Cedric Reed

Defensive tackle Malcom Brown is the highlight of Texas’ NFL draft prospects. He might hear his name called in the first round Thursday night, and four other Longhorns could be taken.
Photo Credit: Jenna VonHofe | Daily Texan Staff

While no Longhorns were drafted in the 2014 NFL draft, the one-year drought is likely to end this weekend. 

Texas has five prospects who are projected to hear their names called at the draft, including defensive tackle Malcom Brown, linebacker Jordan Hicks,     cornerback Quandre Diggs, defensive end Cedric Reed and running back Malcolm Brown.

“It feels like just yesterday I was walking on this campus as a young, 220-pound freshman not knowing anything,” Hicks said. “After five years, just to be here and to be going through this process, it’s really rewarding for all of us.” 

Malcom Brown may be the first Longhorn picked after he shot up draft boards while racking up 72 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks last season. His 6-foot-2, 319-pound frame is ideal for the NFL, and he’s the No. 20-ranked prospect, according to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock. 

“Malcom Brown to me is a first-round guy all day long,” Mayock said on NFL.com. “He’s a low-risk investment and a really good football player.” 

While Malcom Brown will find his new home early, Hicks is also a standout prospect. 

Hicks came to Texas as a five-star prospect but battled injuries, causing him to fly under the radar as a pro prospect. He impressed scouts, however, during his senior year and in pre-draft workouts, which was enough for him to earn a fourth-round grade, according to NFL.com. 

While Malcom Brown and Hicks are highly touted prospects, Diggs and Reed will likely find more modest roles in the NFL despite being perennial mainstays in Texas’ defense. 

Diggs is undersized at 5 feet 9 inches and will most likely make his living on special teams, and Reed lacks the athleticism that NFL scouts desire. Both are projected to be picked during the fifth round or later.

The Longhorns’ main offensive prospect is Malcolm Brown, who led Texas in total rushing yards last season but still feels he has a lot to prove at the next level. 

“I feel like I have a lot to show people that I haven’t been able to show these past couple of years due to injuries, and things didn’t go completely my way,” Malcolm Brown said. 

While NFL.com projects Malcolm Brown to be a late-round pick, several scouts think he has NFL-caliber skills. 

“[Malcolm Brown] possesses the size, toughness and ability to play on all three downs, and that will catch the eyes of teams looking for depth at running back,” NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein said on NFL.com. 

While these Longhorns were longtime contributors for the program, their chapters at Texas will come to a close as they find a new home and a new start this weekend. 

“It’s definitely a different feeling not being a student and not being a current athlete here,” Diggs said. “At the same time, it’s time for a new journey in life.”

Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff

Tuesday marked head coach Charlie Strong’s first NFL Pro Day with Texas, where he saw 14 Longhorns perform for scouts and coaches from 25 different teams in the league.

The five players who participated in last month’s NFL Combine — defensive tackle Malcom Brown, running back Malcolm Brown, linebacker Jordan Hicks, defensive end Cedric Reed and cornerback Quandre Diggs — mostly focused on position drills as they tried to establish a spot in the NFL Draft. 

Diggs participated in the vertical jump and the broad jump, reaching 36 inches and 9 feet 11 inches, respectively. Malcolm Brown ran in the 40-yard dash, aiming to beat his time of 4.62 from the Combine. He clocked in around 4.5 seconds.

“I definitely believe I am one of the best cornerbacks in this class,” Diggs said. “A lot of people have made a big to do about my size. It is one thing if you’re 6 foot 1 inch but are soft. I know the kind of player I am, and I let my play speak for itself.”

Reed, after only taking part in the bench press at the combine, did not participate in the Pro Day. He is still recovering from meniscus surgery he had during the offseason.

Tuesday was crucial for wide receivers Jaxon Shipley and John Harris and safety Mykkele Thompson, who weren’t invited to the Combine. 

Shipley ran between a 4.43 and a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash and jumped a 39-inch vertical. During wide receiver drills, his routes were clean, and he showed scouts the strong hands Texas fans were familiar with.

“Coming out here today, I really want to surprise some people with my speed,” Shipley said. “I also wanted people understand that, even with injuries in college, I can still play at a high level.”

