Texas Players Talk Spring Ball

Texas players took time on Monday to answer questions about players returning from injury, some shuffling on the offensive line and how the defense can continue to improve.

Injured players showing out

The Texas defensive players have raved about outside linebacker Demarco Cobbs, who is back in the fold after suffering an injury that kept him out for the first half of spring.

Demarco is a versatile linebacker for us," said cornerback Carrington Byndom. "With him being back, it is adding an older guy who has already been in this system. He is a pretty fast guy. Having him healthy is a good thing for our defense."

"He is doing real well," added fellow linebacker Jordan Hicks. "It is always good to have somebody like that. He knows the defense. He is fast, and he is physical. He is somebody you can trust out there so it is always good to have somebody like that back."

Meanwhile, the wide receiver position has gotten better with the return of John Harris.

"They brought me back gradually and slowly," Harris said. "Now I am doing pretty much everything the other receivers are doing. With every step I am just trying to get back into the rotation, get back on track with the plays and with all the stuff I missed during the season."

Harris said that he could potentially help the group in terms of depth, and as a player who can make big catches on third downs.

"It feels really good," Harris said. "It has been awhile since I have been out there. I am trying to get back into shape and catch up with the team. I feel like a part of the team again."

Offensive line coming together

One of the big changes from last year has been on the offensive line, where some shuffling has gone on. But Trey Hopkins said people shouldn't oversell the changes.

"Right now we have pretty much the same starting five from last year except for Donald Hawkins," Hopkins said. "For center we still have Dom Espinosa and we still have Mason Walters playing. He has played center in high school so he's there to add more depth. Plus, he has already been in the game and knows the game speed plus all the calls."

Hopkins said he has gotten to practice at every position, and could move to any spot in case of emergency. And he said the offensive line has a better depth of talent than the Longhorns have had in his tenure.

"We are extremely close," Hopkins said. "The first and second groups haven't been as close [before] as they have been [now] as far as skill and strength. Second group is always pushing us because of the high level of competition. They are letting us know that if we slip up, they will be ready to take our spots."

How can the defense get better?

According to Byndom, the Texas defense can get better by not taking improvement for granted.

"Don't be complacent," Byndom said. "We need to continue to strive to be better than last year. We have a way to go, but I think we are taking strides and we will be ready for it."

Hicks said that the defense has "made some really good strides the past couple weeks."

"The second half of the spring we have to keep going," Hicks said. "This is our last week so we are just trying to get better and get some momentum for the summer.

"You can always continue to get better," Hicks said. "We are trying to do that every day. Every day is another hurdle we have to jump. That is just what we are just trying to do. We are going out there every day and getting better. Hopefully by season time we will be exactly where we want to be."

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