Texas' pass rush struggled in the first season under Steve Sarkisian. Will it get better in 2022?
Sarkisian did his best to bring fresh talent to the Forty Acres in Year 1. Ray Thornton out of LSU joined the squad one season after winning a national title. Ovie Oghoufo from Notre Dame departed South Bend to make his mark in the Big 12.
Of the two, Oghoufo was the better name, but also at a different position. Will that change this spring.
The Longhorns are looking for more production up front from their pass rush. That could be younger names coming in with a more expanded role. And with Jacoby Jones off to the NFL, it'll be a newish look come this spring.
So, who should Longhorns fans remember come this spring?
Stick with LonghornsCountry.com as we break down the Longhorns spring football depth chart outlook and make sure to check out the other positions we've covered.
BUCK No. 1 - Ovie Oghoufo
Oghoufo will do a bit of everything in Pete Kwiatkowski's defensive look. He'll line up with his hand in the dirt on some plays. The next, he'll blitz as the strong-side linebacker.
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Oghoufo's main job is to pressure the quarterback. Last season, he finished with only two sacks but also recorded six quarterback hurries and nine total pressures. Against the run, Oghoufo also recorded 5.5 tackles for losses
JACK No. 1 - Alfred Collins
Collins' role is interchangeable in a similar way to Oghoufo, but instead of playing from the stand-up pass-rushing position, he moves inside. Collins will play the five-tech from time to time, but also could be shifted inside to more of a defensive tackle role in order to add pressure up the middle.
Last season, Collins was the most consistent of the defensive linemen. He recorded five tackles for loss, eight pressures, five quarterback hurries, and a pair of sacks. He'll be used more in 2022 with Jones' departure.
BUCK No. 2 - DJ Harris
There's little information on the remaining pass rushers, which could be a good thing. Harris played in two games last season, primarily seeing reps against Rice and recording three tackles.
Coming from New Caney, Harris is a local product and an ascending name for the upcoming season. Beast used on the weak side, he should provide value against the run and could see his reps expand should Texas look to bolster its trenches early.
Early enrollee Justice Finkley could also figure into this role throughout the spring, and could even challenge for a starting role at some point. Either way, he should see the field.
JACK No. 2 - Jett Bush
A similar player to that of Oghoufo, Bush can play both a standing linebacker role or a defensive end depending on the formation. Last season, the former walk-on played in eight games and recorded 14 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for losses, and a sack.
Bush will likely serve as a backup, but his role could be interchangeable with Oghoufo. There could be plays where the Longhorns elect to play him off the edge and Oghoufo from the linebacker spot and vice versa. He's only as limited as the defensive game plan.
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