Ten Most Important Longhorn Football Players: Emmanuel Acho

Christian Corona

Editor’s Note: The Daily Texan will introduce one important longhorn football player each issue. Here is No. 10 of the Texan’s 10 Most Important Longhorns.

Temperatures are approaching 110 degrees, classes are drawing near and everyone is trying to make the most of the last few weeks of summer. It can only mean one thing — football season is upon us.

Texas wants to bounce back from a 5-7 campaign last year, but it’s going to need some help from a few experienced veterans and talented upstarts.

College football teams always have holes to fill as players graduate, transfer, leave for the NFL and suffer injuries. For Texas, no hole may be bigger than the one left by All-American defensive end Sam Acho, the Longhorns’ leader in tackles for loss and sacks in 2010.

Thankfully for Texas, his younger brother still has a year left.

Emmanuel Acho is set to be a Texas starting outside linebacker and one of the defense’s most productive members. Each of his last two seasons have been better than the last, with Acho registering 11 tackles as a freshman, 49 as a sophomore and 87 last season. There’s no reason to believe that he can’t continue the trend this season, and he has a great shot at eclipsing 100 tackles. Like his big brother, he’s smart, athletic and hardworking.

Question marks currently surround the Texas program, but the linebacker position is not a cause of concern. Senior Keenan Robinson is a preseason first-team All-Big 12 selection and Jordan Hicks, the top-rated linebacker coming out of high school two years ago, is poised to prove he belongs in the starting lineup. Along with Acho, a second-team All-Big 12 pick in 2010, they make up one of the finest linebacker corps in the country.

Saint Mark’s School won five games in 2006, Sam Acho’s senior year. In 2007, Emmanuel’s last season at the Dallas prep school, his team won all but one regular season game. The Longhorns are hoping for a similar turnaround. Acho may not be as dominant as his big brother, but he’ll be a big reason why Texas bounces back this year.

Printed on Thursday, August 4, 2011 as: Acho set for successful senior season