Shipley said he felt good about his performance and was glad to talk with a couple of scouts following his workouts.

Thompson also looked strong in all of his drills, especially the broad jump, which was around 10 feet 9 inches. His broad jump would have been better than many guys at the combine, including Alabama safety Landon Collins and LSU cornerback Jalen Collins.

Harris, one of the Longhorns few offensive weapons last season, gave a good performance.  He completed 19 reps on the bench press and ran a 40-yard time of about 4.5. On the his last attempt for the 40, Harris pulled his hamstring, but it didn’t bother him the rest of the day.

“At this time last year, I was not really paying attention to Pro Day,” Harris said. “I remember coming to watch for a little while but quickly leaving. Now, a year later, a lot has changed.”

The Longhorn prospects still have a long process ahead of them, with individual team workouts and meetings before the NFL Draft on April 30 through May 2.

Cedric Reed is one of several Texas seniors who have endured eventful careers at Texas. The defensive end will look to go out on a high note with a win against TCU on Senior Night.

Photo Credit: Sarah Montgomery | Daily Texan Staff

He may not have known it at the time, but senior defensive end Cedric Reed, before even enrolling at Texas, had already had a taste of the turmoil that would define the Longhorn football program throughout his time in Austin.

It was a chilly December Sunday in 2010, and Reed was making an official visit to Texas to meet with the coaching staff and discuss his future after reports surfaced saying he might flip his commitment to play for the Aggies.

Reed sat in the Centennial Room of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, listening to then-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp talk about the future of a program that had just finished a season with a losing record for the first time in 12 years.

“We were just eating dinner, and Coach Muschamp was talking to us and all of a sudden he left,” Reed said. “Low and behold, across the TV screen, we saw that Muschamp just took the job at Florida.”

Sure enough, that was the last Reed would see of Muschamp at Texas, as he left for Gainesville shortly thereafter and has been the Gators head coach ever since.

“I thought it was a joke or something,” Reed said. “Everybody was just sitting there staring at each other. A couple people were crying — some of his friends and the coaches’ wives.”

That puzzling scene was a sign of what was to come for Reed’s and the rest of Texas’ seniors’ tenure on the 40 Acres.

For the fifth-year guys, it’s been an especially bumpy ride. Over the past half-decade, the Longhorns have had four defensive coordinators, two head coaches and two athletic directors.

Head coach Charlie Strong’s arrival meant the departure of virtually everyone who had recruited the Longhorn veterans and the removal of several guys who had become close friends with many of Texas’ seniors.

But, as rough as things have been off the field, one could argue it’s been even rockier on it.

For the first time since 2000, not a single member of Texas’ senior class will have been a part of a 10-win season.

To put things in perspective, Texas’ fifth-year seniors, who were a part of the 5-7 team in 2010, have already lost more games — 26 — then the Longhorn program lost in the 11 years prior to their arrival.

“We didn’t win as many football games as I wanted to, but I think we are turning this thing around, and I’m glad to be the foundation,” senior defensive back Quandre Diggs said. “That will always be our history because I really think Coach Strong is going to get this thing turned around.”

Regardless of wins and losses, that foundation will be the senior class’ legacy.

“[The seniors] have really taken the younger guys under the wing and demonstrated a work ethic,” junior offensive lineman Taylor Doyle said. “How to play hard and doing everything right off the field.”


The Texas secondary showed exponential growth against West Virginia last week. Part of that may be because senior Quandre Diggs finally lined up as a cornerback, rather than a run-stopping nickelback.

The biggest reason for the improvement may not come from the secondary at all, but rather from the increased pressure created by the defensive line, most notably from senior defensive end Cedric Reed. Reed was supposed to spend this season terrorizing quarterbacks before heading to the NFL, but the senior had just one-and-a-half sacks before erupting for three more plus a safety and a forced fumble last week.

Cowboy junior quarterback Daxx Garman is not a threat to run, which means Reed will be able to pin his ears back and rush the passer without having to worry about the quarterback scampering for a big gain. A disruptive pass rush will help the secondary turn in another strong performance and punch Texas’ ticket to the postseason.


Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes played terribly last week. Swoopes completed just over a third of his passes and revived his early-season tendency of throwing dangerously inaccurate deep balls.

For the first time this season, the running backs showed that they can win a game on their own. Junior Johnathan Gray became the second Longhorn to eclipse the century mark in rushing yards this season, and senior Malcolm Brown followed up his hundred yard performance against Texas Tech with a 90-yard effort against the Mountaineers.

Swoopes cannot be relied upon to consistently move the ball down the field, and Oklahoma State’s star defensive end, sophomore Emmanuel Ogbah, and lockdown corner, junior Kevin Peterson, will only make things harder for the sophomore. Another dominant rushing performance by Texas’ backfield tandem would cover up Swoopes’ weaknesses and propel the Longhorns to another conference victory.


This Saturday’s game is a must win for the Longhorns. Charlie Strong’s team needs one more victory to gain bowl eligibility, and, if Texas cannot beat the Cowboys on the road, it will have to win on Thanksgiving against a TCU team with national title aspirations. 

The Longhorns have had a bad habit of losing their focus in some of the most important games this season. It started with a 41-7 blowout against BYU, continued with the comical gaffe during the coin toss against UCLA and culminated in a penalty-riddled loss to the hated Oklahoma Sooners. 

The Longhorns cannot afford to make any mental mistakes against an Oklahoma State team that almost knocked off Florida State to start the season. Swoopes, in particular, will have to make sure to stay calm, work through his progressions and deliver accurate balls. If he can stay focused and the rest of the team can avoid costly penalties, Texas has a chance to use this week’s game to sneak into a bowl game.

Photo Credit: Amy Zhang | Daily Texan Staff

Stock Up: Johnathan Gray

Gray finally had the kind of game Texas fans have been waiting for this year. He had ten carries for a whopping 101 yards and three touchdowns, giving Texas its second consecutive week with a 100-yard rusher. His 39-yard touchdown run set the tone in the second quarter, and the 40-yarder on his next touch set up his one-yard touchdown run. He then iced the game with a fifteen-yard touchdown scamper.

Stock Down: Charlie Strong

If it wasn’t apparent in the UCLA game, Texas has looked confused when it has a lead late in games. Ultimately, that confusion comes down to the head coach. Despite a large lead and the clock in its favor, the Longhorns still put the ball in sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes’ hands. Not only did Swoopes fail to complete any of his fourth quarter passes, he rarely ran down the play clock, even when the game clock was running. Why was Swoopes snapping the ball with fifteen seconds left on the play clock and a large lead? In addition to the poor clock management at the end of the game, Strong could have ended the first half differently. With West Virginia pinned deep in Longhorn territory with just under a minute remaining, Strong refused to call a time-out to get a shot at a late field goal. Although his team is looking better, his clock management skills can definitely improve.

Stock Up: Cedric Reed

The senior defensive end was an absolute beast Saturday. There’s a reason he was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, Athlon National Defensive Player of the Week and a nominee for the Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week. He had a career-high three sacks, a safety, four tackles for a loss and a forced fumble to go along with his two quarterback hits. The defensive end changed the game for the Longhorns and set the tone in one of Texas’ best defensive performances to date.

Stock Down: Tyrone Swoopes

He’s not a closer, at least not yet. When Texas put the ball in his hands in the fourth quarter, he could not deliver. He had seven pass attempts in the final fifteen minutes. Six of those fell incomplete, while the other team caught the only completion. In the second half, he completed just 2-of-14 pass attempts. For the third week in a row, he looked sluggish and overwhelmed. His consecutive stellar performances against Oklahoma and Iowa State are starting to look like flukes. In the three outings since he “turned the corner,” he has completed just 46.8 percent of his passes.

Photo Credit: Amy Zhang | Daily Texan Staff

The right Reed

It was as if senior defensive end Cedric Reed bottled up all his frustrations from the first 10 weeks of the season and let them out against West Virginia on Saturday.

Reed opened the season as a preseason All-American and many believed he would be a top pick in this year’s NFL Draft. However, as the season wore on and he failed to make much of an impact in any of Texas’ first nine games, Reed’s draft stock plummeted along with hopes of him being an All-American or winning any of the awards for which he was initially watch-listed.

