Texas Longhorns: Impact players for 2017

By: Cullen Clark

Twitter: @Cullen_B12C

The Longhorns are coming off a 5-7 season in which they had incredible highs (beating Notre Dame to open the season) and incredible lows (losing to Kansas). This proved to be the final straw for Coach Strong and he was let go immediately following the season. With the hire of Tom Herman as head coach hopes and more importantly expectations are sky high in Austin again. Here are a few players that I feel could make an impact on year one of Coach Herman’s tenure.

Returning Impact Player

Collin Johnson – WR

Collin Johnson has the prototypical build for a NFL receiver. He is 6’6” and weighs 212 lbs. He’s coming off his freshman season in Austin where he had 28 receptions for 315 yards and 3 touchdowns. With another year in the weight room and a year of college experience under his belt I think he could become one of the main targets for Buechele or Ehlinger. His frame will make him a perfect red-zone target and he should help in the intermediate passing game that was problematic at times last year for the Longhorns. I expect we will see his name quite a bit as we progress through spring ball.

Incoming Impact Player

Gary Johnson - ILB

Gary Johnson was a huge addition for Coach Herman’s first class at Texas. They had a major need at linebacker and he should be able to step in and play immediately. He spent the past two years playing for Dodge City Community College and established himself as the number one JUCO inside linebacker in this recruiting cycle. He is 6’1” 225 lbs and runs a 4.26 40 according to his HUDL profile. I’ve talked to several people who believe that his arrival will help stabilize the defense and also allow Malik Jefferson to be moved outside into his more natural position. We will see how it pans out in spring ball but it seems that the Longhorns have picked up a solid piece for their defense.

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