Rice transfer Anderson should fill left tackle hole
Texas seemingly closed out its 2018 recruiting class in February on national signing day. The Longhorns signed the third-best class in the nation and the top class in the Big 12 during Tom Herman’s first full cycle recruiting as coach.
But the Longhorns wanted another piece on the offensive line, and they added it Saturday with Rice graduate transfer Calvin Anderson.
Texas’ struggles on the line in 2017 were well-documented. Injuries, transfers and a lack of overall talent prevented the offense from finding consistency. The Longhorns hoped to address those concerns in the 2018 class and did so by signing five linemen, including junior college transfer Mikey Grandy.
The biggest hole to fill was left by Connor Williams, who left early for the NFL draft. The Longhorns needed an instant potential starter to compete at left tackle, and Anderson now becomes the obvious candidate to replace the former All-American. Anderson chose the Longhorns over Auburn, Oklahoma and Michigan. He doesn’t technically count toward the 2018 class, but he might be the most important individual addition to the program since Herman’s arrival.
Anderson signed with Rice in 2014 after a high school career that began at Georgetown and ended at Westlake. That familiarity with Austin was a deciding factor for Anderson, who was courted hard by Westlake graduate and current UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
Anderson is a quick-moving tackle with a stellar record as a pass protector. He’s put on good weight since high school and never lost the athleticism that separated him from other linemen. It would be a surprise if he’s not Texas’ starting left tackle in the season opener against Maryland.
Texas signed five tackles in 2018 and hopes to sign at least four in the 2019 class. Anderson is in a league of his own as a graduate transfer. He’s a one-year option who allows Texas to develop the new young players and build depth with the next class. The addition of Anderson probably will allow 2018 signees such as Reese Moore and Rafiti Ghirmai a chance to redshirt and truly develop before competing for a spot on the two-deep.