1. Armanti Foreman, WR
Foreman might crack the top 10 if we were making a list of the top overall players during fall camp. He’s been that good.
The four-star recruit came to camp prepared and is now reaping the benefits of a position with depth issues.
Outside of Jaxon Shipley, who is injured right now and could miss the season-opener, Marcus Johnson and Daje Johnson, who is suspended for at least the first game, there aren’t many players with experience at this level.
Foreman has shown Les Koenning that he’s more than capable of making an impact right away and he’ll be a force to be reckoned with regardless of who is healthy and able. His career at UT should be a good one.
2. Jason Hall, S
Hall should probably be 1B on this list as he continues his rapid ascent up the depth chart in Chris Vaughn’s secondary.
Hall has made such an impression that he’s already taking a healthy dose of snaps with the first team at strong safety ahead of Adrian Colbert and Josh Turner. And that’s not likely to change much when Turner comes back from his suspension, according to what sources are telling Chip Brown.
Hall is 6-foot-3, weights 207 pounds, and tells Brown that he ran a 4.36 at South Grand Prairie. With measurable like that, Hall needs to be on the field sooner rather than later.
3. Derick Roberson, DE
There might not be a whole lot of room for Roberson to make the type of monumental impact he hopes to make, but that hasn’t stopped him from backing up the hype that he arrived in Austin with.
Roberson, the No. 57 player in the country in 2014, has dazzled at times with his running back-like speed.
He needs to improve his technique and add some weight to his 6-foot-3, 219-pound frame. Once he does, watch out.
Roberson should get a healthy dose of playing time this season to prepare him for possibly taking over for Cedric Reed in 2015.
4. Duke Catalon, RB
Robinson loves Catalon’s work ethic and said he has a really high football IQ. He needs to get back to full health because the Longhorns are going to rely on him to spell Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray this season.
Catalon is a change-of-pace back who told me he thought he could bring that big-play ability to UT. One of his strengths is catching the ball out of the backfield, so look for Shawn Watson and Joe Wickline to get him involved in the passing game.
5. Poona Ford, DT
Texas’ defensive line is stacked and could be the best of its kind in the Big 12. But something tells me Ford will work his way into the rotation.
Hassan Ridgeway should have the edge on that third DT position behind Malcom Brown and Desmond. But Ford has been impressive so far and continues to push Ridgeway, which is good for all parties involved.
He’s got a motor that won’t quit, which is the quickest way to earning respect from defensive line coach Chris Rumph.
6. Lorenzo Joe, WR
Joe, like Foreman, came in prepared for camp with the understanding that early playing time could be there if he proved himself. He has so far.
That’s especially impressive considering he was a quarterback his last two years in high school.
Joe, who committed to Texas early, is as sure-handed as any receiver on the team. He plucks balls out of the air with ease and could already be considered one of the better route-runners on the team.
One thing you’ll never question with Joe is his toughness and competitiveness. He always showed up to UT camps wanting to go up against the best, and never backed down. He’s shown that same resolve in fall camp so far.
7. Jerrod Heard, QB
The future is incredibly bright with the prospects of Heard leading Texas’ offense. But he’s got plenty of work to do before he’s ready to take control of this team.
Heard didn’t look all that impressive in UT’s open practice. He failed to hit the entire net on two occasions during drills when no one else missed it at all.
Everyone has bad days, though, and we’ve heard Heard has had more good days than bad.
Plus, practice isn’t going to be where he shines the most anyway. He’s the type of player that thrives in in-game situations because he’s so electric with his feet. That’s hard to gauge when QBs are untouchable in practice.
8. Jermaine Roberts, DB
“Little Bit,” as he’s known to his teammates, is making quite the impression not only for his coverage abilities, but also because of how much trash he talks.
Roberts’ biggest impact this season could come in the return game.
9. Chris Nelson, DT
Nelson is another in a long line of defensive tackles that should help Texas field the top defensive line in the Big 12. He’s been someone Charlie Strong has sought for a long time and should work well with Chris Rumph.
10. Jake McMillon, DT
Don’t sleep on McMillon. He’s a load up front at 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds, and has made his presence felt so far.
McMillon comes to UT as an accomplished recruit. He was the first freshmen starter in 15 years at Abilene and went on to record 43 tackles (18 solo), four tackles for loss, one sack, three pass breakups and two QB pressures as a senior.