With the excitement of last week’s signing day fading, here’s a serious look at some of the new Longhorns who could make an immediate impact on the team:
<strong>Malcolm Brown — RB, 6’0” 220 lbs. (Byron P. Steele HS/Cibolo)</strong>
The stud from Cibolo, just outside San Antonio, is already being called the best running back on the roster even though he has yet to graduate high school. Whether the lofty expectations are fair or not, it is likely that Brown will step in and provide some much-needed punch to what was a weak running game last season. Keep in mind though that head coach Mack Brown has been reluctant in the past to play freshmen in skill positions early on: Cedric Benson did not start against Oklahoma his first year and, as a redshirt freshman, Vince Young shared snaps with Chance Mock the first few games.
<strong>Jaxon Shipley — WR, 6’0” 170 lbs. (Brownwood HS/Brownwood)</strong>
If bloodlines are any indication, Shipley will be a star. His big brother Jordan, you should remember, set many a receiving record at Texas. Jaxon comes out of high school as one of the best receivers in the nation and will presumably be right in the mix for a spot in the wideout rotation. Expect him to help out in the return game too. He hasn’t blown anyone away with his athleticism, but does everything well and, most importantly, seems eager to work on his size
and speed this offseason.
<strong>Quandre Diggs — CB, 5’10” 190 lbs. (Angleton HS/Angleton)</strong>
The younger brother of San Diego Charger Quentin Jammer, Diggs is another super sibling. While undersized at the cornerback position, Diggs is athletic and has a good enough feel for the game to make up for his vertical shortcomings. An early enrollee, Diggs will get acclimated to the college life this spring and might be an early contributor next fall for a position that is wide open.
<strong>Steve Edmond— LB, 6’3” 225 lbs. (Daingerfield HS/Daingerfield)</strong>
Imagine this: sideline-to-sideline speed similar to Derrick Johnson’s and a body that will remind fans of Sergio Kindle. Edmond is as close to a sure thing as there is at the linebacker position. In fact, he could also contribute coming out of a three-point stance on passing situations. But the smart money is that Edmond will be the first linebacker off the bench for relief and depth purposes. He won’t supplant the guys in front of him — Keenan Robinson, Emmanuel Acho and Jordan Hicks — but it’s easy to think that Edmond will be one of the first defensive substitutions to check into the game and a terror on special teams.
<strong>Desmond Jackson — DT, 6’1” 278 lbs. (Westfield HS/Houston)</strong>
Last summer, defensive tackle was the biggest question mark heading into fall camp, and those issues were never resolved during the season. If Jackson can add some weight, he might provide relief for last season’s struggling run defense, and he’s also quick enough to get to the passer.