In this edition we'll take a look at five redshirt freshman ready to make an immediate impact in 2014
OL Darius James
The gem of Texas' 2013 recruiting class, James was the top center in the nation out of Harker Heights High School. There wasn't much room for him to play last season, but some spots have opened up to at least make that a possibility now.
The biggest question now is where do you put him. I don't see him beating out three-year starter Dominic Espinosa at center. But I do see him competing for the starting right guard spot with the likes of fellow redshirt freshman Rami Hammad, sophomore Curtis Riser and even sophomore Kent Perkins to a lesser extent (I see Perkins at RT).
Another issue for James in 2014 was his weight, which he's reportedly gotten under control as of late. If that's indeed the case James will be in line for playing time this season, a career that should end with at least one all-conference award by the time its over.
Defensive backs coach Chris Vaughn is going to love Davis' athleticism. There won't be a cornerback on the team that's as physically gifted as this 2013 U.S. Army All-American.
Davis was one of the fastest players in the state his last two years in high school, who just so happens to be built like a safety.
OG Rami Hammad
In our Sunday night forum chat I listed my starting five offensive linemen for the season opener and had Hammad penciled in at right guard.
I think the battle for that spot will be the most intriguing of the spring, and I think it's going to be extremely close during fall camp. But when it's all said and done I believe he'll get the nod because of his work ethic. You won't find a harder worker than him on the roster.
He really fits well in what offensive coordinator Joe Wickline likes of his offensive linemen.
Meander fits the mold for what the Longhorns could be looking for in a replacement for Mike Davis. He's got Davis' height (6-foot-3 and 185 pounds) and has the speed to match (finished 7th in the 200 meters in the 2012 4A state finals as a senior, and was 3rd in 2011).
He was said to have been among the favorites of former wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt. Impressive considering Meander was actually a better safety in high school than he was a WR where he was the District 3-4A Defensive Player of the Year.
WR Jake Oliver
You just don't set the state high school career receptions record and rank second all-time nationally without being pretty good. But that's exactly what Oliver did in his storied career at Dallas Jesuit where he caught 308 passes for 4,567 yards and 56 touchdowns.
Wide receivers coach Les Koenning stresses being all all-around receiver, which Oliver definitely is. Not only does he have tremendous hands and is one of the more technical route-runners on the team, he's a big body who actually likes to block. That should go a long with toward his chances of seeing playing time.