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The 2012 Longhorns: Demarco Cobbs

The tailgating. The bands. The rivalries. The Bowls.

Hookem.com brings you through the dog days of summer with a player-by-player look at the Texas roster.

It all feels so far away right now. But the truth is football season is just around the corner.

Before long, teams will begin two-a-days in shorts. Then full pads. And shortly after that, the lights at Royal-Memorial Stadium flicker on one by one.

The excitement for Texas football in 2012 already is starting to build. Hookem.com is hoping to add fuel to the fire. Leading up to the season we’ll spotlight 30 of the most important players on the Texas roster.

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Player: Demarco Cobbs
Year: Junior
Position: Linebacker
Height: 6-2
Weight: 215

What he's done:
It feels like Demarco Cobbs should be a sophomore.

Right?

He’s one of those guys who you’ve thought has the possibility of being great one day. That’s what you think when a player is ranked as the No. 5 athlete in the country by 247Sports and the No. 58 player overall.

Finally playing a full season at weakside linebacker, Demarco Cobbs may finally be able to live up to his lofty ratings coming out of high school.

That’s what you think when a player arrives on campus and immediately shows in practice that he could be even better than his original rating (if he finds the right position).

That’s exactly how people viewed Cobbs when he arrived in Austin as part of the class of 2010.

That thought still remains.

The difference is, instead of redshirting one season, Cobbs has somehow used up two years of eligibility.

His freshman year, Cobbs played all 12 games on special teams (and one as a defensive back). He recorded five tackles.

He then was switched to linebacker (albeit a hybrid linebacker-safety) in the spring of 2011.

He looked good.

And then he broke his arm.

That’s OK. It was the perfect opportunity to redshirt. Right? Wrong.

Despite a position change and missing the first six games due to the injury, Cobbs ended up playing in 2011. He just didn’t play much.

Cobbs finished 2011 with four tackles. The first one was his biggest, a tackle for a 5-yard loss against Kansas.

Cobbs was injured again in the spring, this time a “neck injury.”

But he returned for the end of spring practice and participated in the 2012 spring game.

2012 Outlook:
Cobbs’ performance in the spring game has people talking in the exact same way they were talking when he arrived on campus.

On one hand, you could say he’s in the same situation he was in as a true freshman. But he’s not

The difference now is he’s in the right position with the right amount of experience.

The right amount of playing time will follow. Cobbs will start as the weakside linebacker this year.

It’s a diverse position that fits him well as it’s truly a combination of linebacker play and safety play. It works with Cobbs, who has the speed and ability to cover in the secondary as well as the aggressive nature and physicality to man up against the run.

“He is fast, and he is physical,” Jordan Hicks said this spring. “He is somebody you can trust out there so it is always good to have somebody like that.”

That’s a good thing to hear about Cobbs. When he makes contact with an opponent, he really makes contact. He’s a guy who offensive players don’t want to see running downfield at them.

He’s also a guy who was out of position a couple of times in the Holiday Bowl. But being in position comes with experience.

When he is in position …

“When he blitzes, it’s for real,” Kenny Vaccaro said of Cobbs this spring.

And that’s what Cobbs gives you.

He’s a little blitzing, a little run defense and a little bit of coverage.

He’s a little bit of everything. And 2012 is the year to put everything together.

2012 Prediction:
When Cobbs was out for part of spring practice, a source told Hookem.com that there was a definite drop off with Tevin Jackson.

That tells you that we’re going to see a lot of Cobbs this season.

While Manny Diaz likes to rotate players, he also likes to dominate. It’s possible that depth at weakside linebacker will be developed in blowouts. If he’s healthy, Cobbs is going to be on the field.

He also fits in well if the Longhorns go to a nickel defense as he’s got the ability to produce in the secondary.

What does that add up to?

I’m going to go with a year similar to what Jordan Hicks had last year. Cobbs will make 70 tackles, including 10 behind the line of scrimmage and four sacks.

That will set up a season with 90 to 100 tackles in 2013.

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PAST PROFILES:
Quarterback
- David Ash
Running back
- Joe Bergeron
Wide receiver
- Mike Davis
Tight end
- M.J. McFarland
Offensive line
- Josh Cochran
(RT)
- Dominic Espinosa (C)
Defensive line
- Brandon Moore
(DT)
- Desmond Jackson (DT)
Linebacker
- Steve Edmond
(MLB)
Cornerback
- Carrington Byndom
Safety
- Adrian Phillips
(SS)

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