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Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Spring superlatives: Texas

By David Ubben

Time to continue our series breaking down each team's best and worst positions entering the 2012 season. Texas is up next.

More spring superlatives:
Strongest position: Defensive end

Look out for these guys. Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor just might take both of the All-Big 12 spots by the end of the season. The same might be true for Texas' cornerbacks, who were narrowly edged out for my "strongest position" on the Longhorns. Okafor and Jeffcoat combined for 29.5 tackles for loss last season as first-year starters, both ranking in the Big 12's top eight. They also had 14 sacks, both in the top seven in the league. No defensive line duo was more productive, and that should continue this season. Jeffcoat, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2010 class, has a bit more upside, but both of these guys have potential to win the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. Texas will have the luxury this season to rush just four players and drop back seven in coverage, but still get plenty of pressure on quarterbacks. The biggest reason why: Okafor and Jeffcoat. When that happens, the defense can at times look impenetrable.

Weakest position: Quarterback

It's a sad state of affairs at quarterback for Texas right now. Blue-chip recruit Garrett Gilbert flopped, and the Longhorns have scrambled since. For now, Case McCoy and David Ash are what's left behind, and it wasn't pretty last season. Quarterback is the biggest hole for a team that's otherwise complete.

For Texas, that's a huge hole, especially considering the talents like Vince Young and Colt McCoy that filled it previously, sending Texas to national title games. Ash is the presumed starter for 2012, but from my perspective, no team in the Big 12 is weaker at quarterback. Kansas hopped the Longhorns when it brought in Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist. Ash could show some major development after an offseason with a lot of first-team reps -- reps he didn't get as a fourth-string true freshman leading up to the 2011 season -- but he's got a long way to go to even meet the average production for Big 12 quarterbacks.