Texas Defensive Line Hopes to Show Depth

Texas defensive linemen talk about the challenge of replacing Jackson Jeffcoat and facing another high-level offense.

With Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat out for the year, defensive tackle Desmond Jackson said it was up to the whole Longhorn defensive line to make up for his absence.

"Jackson Jeffcoat is one of the best defensive ends I've been around," Jackson said. "We have young guys that have to step up. I know that [sophomore DE] Cedric Reed will have to step up and prove his game. I know he has been doing a really good job this year, but now this is an opportunity for him to showcase what he has. With [Jeffcoat] being gone, there are a lot of guys that need to step up, including myself."

But the one who will face most of that burden will be junior defensive end Reggie Wilson.

"Obviously you can't replace a guy like Jackson Jeffcoat," Wilson said. "He's a great player. I know my role: go in and step up and help us win the next game."

Wilson said he received advice from Jeffcoat.

"He's a great teammate," Wilson said. "He just told me, he said, 'Reg, just got out there. Play hard. And don't let anything distract and just do your part. Don't worry about everybody else. Just do your part. And let the rest of the guys take care of their part, and we'll be fine.'"

What does Wilson's part consist of?

"My ability [is] the speed," Wilson said. "I mean, you can't replace a guy like Jackson. Jackson's a completely different player than I am. I just have to play my game, do my part, and help us win games."

It's key for Wilson to hit the ground running with yet another explosive offense coming to town Saturday in the Baylor Bears.

"Everybody we are playing right now is pretty good," Jackson said. "I think for the most part we are playing in a hard conference, and we are always going to have someone who can come in here and play us. All the teams are physical in our conference. I don't think it's much of a surprise for me, we just need to improve on what we need to improve on. We are a pretty good defense, but we need to come together as a unit."

"All the guys, we're just locked in," Wilson added. "We all know we got embarrassed by a great team in Oklahoma. It's one of those things that we feel we just have to go back to work. A lot of guys have pride here. That's why we all came to Texas – to win all the games. So whenever things don't go well, we know we have to come together as a team and work harder to get it fixed. So that's what we're trying to do this weekend."

Horns Digest Top Stories