But Saturday, he reminded everyone just what he is capable of. The 6-foot-5-inch, 272-pound lineman was an absolute menace all afternoon and got in the West Virginia backfield on several occasions.

“It feels great,” Reed said. “I knew it was coming, and my teammates and coaches knew it was coming.“

Reed finished the afternoon with 12 tackles, three sacks, a safety and a forced fumble.

Can you Diggs it?

While Reed has seen his draft stock plummet for the majority of this season, senior defensive back Quandre Diggs’ pro potential seems to increase each week, and the game against West Virginia was no exception.

Diggs spent most of his afternoon covering senior Kevin White, the Mountaineers’ best receiver and one of the top pass catchers in the entire country. White racked up plenty of yardage, but Diggs kept him out of the end zone and made a few huge plays in the process.

The most notable was an interception in the fourth quarter that helped Texas seal its victory. After getting beat on a similar play earlier in the game, Diggs jumped an out pattern and picked off West Virginia senior Clint Trickett, ending the Mountaineer drive and giving the Longhorn offense great field position.

“I knew I was going to get another opportunity, and, in my head, you’re going to beat me one time, but the next time I’m going to go make a play,” Diggs said. “That’s just what I did, and it comes from great film review [and] great study.”

Big day for Gray

From the moment he arrived in Austin, head coach Charlie Strong preached his affinity for run-heavy offenses. He was confident that his running backs — senior Malcolm Brown and junior Johnathan Gray — were the ideal tandem to lead the Longhorn offense.

But for the first eight games, a depleted offensive line and some less than convincing running back play forced Strong’s team to throw the ball more than he would have liked.

Over the last two weeks, however, Strong has gone back to the run and it has paid off.

As his young, patchwork offensive line continues to gain experience and develop chemistry, the running backs have exploded onto the scene, and Gray’s turn was Saturday.

The junior scatback totaled 101 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries against the Mountaineers. The most impressive of those 10 touches came early in the second quarter, as Gray juked a West Virginia defender and stretched for the pylon on a 39-yard touchdown run.

Photo Credit: Sarah Montgomery | Daily Texan Staff

Entering the weekend, the Texas football season had been mostly noted for its missed opportunities. The Longhorns entered their matchup against No. 23 West Virginia 0-4 against top-25 teams, riding a seven-game losing streak against ranked teams.

All of that changed Saturday when the Longhorns played their best half of the season in the game’s first 30 minutes, and the defense held strong in the second half to beat the Mountaineers, 33-16.

The win marks the first time Texas has notched consecutive victories under first-year head coach Charlie Strong.

“It’s a really good win for our program,” Strong said. “We just, week by week, we continue to get better.”

The Longhorns managed to strike first on a 2-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes to senior tight end Geoff Swaim. The Mountaineers responded with a 48-yard kick return and managed to drive the ball inside the Texas 2-yard line.

However, the Longhorns held tough against the wall near the end zone, stuffing the Mountaineers on third-and-goal at the Texas 1-yard line. The Mountaineers came away from the drive with a field goal, but the goal-line stand made a statement.

“I think that kind of set the momentum,” senior linebacker Jordan Hicks said. “The crowd was into it; the defense was able to stop them. We got a few tackles for losses and held them there on the goal line. That’s gigantic.”

The Longhorns gashed the Mountaineers on the ground to the tune of 227 yards, including 101 yards by junior running back Johnathan Gray. Senior running back Malcolm Brown added 90 yards on the ground on 20 carries.

The duo was especially effective during the second quarter, in which the Longhorns scored 17 unanswered points, highlighted by two long runs from Gray.

The first went for 39 yards and a score, while the second run followed a 25-yard run by Brown, in which Gray hit the hole for a 40-yard gain. Gray capped the drive from two yards out to give the Longhorns a 21-3 lead.

“[The] offensive line did a great job opening holes,” Gray said. “They knew what we had to do to get the job done tonight, and they did it.”

On the other side of the ball, senior defensive end Cedric Reed dominated the Mountaineers’ offensive line with three sacks. Reed’s penchant for finding the quarterback was akin to his play last season, marking a bounce-back performance after recording only 1.5 sacks through the first nine games this year.

