Latest departures hurt D-line depth

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas defensive line has lost two more players.

Just two days after news broke that Taylor Bible would be transferring, defensive end Dravannti Johnson announced his transfer. Additionally, freshman defensive lineman De’Aires Cotton has been forced from football due to a medical condition. He will remain on scholarship and stay at Texas.

“My decision to transfer is based off of the fact that since I did graduate this semester, and I also have another year of eligibility left, that I can go somewhere with more playing time and also where I have a future to go to graduate school,” Johnson said. “Playing time and education played equal parts in my decision.”

Johnson, like Bible, had not seen significant playing time in his career at Texas. The junior was also third string on the depth chart behind players who still have eligibility remaining.

In all, that’s seven players who have transferred and two more players who have been forced from the field since August.

This latest news leaves Texas searching for some depth along the defensive line at the very least for practice purposes.

Texas still does have seven of the eight defensive linemen in its two deep coming back. The Longhorns have also added 6-foot-7, 330-pound Brandon Moore through the junior college ranks to fill the void left by Kheeston Randall’s departure.

Where Texas now needs help is in stockpiling players along the line for future classes. Greg Daniels and Chris Whaley are a couple of players Texas can still develop and should be contributors next season.

Additionally, the 2012 recruiting class features four defensive linemen with Malcom Brown (Brenham, Texas/Brenham), Alex Norman (Dallas/Bishop Dunne), Hassan Ridgeway (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield) and Caleb Bluiett (Beaumont, Texas/West Brook). The latter two are expected to be defensive ends while the former two will be interior linemen.