The Texas Longhorns enter the 2013-14 college football season with more returning starters than ay other team in the Big 12, led by the most experienced quarterback in junior David Ash. Ash is also one of their prime NFL prospects heading in to a year where he can significantly upgrade his stock by leading the Longhorns to a big season, and he isn’t alone in that category.
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Notable Prospect #1: QB David Ash – Junior
Perhaps the best thing for Ash will be a return to the spread offense, where he can sling the ball around to some quality targets including senior Mike Davis and junior Jaxon Shipley at wide receiver. Texas will also return all five of its starters on the offensive line, and they should be able to give Ash plenty of time to work. Ash needs to be more consistent than he was a year ago when he was benched for four games, but he has all of the tools to succeed and that is why he is the top-ranked NFL prospect for the Longhorns heading in to this year. Texas needs their top quarterback to step up and be the difference in the Big 12 this season, and a lot of how this team performs is tied to Ash’s progress.
Notable Prospect #2: WR Mike Davis – Senior
Shipley is going to line up at the inside spot where he can use his quickness but the biggest threat on this Texas offense is Davis, who has the deep speed to spread the opposing defenses. The Dallas, Texas-native stands at 6’2’’ and 195 pounds, and his size and hands can make the difference in any given contest. Davis hauled in 57 receptions for 939 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior a year ago, and will have a tremendous opportunity to upgrade his stock in the spread offense this season. The success of both Ash and Davis are tied to one another in this offense, so it will likely be a case where both do excellent or both struggle.
Notable Prospect #3: LB Jordan Hicks – Junior
The Longhorns allowed 29 rushing touchdowns in 2012, the most in the Big 12. Only 12 teams nationally allowed more, as Texas set records for all of the wrong reasons. That likely won’t be the case again in 2013, with the return of outside linebacker Jordan Hicks a big part of that. Hicks went down with a season-ending hip injury in just the third game last season, but he showed off his skills in the spring game and is expected to be a leader in the Longhorns’ front-seven. Hicks will have a huge impact against the run and is also expected to be used in blitz situations, which should help his numbers as he looks to come all the way back from last year’s injury.
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