Top 22 Countdown: No. 18

We continue our countdown of the top 22 most important players to Texas' success in 2014. We'll run these every Tuesday and Thursday.

Here is a look at our previous selections:

No. 22.

No. 21.

No. 20.

No. 19.

Chip's Pick

DE Caleb Bluiett


6-3, 264

The sophomore defensive end is my pick to win the right defensive spot where Jackson Jeffcoat just earned All-America honors and won the Hendricks Award.

That's a lot to replace. But Bluiett seems to cut it loose and get after the quarterback a little bit better than junior Shiro Davis. This was one of the best battles in the spring and was too close to call.

And if Bluiett edges out Davis after Bluiett moved from DE to TE and then back to defensive end, that would be quite a feat. Even if Davis wins the right DE position, he will have been pushed by Bluiett every step of the way.

But I think Bluiett could be one of the pleasant surprises in the 2014 Texas football season at a critical position.

William's Pick

Safety Josh Turner


6-0, 179

Texas' recruiting woes at the safety position have been well documented over the last couple of years, at least when it comes to not always getting its top target.

But Turner was one of Texas' top safety prospects in 2011 and it got him out of enemy territory (his home state of Oklahoma). It's time he plays like one of the top prospects he was.

He showed flashes of his Under Armour All-American ways as a freshman when he was fourth on the team in special teams tackles (six) and became the first Texas player since 2009 to score on a blocked punt when he took the ball 34 yards for a touchdown at Iowa State to earn CFPA National Punt Returner of the Week

Turner built off of that season in 2012 when he had 49 tackles (26 solo), two tackles-for-loss, one sack, two interceptions, two quarterback pressures, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

But he dipped in production last season with 37 tackles, one TFL, zero INTs, zero QBP, zero PBU, and one fumble recovery.

He's got to be better this season if Texas is going to get to where it wants to be. He's got the talent to be a difference maker in the back end and should benefit from Vance Bedford and Chris Vaughn.

If he's not up to task, UT will have to rely on some unproven players like walk-on Dylan Haines, Erik Huhn, Adrian Colbert or Kevin Vaccaro.

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