September 4, 2009

Countdown to kickoff: No.2 - Kyle Hix

Name: Kyle Hix

Position: Offensive tackle

Classification: Junior

Prep credentials: The former Aledo star was a four-star prospect (5.8) who was ranked as the nation's No.17 offensive tackle and the No.201 overall prospect in the nation by Rivals. Hix was ranked as the No.20 overall prospect in the state by Lone Star Recruiting and ranked No.28 by Rivals.

Click here to see Hix's high school film

2008 stats: His started all 13 games last season at right tackle

2008 Honors: None.

Career stats: His started all 13 games last season at right tackle

Best game in 2008: Hix earned the Boss Hogg Award, which is given to the best UT lineman in every game, just once last season and it came in the September destruction of Arkansas.

Scouting Report: When you look at the inconsistency of the Texas offensive line from 2008, a lot of it had to do with some of the younger players on the line not taking the next step in their collective ongoing evolution. Heading into the season, there was hope that Hix might emerge as the line's best player and an awards candidate. Instead, he ended up being solid player, but certainly not the kind of difference maker that would send the line's play into a different category. Therefore, as we approach the start of his junior season, everyone is till waiting for Hix to emerge as a true impact player.

At 6-7, 320 pounds, Hix has all of the physical tools needed to be one of the top tackles in the country. As a pass protector, Hix does a great job of staying balanced. He gets in and out of his knee bend without any problems and he has the quickness needed to neutralize rushers that simply try to run around him. Because of his combination of size and strength, few players that attempt to go through him actually succeed at reaching the quarterback, which really cuts down on the stress that an opposing player can put on him in the way of a pass rush.

The area where everyone is really waiting for Hix to take the next step as a player is in the run game. For all of his size and strength, Hix was not a consistently dominant player in that phase of the game in 2008. In fact, for a guy that can play power football as well as anyone on the Texas roster (among offensive lineman), this is the area where everyone's is still waiting for Hix to kick it up a notch. Too often last season Hix was able to wall off his man, but not able to get enough of a push off the line of scrimmage. The hope this season is that Hix not only wins his match-ups in the running game, but that he starts to win them convincingly. He's shown that flash at various times in training camp against elite-level competition, but now it's time to translate that success to the game. If he's able to that, his player stock and the overall play of the line will take off.

The big hope… The switch flips on and Hix emerges as one of the top tackles in the country.

The big worry… The light switch isn't ever going to come on and he's destined to be a very good, but never a great college player.

Did you know? Plays the guitar in his spare time.

NFL Scouting report: "He's a little like (Adam) Ulatoski. I know he can play in our league. He's going to end up being a four-year starter, but is he a top-end guy or a bottom of the roster guy? I don't know the answer yet. That book on (Hix) is still being written."

The bottom line: It was probably too much to ask that Hix emerged as a truly great player during his sophomore season. Not even guys like Justin Blalock, Kasey Studdard and Lyle Sendlein were able to be true difference makers after only one season in the weight program. Now that he's a third-year junior and played in 26 career games, it's fair to say that the time is now.

No.3 - Aaron Williams
No.4 - Alex Okafor
No.5 - Brandon Collins
No.6 - Russell Carter
No.7 - Fozzy Whittaker
No.8 - Justin Tucker
No.9 - Lamarr Houston
No.10 - Dan Buckner
No.11 - Eddie Jones
No.12 - Tre Newton
No.13 - Emmanuel Acho
No.14 - John Chiles
No.15 - Kheeston Randall
No.16 - David Snow
No.17 - Curtis Brown
No.18 - Malcolm Williams
No.19 - Keenan Robinson
No.20 - Vondrell McGee
No.21 - Blake Gideon
No.22 - Adam Ulatoski
No.23 - Ben Alexander
No.24 - James Kirkendoll
No.25 - Jared Norton

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