Post-Spring Outlook: Safeties

Like with cornerback, its a bit unclear which players are safeties only, and which will play cornerback in the fall. But also like cornerback, the top spots appear to be set.

Kenny Vaccaro is back and showed everyone watching that he has the stuff to compete for All-Big 12 honors, or maybe even higher. Vaccaro looks even thicker than he did last year, but appeared to be every bit as fast and as quick, and his combination of cover skills and hitting ability rival any safety in the country.

And while his partner is technically new, Adrian Phillips is a do-it-all type who played extensively the past few seasons (17 games at various defensive back spots) and even started a five games a year ago at cornerback. Now he's back at his more natural safety position, where his athleticism and ball skills should come in handy.

But Phillips missed the spring with an injury, and while he'll be good-to-go in the fall, it did allow Texas to take a long look at Mykkele Thompson. The coaching staff raved about his work ethic all spring, and his athleticism, as a former option quarterback, is off the charts. That isn't to say that he'll jump ahead of Phillips. But he might have earned himself time in a role similar to what Phillips has played the past few years, especially if Texas elects to move Vaccaro to nickel back, as has been discussed, in some nickel situations. That means that Texas would likely deploy Byndom and Diggs at the corners, Vaccaro at nickel and Phillips and Thompson on the back line.

Behind those three, it's a bit of a mystery. Sheroid Evans would figure to be the next guy in line, except that he spent his limited time this spring with the cornerbacks. And former cornerback Leroy Scott does appear to be a full-time safety now, so he could be in with those guys as well.

Of course the dark horse there is true freshman Adrian Colbert. Colbert has everything that Texas was looking for at the safety position. His speed and athleticism, at the very least, rivals that of Thompson, if it doesn't exceed it, and Colbert is a bigger hitter, the kind of player who sees the ball, accelerates and arrives in a nasty disposition.

The spring likely accomplished what the Longhorns wanted at the position. Texas found some depth at safety, and with the addition of a guy like Colbert this summer, Texas could be poised to build, and continue, strong play going forward.

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