Top 22 Countdown: No. 8

We continue our countdown of the top 22 most important players to Texas’ success in 2014.

Chip’s Pick

OL Kent Perkins


6-5, 330

Perkins is a future star. If none of the upperclass offensive linemen at Texas grab the NFL's attention, Perkins will become the OL to end the ridiculously embarrassing streak of NFL drafts without a Texas O-linemen selected in 7 rounds since 2008 (Tony Hills, 4th round, Pittsburgh Steelers).

Perkins is 6-5 and 325 pounds, and is considered a "guard body" by offensive line coach Joe Wickline. But if necessary, Perkins is talented enough to play tackle. And depending on the ability of Desmond Harrison and Kennedy Estelle to get back into the coaching staff's good graces, Perkins could end up as the team's starting left tackle at some point.

If you poured truth serum in Wickline, he would probably like to line up Perkins at right guard if possible and run the ball behind him all season long.

Perkins is being called the strongest player on the Texas team after benching 225 pounds 35 times in a workout supervised by UT S&C coach Pat Moorer.

It's time for Perkins to become an all-conference type player, and under Wickline that should happen sooner rather than later. Mason Walters told me last season when you combine for a double team with Perkins, Perkins ends up doing most of the heavy lifting because of his enormous strength.

Perkins' combination of size, strength and unmistakable talent are the reasons he's No. 8 on my list of players are most important to the success of Texas in 2014.

William’s Pick

WR Jaxon Shipley


6-0, 190

What an illustrious career Shipley has had.

He has 159 career receptions, which ranks seventh in UT history, 1,933 career receiving yards, which is No. 8 in school history, and has caught a pass in 35 of his 36 career games, including a stretch of 33 straight games (from the first game of his career until 2013 Texas Tech game), a streak which ranks third in school history.

He’s done it all and, if he can stay healthy, will continue to further his legacy as one of the school’s all-time great receivers.

Right now he’s nursing a hamstring injury that looks like it could cost him the first game against North Texas. That’s OK, but the Longhorns better hope he’s ready for BYU and UCLA.

The depth simply just isn’t there at WR. Marcus Johnson is going to move the chains and is one of the better No. 2 WRs in the Big 12. But that’s about it when it comes to proven depth at the position.

The Longhorns need Shipley to stay on the field, and not the sidelines, if they want any chance of getting to nine or 10 wins.

You could easily make the argument that he should be higher on this list.

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