August 12, 2009

Countdown to kickoff: No.16 - Ready to start?

Name: David Snow

Position: Offensive guard/center

Classification: Sophomore

Prep credentials: The former Gilmer star was a four-star prospect (5.8) who was ranked as the nation's No.8 offensive guard and was a member of the Rivals 250. Snow was ranked as the state's No.23 overall prospect by Lone Star Recruiting and Rivals ranked him as the state's No.25 player.

Click here to see Snow's high school film

2008 stats: The true freshman played in all 13 games last season, including two starts down the stretch against Kansas and Texas A&M.

2008 Honors: None

Best game in 2008: In his second career start, Snow turned in a very strong performance against Texas A&M, helping the Longhorns rush for 216 yards (536 yards of total offense) as a team, while keeping the middle of the A&M interior line off of starting quarterback Colt McCoy. For a kid making his second start, Snow very much looked the part in controlling the middle of the line.

Scouting Report: There have been a number of big-time offensive line prospects that have come into the Texas program in recent years, but perhaps none of them have delivered the immediate goods as a young player like the 6-4, 300-pound Snow. From the moment that he first stepped into campus, it didn't take Snow long to cement himself as one of the best point of attack players on the offensive line.

When it comes to run blocking, Snow is a bull at the point of attack. On top of his ability to play with terrific pad level and leverage, Snow's biggest asset is the strength in his lower body. When he's able to get his body into a defensive player, he's able to uproot them from their positions, which means that he's not just a guy that can wall someone off, but he finishes like a big-time player. As he continues to add strength to his frame, he has a chance to emerge as one of the better run blockers in the Mack Brown era.

Snow also showed a high acumen as a true freshman, as he quickly picked up the line responsibilities and he wasn't overwhelmed at all when pushed into starting duty during a critical time in the season. If you're comparing his play with the likes of players like Lyle Sendlein or Chris Hall, Snow is clearly ahead of where they were each at in their respective year one/two developments.

Like a all young players, Snow still needs to polish his pass-protection technique and that will come with more reps. For the most part, Snow handled that aspect of the position much better than most could have projected, but playing in a spread offense at the high school level under the watchful eye of the state's top coaching staffs really prepared him for the jump to major college football. From top to bottom, he was probably as polished and ready to play right away as a true freshman as any offensive line prospect at Texas since Justin Blalock.

Heading into this season, he'll likely rotate between guard and center, providing top depth at both positions. From a long-term projection standpoint, he looks like a multi-year starter and future NFL prospect at either position.

The big hope… Snow's talent and ability shoot him into a full-time starting position and his emergence helps the offensive line/running game take off to new levels.

The big worry… Snow's development levels off and he's not quite ready for a starting position, or older players in front of him keep him from emerging as a true impact player in 2009.

Did you know? He's a regular member of a group of Longhorns that regularly visits patients at the Austin Children's Hospital.

NFL Scouting report:"I can't say I know much about him."

The bottom line: Snow is an emerging player for the Longhorns and he's essentially cemented his position as a co-starter type along the offensive line, even if he's not listed as such officially. The question that everyone has with Snow is his ability to take his level of play to a level that surpasses an older player by such a strong degree that he forces the coaching staff's hand when it comes to playing time. Snow looks like a player that has a chance to be a great one in time, but can it happen this year? Could he knock a third-year starter out of the lineup? If so, his presence in the line-up would translate to an upgrade on offense.

No.17 - Curtis BrownNo.18 - Malcolm WilliamsNo.19 - Keenan RobinsonNo.20 - Vondrell McGeeNo.21 - Blake GideonNo.22 - Adam Ulatoski
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