Bounce-back candidates for 2013

Jackson Jeffcoat will help anchor the Longhorns' defense in 2013. Cooper Neill/Getty Images

A comeback player can be bouncing back from injury, poor play or both. The Texas defense qualifies in every way. From the front to the back, the Longhorns’ D is loaded with rebound candidates.

There are so many, in fact, that the collective unit is our No. 1 choice to make a comeback in 2013. Others include a player who was discussed as a Heisman candidate entering 2012 and a couple of quarterbacks whose coaches think they pressed last year because of weaknesses around them.

1. Texas Longhorns’ defense

When I talked last week to Horns coach Mack Brown, he was certain that the health of end Jackson Jeffcoat and linebacker Jordan Hicks would make a big difference relative to a year ago. Things really seemed to unravel when Hicks injured his hip in Week 3 at Ole Miss. By the end of the year, the Texas defense allowed an average of a touchdown more each week, and its yards per play allowed increased by 1.3 yards from 2011 to 2012.