1) Last year's team theme: "Brick-by-Brick" was given to the players by the coaches, who felt like the players had to earn the right to have their own slogan. This year, the players picked R.I.S.E. The 'R' stands for Relentless. The 'I' stands for Intensity. The 'E' stands for Emotion. Brown said the coaches and players were unsure about the 'S' … the players want the letter to represent Swagger, while the coaches felt like Sacrifice should come before Swagger, which has to be earned.
2) On the injury front, the Longhorns had some good news. Texas had a number of walking wounded after the spring, including some key players like Jackson Jeffcoat, Adrian Phillips and Quandre Diggs. But the good news is that out of the players with non-season-ending injuries, all but two should be full-go when camp starts. The two exceptions are wide receivers Bryant Jackson and Miles Onyegbule, but there's good news there, too. Jackson should be ready at some point during camp, and Onyegbule is ahead of schedule and still could play this season.
3) Alex De La Torre is now a fullback. The freshman arrived in the spring as Steve Edmond's primary backup at middle linebacker, but spent the last half of spring trying out fullback. And it appears that will be his new home.
4) In a related note, Brown said he was concerned about the backups at linebacker. The good news here is that Brown said the staff felt good about the front line of Jordan Hicks, Steve Edmond and Demarco Cobbs. But beyond that, the Longhorns need to work on establishing depth. And while Brown didn't name any names, with De La Torre's move, it wouldn't be false to guess that incoming freshman Dalton Santos will get first crack behind Edmond.
5) Another incoming freshman will start off at a new position. Caleb Bluiett will begin his Texas career at tight end. It makes sense for a few reasons. On one hand, Texas has a number of defensive ends, and fewer tight ends. And Bluiett's body is certainly capable of producing a standout at the position. At last count, Bluiett stood between 6-3 and 6-4, with great length and 240 pounds already on his frame. And at that weight, Bluiett — who consistently clocked in the 4.6s in the 40-yard dash — played centerfield for his high school baseball team. So he certainly has the size, and athleticism, to factor in.
6) Brown singled out Reggie Wilson as somebody who could make a major impact this season. He said that both Wilson and Cedric Reed were being prepared to play 25-30 plays per game, hopefully with little dropoff from starters Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat. Brown said Wilson was starting to make the leap the staff expected from him … and reminded people that Wilson only played two years of football before arriving on the 40 Acres.
7) Texas should be OK on the offensive line, thanks to Stacy Searels. Brown lauded Searels for moving players around on the offensive line and trying them at different positions, and said that after Texas lost Paden Kelley (quitting football) and Camrhon Hughes (injury), he walked into Searels's office, and the line coach already had a plan to absorb those blows. That transition is helped by the fact that Luke Poehlmann appears to be fully recovered from his injuries of a year ago.
8) The Longhorns are experimenting with a new position. Brown said it was a working title, but that coaches Bryan Harsin, Major Applewhite and Darrell Wyatt were calling it "T and Z." The position is part tailback, and part receiver, and should be the place of residence for both D.J. Monroe and Daje Johnson next year. Brown said the staff didn't really look at another school for the position, but added that USC probably used a similar position for former standout Reggie Bush.
9) None of the players involved with the arrests on Sixth Street will miss any games. Brown said they were currently paying their penance, and would miss Big 12 Media Days as well. He said both Okafor and safety Kenny Vaccaro probably would have represented the team at the July event, but that they wouldn't be free to talk to the media until school started back up in the fall. Brown said the group of players apologized to the team, and said they just needed to be more respectful of authority.
10) Brown continued to leave the quarterback competition open-ended. And while he said that the coaches aren't allowed to talk football with the players, he said he was impressed with the leadership and confidence displayed by both David Ash and Case McCoy. Considering those are the two main factors Brown said he was looking for from quarterbacks, that's a very good sign.
We usually stop at 10, but I thought I'd include one extra one, so here goes:
11) Brown thinks that Texas can be a Top-10 team this year. Brown compared this year's team to his 2008 team, one that finished just outside of the hunt for the BCS National Championship Game. That team was talented, but had its question marks heading into the season. Brown said this year's team was similar in that respect, and that it was still a younger team. Next year, Brown said Texas should have a better idea with an older team, more like the 2005 and 2009 seasons.