Texas football offseason storylines: What to expect

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Photo Credit: Juan Figueroa | Daily Texan Staff

Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium may be quiet this spring, but that doesn’t mean the Longhorns will be. With a lot happening off the field this offseason, Texas will be recruiting and reorganizing on all levels. Here are some things to look out for this offseason:

Recruiting push

Texas inked 19 recruits during the early signing period in December, including some of the state’s finest talent.

Over the weekend, the Longhorns received commitments from three-star defensive end Daniel Carson (Missouri) and three-star athlete/defensive end Michael Williams (Louisiana). These two out-of-state commits will provide much-needed depth on the defensive line.

The Longhorns will have to wait until National Signing Day on Feb. 7 to make the rest of their 2018 recruiting class official. Already the nation’s third-ranked class per 247Sports’ rankings, Texas will look to cap off a successful recruiting cycle two weeks from now.

Coaching changes

On Jan. 17, Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand was named co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach for the Longhorns. With his hiring, offensive line coach Derek Warehime has been reassigned to the tight ends, per Warehime’s Twitter bio.

The adjustment in the staff could help Texas better address its woes from last season on both the offensive line and at the tight end position, as Texas struggled often in the running game and pass protection.

NFL Draft and pro days

Texas’ NFL prospects will have a chance to showcase their skills to scouts ahead of the NFL Draft and Scouting Combine this spring, highlighted by a talented junior class of potential draftees.

Those training through the spring for the NFL Draft and Texas’ pro day include safety DeShon Elliott, left tackle Connor Williams, linebacker Malik Jefferson, cornerback Holton Hill and punter Michael Dickson.

Only one Longhorn player in each of the previous two years has been selected in the draft, but Texas should expect to hear multiple names called in this year’s draft, which will kick off on April 26.

Spring football

Along with its returning players, Texas will see eight early enrollees from the 2018 recruiting class join the team for spring football.

Sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele, who underwent surgery last week for a torn adductor (hip)/abdominal muscle, is expected to be ready for spring practice come March. Buechele, freshman Sam Ehlinger and newcomers Cameron Rising and Casey Thompson are expected to battle it out this spring for the starting quarterback job.

This offseason should also be a time for the Longhorns to focus on their play on both the offensive and defensive lines. Offensive coordinator Tim Beck will get a chance to reorganize what was often a sluggish offense last season.

With a coaching addition already in place to help address these issues, all eyes will be on the spring game when Texas’ adjustments will be put under the microscope.

The Longhorns’ first spring practice is slated for March 5. The spring game is yet to be scheduled.