3 biggest position battles for Texas football heading into fall camp

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We are close to rounding out what most would consider the offseason for the Texas football program in just a couple of weeks. Texas and head coach Steve Sarkisian will get underway in fall camp starting on Aug. 4, kicking off the on-field preparation for the start of the 2022 regular season.

And we are also now less than 50 days away from the start of the 2022 regular season for the Longhorns. Texas opens up the 2022 regular season on Sep. 3 at home against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. That will be exactly six weeks from this coming Saturday (July 23).

The excitement is building on the Forty Acres surrounding the start of what looks to be a promising 2022 campaign under Sark in his second year at the helm. But there are some tasks that Sark and his staff have to work through in fall camp before this team will be ready to kickoff the 2022 season in early September.

Sark and the Longhorns must get through some key position battles in fall camp to get this team staged for a difficult non-conference slate that also features the reigning National Champion runner-up Alabama Crimson Tide and UTSA Roadrunners.

Breaking down the 3 biggest position battles for Texas football heading into fall camp

Here’s a look at three of the biggest position battles for Texas to decide in fall camp.

Offensive tackle

Candidates: Christian Jones, Andrej Karic, Jaylen Garth, Neto Umeozulu, Cam Williams, Kelvin Banks

The only position group on this list that will have multiple spots that could be up for grabs in fall camp lies at offensive tackle. Texas and offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Kyle Flood have the offensive tackle position anything but figured out heading into fall camp.

The good news is that the incoming 2022 freshmen class will give Texas plenty of options to work with as Flood and the Longhorns staff try to piece together the offensive line puzzle this fall.

Last year, the predominant starters at the two offensive tackle spots for the Longhorns were seniors Christian Jones and Derek Kerstetter. But Texas will now be down Kerstetter and Jones wasn’t very proficient, to say the least, in pass blocking last season.

That leaves Texas with a decision to make as to whether they go with some of the more experienced returning offensive tackles for Week 1 against ULM such as Jones and sophomore Andrej Karic. Or, Texas could go the route of starting some of the more capable true freshmen right away such as Kelvin Banks, Neto Umeozulu, and/or Cam Williams.

Out of the gates, I would anticipate that Texas gives a starting spot at one of the offensive tackle positions to the most impact ready (at least from what we’ve heard during the summer) freshman in Banks. The 6-foot-5 and 320-pound Banks has the wherewithal and the frame ready for some live-game reps against an opponent such as ULM.

I personally believe it makes more sense for Texas to give the start at the other offensive tackle spot to the lineman that will hold up better protecting the pocket. That would likely be Karic over Jones, as the latter of those two offensive tackles had the worst pass-blocking productivity of any regular starter among the Texas offensive linemen last season.

Yet, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see either the true freshman Williams or the super senior Jones getting the start at either of the offensive tackle spots early this season.

Projected starters: Kelvin Banks, Andrej Karic