Spring Game Question

Each day this week LonghornDigest's William Wilkerson and Kevin Flaherty will each give their take on a question leading up to Texas' spring game on April 19.

Today's question: What player has the most to lose?


How about Desmond Harrison?

The 6-foot-8, 318-pound Harrison left a lot to be desired in his junior season at Texas, his first since transferring over from Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif.

He was absolutely dominant at the juco level earning All-America Community College First Team honors in 2012 while helping CCCC lead the Bay Valley Conference in rushing with 221.7 yards per game and second in scoring at 30.1 points per game.

But Harrison, a native of Houston, struggled to make an impact for Texas by playing in seven games, mostly as a reserve tackle. And there was plenty of opportunity to play, especially when Josh Cochran went down with an injury early in the season. Texas chose to go with junior Kennedy Estelle in place of Cochran instead.

Charlie Strong named Harrison one of the first five linemen in his Tuesday press conference, and he is unquestionably the leader to take over for Donald Hawkins at left tackle this fall. But he's needs to show Joe Wickline more than he showed last season in order to assure himself the position.

He'll have a leg up on the competition in a sense since tackle Kent Perkins will miss the spring game with an injury. Perkins, a sophomore, was working with the first team at the beginning of practice when Harrison was out due to a minor injury. He'll be a force to be reckoned with when he returns this fall.

The only other option Texas appears to have at tackle right now is sophomore Camrhon Hughes, who didn't see any game action as a redshirt freshman in 2013.

If Harrison doesn't perform well on Saturday in addition to what Texas saw in him last season, will Wickline begin to look elsewhere at LT?


It sounds weird to say for a player who will enter in the spring game as a starter, but from a pure depth chart perspective, it has to be Tyrone Swoopes. Swoopes will go into the spring game and start for the No. 1s, but he's already behind David Ash, and a poor performance could send him reeling from spring game starter to the team's No. 4 quarterback should the Longhorns land Max Wittek and if Jerrod Heard comes in more ready to play.

A strong performance from Swoopes could keep him in the mix as a potential starter, but a poor one opens up his spot to all kinds of competition. Nobody else on the roster has that kind of uncertainty, where their spot could range from No. 1 to No. 4, depending.

Another option is a player who isn't playing in the spring game, and that's Joe Bergeron. Bergeron is sitting out for non-football reasons, and if Jalen Overstreet has a big spring game, and Bergeron has proven to be more trouble than he's worth, the staff could let him walk, knowing that Johnathan Gray is pushing toward playing this season, and Donald Catalon and D'Onta Foreman can provide cover once they hit campus.

That wouldn't just be a big blow for Bergeron given that he'd be off the team his senior season, but could also be a huge one for his pro prospects. There figures to be some two-back run game in the offense — Oklahoma State involved a fullback fairly heavily, for instance — and while Bergeron likely wouldn't play a pure fullback role, he'd get enough chances to show that he could play that role in the NFL, where he'd have a chance to be the 2015 draft class's top fullback.

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