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Thursday, May 9, 2013
Question of the Week: Let's talk trades

By HornsNation staff

Free agency might be a long way off from never in college football -- at least as far as players are concerned. Coaches, they come and go. Players stick.

But now the time has come to change all that, if only for a day and if only for the purposes of this week’s question of the week. With that in mind and those rules set, here then is the aforementioned question: If you, as Texas’ general manager, could trade for one player within the Big 12, who would it be? And who would you give up for that player?

Oklahoma State TE Blake Jackson

Bryce Hager
Texas could use a tackling machine like Baylor LB Bryce Hager.
I’d acquire Oklahoma State senior tight end Blake Jackson in exchange for junior defensive back Sheroid Evans and a box of blank bullets for Pistol Pete.

Texas has lacked at the tight end position ever since Jermichael Finley left for the NFL and can’t afford to be subpar there again this season. Not with how much is at stake in 2013.

There is promise in M.J. McFarland, who caught eight catches for 125 yards and a score in 2012. But there isn’t much hope in Geoff Swaim and Greg Daniels to be huge passing threats.

Jackson was an absolute steal for the Cowboys in 2012 in his first season after transferring from Scottsdale Community College. He caught 29 passes for 598 yards, the most by a TE in the Big 12, and three touchdowns. His 20.6 yards per catch were the most in the Big 12 and fourth-most nationally.

There aren’t many holes on this Pokes team, but depth at defensive back is one of them. Evans, who emerged as one of the spring game’s stars, would be a great asset to that secondary alongside Justin Gilbert.

And Pistol Pete could use a few extra rounds with all the shots he’ll be firing off after OSU touchdowns. --William Wilkerson

TCU DE Devonte Fields

Texas missed the defensive end the first time around so now is the time to make amends and grab the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as well as Big 12 Freshman of the Year. The Longhorns no longer have Alex Okafor. Jackson Jeffcoat has been plagued with health issues. Cedric Reed and Reggie Wilson are capable but not impact players. And Shiro Davis is still at least a year away.

Plus Fields has three years left to play and Texas doesn’t want to have to face him in any of those years. He had two tackles for loss, including an 11-yard sack, against the Longhorns in TCU’s Thanksgiving night win in 2012.

As for what to give up to get him, it would have to be a lot. First off TCU needs running backs so Malcolm Brown would be on the table. Texas has Johnathan Gray. Joe Bergeron and Daje Johnson can pick up some more carries.

And then some combination of defensive players would be necessary such as Reed and Davis. Or instead of Davis possibly Steve Edmond. He could be converted to the defensive end. That’s three for the price of one but that one, Fields, might be worth it. -- Carter Strickland

Baylor LB Bryce Hager

Considered a lot of guys for this spot, but I have to go with one that stings more than most: Baylor junior linebacker Bryce Hager.

Name sound familiar? It better. His dad, Britt Hager, is the guy who holds Texas’ single-season (195) and all-time (499) tackles records. The 1988 All-American beget a tackling machine of a son. Go figure.

Despite those bloodlines, the Longhorns didn’t take a chance on the lightly recruited all-state linebacker out of Austin Westlake. Now he’s up in Waco and making the Bears coaching staff look awful smart.

Hager led the Big 12 in tackles last season with 124, including 9.5 per game and 72 solo stops, to go along with four sacks and second-team all-conference honors.

I think we can all agree Texas would’ve greatly appreciated a linebacker that prolific and consistent in the middle of its 2012 defense. Hager could really solidify a unit that struggled far too often after Jordan Hicks' season-ending injury.

If Baylor is begrudgingly making this trade, they’re going to want a defensive tackle and a receiver to replace the two seniors they lost at each spot.

I’m inclined to low-ball, but let’s think bigger: Ashton Dorsey, Marcus Johnson and Tevin Jackson for Hager and the rights to Andrew Billings. (Sorry, no way Art Briles is letting go of Robbie Rhodes.)

Texas gets an orange-blooded star at middle linebacker and the mammoth lineman who got away. Baylor gets better but probably still feels a bit fleeced. -- Max Olson