Taut tests for tackles
Nickelson and Okafor are vying to be Texas’ starter at right tackle, and new line coach Warehime has given every player a clean slate.
So Tom Herman hates losing, huh? Thus, by definition, he loves competitors, those unafraid to push their way to the forefront. Sounds like Denzel Okafor. In March 2016 after signing with Texas, Okafor told the American-Statesman that he was eager to get on campus and push someone out of a job. “That’s exactly what I want to do,” he said at the time.
“I need to work on hand placement, extension and punching more,” Okafor said. “I’ve got to do my part so I don’t come in there on the first day, get hit in the face and think, ‘Dang, what just happened?’ I’m not nervous. I’m eager.”
By all appearances, Okafor’s opportunity has arrived. The 310-pound sophomore will spend the rest of the month battling 315-pound senior Tristan Nickelson for the right tackle spot. It’s the most intriguing position battle on the offensive line.
Tuesday brought about little front-line advancement, mostly for reasons out of their control. The players will begin wearing
Top: Texas senior Tristan Nickelson (left) and sophomore Denzel Okafor are battling for the starting right tackle spot. Above: Okafor (left) says, “I’m not nervous. I’m eager.” Says new Longhorns offensive coordinator Tim Beck: “It will be interesting to see who those five guys will be out there.”