TGIF: Thank God It's Football!

Just over seven months ago, the Horns walked off the field in San Diego saddled with a season-ending loss that would linger through a long off-season. UT's first shot at game day redemption won't come for another four weeks, on Sept. 1, when the Horns' tee it up versus New Mexico State, but today marks the beginning of the home stretch towards that season-opening date.

A group of 20 true freshmen are scheduled to officially arrive on the Forty Acres today. The recruiting class of '01, a group ranked near the top of classes nation-wide, will hit the practice field for the first time tomorrow with a morning and evening practice session, followed by two more workouts on Wednesday before the Longhorn vets report Thursday. The first full-squad workout will be Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at Denius Fields.

The true freshmen have already received their jersey number assignments:

Lineman Will Allen (72);
RB Cedric Benson (32);
DB Kendal Briles (16);
DB/WR Brian Carter (19);
Lineman Mike Garcia (51);
DB Cedric Griffin (8);
DE/FB Eric Hall (35);
DB Rufus Harris (17);
DB Michael Huff (27);
DL Kaelen Jakes (99);
RB Anthony Johnson (23);
DB Braden Johnson (30);
LB Derrick Johnson (11);
DE Lance McFarland (90);
QB Matt Nordgren (7);
Lineman Roman Reeves (66);
DB Aaron Ross (41);
Lineman Jonathan Scott (73);
Lineman William Winston (78);
and Lineman Terrance Young (68).

For IT's picks of the freshmen that will strip the redshirt and see fall action, see our July 25 article Who will make an August depth chart climb? Since the publishing of that article, the Horns have lost DE O.J. McClintock for at least several weeks, probably through the early part of the season, after the junior suffered major damage to the muscles and tendons in his right arm from a glass cut that required corrective surgery. With McClintock sidelined, Texas has just three healthy veteran DEs going into two-a-days, adding to the likelihood that both Lance McFarland and Eric Hall will see the field this fall at end. During recruiting, Hall said he hoped to get a first shot at fullback, but that desire seemed predicated on early paying time at that spot. Now, early playing time is more likely at DE than at FB.

The next three weeks, though, will provide the frosh playing time answer at several positions. And we'll be analyzing and reporting it all right here on

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