2013 NFL Draft: Texas preview
July 14, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
Entering the 2010 season Mack Brown had enjoyed a winning record in each of his previous 20 seasons as head coach, going back to his time at the University of North Carolina. But key injuries and youth led to the Longhorns falling to 5-7 in 2010 and although things certainly improved a year ago (8-5, including a win over Cal in the Holiday Bowl), there were plenty of fans in Austin grumbling whether Brown's time as the head coach at Texas should be drawing to a close.
Youth will again be served on offense for the Longhorns in 2012. Quarterback David Ash, running back Malcolm Brown and wideout Jaxon Shipley, all true sophomores, have the talent to be stars. But if Mack Brown (no relation to his running back) is to guide Texas back to a BCS bowl in his 15th season at the university, he'll do so riding what could be the best defense in the conference ... and perhaps the nation.
Brown boasts as talented a trio of defenders as any coach this season in defensive ends Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat and free safety Kenny Vaccaro. Junior Jordan Hicks, who signed with Texas in 2010 as the top-rated prep prospect in the country according to some recruiting experts, could emerge this season as the next great Texas linebacker. As you'll soon read, all five of the top NFL prospects for the Longhorns, are on defense.
Some have questioned if Brown has lost his touch. After all, from 2001-2010, 14 players were drafted in the first round from Texas, and the Longhorns did not produce a first-round pick in either of the past two years. The first Texas player selected last year (Keenan Robinson) was taken the 4th round -- the latest the Longhorns had to wait to hear one of their players selected in the NFL draft since 2000.