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2020 Texas Longhorns Position Preview: Linebackers

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Last season, Joseph Ossai was the star linebacker for the Longhorns. However, in 2020, Ossai will have an increased role on the defensive line thanks to new defensive coordinator Chris Ash. As a result, the Longhorns will need to have several players step up as leaders at the linebacker position.

Currently, we are under a week away from Texas’s first game of the 2020 season. One position that will need to gel together rather quickly is the linebacker group. Prior to the season, there has been plenty of storylines from this group; ranging from switching positions to flirting with the transfer portal.

Our last defensive position preview was of the secondary. Today, we will be taking a look at Texas’s linebacker room.

 

 

2020 Linebacker Options:

DeMarvion Overshown (Junior)

2019 Stats: 18 tackles, 3 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble and 1 INT.

This offseason, Overshown moved from safety to the linebacker position to provide more depth for the Longhorns. This season, there is a decent chance that Overshown will start as the team’s weak side linebacker. Last year, DeMarvion was only able to appear in eight games due to injuries. If he can stay healthy, he will have plenty of opportunities to see the field this season.

 

Juwan Mitchell (Junior)

2019 Stats: 37 tackles, 4 passes defensed and 3 sacks.

https://twitter.com/juwanmitchell_6/status/1292292520597172230?s=20

Last season, Mitchell started in 5 games for the Longhorns. However, after the season came to a close, Mitchell entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal. Eventually, Mitchell withdrew his name and rejoined the team. Prior to this season, Mitchell will compete with Ayodele Adeoye for the starting job at middle linebacker.

 

Ayodele Adeoye (Redshirt Sophomore)

2019 Stats: 45 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 passes defensed and 1 INT.

Entering the 2020 season, Adeoye is well positioned to, once again, make a big impact on Texas’s defense. Last season, Adeoye started in 10 games as a redshirt freshman. However, this season, he will have to fight off Juwan Mitchell for more playing time. Regardless of who wins the battle, Adeoye will find his way onto the field early and often.

 

David Gbenda (Redshirt Freshman)

2019 Stats: 1 tackle.

Coming out of high school in 2019, Gbenda was ranked as the nation’s 11th best inside linebacker recruit. Last year, Gbenda played in four games for the Longhorns and then elected to burn a redshirt. David will try to carve out a role for himself in 2020 and, luckily for him, the team desperately needs production from its linebackers.

 

 

Jaylan Ford (Freshman)

2019 Stats: — High School —

Last December, the Longhorns were able to flip three-star prospect, Jaylan Ford, from the Utah Utes. Prior to this upcoming season, Ford has created a lot of buzz out of Texas’s fall camp. While it is doubtful that Ford would be named a starter to begin the season, don’t be surprised if he is able to work his way into the rotation.

 

 

Outlook:

If there was a position that you had to be cautious about, this would be the one. In Texas’s bowl game against Utah, the Longhorns had to rely on former walk-on, Cort Jaquess, for production. This year’s group of athletes is talented, however it might take some time for them to create chemistry with each other.

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