1) Tight End (three scholarship players for 2013, plus one commitment for 2013)
Tight end is an absolutely vital spot in Bryan Harsin's offense, and the Longhorns are still low on numbers here, even after procuring a commitment from Durham Smythe. Texas has taken looks at tight ends across the state, including Red Oak's Jeremiah Gaines and Mansfield's Trent Gow. A new name surfaced recently in Bryson Burtnett, a 6-5, 220-pound prospect from Springtown, but he's more of a raw talent, and possesses a similar frame to Smythe. The better bet might be that the Longhorns try to find somebody more ready as an in-line blocker, and that could see the Longhorns going the junior college route. The best option there might be Beau Sandland of Pierce College, a massive 6-6 255-pounder who would be more ready immediately.
2) Safety (five, no commitments)
With the way Duane Akina runs his secondary, it's somewhat difficult to tell exactly how many cornerbacks and safeties are on roster. For instance, our scholarship chart includes both Sheroid Evans and Leroy Scott at safety. But Scott has worked extensively at cornerback, and Evans was given a shot at the position this spring. On the flip side, Josh Turner received some repetitions at safety this spring, and I count him as a cornerback on the chart. Regardless, Texas could use at least one safety, and the Longhorns have offered several. Texas is in the game for out-of-staters Vonn Bell and Marcell Harris. Bell is probably the superior player, but Harris is a stud in his own right, and would be the easier player to land. The Longhorns have also put an offer out to in-state talent Chevoski Collins, and many feel that it's only a matter of time before he pulls the commitment trigger for Texas. With Collins being a bit smaller free safety type with excellent ball skills, it would help if the other safety were a strong safety.
3) Defensive End (seven, one commitment)
Here's the problem with counting Texas as having eight defensive ends for 2013: it assumes the return of Jackson Jeffcoat, who has been projected by most as a first-round draft pick. Even if he doesn't go early, he and Reggie Wilson will be seniors in 2013, while Cedric Reed will be a junior. Some of that can be solved in the 2014 class, which is jam-packed with defensive ends. But it wouldn't hurt to grab another end to add to Daeshon Hall in this class. Torrodney Prevot stands out, but if the Longhorns can't pull in the speedy rush end, don't be shocked if they go the junior college route in what is a poor year for defensive ends in-state. Marcus Hardison, a defensive end out of Dodge City Community College brings great size at 6-4 280.
4) Wide Receiver (eight, three commitments)
Texas has 11 players slated to be on scholarship for 2013 at wide receiver, with seven of those players coming courtesy of the 2012 and 2013 classes. But that could turn out to be a bit of a soft number. Miles Onyegbule could grow into a tight end, and while the Texas staff loves the potential of Ricky Seals-Jones at the position, there's no telling what will happen once he gets to training table. Add in Kendall Sanders, who might be one of the most talented cornerbacks on roster and could lend some temptation for a move, and the graduation of Mike Davis after the season, and Texas has a need there. Specifically, the Longhorns have a need for an X receiver, or Davis-type, if they can find one. The Longhorns have stocked up on big bodies in the past few classes for the Z spot (Seals-Jones, Cayleb Jones, Jake Oliver) and has some potions in the slot with Jaxon Shipley, Sanders and Jacorey Warrick. The best option here, and it isn't exactly a surprise, is Robbie Rhodes. He fits exactly what Texas is looking for at that position, and the Longhorns sit in a good position with him.
5) Defensive Tackle (seven, one commitment)
Consider this more of a want than a need. But there's still a reason to covet a big body in the middle here. For one thing, out of the eight defensive tackles slotted to be on scholarship in 2013, three will be seniors that year. And the only other defensive tackle that has proven anything yet is Desmond Jackson. Then, there's the special case of A'Shawn Robinson, a defensive tackle for now, but somebody who probably projects best on the offensive line at the next level. So there's three reasons to pick up another guy before the end of this class. It's not a glaring need, necessarily, but it's not a total luxury pick either. Justin Manning is the obvious target, but landing somebody like Hardison gives immediate cover at two different positions, or the Longhorns could decide to pull the trigger on somebody like Vincent Taylor.