Of all the options that Texas football has that could rise to the occasion in a leadership role this fall, rising senior Jeffrey McCulloch could be the one.
The Texas football program just got through its spring football game on April 13. That Orange-White Game featured a ton of top talent that are targets of the 2020 and 2021 Texas football recruiting classes. The recruiting visits for the spring football game were obviously significant for Texas football, but a handful of new starters were also important to watch.
Of the new potential starters at any level of the defense for Texas football, rising senior linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch could become a key leader. He had a big spring game showing on April 13 under the lights at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. In a sloppy game that featured a 12-6 final score at DKR, McCulloch managed one of the key plays in an interception of rising junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
All of the roster turnover at linebacker for Texas football creates a vacuum of experience that needs to be replaced. Head Texas football coach Tom Herman and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando have a lot on their plate now for summer workouts and fall camp to get departing seniors in the linebacking corps replaced.
However, McCulloch could help fill the void since he has proven experience in the front seven rotation from the past two seasons. His career numbers are pretty impressive all-around. He registered 65 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two pass deflections, one interception, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble in his three previous years on the Forty Acres.
The shuffling of linebackers for the Texas Longhorns football program could create havoc in the front seven for the first few weeks of the coming season. Texas needs steadying forces like McCulloch in the linebacking corps. He’s had two straight years of solid showings in spring ball, and put even more growth on display the past month or so during spring drills.
A group of linebackers that could feature young talents like redshirt freshman Ayodele Adeoye, DeMarvion Overshown, and Joe Ossai. Ossai and McCulloch could be the two most experienced linebackers starting for the Horns this fall, unless another transfer comes in soon.
More than anything, Texas needs someone like McCulloch to have a huge senior campaign. He showed flashes in the past of being able to hold a starting role. He’s a versatile linebacker that can make an impact by dropping back in pass coverage and setting the edge or rushing the passer. The way he capped the spring football game by racing all over the field and coming up with a big interception of Ehlinger shows that he has the momentum to take a starting role this fall.