Top 22 Countdown: No. 13

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

RB Johnathan Gray

Junior

5-11, 210

The one thing Johnathan Gray has always been is durable. He never missed a game in high school despite having surgery on both shoulders after his sophomore and junior seasons at Aledo while rushing for a national record number of touchdowns (205).

Heading into his junior year, Gray has to overcome snapping his Achilles at West Virginia last November. By all accounts, Gray's recovery has been nothing short of spectacular. He should be cleared for contact at the start of camp (Aug. 4).

He has yet to perform in practice for his new coaches, who already have total trust in senior RB Malcolm Brown.

If Gray is the Gray from before the Achilles injury, there's a good chance Gray and Brown could both rush for more than 1,000 yards this season. Gray needs to break more long runs. It will help if he has an O-line up for the task.

Gray has bulked up his upper body. And if he's healthy and ready to take the next step as a RB, this No. 13 ranking could be way too low.





William’s Pick

OT Kennedy Estelle

Junior

6-7, 285

Injury is unfortunate but it can often be the break one needs to make a name for themselves.

Estelle got that break last season when Josh Cochran went down with injury and he was asked to step in for him.

It said a lot that former offensive line coach Stacy Searels went with Estelle for the job rather than JUCO All-American Desmond Harrison. So it’s clear the talent level is there.

But is his ambition as high as his abilities?

That’s the main concern with Estelle right now: his drive. If he gets that where it needs to be he could end up being one of the more dominant right tackles in the Big 12.

If not, then Texas will likely move Kent Perkins from right guard to RT and then shuffle around to fill his spot (Rami Hammad most likely).

Joe Wickline needs Estelle to be good, but not as much as Estelle needs Estelle to be good. There’s money to be made in the NFL if he can stay on the right path and not the one that led him to missing the Alamo Bowl because of issues with his grades.





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