2015 Longhorns Offensive Depth Chart

HornsDigest's William Wilkerson and Chip Brown each break down what they believe the offensive depth chart will look like for the Longhorns heading into their season opener at Notre Dame.

William Wilkerson's Depth Chart

QB

Starter: Jerrod Heard -

The former five-star will prove to his doubters that he has what it takes to make this revamped offense run smoothly, and put plenty of points on the board.

Backup: Tyrone Swoopes -

WHAT?!?! Swoopes isn’t going to go down without a fight. Don’t think it will be enough to beat out Heard, but I do think the experience he gained a season ago will be enough to keep Locksley at arm’s length. Kai will rise quickly though.

RB

Starter: Johnathan Gray -

This will be the best year of Gray’s career by a wide margin. The offense will be better suited for him, he’ll have a mobile QB to take pressure off of him and a better offensive line.

Backup: Duke Catalon -

This could go to one of four players and really doesn’t matter all that much considering how often Tommie Robinson likes to rotate RBs. But I’ll go with Catalon because I think he’s the biggest playmaker of all of these backs. He’s got a chance to be special.

WR

Starter: Marcus Johnson -

It’s a contract year for Johnson who needs to show much more if he wants to get a hard look from the NFL. He’s the best option UT has at this point.

Backup: Gilbert Johnson or John Burt-

Both are instant impact guys but neither is an early enrollee. It’s all about who grasps the offense the quickest and focuses on the details put forth by Jay Norvell the best.

WR

Starter: Daje Johnson -

In order for Johnson to be most effective he has to find his way into base offensive sets. His motivation and focus kept him from doing that in the past. That won’t be an issue this season.

Backup: Armanti Foreman -

If Foreman can become more consistent with the small things (holding on to the ball being chief among them), he’ll have a great sophomore campaign If not look for Ryan Newsome to take his reps, or Jacorey Warrick.

WR

Starter: Lorenzo Joe -

One of the better route-runners on the team with incredible hands, Joe will be consistently consistent for the Longhorns in an increased roll as a sophomore.

Backup: DeAndre McNeal -

Physically speaking, McNeal is college ready. He’s a freak. I’m not sold that the first play of the game in South Bend will go his way, but I do think he’ll make a starter’s like impact on UT as a freshman.

TE

Starter: Andrew Beck -

Coaches raved about him soon after he switched from linebacker to tight end. He’s got great blocking instincts and better hands than you’d expect a former LB to have. He gets the nod here because of what he can do blocking wise.

Backup: Devonaire Clarington -

It will only be a matter of time before Clarington takes over for Beck as the primary TE. Charlie Strong had good things to say about Clarington last week, particularly about his blocking abilities, which isn’t something you always hear about a young TE.

LT

Starter: Brandon Hodges -

There’s a reason the coaches went after Hodges so hard. They need him to be a difference-maker right away. He’ll get first dibs at protecting Heard’s blindside.

Backup: Marcus Hutchins or Tristan Nickelson -

You’ve got to tip your cap for the job that Hutchins did at LT last season, coming over from the defensive line. Just not seeing him as a starter moving forward with the talent around him. Having that JUCO experience will benefit Nickelson and give Joe Wickline the confidence needed to put him as the No. 2 guy at LT.

LG

Starter: Sed Flowers -

Will he ever be Trey Hopkins? Probably not. But he still hasn’t reached his ceiling. Having Hodges to his left will make him better.

Backup: Patrick Vahe -

Will play this season and then take over as a starter somewhere along the line as a sophomore and never look back.

C

Starter: Jake Raulerson -

The reason Doyle moved ahead of Raulerson in the OU game was simply because he was bigger than Raulerson. Well Jake has closed the gap in that aspect and will challenge Doyle for starting reps.

Backup: Taylor Doyle -

Doyle endeared himself to the entire program last season for his efforts at a position he’d never played before. The battle between he and Raulerson this spring/fall will be as fun as any to watch. Both are incredibly versatile though, so you could see both at different positions.

RG

Starter: Kent Perkins -

Coaches are still waiting for that dominant Perkins to come forward. Still could have as high a ceiling as any OL on the roster. He just needs to (stay healthy) and prove it.

