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2020 Texas Longhorns Position Preview: Wide Receivers

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In 2019, if the Longhorns needed to move the chains, they dialed up Devin Duvernay’s number. However, both Duvernay and Collin Johnson, the latter of whom is the Longhorns’ fifth all-time receiving yards leader, have since graduated.

Currently, there is a lack of experience at the wide receiver position, however there is plenty of talent. In order to succeed during Sam Ehlinger’s senior season, the Longhorns will need to have several of their wide receivers step up. Today, we take a look at Texas’s top options at the wide receiver position heading into the 2020 season.

 

2020 Wide Receiver Options:

Brennan Eagles (Junior)

2019 Stats: 32 receptions, 522 receiving yards and 6 TDs.

In 2019, Eagles started in seven appearances, which is the most among Texas’s active wide receivers. As a result, Eagles is the prime candidate to be Texas’s leading receiver in 2020. In an offseason filled with uncertainties due to COVID-19, Eagles’s already established chemistry with quarterback Sam Ehlinger will bode well for the 6’4″ wideout. Even in a shortened regular season, don’t be surprised if Brennan is able to double his previous season’s stats.

 

Jake Smith (Sophomore)

2019 Stats: 25 receptions, 274 yards and 6 TDs.

In 2019, the former National Gatorade Player of the Year had a season full of ups and downs for the Longhorns. At times, Smith struggled to take advantage of big opportunities, such as his muffed punt against Oklahoma State or his fumble against Kansas. However, Smith showed signs that he could be Texas’s next great receiver and appeared in all 13 of Texas’s games. In 2020, the Longhorns will need Smith to have a breakout season and, in my opinion, will be Texas’s X-factor on offense.

 

Tarik Black (Graduate Transfer)

2019 Stats: 25 receptions, 323 receiving yards and 1 TD.

Tom Herman will hope that his most recent graduate transfer, Tarik Black, will be just as successful as his other recent graduate transfers. Over the last few years, the Longhorns have landed graduate transfers such as Tre Watson, Calvin Anderson and Parker Braun. Tarik will hope to play a larger role for the Longhorns than he did at Michigan, under head coach Jim Harbaugh. Black, standing in at 6’3″, will look to have a career season with quarterback Sam Ehlinger throwing passes his way.

 

Jordan Whittington (Redshirt Freshman)

2019 Stats: 2 receptions for 17 yards.

Unfortunately, Whittington re-aggravated a groin injury during Texas’s 2019 season opener against Louisiana Tech. However, the former five-star prospect has elite athleticism and thrives with the ball in his hands. I was fortunate enough to cover Jordan’s final high school football game in 2018, in which he broke several state championship records while leading Cuero to a state title. In 2020, Jordan will look to make an impact for the Longhorns at wide receiver, following his short stint as a running back.

 

Joshua Moore (Redshirt Sophomore)

2019 Stats: Redshirted

In 2019, Moore was suspended for the entire season due to off-the-field issues. In 2018, Moore appeared in six games and made a key touchdown grab in the game against Southern California. Currently, Moore will be competing for a starting job, despite the fact that he missed all of last season’s contests.

 

Outlook:

There are a lot of starting jobs to be won before Texas’s first game of the season. On the bright side, the Longhorns have plenty of talent competing for these jobs. In addition, Texas’s running game seems to be in a much better position this year, which will complement the passing game. However, the Longhorns will need to see a pair of receivers step up. Also, don’t be surprised if Tom Herman decides to utilize multiple receivers, leaving little variance in their season statistics. Although, new offensive coordinator, Mike Yurcich, has made it known that Texas needs to score upwards of around 45 points per game if they want to dominate the Big 12. As a result, Texas’s team passing stats could prove to be through the roof in 2020.

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