- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Before Texas begins its first season under Charlie Strong, we're taking a deep dive into all the talent he inherits in 2014. Our Burnt Orange Breakdown series takes a closer look at each scholarship player returning this fall and what we can expect from him. We're going down the roster from No. 1 Shiro Davis all the way to No. 99 Desmond Jackson.
No. 66 Sedrick Flowers
Junior offensive guard
Recruitment rewind: In 2009, Houston North Shore had two ESPN 150 offensive linemen: senior Trey Hopkins and junior Sedrick Flowers. Even though Alabama, LSU, USC and Texas A&M all offered scholarships to Flowers, no way was he not going to join Hopkins at Texas. The four-star recruit ranked No. 93 nationally in his class of 2011 and settled on the Longhorns after taking junior day visits to UT and LSU.
Career so far: Flowers redshirted in 2011 and appeared in five games as a redshirt freshman, including nearly 30 snaps against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl when Hopkins missed the game with an injury. Last fall, Flowers was Texas' top backup behind starting guards Hopkins and Mason Walters and played in all 13 games. Flowers earned his first career start in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon, at left guard, when Hopkins moved to right tackle for the suspended Kennedy Estelle. He emerged from spring ball as Texas' No. 1 left guard.
Best-case scenario for 2014: After three years of waiting his turn, Flowers develops into a two-year starter at left guard and a pretty good one. If you asked Hopkins and Walters about Flowers last year, they'd tell you they saw him as just a talented veteran as anybody on their offensive line. Flowers earned their respect. But he was playing behind two guys who combined to start 93 career games on the Texas line. His time is now and Flowers seems poised to capitalize.
Worst-case scenario for 2014: He might be the safe bet for the left guard spot, but Flowers will still face plenty of competition. The battle at right guard could spill over to his side, simply because Kent Perkins and Rami Hammad are two very talented and versatile young linemen who could both prove this fall they deserve to start. It would take quite a showing from both of them and/or Taylor Doyle to unseat Flowers, though.
Future expectations: Texas has some intriguing underclassmen offensive guards on the way up, but only signed one (early enrollee Alex Anderson) in the 2014 class. Backup tackle Darius James could eventually develop into a guard, too. For now, though, there isn't another guard on the roster that can match Flowers' playing experience. He might be a relative unknown to Texas fans entering the fall, but he's going to be a critical cog up front.
893dSam Khan Jr.