Backup: Patrick Vahe or Taylor Doyle -

Vahe is an all-conference player in the making. He’ll get reps at either guard position and maybe even center.

RT

Starter: Connor Williams -

The true freshman has been a monster in spring workouts. Yes, he’s young but getting to Texas early will pay off in a big way come this fall. He’s probably the most athletic lineman on the roster. Could be the steal of the class.

Backup: Marcus Hutchins or Darius James -

An ACL tear before the bowl game will make it tough for James to be a starter right away. But he’ll push for that spot the healthier he gets.

Chip Brown's Depth Chart

QB

Starter: Jerrod Heard -

Two years into the program, it’s time for Heard to show what he’s got.

Backup: Kai Locksley -

Could be a quick study, which means he could be starting by mid-season if the door is left open.

RB

Starter: Johnathan Gray -

Tweaks to the offense should help Gray, who has yet to play with a bonafide QB or offensive line in 3 years.

Backup: Kirk Johnson -

Johnson has a patience to his game that allows him to make people miss from point-blank range. Carries will be spread around (Chris Warren, Duke Catalon), but Johnson is better than you think.

WR

Starter: Marcus Johnson -

Disappointing junior season means Marcus needs to step things way up as a senior, or he’ll be replaced.

Backup: John Burt or DeAndre McNeal -

Who can pick up the offense, the technique and blocking the fastest?

WR

Starter: Daje Johnson -

Coaches want Johnson to seize his senior season and become the game-breaker everyone knows he can be.

Backup: Armanti Foreman or Ryan Newsome -

Foreman should get a bunch of reps and Newsome is a pinball in the mold of Daje.

WR

Starter: Gilbert Johnson -

Johnson is a long, fast receiver capable of making circus catches. I think he’s the heir apparent to John Harris.

Backup: Lorenzo Joe -

This should be a great battle between Johnson and Joe to take over for Harris at the X-receiver.

TE

Starter: Andrew Beck -

Beck, a former LB, impressed coaches with his ability to set the edge in the run game and has surprisingly good hands.

Backup: Devonaire Clarington -

It’s probably just a matter of time before Clarington’s upside pushes him into the starting lineup.

LT

Starter: Brandon Hodges -

Hodges helped East Mississippi CC win the NJCAA national title last year. Now, he needs to help protect a young, UT QB.

Backup: Connor Williams -

Williams has been a pleasant surprise among the early enrollees and may already be pushing Hodges.

LG

Starter: Sed Flowers -

The senior had more good days than bad days in 2014, but still has a long way to go.

Backup: Garrett Thomas -

Thomas is a mauler on the rise.

C

Starter: Patrick Vahe -

If Vahe can master the demands of playing center, his nastiness and physical play will be the perfect tone-setter for the line.

Backup: Taylor Doyle -

Doyle is a big-time effort guy who will get reps in a rotation at either guard or center.

RG

Starter: Kent Perkins -

Didn’t progress the way coaches wanted in 2014. Needs to get back to being a road grader in 2015.

Backup: Taylor Doyle -

If Perkins falters and Vahe can handle the center position, then Taylor Doyle becomes a threat to start at right guard.

RT

Starter: Marcus Hutchins -

After playing left tackle in 2014, Texas could use him at RT this season. But he’ll have to battle Darius James, Jake Raulerson, Camrhon Hughes or Tristan Nickelson.

Backup: Darius James -

James was making progress on the field until he tore his ACL in practice heading into the bowl game.

*****



Not a member of HornsDigest?

Get the best UT recruiting and team coverage for just $4.17 per month!

1. Select the "Annual Pass" option right here.

2. Enjoy HD’s attack-free message board community and unparalleled insider information in HD Only on Wednesday nights!

*****

Four-star QB Shane Buechele Junior Highlights

*****

Get 10% off Longhorns tickets, tickets to other sporting events as well as concerts by joining HornsDigest.com. Click here to get discounted tickets!

*****

Get your Longhorns fan gear Right here!


Horns Digest Top Stories