Three freshmen who could -- and must -- boost the Longhorns in 2015

BY foxsports • June 11, 2015

It's no secret that Charlie Strong took over a Texas Longhorns team running low on much of the high-caliber talent that was so common during the Mack Brown era.

After going 6-7 in his first season, Strong now faces 2015 with a team that lost key starters on defense and its prospects at quarterback aren't exactly getting the fan base excited.

What did get the pulse pumping of Longhorns fans was Strong's flurry of late-in-the-game 2015 recruits. So it's also no secret that Strong is going to need some of those recruits to forget about a redshirt season and make an immediate impact.

Which players are capable of such a breakthrough?

College football blogger Todd Davis of the Dallas Morning News picked three newcomers: linebacker Malik Jefferson, offensive lineman Connor Williams and tight end Devonaire Clarington.

Here's how Davis evaluates the potentially impactful trio:

Jefferson: Jefferson joined the team in January and was one of four scholarship players in the linebackers corps this spring, giving him every opportunity to discover what life is like at the NCAA level. So far, he’s discovered he can force a fumble in the spring Orang-White Scrimmage. Charlie Strong compared Jefferson to Tim Tebow in terms of a key recruit’s impact to a class, so you won’t see Texas’ key recruit spending much time out of the lineup.

Clarington: Clarington, joining the Longhorns this summer, has two adjustments to make: playing at the college level and focusing on offense. He was a defensive line standout his senior year, but the 6-5, 229-pound two-way athlete in high school caught 46 passes for 890 yards and 13 TDs as a junior. Texas tight ends haven’t scored much in the past, but the top two from 2014 are gone, so Clarington could have the chance to change that.

Williams: A unit that was hurting for depth a season ago may have a new starting right tackle if the 6-5, 290-pound lineman continues to improve. Williams joined the Longhorns for spring practice, and offensive coordinator Joe Wickline had him working with the first team. And his contributions have been noticed. “He impressed me during workouts with how competitive he is, so he’s going to be a really good player,” said senior offensive guard and teammate Sedrick Flowers.

(h/t Dallas Morning News)

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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