The past 10 years have been difficult for Longhorns fans. Their reputation as a dominant program has slowly been eroding for some time now, mostly because of questionable coaching hires and the rise of other Big 12 schools.
Despite the team’s difficulties, Texas has been able to produce some top talent in the conference during the past decade. Here are the top five Longhorns of the past decade.
D’Onta Foreman – RB (2014-16)
Foreman played for the Longhorns during arguably their worst three-year stretch since 2010, so his play never got the recognition it deserved. During his final year at Texas, he ran for over 2,000 yards and scored 15 touchdowns.
Foreman also won the Doak Walker Award in 2016, which is awarded to the most outstanding running back in the country. He was the first Longhorn to win the award since Cedric Benson in 2004.
Connor Williams – OT (2015-17)
Like Foreman, Connor Williams didn’t experience much winning during his time in Austin. In his three years as a Longhorn, his record was 17-20, with his best finish coming in 2017 under Tom Herman.
Williams was a consensus All-American in 2016, and has finally managed to do some winning on top of his great individual play. He started at least 10 games in each of his first two seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys.
Kenny Vaccaro – S (2010-12)
Kenny Vaccaro will go down as one of the greatest defensive players in Texas football history. A First Team All-American in 2012, Vaccaro’s senior season was one of the best individual years in recent memory.
Vaccaro made 231 tackles and five interceptions in his Texas career. Unfortunately for Vaccaro, he arrived in Austin at the same time that the losing started, and never made it to a New Year’s Day bowl game.
Jordan Hicks – LB (2010-14)
Hicks is another player whose time at Texas came during the end of the Mack Brown era. He showed tremendous resilience as a Longhorn, suffering two major injuries and redshirting his junior year only to come back for his best year ever as a senior.
The Second Team All-American in 2014 made 147 tackles and 3.5 sacks during his senior year. Hicks did pick up some hardware while at Texas, winning the Holiday Bowl in 2011 and the Alamo Bowl in 2012.
Malcom Brown – DT (2012-14)
Some Texas fans might argue that Malcom Brown has been the Longhorns’ best player over the past decade. His accomplishments during his time at Texas are truly remarkable.
Brown started his sophomore and junior years, and was a dominant force on the interior defensive line. He finished his senior year with 70 tackles and 6.5 sacks and was named as a finalist for both the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Outland Trophy.