Losing Darius Terrell is the major blow here. Not because Terrell was an outstanding player, but he did offer some potential, and his departure leaves the Longhorns without a true receiving tight end on next year's roster, other than incoming freshman Durham Smythe.
And it also leaves the Longhorns with just four tight ends for next year overall, and none of the four: Trey Graham, M.J. McFarland, Greg Daniels and Smythe set to play the position. Granted, Terrell wasn't a proven player either, but he at least granted a little more cover at the position. McFarland figures to be the top guy, but the No. 2 tight end will be a mystery spot, at least for now. Perhaps, it could even be filled by the rapidly growing Miles Onyegbule, who could play a Terrell-like role, but you'd hate to have to count on Onyegbule growing that rapidly and adjusting to a new position, as former defensive lineman Greg Daniels is already doing.
On a recruiting note, this certainly creates a need for the Longhorns to go out and get another tight end in the 2013 class. Texas was already looking to bring in a second in the class to Smythe, and now, that appears assured.
Eryon Barnett's loss is easier to stomach. Barnett had a chance to earn playing time last spring, when the Longhorns had to replace three starting cornerbacks in Aaron Williams, Curtis Brown and Chykie Brown. And with Barnett's spot on the two-deep at the end of the year, it was reasonable to think that even if he couldn't swipe a starting spot from Carrington Byndom and Adrian Phillips, he could potentially play as a nickel back. But alas, Barnett suffered a season-ending season before the spring unfurled, and Quandre Diggs emerged as an upper-tier Big 12 cornerback.
Further, the emergence of Josh Turner, who had a strong spring at multiple secondary positions, and true freshman Orlando Thomas meant that Barnett was going to find it difficult to become anything more than a special teams player. And with guys like Bryson Echols coming in, and Sheroid Evans starting to show well at cornerback, even that wasn't guaranteed.
The good news, of course, in all of this is that the two players leaving puts Texas under the 85-scholarship limit for 2012, and even creates a spot for Kevin Vaccaro to take a scholarship, if he/Texas choose to do that rather than having him grayshirt. Even with Vaccaro getting a scholarship, the Longhorns would be at 84 full rides for the 2012 season.