Top 22 Countdown: No. 14

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.

No. 18.

No. 17.

No. 16.

No. 15.

Chip’s Pick

WR Jaxon Shipley


6-1, 193

All Shipley does is make plays - big plays.

Whether it's fourth-and-8 trailing Kansas in the final minute in 2012 or the 4th-and-7 pass to keep a drive to a field goal, inducing overtime en route to victory at West Virginia last year.

Shipley heads into his senior season within striking distance of the Top 5 in Texas history for receptions (currently 7th) and receiving yards (currently 8th) ... and maybe even the Top 3.

But as has been the case seemingly every year Shipley has been at Texas, he enters the season with questions about who will be throwing him the ball.

In 2011, it was David Ash and Case McCoy. In 2012, it was Ash with a sprinkling of McCoy. In 2013, it ended up being McCoy with a sprinkling of Ash (at the beginning). This year, it figures to be Ash and who knows?

Whoever is throwing him the ball, Shipley will most likely be delivering - most likely on fourth down and in some other critical situations.

William’s Pick

S Mykkele Thompson


6-2, 183

Quite simply, Thompson needs to have a huge year for the Longhorns or the backend of the secondary could be wide open for these high-powered Big 12 offenses.

It took a little bit longer for Thompson, a high school QB, to settle into his role as a safety for Texas but he’s come around nicely and been a model of dependability for UT having missed just one game in three seasons.

Thompson, who was sixth on the team in tackles last season with 72, is really the only free safety on the team with bulk experience at the position. Adrian Colbert and Kevin Vaccaro are still incredibly wet behind the ears. It would be asking a lot of them to contribute in a major way this season, though, I think Colbert’s role will increase as the No. 2 FS.

As Chip reported last week, he’s heard from NFL scouts that like Thompson at cornerback. He might gets some looks there this season but he’ll be counted on at FS more than anything and will have to have the best season of his career in order for Texas to be successful.

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