RB/WR Daje Johnson (So.)
By far the most explosive player on the Texas roster, the returning sophomore running back/wide receiver is primed for a big year. Johnson’s maturity was questioned during his freshman campaign and even missed a game due to suspension, but the light switch appears to have come on for the blazing speedster. After averaging 7.5 yards per carry in 2012, Major Applewhite has vowed to get the home run hitter more touches, and they will be electric.
OT Desmond Harrison (Jr.)
The junior college transfer could end up being the difference between a great Texas team and a good Texas team. The left tackle is a behemoth at 6-foot-8, 310 pounds and could be the anchor of an offensive line that can be described as average the past few seasons. An academic transcript issue kept him out most of August, but he has been cleared and is back with the team. If Harrison can be the force Stacy Searels believes he can be, David Ash and the stable of running should be very productive.
LB Steve Edmond (Jr.)
Before the 2012 disaster on the defensive side of the ball, redshirt sophomore Steve Edmond’s hype was through the roof. Comparisons to Derrick Johnson were being thrown around before he spent a single snap as a starter, and it just never came to fruition. Not even close. After Jordan Hicks’ season-ending hip injury, Edmond looked lost, getting swallowed in traffic too many times to make an impact. The redshirt junior lost weight in the offseason, but so did Dalton Santos, who is waiting in the wings to take the middle linebacker job from Edmond if he doesn’t right the ship.
TE M.J. McFarland (So.)
The former high school receiver was recruited to Texas to play tight end and has a build like former Longhorn Jermichael Finley. McFarland hasn’t panned out yet, and he’s listed third on the tight end depth chart heading into the weekend. Hope isn’t lost yet for the athletic freak, but hopefully it all comes together soon because he could add a game breaking dimension to the offense.