9) David Snow, center
When Phil Steele starts looking for statistics to indicate how well an offense will play, he often fingers the combined starts returning on a team's offensive line. In the Longhorns' case, that's not a good thing. Consider this: several teams have single players with more returning starts than the entire Texas line, which has 36 starts scattered over four players.
While that's somewhat of an imperfect statistic — for instance, Tray Allen has played in 31 career games without starting a single one — the theory isn't far off in the case of Texas. The Longhorns have only two linemen on roster with double-digit starts in their career, and one of those is Mason Walters, who is entering his sophomore year.
More than half of those starts belong to Snow, who has started 19 games over his career, including 14 games at center. That makes him the default leader on a line that could well start three sophomores in Walters, Trey Hopkins and Paden Kelley, and a fourth player (either Allen or junior Luke Poehlmann) who sat out most of last year with an injury. And that doesn't count redshirt freshman center Dominic Espinosa, who is also fighting for a starting job.
Furthermore, neither Allen nor Poehlmann has started a game in their careers.
That leaves a big portion up to Snow, a rough-and-tumble player at center who didn't miss a single practice this spring even after doctors diagnosed him with mononucleosis. While he's working at both center and guard in early fall camp, the Longhorns would do well to keep him at his natural center position, where he could use his experience to make the line calls and get the young Longhorn line aligned correctly. Even if he moves to guard, as he did in the first scrimmage on Saturday, he'll serve as an invaluable resource for whomever the Longhorns play at the position.
On a line that seems high on talent and low on experience, Snow is the only player with a decent helping of both. And that means he'll be one of the most important players to Longhorn success in 2011.