“Tonight, after I got that first sack, I went up to Coach [Chris] Rumph and told him, ‘Sacks come in bunches, so you better watch out,’” Reed said.

The Mountaineers ended up outgaining the Longhorns by nearly 100 yards but were held to a season-low 16 points and did not get into the end zone until early in the fourth quarter.

Texas won the battles on third and fourth downs, allowing West Virginia to convert only 3-of-17 third-down attempts and 3-of-5 fourth-down attempts.

“We had to win on third down, and we were able to win on third and fourth down,” Strong said.

The win was a step toward bowl eligibility for the Longhorns, who are now 5-5 on the season and need to win at least one of their final two contests. Despite defeating a top-25 opponent at home for the first time since 2008, some players were hesitant to call Saturday a signature win.

“I wouldn’t say that,” Reed said. “It’s just another win — another Big 12 win."

Photo Credit: Jonathan Garza | Daily Texan Staff

Heading into the 2014 season, plenty of eyes were on senior defensive end Cedric Reed and his ability to anchor the Texas defense. Last season was thought to be Reed’s coming out party, as the junior collected all-conference honors in his first year starting for the Longhorns, and things were only supposed to go up from there. 

Reed was one of two FBS players — the other being Khalil Mack, who was the fifth overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft — last season with at least five sacks, four pass breakups and five forced fumbles.

But, after recording 10.0 sacks a season ago, Reed has only recorded a meager 1.5 this season with two-thirds of the year in the books.

“I beat myself over it every night,” Reed said. “My numbers aren’t the same as they were last year, and they’re definitely not the numbers I expected.”

With his collegiate career nearly over, Reed acknowledged that his performance this season will likely have a negative effect on his draft position.

“It’s football; you know stats got a lot to do with it, and my stats aren’t there,” Reed said.

Before the season, Reed was named to several watch lists for national awards, such as the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski award. But with his performance thus far, Reed is unlikely to be a semi-finalist for either.

“I take full responsibility for my play this year,” Reed said. “I’ve been hearing a lot about it. But I’m trying every day. I’m giving it all I got on the field.”

However, in certain aspects, Reed believes he has proven to be a much better player than in the past.

“I’d say I’m a better run stopper,” Reed said. “Last year, I was a great pass rusher, and I’ve probably been doing a lot of run stopping better this year.”

Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford can attest to Reed’s high level of play against the run.

“We play some odd defense. We’ve put him in four-technique with his head up to help us stop the run, and, when you look at that, he’s done a great job,” Bedford said. “A guy is 6-foot-6, and he plays long; it’s hard for guys to get into his legs, so he’s able to handle two gaps.”

Bedford said Reed’s presence demands attention from opposing offensive linemen, which helps his teammates put up better numbers.

“We told him, ‘Hey, you go fall on a grenade for us right now. Keep these guys off our backers,’ and all of a sudden, that linebacker has 17 tackles,” Bedford said.

Still, though, the senior would like to boost his numbers in the closing games of his Texas career.

“I’m going to be playing a lot more on the left, like I used to,” Reed said. ‘”I’m going to try to get back to what I used to do well when I had good stats.”

Despite being disappointed by his play and the team’s struggles, Reed doesn’t second-guess his decision to return to school.

“I’m happy,” Reed said. “No regrets, man. I live life to the fullest, man. I’m definitely happy where I’m at right now.”

Longhorn defensive end Cedric Reed has struggled to live up to expectations this season. He’ll have to be better in order for Texas to knock off the Wildcats on the road this weekend.

Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff


Safety Jason Hall may only be a freshman, but his presence was sorely missed against Iowa State. The patchwork rotation of sophomore Adrian Colbert and senior Josh Turner struggled against the Cyclones.

Hall is listed as day-to-day, so even if he does play against Kansas State, it’s unlikely that he’ll be at 100 percent. The Longhorns will need better production from Colbert and Turner if Hall is out or not at full strength. On the opposite side, senior safety Mykkele Thompson had issues against Iowa State, too.

