Texas coach Mack Brown was reluctant to name a starter, and said that finding one wasn't as important as getting two quarterbacks ready to play. What is clear, according to Brown, is that freshman Connor Brewer will start off third behind both of last year's starters in David Ash and Case McCoy. Brown said Brewer would receive repetitions just by virtue of being the No. 3 guy, and said that Ash didn't receive as many reps last year because there were already three older quarterbacks in place to evaluate.
Brown said the passing game would be the primary emphasis in the spring, and said that he felt like the primary areas Ash progressed in were confidence and experience.
"You would rather have one [quarterback] up for the Heisman, period," Brown said. "But you'd really like to have one behind him that's not a big drop-off. And we haven't really had that. We've had the great one. We haven't had help if the great one got hurt. We're trying to get where a bad performance or an injury doesn't lose us a championship. It's happened about three or four times around here."
Mack also said that "everyone" had approached him wanting a shot at the 'Wild' formation opening now that Fozzy Whittaker was off campus. He jokingly told of how Mykkele Thompson swung by his office and told him not to tell defensive backs coach Duane Akina, but that he would like a shot at carrying the ball.
Brown also reiterated the point that Chet Moss was at fullback.
Brown singled out Mike Davis for his effort in the offseason, and said that Davis was really showing the staff that he was coming around.
Meanwhile, the staff was looking forward to the return of John Harris from injury. Brown said he wouldn't be ready for the first practice, on Thursday, but added that he could be ready to go at some point in the spring.
"John is still limited some," Brown said. "He had a set-back in his rehabilitation.
"We missed him probably as much as anybody in the fall," Brown said.
Brown lamented the lack of depth at the position, which will be helped once Harris returns and once the three freshmen report in the fall. But the unit could also be losing a player in Miles Onyegbule, who has gained weight to nearly 230 pounds. Brown said Onyegbule would continue working with the receivers for now, on account of depth concerns, but that he would also spend time with the H-backs.
Onyegbule could become a great tight end if he keeps growing, Brown said, but the Longhorns are hoping to find a solution to the problem position before then. Brown said it could be M.J. McFarland, who impressed as a scout-teamer and who had a huge offseason. McFarland is up to around 260 pounds, meaning he could potentially fill in as that in-line blocker the Longhorns are looking for. And with McFarland's pedigree as a pass-catcher, he could be able to fill in at both roles.
Whether or not Donald Hawkins pans out will be one thing. But Brown said he has already had an impact on the offensive line, helping to move former right tackle Trey Hopkins back inside to guard. Brown said that the depth at tackle was now strong enough that he could play his more natural position. Hopkins and Sedrick Flowers will likely fight for the open guard spot opposite Mason Walters. Garrett Greenlea will now work at both guard and tackle.
But the interesting thing is that Brown said that junior Garrett Porter could also figure in. Porter will rotate between center and guard, and Brown said that Porter's offseason effort dictated that he get a chance at more playing time.
"I've never seen a kid work harder than he has to put himself in the mix," Brown said.