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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Four Downs: Texas collecting receivers

By Sean Adams

AUSTIN, Texas -- Each week, I look at a few topics around the Texas Longhorns and college football.

First down: Few O-linemen in 2014 class

Darius James
Darius James was Texas' top-ranked signee in the Class of 2013.
Expect Texas to concentrate on the 2015 offensive line class -- it already has three rising juniors committed -- and to stick with one or two offensive linemen in the 2014 class. With all five starters returning from the 2012 line, the question now is depth. With the impact of the 2013 class of Darius James, Desmond Harrison, Rami Hammad and Kent Perkins, the Longhorns can concentrate on the 2015 class and really find depth in the guys on campus and the 2013 class.

Expect all four of the 2013 class of linemen to contribute early and push for two-deep positions right away. Then expect Texas to fill other needs in the 2014 class.

Second down: How many receivers can Texas handle?

There are a couple of proven commodities on Texas' campus at wide receiver in Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley.

There are a couple of upstarts in Kendall Sanders, Cayleb Jones, Bryant Jackson and Marcus Johnson.

Texas has a kid I'm pulling for who passes the eyeball test in John Harris.

It has three that are coming in with the Class of 2013 in Jake Oliver, Jacorey Warrick and Montrel Meander.

Committed to Texas in the 2014 class is Roderick Bernard, Dorian Leonard, Lorenzo Joe, Garrett Gray and Emanuel Porter.

Feel free to check my math, but that's a lot of wide receivers who will be lining up for Texas over the next couple of seasons. The Longhorns are going to concentrate on the spread offense even though they will run a lot with the running back stable on campus.

Texas is making a commitment at the position, and it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. Don't expect nearly as many commits at the position for the 2015 class.

Third down: Embracing the hype

Texas coach Mack Brown once told me that if there are going to be rankings, you want to be high in them. Texas might not be able to avoid the hype this season because of its 19 returning starters, the attrition in the Big 12 conference and the name on the players' jerseys.

Phil Steele has ranked the Longhorns No. 4 in the nation to start the 2013 season. Just about every other meaningful publication has them somewhere in the top 15. Even the casinos in Las Vegas have installed the Longhorns as the favorite to win the Big 12.

Brown has been pointing toward 2013, and it seems that the rest of the nation agrees it will be when Texas gets back on top.

Fourth down: OU's offense is a question

Can Blake Bell throw the ball? Depending on who you ask, the answer is constantly a moving target. Bell is likely going to start the 2013 season as the starting quarterback at Oklahoma, but he didn't get the nickname "The Belldozer" because he throws like Tom Brady.

At 6-foot-6 and 263 pounds, he has shown flashes of being a force by moving the pile and running the ball.

Can he throw the ball within the framework of an offense? That is the million-dollar question. If he can pass with accuracy -- OU also has a great offensive line, a good set of backs and a deep group of receivers -- the Sooners could have a formidable offense.