60 days, 60 stats: No. 53

Each day, as a countdown to fall camp opening on Aug. 2, we are going to provide you with a number that was important in 2011 and let you know why it will be important in 2012.

Inside the number

Texas had 53 kick returns last season and two of them were extremely memorable.

In back-to-back games, Fozzy Whittaker went the distance with kick returns to score two of Texas’ 44 touchdowns in 2011. Those returns helped Texas rank 20th nationally in kick return average with 24.08 yards per return. But the issue for Texas is that beyond those two returns, Texas was average at best when it came to returning kicks. In fact, take those two 100-yard returns away and Texas averaged 20.9 yards per return which would have been 90th in FBS.

Where it counts in 2012

Here is the other issue: Whittaker is gone. So Texas is left to try and figure out who can provide a spark in the return game.

The Longhorns are hesitant to put Quandre Diggs back there again because there is a feeling that he is being overused. The job might fall to one of the incoming freshmen with the possibility of safety Mykkele Thompson doing it. Thompson had a 100-yard kickoff return in the spring game and knows how to move with the ball in his hands.

Sheroid Evans, another safety, is a guy with speed and skills who could get a look. Of course, if Texas does end up going with Diggs, it knows that it is getting a sure-handed player who is not going to make mistakes when it comes to playing the field position game.