, a junior college prospect who recently picked up a UT offer. I wouldn’t be surprised if more juco prospects get targeted in the next few months. A quick fix might be the best solution.

Best case, a junior college transfer comes in and takes over the job. And if he can’t earn a spot in the starting 11, at the very least he can push someone else to make the leap and earn that role. Going the juco route is, to me, the best way to solve the Vaccaro void.

William Wilkerson: Print out a list of the names of Georgia’s 2013 commitments and highlight each of the four other safeties the Dawgs have coming in.

And put a star next to fellow juco safety commitment Kennar Johnson (Clermont, Fla./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College), who should be ready to play right away.


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