Taylor Estes

Five questions: Texas

Sooners Illustrated gets a little help from Horns Digest to talk Texas.

You’ve got a pretty good idea about Oklahoma heading into its season opener against Houston. But how about some of the other conference foes?

All this week Sooners Illustrated is going to check in with various publishers from the conference to see how things are going.

This trip takes us to Austin, Texas, to check in with Horns Digest publisher Taylor Estes.

Is Shane Buechele not just the future for Texas at quarterback but also already the present? 

Even though Texas has yet to publicly name a starting quarterback, Shane Buechele will see significant playing time this season. Buechele has impressed throughout his short time on campus, and there’s very good reason to believe he will be the guy at some point during the 2016 football season and beyond.

Outside looking in says no coach in the conference is on hotseat more than Charlie Strong. Is that true? Where does he stand in Austin? How much will be determined by the 2016 season? 

There is no doubt Charlie Strong has to show progress on the field in his third season at Texas. He has proven he can recruit, but has yet to prove he can win and that doesn’t set well with many UT faithful. A lot is riding on this season, the biggest being his future in Austin. 

I don’t know what the win total he needs to achieve in order for him to stick around in 2017, but it will be really tough to expect him keep his job if the Longhorns have another 5-7 or 6-7 season. 

Texas recruiting has taken a huge leap with Strong. Nobody personifies that more than Malik Jefferson. Is he the best defensive player in the conference? 

Malik Jefferson has quickly become the face of Texas Football after his true freshman season, and his play on the field only adds to the positive image he has made for himself as a Longhorn. He is definitely one of the best defensive players in the Big 12, and if he continues to play the way he did in 2015, then he will end his sophomore year as the best defensive player in the conference.

Another year, another offensive mindset. Why is this the year the Longhorns offense makes those necessary strides? 

So much is riding on the 2016 season and a lot of the team’s fate is in the hands of the offense. To say Texas has struggled offensively during Charlie Strong's two-years in Austin is a gross understatement. The offense has been the Achilles heel of the team and if it does not click this season, then the future does not look bright for Strong and Co.

What has been the biggest surprising development from camp? 

As surprising as it may sound, Tyrone Swoopes has made significant progress in practice and has turned the quarterback competition a real battle. 

Many people expected Shane Buechele to be named the starter following the Longhorns’ spring game, but Swoopes did not give up. He worked hard throughout the offseason and has come into his own in practice. 

However, anyone saying he is going to be “the guy” this season should take a step back. Swoopes has historically been good in practice only to fold when the lights came on, but there’s no denying the fact he has shown more poise and progress in preparation for his senior season. 

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