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August reveals numerous camp risers at Texas

Eric Nahlinby:Eric Nahlin08/23/22

Every camp, whether spring or fall, has a number of players who take the next step in their development. The opposite happens as well, but that’s a bit of a touchy subject and not ideal for public consumption.

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This fall was no different for Texas as a number of players announced themselves ready for an increased role at Texas. Not everyone of these players will start, but they’re ready to play real snaps in tense moments.

Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey, SR, LB

He may end up one being of the biggest additions from last year, whether from the 2022 class or the portal. He looked good in summer 7-on-7 workouts but the question always was how would he look when the pads came on in August? That answer: good.

It wasn’t a total surprise — he was known for diagnosing and finding the ball carrier at James Madison — but it was encouraging to hear his traits did transfer from small ball to Austin. “Tuck” has extremely high football character and is already widely respected on the team. Along with Jaylan Ford and David Gbenda, Tucker-Dorsey will allow DeMarvion Overshown to play a more amorphous role.

Casey Cain, RS-FR, WR

Cain had a solid spring as his name came up frequently but he took another step in his maturation in August, especially after Isaiah Neyor was lost for the season. Comfortable in the boundary, Cain has strong arms, a good catch radius, and sneaky movement skills. He’s not an elite athlete, but he does possess athleticism and skill.

Vernon Broughton, SO, DT

Broughton was one of my favorite prospects in the 2020 class but we knew he wasn’t on a short developmental timeline. He’s starting to hit his stride, though he’s still not close to being a finished product. This year should provide some excitement for his future before a junior year breakout. He’s had a good camp getting into the backfield and doing his job. He may not be a stat-stuffer this season, but he’s playing his assignments better and should make life easier for the Edge players and linebackers.

Tarique Milton, SR, WR

Milton came in as a known talent from his days at Iowa State. In fact, UT fans probably remember his big plays last season. Injuries have derailed a once-promising career but he arrives at Texas with play-making skills. He’s been moved around a bit but will be most comfortable in the slot. Kudos to the staff for continuing to go after a receiver even after landing Neyor and Agiye Hall.

Jonathon Brooks, Rs-FR, RB

Had he not been injured he wouldn’t have redshirted but in his four games we saw plenty of glimpses of his nuanced talent. With Roschon Johnson sidelined with an ankle sprain he’s proven in practice he’s ready for an expanded role even if the top of the depth chart is loaded. Brooks is bigger and faster than a year ago, but he still presents the subtle traits of a natural back.

Jamier Johnson, SO, CB

One source called him the most improved player in the program since the spring. That’s high praise. Johnson has used the improved wide receiver talent in the program to help sharpen his skills. He still has Ryan Watts ahead of him, but we saw last season the coaches were willing to rotate in corners who have proven themselves reliable. Johnson is on the cusp of rotational snaps.

Jaylon Guilbeau, FR, DB

After enrolling early, Guilbeau had a couple miscues in the spring, but he has bounced back with a vengeance this summer. With Jahdae Barron missing quite a few practices and scrimmages, Guilbeau has moved seamlessly into the Star (nickel) position. A hard-nosed, physical player, Guilbeau also has above-average corner traits for playing inside.

Kelvin Banks, FR, OT

The jewel of the 2022 class has been as advertised. That’s what happens when you’re elite mentally, physically, and athletically. That’s not to say he’ll be elite immediately. There is still a steep learning curve. Aside quarterback, offensive line is the most difficult position to play as a true freshman. But Banks has been all business since his arrival in June and will play a lot of snaps at left tackle. He’s not the starter yet but it’s trending in that direction. We at Inside Texas agree with him being named a freshman All-American by On3.

Ethan Burke, FR, Edge

One of the latest additions to the 2022 class might make one of the earliest impacts. The former Michigan commit’s athleticism was never in question, however it was believed he would need more time to add size and strength. After about 500 peanut butter sandwiches (or a similar calorie intake) he appears ready to give the program an early jolt off the edge. Burke has jumped his timeline and is already playing at a high level relative to being on campus just a few months. He finished the most recent scrimmage running with the ones. Ovie Oghoufo‘s job isn’t in danger, but Burke is going to play snaps and may end up being the best pass rusher in the program by season’s end.

Two players I’d like to mention who weren’t camp necessarily risers but who continue to maintain a constant, upward trajectory are Edge Barryn Sorrell and offensive guard Hayden Conner. Both sophomores are smart, hard workers, and will play major roles this fall on the field and helping to bring along their talented freshman line-mates.

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