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Who Will Lead the Texas Longhorns in Tackles in 2020?

Texas brings back a ton of experience at nearly every level of the defense

Texas brings back a ton of experience at nearly every level of the defense. 

Nine starters return on that side of the ball and the two-deep depth chart is littered with even more players who have starting experience. 

Still, a new defensive scheme and the departure of second-leading tackler Brandon Jones does leave a few questions entering the season. 

So who will lead the team in tackles? Let's have a look at some of the top candidates. 

Joseph Ossai, JACK

2019 stats: 90 tackles; 13.5 TFL; 5 sacks

Ossai comes to mind first for the simple reason that he was the team's leader in tackles a year ago. The will-be junior ranged from one of the best players in the defense to simply unstoppable at different points of the season. With his move to the JACK linebacker position, the question becomes will he have as many opportunities to make tackles in 2020? He'll be up closer to the line of scrimmage. That may actually help him have an even bigger impact on the game, while still finishing the year with less stops. 

Caden Sterns, safety 

2019 stats: 59 tackles; 4.0 TFL; 1 sack

Sterns' injury was a big part of Texas' tackling problems last year. He's a bullet when it comes to getting downhill in the run game and basically like having another linebacker in the defense. If he can stay healthy he'll be close to the top of this list again this year. 

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Ayodele Adeoye, linebacker 

2019 stats: 45 tackles; 3.0 TFL; 2.5 sacks 

Adeoye led all Longhorn linebackers in tackles last year, but he'll need to continue to improve his game to stay on the field with a hard-charging group of players behind him on the depth chart. Adeoye was one of the team's best run supporters last season, but he'll have to take another step to become the true sideline-to-sideline player that Texas wants at his spot. 

DeMarvion Overshown, linebacker  

2019 stats: 18 tackles. 7 TFL, 2 sacks

One of the most interesting players on this list, Overshown is moving from a hybrid role last year to more of a standard linebacker this season. It seems like a good way to get this talented player on the field more often. With more snaps and a green light to use his speed to cover the field at linebacker, don't be surprised to see Overshown's name at the top of the list by the end of the year. 

David Gbenda, linebacker 

2019 stats: 1 tackle 

Gbenda was a freshman a year ago, but coaches raved about him through most of the season. He's expected to take a big step forward this season and could even crack the starting lineup if he can show consistency and maturity to match his big talent.  

Juwan Mitchell, linebacker 

2019 stats: 37 tackles; 3.5 TFL; 3.0 sacks 

Mitchell was close to transferring during the spring, but was eventually talked into coming back. As one of the team's most experienced players at his position he'll certainly get a look at one of the starting linebacker jobs. It will be up to him to make the most of it.  

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