He Said, He Said: Potentially Bigger Loss

If Texas is without DT Du'Vonta Lampkin and WR Gilbert Johnson going forward, which player is the bigger loss?

William Wilkerson’s Take

I think it's Lampkin for a couple of reasons, including one that doesn't even center around the defensive line.

The Longhorns are going to be so inexperienced at linebacker this season that it's absolutely imperative that UT is as good as it can be on the defensive line. The better they are up front, the easier life is going to be on a linebackers unit that could rely on more true freshman than any linebackers unit in the Big 12.

Texas would have been at its best with Lampkin in the rotation, and not on the sidelines getting comfortable with a redshirt.

Brick Haley knows what he has in Hassan Ridgeway. Outside of him, though, there are questions throughout that group.

Desmond Jackson is returning from a serious injury that cost him most of his 2014 season. Paul Boyette Jr. did an admirable job in replace of Tank and was good this spring. But, he's not an unknown now. As they say in baseball, things are much harder for a pitcher the second time through a lineup.

UT thinks it has a nice player in Poona Ford but, like Chris Nelson, doesn't have a big enough body of work to be completely comfortable. Alex Norman is still some what of a mystery.

Lampkin is a massive DT that would, at the very least, provide depth on a defensive line that doesn't have an incredible amount of depth. He was the only DT signed by UT in 2015. Johnson, on the other hand, is part of a super talented group of WRs that signed with Charlie Strong in 2015. Jay Norvell could survive without him.

Chip Brown’s Take

There are a couple big reasons why WR Gilbert Johnson is a bigger loss to the Longhorns from the 2015 recruiting class than DT Du'Vonta Lampkin.

First and foremost, Johnson, at 6-4 and 190 pounds, would have immediately been competing for a starting job at the X receiver, replacing John Harris. Johnson is incredibly competitive and has the athletic ability and hands to make the routine catch as well as the circus catch. With no one standing out at the X receiver in the spring, Johnson had a real chance to walk in and become an impact freshman.

The fact that Johnson was a 2014 prospect who failed to qualify academically (after being committed to Georgia), causing him to enroll at the Georgia Prep Sports Academy in Atlanta for the 2014-15 school year, meant Johnson should have been hungrier than a typical freshman once he hit the field.

Lampkin may end up being a player, but there was little chance he would have had much of an impact as a freshman with Desmond Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway, Paul Boyette, Poona Ford and Alex Norman ahead of him. And I think it's probably a plus that Johnson's Twitter account is a lot less active than Lampkin's.


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