Carl Reese's D does the LB shuffle

Monday, after the Horns' morning workout, I spoke to <B>Carl Reese</B> about his young linebackers, particularly <B>Derrick Johnson</B>, <B>Aurmon Satchell</B> and <B>Austin Sendlein</B>. During the first four full squad workouts, those three comprised the second unit LBs behind starters <B>Everick Rawls</B>, <B>D.D. Lewis</B> and <B>Lee Jackson</B>/<B>Tyrone Jones</B>.

But during our conversation (which will be posted on the site Tuesday), Reese said not only that the coaches were looking for another spin down candidate, but that the No. 1 candidate for that spin down was MLB Sendlein. And to top it off, the D-coordinator said Sendlein's spin down might go all the way to defensive tackle.

Monday night at Denius, Reese's words proved prophetic. The redshirt freshman from Arizona worked out with Mike Tolleson's DTs not only in individual drills, but in 11-on-11 as well. Whether the move sticks will probably be a product of Sendlein's play in the middle of the DL, but for the time being at least, Sendlein took the Miguel McKay route -- MLB straight to DT with nary a stop at DE -- to the defensive tackle position.

With Sendlein on the D-line, Satchell worked Monday night at second-team middle linebacker along with second-team WILL 'backer Derrick Johnson and SAM co-starter Tyrone Jones. True freshman Lance McFarland, who spent the first week of camp at DE, worked with the LBs, playing sparingly at MLB during 11-on-11.

Monday evening practice notes:

It may or may not be a sign of things to come, but during 11-on-11 work, Cedric Benson took his first snaps with the first-team offense. The true freshman from Midland Lee lined up with the starters on the first two plays of the 11-on-11 session, and touched the ball on both, taking a pitch around left end for a small gain on the first play then taking the handoff and bursting up the middle for a solid gainer (approximately eight yards) on the second play before retiring to the sideline as the veteran backs took over. . . .

The Horns did their first live action punting Monday evening and Brian Bradford's late-spring consistency looks to have carried over to fall. The junior punter hit two high ones into a slight southerly breeze, each traveling approximately 40 yards and forcing return man Nathan Vasher to call for the fair catch. Walk-on David Pino also got a punting opportunity, but Cullen Loeffler's snap came in low and Pino managed a relatively low, 35-yard effort into the wind. . . .

Walk-on kickers Pino and Dusty Mangum continue to get the end-of-practice field goal attempts. Both Mangum and Pino cleared the bar with their 43-yard attempts but both subsequently missed their 42-yard tries, Mangum's sailing wide right and Pino's failing to clear the line of scrimmage, blocked by the right tackle rush of Eric Hall. Mangum missed on his final two tries of the practice session, once from 42 (wide left) and again from 37 (wide left) after Rod Babers crashed into him on the 42-yard attempt. Pino closed the book on Monday with a solidly struck 47-yarder into a slight wind that easily cleared the crossbar (in between the uprights even!). After dealing with several bad snaps and holds over the last few practices, Pino had the benefit of kicking from the hold of first-teamer Beau Trahan Monday evening. Trahan looked to have set it up perfectly each time for the freshman walk-on, and Pino responded with several long and straight attempts. In the early practice special teams session, redshirt freshman scholarship kicker Matt McFadden, with a slight tailwind, easily punched through a 30-yarder (plus another from a bit shorter distance). . . .

After failing to successfully move the ball in one-minute drill for two practices, the first O put a six on the board on its first play vs. the second defense Monday evening. Chris Simms connected with B.J. Johnson for a 67-yard TD catch-and-run. The match-up on the play between B.J. and true freshman corner Michael Huff, although the two are just a year apart in age, at this point would best be described as a mismatch. Earlier in practice during pass scale (no linemen), B.J. hauled in another Simms' offering on a slant route and took it to the house. No mismatch on that one. Rod Babers covered the sophomore wideout, but the play, when executed properly, is almost unstoppable. Major Applewhite also laid one in perfectly for B.J. on what looked to be another post pattern, this one leaving back-up right corner Ervis Hill grasping for the back of B.J.'s jersey. Dakarai Pearson turned in one of the few defensive stops of B.J. on the day by stepping in front of the wideout on a short sideline route and making the pick. . . .

Chance Mock QBed the second team O on the team's final one-minute series, but the redshirt freshman must have had Super Glue on his hands (like in several of the spring scrimmages), tucking the ball and running on all three downs. The UT D, also like in spring, used a three-DL scheme (Cory Redding, Maurice Gordon and Marcus Wilkins on the Mock-led offensive series) some against the hurry-up offense. . . .

True freshman Cedric Griffin saw a few 11-on-11 snaps at left corner and classmate Rufus Harris did the same at free safety. . . .

TE Mike Jones (strained hamstring), LCB Monti Collier (strained hamstring), WR Kyle Shanahan (quad), DE O.J. McClintock (arm) and RB Anthony Johnson (foot) remain sidelined due to injury. Jones jumped rope this evening, and Mack Brown said he could be back as early as tomorrow. Shanahan, who I saw jumping rope one-footed during both the morning and evening workouts, looks to be moving around remarkably well for a person with an eight-inch scar on his leg. . . .

And the sign said: 19 Days Until New Mexico State.


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