Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson's production is gone, and so is their leadership. However, fellow linebacker Jordan Hicks is ready to take charge of the defense.
Being picked in the late rounds means Texas draft picks Keenan Robinson, Emmanuel Acho and Kheeston Randall will have to rely on their versatility to make their mark.
Linebackers Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho and defensive tackle Kheeston Randall were the only Texas Longhorns taken in the NFL draft.
Emmanuel Acho is expected to become an NFL draft pick at some point this weekend. Once it happens, he'll take the next step in his career and carry his goals to a higher platform.
Many factors have shown why Texas went 13-12 over the last two years, but the most telling might be its NFL draft numbers.
Handing out the hardware for 2011's top defensive performances.
In 2012, Texas will have a deep defensive line but will have to replace two starting linebackers and two experienced safeties.
When Manny Diaz was hired, there were questions. But after a season with a lot of bright spots, the only question is how much better will Texas' defense be.
Mack Brown needed Manny Diaz to revamp his defense following the 2010 season, and the defensive coordinator's work has been swift and impressive.
Texas' defense has been outstanding in recent weeks against the run. But Missouri, with Henry Josey and James Franklin, present a tough challenge.
Emmanuel Acho wanted to be the hub of Manny Diaz's defense, and has taken on being the defense's chief communicator.
Putting their egos, and playing time aside, Texas' senior players are helping freshmen and the team's chemistry.
The linebackers are probably Texas' best unit. Now the group gets to prove it in Manny Diaz's defense.
Mack Brown says his D-line can't fall back on being a young bunch anymore; time for tackles to step up is now.