Texas Football: 5 breakout freshmen to watch in 2018

Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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The final starting spot at linebacker is still up in the air for the Horns. A departure from the team’s defensive leader for the past few years, Malik Jefferson, leaves a hole that the will be extremely difficult to replace. Tom Herman can either start fresh with a first-year linebacker like Ayodele Adeoye or go with someone with more experience like to-be junior Jeffrey McCulloch.

Among all the linebackers that Texas locked up in the 2018 recruiting class, Adeoye looks to have the brightest future of the bunch along with likely being the most mature to deserve that early playing time he could get.

He has the range to be a force in the front seven in both run and pass defense. Both Wheeler and Johnson are versatile linebackers that can help maximize the strengths in Adeoye’s game too. Texas became accustomed to playing some younger defenders during the Charlie Strong era, but it might be useful for Herman to give Adeoye a look to get him going in this scheme under defensive coordinator Todd Orlando.

Malcolm Roach and Cameron Townsend are two names to also watch that will compete with Adeoye for playing time this year. A piece of good news in regard to the path to significant time on the field for Adeoye is that three-star outside linebacker Byron Hobbs is the only other incoming freshmen at that level of the defense for Texas.