Brown Talks The Spring

Friday, the Texas football program hosted coaching staffs from across the state as part of the Longhorns' annual coaching clinic.

Longhorn coach Mack Brown said that establishing relationships with those coaches was even more important with teams like Oregon getting probed for relationships with handlers and recruiting services.

"In our recruiting process, the high school coach and the family are the difference makers for us," Brown said.

What the coaches were able to see was the first of what Brown called two "physical days" marking the spring's start of full pads.

The'll do so without a depth chart, though Brown did say that Garrett Gilbert was receiving the most snaps with the first team, followed by Case McCoy, Connor Wood and David Ash.

"(Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin) wanted to start with a picking order," Brown said. "But all four quarterbacks are working with the first team, and there is no depth chart at this time."

One player sure to eventually find his way onto the depth chart is receiver Malcolm Williams, who hasn't practiced after dealing with "personal issues."

"He's doing really well," Brown said. "He's working out, helping Coach Wyatt coach but we're continuing to talk to him and feel like he'll be fine."

John Harris has taken advantage of that absence. Brown said that Harris spent last year working against the first team defensive backs, and added that he worked every day to make himself better. "He is definitely going to be in the mix with the receivers," Brown said. "He's tall; he can catch."

Brown went on to say that Harris needed to improve his route running, which was a bit rusty since he played quarterback his senior year in high school and redshirted a year ago.

The Longhorns aren't in as good of shape on the offensive line, where they have just eight injury-free scholarship offensive linemen. Brown did say that Dominic Espinosa, Kyle Kriegel and Luke Poehlmann were healthy enough to participate in walk-throughs, but added that walk-ons were necessary for full-contact.

The situation is rosier on defense, though Brown acknowledged that "two or three" players were working at both cornerback and safety, including Adrian Phillips and Bryant Jackson.

Brown said the best part of the spring was the enthusiasm, with players having fun trying to pick up new systems and competing for open spots. He said the team displayed great chemistry and morale, and added that the coaching staff was blending well.

How quickly they'll be able to blend everything in is another story: Brown said Texas should be behind from its usual pace all spring. He said he expected many of the position battles to last until and through fall camp.

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