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Texas O-line hire bodes well for Longhorns' NFL draft prospects

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Joe Wickline spent the past nine seasons as Oklahoma State's offensive line coach.

For all the critiques regarding quarterback recruiting and development at Texas under former head coach Mack Brown, it's not as if the Longhorn offensive line was some sterling beacon of excellence.

Texas hasn't had a offensive lineman drafted since 2008, though the position's future is looking brighter with the hiring of offensive line coach Joe Wickline from Oklahoma State. The addition of Wickline is being reported by multiple media outlets, including Yahoo Sports.

Wickline's most prominent pupil during his nine years with the Cowboys was offensive tackle Russell Okung, a first-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2010. Wickline also helped develop Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Charlie Johnson, longtime Pittsburgh Steelers stalwart Max Starks and Everett Lindsay, who spent 11 seasons in the NFL, during his 32-year coaching career.

With new head coach Charlie Strong placing an emphasis on toughness, Wickline will be in charge of instituting that philosophy on offense with a unit that returns only one starter.

But with Wickline picking offensive line recruits and then developing them, the returns should be immediate on the field and obvious in future drafts.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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