3 of the boldest predictions for Texas football in fall camp

Hudson Card, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Hudson Card, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Troy Omeire, Texas Football
Troy Omeire, Texas Football /

Roughly 48 hours from the start of fall camp for head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Texas football program, the excitement is building for the start of the upcoming regular season. Texas will begin fall camp on Aug. 3. And then, the regular season slate will begin one month later, at home on Sep. 3 against Louisiana-Monroe.

Position battles will once again take center stage for Sark and the Longhorns amid the biggest storylines for fall camp. That is especially the case given how Texas has a looming quarterback competition yet again in fall camp.

But there will be other looming storylines worth watching in fall camp, including the progress of some players that suffered long-term injuries in the last 12 or 15 months, and the impact that some of the newcomers can have on this team.

Fall camp will be a time for hope and anticipation for what lies ahead for Sark and the Longhorns during the upcoming season. Texas fans will be looking to see at least marginal improvement on the defensive side of the ball and some major developments on offense. In essence, that should translate to at least an eight-win regular season. At the very least, that will be the expectation from a good portion of Texas fans this fall.

Boldest of the bold predictions for Texas football in fall camp

Here’s a look at three bold predictions for the Longhorns during fall camp, as the first day of training camp is just around the corner on Aug. 3.

Devin Richardson gets snaps as an edge rusher

This is where we get very deep in the bag of bold predictions this fall. And before anyone has the gut reaction of shutting down the idea of giving a player deeper down the depth chart on defense snaps as an edge rusher coming out of camp, just take a look at some of this linebacker’s past production.

The idea here is that, purely as a change of pace early on this season, Texas utilizes senior linebacker Devin Richardson as a situational edge rusher coming off the outside when they send five or six at the quarterback. Richardson proved during his Freshman All-American season with the New Mexico State Aggies in 2019 that he was a very proficient edge rusher.

In fact, Richardson was the highest-graded pass rusher on the New Mexico State defense during the 2019 season. He also ranked 13th in pressure rate among eligible defensive players in the Group of Five in 2019 (including all G5 conferences and non-BYU and Notre Dame independents).

During the 2019 campaign, Richardson registered 16 quarterback pressures, seven QB hits, and two sacks. And he did all that on roughly just 60 snaps as a pass rusher. That amounted to an insane pressure rate of 26.2 percent.

For good measure, Texas didn’t have anyone that even touched a pressure rate of 20 percent among defensive players that took at least 50 snaps as a pass rusher last season. DeMarvion Overshown did eclipse that pressure rate of 20 last season, but he did that on fewer than 50 pass rush snaps.

New Mexico State utilized Richardson in a few different looks as a pass rusher. Most often, he was sent off the edge as a standup outside linebacker rushing the passer. But he was also effectively utilized at times on delayed blitzes up the middle and as a true outside linebacker wide of the tight end or offensive tackle.

This should give him some versatility in terms of how the defensive staff could hypothetically scheme him up in a few different pass rush looks.

At this point, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Pete Kwiatkowski should consider all options to generate an effective pass rush. I think it would be a good idea for Kwiatkowski and the Texas defensive staff to try and give someone that has some past proven pass-rushing effectiveness such as Richardson against a weaker non-conference foe early on this season such as ULM.