The Longhorns will have a challenge in defending Tyler Lockett, Kansas State’s deep threat, so they can’t afford to have troubling safety play to plague an otherwise solid secondary. Colbert, Hall, Thompson and Turner must step up in order for Texas to upset the Wildcats.

Linebacker Dalton Santos

Junior linebacker Dalton Santos started at middle linebacker in place of senior Steve Edmond against Iowa State. Dalton appeared a step slower than the Cyclones, and Edmond was forced into action as a result. 

If Edmond isn’t 100 percent Saturday, Santos will need to be ready to go against the Wildcats. He’ll need to step up and perform better than he did against the Cyclones if he is forced into the middle linebacker role against Kansas State.

Defensive end Cedric Reed

Senior defensive end Cedric Reed hasn’t had the season he was expected to have. While Reed’s presence on the field is noticeable, his season statistics show that his productivity hasn’t been great. This season, Reed only has 1.5 sacks and four tackles for loss. The Longhorns need more from Reed as they look to knock off the Wildcats on Saturday.

Running backs

While the offensive line has hampered the Longhorn running game this season, senior running back Malcolm Brown, junior running back Johnathan Gray and sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes have finally started to see success running the ball.

Swoopes ran for 95 yards and a touchdown against Iowa State. Brown and Gray added an additional 86 yards and three scores on the ground against the Cyclones.

Now that Swoopes is having success running the ball, defenses are more likely to respect him in the run game, which will open things up for the backs. If the Wildcats contain Swoopes, the running backs will need to step up in his place.

Senior defensive end Cedric Reed and the rest of the defense look for revenge against Baylor on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Sarah Montgomery | Daily Texan Staff

Dec. 7, 2013: The Longhorns traveled to Waco to face the Baylor Bears in the final game at Floyd Casey Stadium. At halftime, Texas was tied with the Bears at three and knew that a win would secure its first Big 12 Championship since 2009.

Baylor outscored the Longhorns 27-7 in the second half and won the Big 12 for the first time in program history.  

“It still haunts us,” senior defensive end Cedric Reed said. “You know that we were 30 minutes away from winning the Big 12 Championship.”

Despite all the struggles the program had endured since 2010, a conference crown last season would’ve been a surprising twist to a disappointing 2013 campaign.

“That was the game that kept us from a Big 12 Championship,” redshirt senior linebacker Jordan Hicks said. “Everybody understands that. Everybody knew the circumstances we were in, and we weren’t able to go out there and do it.”

The three points the Longhorn defense allowed in the first half tied Baylor’s season-low for points scored before halftime. The Bears averaged 52.4 points per game last season.

“Anytime you hold a team to three points with a high-flying offense like them, that’s always a good job,” senior cornerback Quandre Diggs said. “We didn’t come out and finish in the second half, and that’s just what it is. Those guys came out and played their game in the second half, and we didn’t.”

The Texas defense surrendered its longest drive of the game against Baylor to open up the second half, when the Bears marched 77 yards down the field on 14 plays and scored a
touchdown to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

“We played good the first half,” Hicks said. “The second half, we didn’t come out ready to go.” 

The Bears scored a touchdown and a field goal on their following drives, and Texas found itself in an unrecoverable 17-point hole. Texas players know they missed an opportunity to be champions last year but also know they have an opportunity to make up for it this weekend.

“You always remember stuff like that,” senior safety Mykkele Thompson said. “It never goes away, but we are just trying to move on and make it a different way this year.”

The Longhorns avoided giving up many long plays to a Bears’ offense that is predicated on making big plays and scoring points on quick drives.

“One of our things is not to give up big plays, but big plays are gonna happen,” Reed said. “It’s the way you react afterwards.”

Texas enters having played one of the conference’s more difficult schedules but has only surrendered 39 plays of 10 yards or more this season. Baylor, however, has produced 87 plays of 10-plus yards from scrimmage this season, a number the Longhorns need to limit to give their offense a chance.

“They are a big play team. They want to get the ball out,” Reed said. “That’s what they do; they look for chunk yardage, man.”

Texas players aren’t entirely sure how this one will play out, but they know they will have their hands full against the nation’s highest scoring offense, which scores 56.8 points
per game.

“Teams like this, they’re set up to score points, and we just have to keep them one less than what we score,” Thompson said.