Welcome to the Daily Dose, a daily collection of random musings surrounding Longhorns athletics and recruiting.
In this edition we'll take a look at five recruits with something to prove this spring. It's easy to say every player does, which they do. These are just five we think have more to prove than others.
Shiro Davis, junior defensive endThe former high school All-American and LSU pledge played better in 2013, posting 15 tackles, four tackles-for-loss and one sack. But there's so much more to be desired.
With Jackson Jeffcoat gone, there is an opening at one DE spot and Davis should take it over. But he'd better have a solid spring and prove to DL coach Chris Rumph he's ready because Caleb Bluiett has shown flashes, Bryce Cottrell is awaiting his turn, and incoming freshman Derick Roberson could be a future star.
Kennedy Estelle, junior offensive tackleEstelle came in as one of the most highly regarded tackles in the country a few years ago, and he's shown glimpses of that in Austin, but merely glimpses.
He was one of three players ruled academically ineligible for the Alamo Bowl. That's not going to fly with Charlie Strong, who has really stressed academics since he arrived on campus. If he can get his grades in order and equally concentrate on the field, he should have a great chance of locking down the right tackle spot. If not, fellow freshman All-American Kent Perkins is right on his heels.
Bryson Echols, sophomore defensive backThere's plenty of chatter around redshirt freshman Antwuan Davis these days and his capabilities of taking the reigns on the third cornerback spot this spring. But Echols will have something to say about that, or at least he should.
Primarily a special teams player to date, Echols was a high school All-American in his own right. He might not have the size of the other DBs he'll be competing with, but the skill set is there.
Adrian Colbert, sophomore safetyColbert proved himself a lot to Mack Brown's staff in 2013 by busting his tail on special teams. He was tied for third on the team in special teams tackles (6).
Unfortunately for him, that doesn't carry much weight with Charlie Strong's staff. It's all about the here and now.
The good news is he probably rivals Thompson as the most athletic of the group, and has built himself up physically while not losing that speed that made him so viable in high school. The former Baylor verbal pledge should have a big spring.
M.J. McFarland, junior tight end
The jury is still out on the super athletic tight end from El Paso. To some extent it's really unfair to judge McFarland for not catching a single pass in 2013 because of what tight ends were asked to do last season, which was primarily block and then block some more.
But quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson and offensive coordinator Joe Wickline plan on using the TE in the passing game a lot, so McFarland will get his opportunities. But he must be wary of incoming junior college transfer Blake Whiteley, who caught 76 passes for 1,228 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior in 2012.