Adding a key defensive lineman like graduate transfer candidate Zach Abercrumbia would make an instant impact for Texas football.
For the second straight off-season, the Texas football program could be set to pursue a former Rice Owls graduate transfer. Last off-season, Texas football was able to nab the former Rice offensive tackle Calvin Anderson off the grad transfer market to fill a hole in the offensive line. This off-season, it could be Texas football getting some help in the trenches on the other side of the ball.
According to an interview with the Texas Longhorns SB Nation fan site Burnt Orange Nation, Texas football could be on the right path to land a key graduate transfer defensive tackle from Rice Zach Abercrumbia. A defensive line that loses every starter this off-season does have a big need to add some experience to anchor the group.
The loss of senior defensive tackle Chris Nelson opens up the opportunity for someone like Abercrumbia to come on the Forty Acres and win a starting job quickly. This is the second straight off-season where head Texas football coach Tom Herman and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando have to work on replacing a key defensive tackle.
There’s a multitude of top tier programs with needs along the defensive line pursuing Abercrumbia. He has interest in the Michigan Wolverines and Penn State Nittany Lions along with Texas football, and he recently opened up on that interest with SB Nation’s Maize N Brew.
But, the former teammate of Abercrumbia, the Texas football offensive line alum Anderson, made a push on his Twitter timeline for him to come to the Forty Acres. That endorsement could play some role in getting Abercrumbia to choose the Horns when it’s all said and done.
Landing someone as experienced and proven as Abercrumbia would make an immeasurable impact on the rest of the defensive line for the Horns. Abercrumbia has 117 career total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, three fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble.
The depth at defensive tackle for Texas football isn’t as dire as it might seem. Texas isn’t as deep as it was last year, with Nelson starting, but there is some potent players that could step to the forefront in 2019. If Abercrumbia does choose the Horns, he’d have to compete with two other players to get the starting position locked down.
Rising senior defensive tackle Gerald Wilbon finished off his 2018 campaign on a high note by recovering a fumble in the Allstate Sugar Bowl victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. Wilbon would be the next in line if Abercrumbia doesn’t transfer to join the Horns.
Behind Wilbon sits redshirt freshman former four-star recruit Keondre Coburn. The ideal situation for the Horns would have to be a rotation featuring the depth of Wilbon and Abercrumbia so that Coburn could develop under both defensive tackles.