The Longhorn football team is full of big names this year, a few of whom you might see playing on Sundays in the near future. But off the gridiron, there are several other Longhorn athletes who, although you may not hear of them as often, are just as capable at their own respective sports. Here is our look at the top non-football players to watch in burnt orange this season:
Myles Turner: Men’s Basketball, Forward, Freshman
Incoming freshman forward Myles Turner has yet to step on the court for Texas, but the hype surrounding him is comparable to that of Kevin Durant when he first arrived on campus. While he may not play the same position as the former Longhorn legend, the expectations for Turner, who was a five-star recruit coming out of Bedford, are just as high as they were for Durant when he played for Rick Barnes.
Haley Eckerman: Volleyball, Outside Hitter, Senior
The Longhorns’ volleyball team will look to make it back to the Final Four yet again in 2014. In doing so, the team will rely heavily on its experienced seniors, including senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman.
Eckerman is a two-time All-American and was named 2013 Volleyball Magazine Player of the Year. She was also named Big 12 Player of the Year for the second consecutive year in 2013 and was a finalist for the 2013 Honda Sports Award for Volleyball.
Cameron Ridley: Men’s Basketball, Center, Junior
Junior center Cameron Ridley had a breakout year as a sophomore, highlighted by his put-back to beat the buzzer against Arizona State and push Texas into the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
Ridley averaged 11.2 points per game and 8.2 rebounds last season. Given the potential for this year’s team to make a tournament run, Ridley will be expected to lead Texas as one of the few upperclassmen on the roster.
Isaiah Taylor: Men’s Basketball, Point Guard, Sophomore
Sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor had a tremendous freshman season, averaging 12.7 points and four assists per game last season. The wily point guard will be expected to produce at a similar level this season as the leader of Texas’ offensive attack.
Craig Lutz: Cross Country/Track and Field, Senior
Senior runner Craig Lutz enters his last year on the team and is looking to improve after his individual 15th place finish and the cross country team’s 14th place finish at the NCAA Championships last season.
Lutz has been recognized four times as an all-Big 12 runner in both cross country and track and field.
Nneka Enemkpali: Women’s Basketball, Forward, Senior
As the Longhorn women’s basketball team looks to build on the success of last season’s NCAA tournament run, it will rely on upperclassmen like senior forward Nneka Enemkpali for leadership. Enemkpali, a Pflugerville native, has continued to improve throughout her career at Texas, as she was named to the all-Big 12 first team for the first time this past season. Enemkpali averaged 12 points and 8.6 rebounds per game last year.
Jonathan Holmes: Men’s Basketball, Forward, Senior
As the only senior playing for Rick Barnes this year, forward Jonathan Holmes has seen Texas at its worst and was also part of the surprisingly successful season the Longhorns enjoyed last year. During the 2013-2014 season, Holmes averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. As the only senior four year guy on the team, Holmes will have a major leadership role for the young Longhorns this season.