Texas Football: Five Questions for Spring (Defense and Special Teams)

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Sep 13, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns linebacker Jordan Hicks (3) and Texas Longhorns defensive end Shiro Davis (1) tackle UCLA Bruins wide receiver Thomas Duarte (18) during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

3. Which linebackers will fill the starting lineup?

Texas lost a lot of depth at the linebacker position, including Jordan Hicks, Tevin Jackson, Steve Edmond, and Demarco Cobbs. Peter Jenkins is the only returning starter, though Timothy Cole and Dalton Santos saw some significant playing time last season.

Fortunately, the incoming group of linebackers could be the best group of freshman in the country; Malik Jefferson is already on campus, and Cecil Cherry and Anthony Wheeler will be in Austin in June. All three will have the opportunity to start as true freshmen, and all three are ready to take over.

Strong told the media that Dalton Santos is currently “penciled in” as the starting middle linebacker next season, but he also admitted that both he and Tim Cole need to step up if they hope to play.

The question is, will they be able to solidify their spots in the starting lineups this spring before the freshmen can?

They’d better, because Cherry, Jefferson, and Wheeler are coming, and they’re going to be tough to keep off the field.

Next: Who will replace Quandre Diggs as the leader of the secondary?