Texas Football's incoming 2016 freshman class was a surprise to most of the nation, including (especially) most of the Big 12 powers (who have to be white-hot with rage). Ranked 10th in the nation, by the end of the signing period, there's tremendous talent, skill, and depth throughout the class. With the upcoming Orange and White Game this Saturday (4/16), the early enrollees are the big stories.
First and foremost is the predicted rise of early enrollee QB Shane Buechele, who's been productive in practices so far. He's got a live arm and the necessary intelligence, but his build – 6'1" and 191 lbs. – could be something to note in the future, given his position's exposure in the spread attack.
Buechele's future top target – WR Collin Johnson – looks like a stud, a physical specimen at 6'6," 212 lbs. He's shown himself able to "play big" using his entire body, which is matched with legit hands. Center Zach Shackelford – the surprise of camp, given his three-star ranking and his transition to center (from tackle at Belton High) – already looks to be a lock as starter.
247Sports/Burnt Orange Nation writer Wescott Eberts suggests DE Derick Roberson could be the Longhorns' breakout star. He's got dynamic athleticism, which the Horns lacked throughout last season. Though Roberson definitely needs some additional weight, Eberts could be on to something.
2017 and Beyond
By print, one of the biggest stories of the week will have passed, as Houston Episcopal (Bellaire) defensive tackle Marvin Wilson (No. 4 overall, No. 1 DT) will have made his official visit onto the Forty Acres. He's going to receive the whole kit and kaboodle, taking the visit as the lone recruit. An absolute mauler in the middle at 6'4," 329 lbs., Wilson's an explosive combination run/pass rush masher.
His visit – as well as Kennedale five-star OLB Baron Browning's Orange-White game outing – comes on the heels of (already) superstar Bradenton (Fla.) LB Dylan Moses listing Texas as his current top choice of the schools seeking to retain his services. The move has likely swayed a good number of visible, and more low-key, recruits interested in the momentum Charlie Strong has generated. Browning was a Junior Day visitor, and decommitted from Baylor – putting Texas up front as likely favorite.