Starter: Barryn Sorrell
Backup: Justice Finkley OR Alfred Collins
There is some uncertainty for the Longhorns at the jack end/edge rusher position heading into the regular season. No one has taken a firm hold on the starting job here, thus there could be a different person taking the first-team reps by the start of conference play than there is in the regular season opener.
For the time being, though sophomore defensive end/edge rusher Barryn Sorrell is the best option to be the Week 1 starter. Sorrell took most of the first-team reps at the position in fall camp. And it sounds like Sorrell had a productive, albeit not a flashy run in fall camp this year.
There is room here for either Collins or true freshman edge rusher Justice Finkley to eat into the starting reps for Sorrell a few weeks into the season, though.
Starter: Ovie Oghoufo
Backup: Ethan Burke
Buck end/edge rusher is a spot along the defensive front that is pretty solidified heading into the regular season opener. Returning senior edge rusher Ovie Oghoufo is the set-in-stone starter at the position for Week 1 vs. ULM. Oghoufo improved this offseason in some of the areas where he showed weakness last season.
It will also help Oghoufo to get another year in this system under co-DC/LB coach Pete Kwiatkowski.
Yet, I wouldn’t sleep on some of the true freshmen that could start eating into some of the rotational reps at the buck end position as we move deeper into the fall. Former Michigan Wolverines commit and local product Ethan Burke is the hot commodity among the young edge rushers at the moment. Don’t sleep on the talented former four-star recruit and true freshman edge rusher J’Mond Tapp either, as he apparently showed some real maturity as fall camp moved along.