Texas News and Notes

This week's news and notes focuses on the Longhorns' attrition, potential position changes and the state of the Texas quarterback battle.

1) Texas is looking at some serious attrition. Longhorn coach Mack Brown confirmed the transfers of Darius White and Taylor Bible Thursday, while also confirming the fact that De'Aires Cotton is quitting football due to back problems and taking a medical scholarship.

Then, Blaine Irby announced that he wasn't coming back for a medical redshirt year. And then, Brown announced that Mark Buchanan, Jamison Berryhill and Dravannti Johnson had graduated and wouldn't return after this season, either. Johnson may transfer to a smaller school, Brown said.

In all, those are seven potential scholarship players who won't return to the team in 2012.

2) Brown also confirmed that defensive backs coach Duane Akina is interviewing for the Hawai'i head coaching job.

"The reason I mention it is very visible because in Hawai'i you have to apply publicly before you can be considered for the job, and he is interviewing for that job, and that is home for him," Brown said. "We want him to stay, but if he has a chance and wants the Hawai'i job, that would be a great opportunity for him, and we would be all for it. As of this time, none of our other coaches as far as I know are talking to other schools."

3) Texas is experimenting with players at multiple positions. The Longhorns, like most teams during bowl practices, are shifting some players around. The most interesting shift was defensive tackle Chris Whaley spending some time cross-training at tight end. Now Whaley, who has emerged as a potential NFL prospect at tackle, isn't going to switch positions. But it isn't hard to consider the possibilities of putting an athletic 285-pound player at tight end, both from a blocking and a passing standpoint. He's a bit smaller than Luke Poehlmann, the Longhorns' blocking tight end, but he's also much more athletic and can catch the ball.

Brown mentioned that, because of the way offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin installs his offense, it was easier to insert players into four or five sub packages that takes up about 15 minutes of practice time.

The other player practicing at multiple positions is Bryant Jackson, who spent the spring at defensive back and was moved to wide receiver. Now, he's practicing at safety again, as well as at his new position. Brown said that Jackson could be moved back to safety, but would likely stick at wide receiver in the spring, as the Longhorns will be short on bodies until the new freshman class arrives.

4) The quarterback depth chart is muddied yet again. While Case McCoy grabbed the starting job against Texas A&M, and seemed to hold it through Baylor, Brown conceded that David Ash could have had more opportunities in either game.

Against A&M, McCoy generally struggled to move the ball. And while the Baylor game marked his best passing performance in terms of yardage gained, he also turned the ball over too many times.

Brown said the staff is continuing to evaluate the race.

"We'll probably play both again. I talked to Bryan about it this morning a little bit, and we've just got to get settled there," Brown said. "But right now we're in a position where we're going to need both of them. You know, after it's over, at A&M you thought you might could have played David in a few more situations. We could have played David in a few more situations at Baylor. And we'll use both of them in the ballgame."

Brown said that, right now, the starter would be determined by the first play that Harsin called.

5) Brown isn't expecting the Longhorns to stay as injured as they have been. He talked Thursday about the difficulty of playing offensively without the team's top four offensive weapons.

"I think the combination of you take Fozzy, the two young backs and Jaxon, that's your oldest senior leader and the heart of your team, and he got about every award at the banquet. And then you take three of your best freshman stars that were all touching the ball and making a difference in the ballgame, I think it took everybody aback," Brown said. "People will sit and say don't talk about injuries. When it's everybody that's touching the ball it's hard not to talk about them and think about it a little bit."

Brown said that Shipley, Brown and Bergeron were practicing and getting healthier. The Longhorns will still be without safety Christian Scott and John Harris. Brown said the coaches thought Harris might be ready to go for the bowl game, but after some running last week, Harris's foot is back in a boot."

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