Texas Depth Chart: A Little Less 'Or'

Last week, when the Texas Longhorns released their first depth chart of the 2008 season, 20 "or's" dotted a two- and three-deep filled with co-starters and co-backups. On Monday it was apparent that a lot of decisions on starters had been made as there were only five "or's" on the depth chart.

Before the Florida Atlantic game, Mack Brown said the Texas coaches were trying to make more depth chart decisions than ever before leading into a season.

Apparently most of those decisions have been made.

Last week's depth chart contained 20 "or's" designating a pair of co-starters or co-backups. This week there are five and only three of those are sets of co-starters. A big reason for all of the definitive starters listed is because Texas has actually played a game. Coaches have had a chance to see how the players perform when it matters and, according to defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, production is everything.

"We base so much we do off of production," Muschamp told Inside Texas. "It takes it out of the coaches' hands. We play the guys who are producing, the kids understand it and it's black and white. The guys that are producing are the guys that are going to play."

Overall, the Texas depth chart looks generally the same in terms of how players are arranged, it's just that the "or's" are taken out. This is because players that have a leg up in the competition are typically listed first whenever an "or" is used and many of those players who had a leg up solidified their spots.

For example, the arrangement of running backs is the exact same as last week, but now Vondrell McGee is the definitive starter. Malcolm Williams takes third starting receiver spot after having a strong opener (and because his co-starter, Brandon Collins missed the game due to a minor eligibility issue. It has been resolved and Collins will be available for this weekend's game at UTEP). Blaine Irby is the starting tight end, Cody Johnson is the starting fullback, Earl Thomas and Blake Gideon are the starters at left and right safeties and on and on.

In terms of actual movement on the depth chart, Aaron Lewis steps in at defensive tackle for Lamarr Houston because of Houston's suspension for at least the UTEP game after an arrest (see: Lamarr Houston Arrested for DWI). Lewis will make his 11th start at the University of Texas, but his first at defensive tackle. Last week Deon Beasley and Chykie Brown were listed as co-starters with Beasley in front, but Brown opened with the ones on Saturday and has moved up into the top spot -- although still listed as a co-starter with Beasley.

The other two positions where co-starters remain are at left guard and middle linebacker. Sophomore Michael Huey is listed as the co-starter with Charlie Tanner at left guard. Tanner's health will likely play a role in who gets the starting nod against UTEP after the junior sprained his ankle in the opener. At middle linebacker, Bobino and Norton remain in close competition for the starting spot and it was reflected in their playing time on Saturday, as Bobino played 36 snaps and Norton played 40 (there were a few plays where both were on the field at the same time, with Bobino sliding over to WLB).

Coaches have promised that competition for positions will always remain open, but a lot of decisions have been made and this week's depth chart is a good reflection of what the Horns will look like for the rest of the season.

Official Texas Depth Chart

Position No. Player | No. Player | No. Player
Flanker (Z) 8 Jordan Shipley | 11 James Kirkendoll      
Tight End (Y) 19 Blaine Irby | 83 Greg Smith | 86 Peter Ullman
Right Tackle 64 Kyle Hix | 72 Britt Mitchell | 76 Aundre McGaskey
Right Guard 55 Cedric Dockery | 63 Michael Huey | 75 Steve Moore
Center 71 Chris Hall | 65 Buck Burnette | 75 Steve Moore
Left Guard 52 Charlie Tanner OR 63 Michael Huey | 78 David Snow
Left Tackle 74 Adam Ulatoski | 56 Tray Allen
Split End (X) 6 Quan Cosby | 4 Dan Buckner | 85 D.J. Grant
Tailback 2 Vondrell McGee |
Chris Ogbonnaya
Fozzy Whittaker
Cody Johnson
Jeremy Hills
Fullback 31 Cody Johnson | 49 Luke Tiemann      
Note: 99 Roy Miller and 44 Rashad Bobino will also play fullback in short yardage and goal-line situations.
Quarterback 12 Colt McCoy | 7 John Chiles | 17 Sherrod Harris
Sub-B 9 Malcolm Williams | 5 Brandon Collins      
Place-Kicker 15 Hunter Lawrence | 39 Ryan Bailey | 9 Justin Tucker

Position No. Player | No. Player | No. Player
DE (Quick) 98 Brian Orakpo | 81 Sam Acho | 97 Russell Carter
Nose Tackle 99 Roy Miller | 92 Ben Alexander OR 94 Michael Wilcoxon
Tackle 95 Aaron Lewis | 91 Kheeston Randall      
DE (Power) 37 Henry Melton | 32 Eddie Jones      
Strongside LB 2 Sergio Kindle | 1 Keenan Robinson      
Middle LB 44 Rashad Bobino OR 11 Jared Norton | 42 Dustin Earnest
Weakside LB 38 Roddrick Muckelroy | 18 Emmanuel Acho | 42 Dustin Earnest
Right CB 13 Ryan Palmer | 3 Curtis Brown | 4 Aaron Williams
Right Safety 12 Earl Thomas | 6 Christian Scott      
Left Safety 21 Blake Gideon | 27 Nolan Brewster OR 5 Ben Wells
Left CB 8 Chykie Brown OR 7 Deon Beasley | 4 Aaron Williams
Punter 47 John Gold | 17 Trevor Gerland | 9 Justin Tucker

Position No. Player | No. Player
Kickoffs 9 Justin Tucker OR 15 Hunter Lawrence
Punt Returns 6 Quan Cosby | 8 Jordan Shipley OR 3 Curtis Brown
Kickoff Returns 6
Quan Cosby
Jordan Shipley
Chykie Brown
Malcolm Williams



Christian Scott
Holder 8 Jordan Shipley | 17 Sherrod Harris | 21 Blake Gideon
Deep Snapper (PAT/FG) 83 Greg Smith | 72 Britt Mitchell  
Deep Snapper (Punts) 58 William Harvey | 48 Alex Zumberge  

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