The Revolving Door: Texas
Here, we’ll take a look at a couple of key players going, staying and coming for each team in the Big 12.
Colt McCoy, QB
There are plenty of stats in place to evaluate quarterbacks. McCoy is the career leader in the most important one: wins. The four-year starter won 45 games over his remarkable Longhorns career, three more than any other quarterback ever. Texas isn’t short on history, but McCoy is the only two-time All-American quarterback. He won the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Awards as the best overall player and best quarterback in football. His 13,244 yards and 112 touchdowns are both tops in school history, but he also completed over 70 percent of his passes, one one-tenth of a percent less than the NCAA record-holder, Colt Brennan. Also a two-time Heisman finalist, McCoy leaves little doubt of his status as the school’s best quarterback ever.
Jordan Shipley, WR
Shipley spent last season as McCoy’s unquestioned No. 1 target, setting career highs with 1,485 receiving yards and 116 receptions. The first-team All-American was also a Biletnikoff Award finalist. The past two seasons, Shipley has caught a combined 24 touchdowns, and topped 1,000 receiving yards, even while lining up across from the more-productive Quan Cosby when Shipley was a junior. Shipley and McCoy (by the way, I made some calls and did a couple of weeks of research, and I believe the two were roommates during college) hooked up for 233 receptions during their career, the most by any duo in school history.
Aaron Williams, CB
Williams took over as a starter last season after playing in all 13 games as a freshman. Entering his junior season, a case could be made that he’s one of the best cornerbacks in the conference, and he should hear his name called very early in next spring’s draft — if he chooses to leave Austin early. He broke up eight passes, intercepted three and made 44 tackles as a sophomore. One of his two sacks also ended Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford’s career early in the Red River Rivalry game.
Sam Acho, DE
Acho led the team in sacks last season, with seven. A second-year starter, Acho has played in 38 games over his three seasons at Texas, notching 14.5 career sacks. He also earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors last season, and saved two of his best performances for Texas’ two biggest games of the season. Against Nebraska and Alabama in the Longhorns’ two postseason games, he had 16 tackles, two sacks and a tackle for loss.
Jackson Jeffcoat, DE
It’s easy to write about Texas’ impressive (and needed) receiving haul, but we’ve done that plenty here. Jeffcoat headlines another impressive recruiting class from Mack Brown. Jeffcoat was ranked by ESPNU as the No. 2 overall prospect in his class, and chose the Longhorns over Oklahoma. The Plano, Texas, native should have an impact, and at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, it could come early. His dad, Jim Jeffcoat, won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and now coaches the defensive line at Houston, so Jeffcoat shouldn’t be short on genetics or understanding of the game.
Jordan Hicks, LB
Like Jeffcoat, Hicks was the nation’s top prospect at his position. He heard the call of defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and decided to leave West Chester, Ohio, for Austin. Hicks’ measurables are textbook, and it’s not hard to see why other schools — Ohio State, Florida, USC and Alabama — were after him. He’s 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds. He has a 4.56 40-time. You can’t ask for much more out of a linebacker, but Muschamp will. And that could make Hicks great when his time comes.