With eleven days until Texas kicks-off their season against Louisianna-Lafayette, I will be predicting the starters for every position. Last week I predicted the Offensive Starters, here. Today I will be predicting the defensive starters for Pete Kwiatkowski and Jeff Choate. With how diverse Coach K is with his defense this was incredibly difficult. How will this defense look? Grab yourself your favorite beer, a cocktail, or a cup of coffee and let’s talk about it!
Defensive End (5-Tech)— Alfred Collins
Nose Tackle (0/1-Tech) — Keondre Coburn
Defensive Tackle (4i-Tech) — Moro Ojomo
Outside Linebacker (9-Tech) — Ray Thornton
This front seven under Pete Kwiatkowski is going to be very multiple. The starters will vary from game to game. I predict everyone will be playing up and down the line in different positions. Depending on the down, yards to gain, offensive alignment, and scheme we could see a verity of different looks. The Longhorns defensive line is also very deep and we could see a solid rotation of ten players consistently. I simply chose to name the starters as the players who I think will have the biggest impact.
Keondre Coburn is the anchor and leader to this defense as he mans the inside as a run stuffing nose tackle. Alfred Collins and Moro Ojomo will play similar positions as more of a big defensive end and pass rushing defensive tackle, attacking gaps in pass rush or controlling two gaps in run defense. Ray Thornton, a grad-transfer from LSU, will be the outside linebacker/pass rusher in Kwiatkowski’s scheme.
Pete K will also keep a healthy rotation of edge defenders with: Jacoby Jones, Prince Dorbah, Ovie Oghoufo (transfer from Notre Dame), and Ben Davis (transfer from Alabama) coming in behind Ray Thornton. T’Vondre Sweat will be Keondre Coburn’s backup as the teams nose tackle. Vernon Broughton and Byron Murphy II will be rotating in for Collins and Ojomo as the 3/4/5 Tech’s in Kwiatkowski’s hybrid defense. Murphy specifically has been getting plenty of hype this fall and is pushing for more playing time.
Mike Linebacker — Luke Brockermeyer
Will Linebacker — DeMarvion Overshown
DeMarvion Overshown is the star of this defense and is a projected first round pick for the 2022 NFL draft. A converted safety, Overshown has found his role as a do-it-all linebacker. He can run in coverage as well as any linebacker in college football. Luke Brockermeyer is another player who is making waves this fall and looks to be the favorite to land the job next to Overshown. David Gbenda is someone else to keep an eye on as he was the presumed starter all off-season and spring. Linebacker is Texas’ biggest weakness because of their lack of depth, hopefully Brockermeyer or Gbenda impress enough to warrant playing time late in games. If neither Brockermyer or Gbenda show that they are one of the best eleven defenders Texas has, we could see Overshown as the only linebacker playing in the 4th quarter of close games.
Cornerback — D’Shawn Jamison
Cornerback — Josh Thompson
Nickel back — Jerrin Thompson
Field Safety — Brenden Schooler
Boundary Safety — B.J. Foster
The defensive backfield is another deep positional group for the Longhorns. Similar to the defensive line, I could see Pete Kwiatkowski and Jeff Choate rotating in certain players depending on the down, distance, offensive alignment, and scheme. I believe this will be the starting lineup more often than not, but I won’t be surprised if we see a healthy amount of Chris Adimora, Darrion Dunn, and Anthony Cook. Especially if the linebackers next to Overshown struggle, we could see six defensive backs on the field in “Dime” with B.J. Foster playing closer to the line of scrimmage and rotating in Adimora or Jerrin Thompson at safety.
Overall i think this defense could be one of the best in the Big 12. Coach Kwiatkowski is one of the best defensive minds in college football and has plenty of talent here on the 40 acres. As I’ve said numerous times in this article, I believe this defense is going to feature a lot of different looks and formations. Texas could feature roughly twenty players any given game with their depth on the defensive line and defensive backfield. Keeping everyone fresh and hopefully healthy. Texas’ strength in 2021 will be their defense, in my opinion. A strange circumstance considering they hired one of the brightest offensive minds in all of football as their Head Coach.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this quick prediction of how Texas’ defense will look in 2021. Feel free to Like & Share with the rest of Longhorn Nation! Comment what you think this defense will look like in Coach Kwitkowski’s first season on the 40 acres. Make sure to Follow Around The Block – Longhorns on Twitter (@longhorns_atb) and check out our pinned tweet for details about our GIVEAWAY. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter as well: @ryfootballscout with any questions or comments. If you’re interested in writing for us, please DM us! Until next time, Peace!