Daily Dose

Welcome to the Daily Dose, a daily collection of random musings surrounding Longhorns athletics and recruiting. Today we'll look at the most telling notes that came out of Texas center Dominic Espinosa's press conference after the Longhorns practiced on Thursday.

The first two words used by Espinosa to describe how practice has been thus far were "fast" and "tough."

"It's a lot of mental stuff," he said. "Even in the first workout when we got back with all these new guys it's been a lot of mental strain on us and that's what they're trying to do for us and get us ready for a lot of situations and what we're doing now.

We're going to be having the season and it's to get us mentally tough and ready to go for these practices coming up. We're taking advantage of it right now.


It's all about up-tempo for Strong with his workouts, which is something he made reference to in his press conference after the first spring practice when he said some players might not be used to running off and on the field.

Something else that's different about Strong is he's taken away the buses that used to drive the players to-and-from practice.

Espinosa doesn't seem to mind.

"It's not bad," he said. "I don't even think about it anymore. I think I'm a funny guy. For me it's more of a social 10 to 15 minutes for me now. I talk to the guys a little bit. I don't think it's that bad, honestly, except for when you go uphill."


If anyone knows how David Ash is truly feeling it's going to be Espinosa. Known as a straight shooter, Texas' center said he hasn't noticed any drop in production from Ash, who missed 10 games last season due to a head injury.

"When he got up under there he felt the same under the saddle," Espinosa said, drawing a laugh from the media. "I don't think things have changed with him. I think his heads all good. He seems to be 100 percent to me. He's doing everything I remember him doing before. I think he is doing well."


New strength and conditioning coach Pat Moorer has really made a strong impression on the program and his workouts are already becoming stuff of legend around the 40 Acres.

"Those were unreal. They are tough," Espinosa said. "They're great, especially for a guy like me who has been doing this, I'm coming on my fifth year. So I've gone through a lot of workouts with former strength coaches Benny [Wylie] and Mad Dog [Jeff Madden] and I've seen some crazy workouts. But these are some good ones.

"They're fun and a lot of the guys got going. You got to see guys who usually wouldn't compete or lead really step up and buy into his workouts. It was fun for all of us, especially an older guy. I think the coaches really liked what they saw too."


The old saying "lead by example" is something Strong has definitely lived by at Texas. He runs anywhere from five to six miles a day in the early morning hours, which Espinosa saw first hand one morning.

"He is there real early," Espinosa said. "I was actually leaving my house one morning to go to workouts and he was running down the road I live off of. So he was running an hour before I got up. It was crazy. I know he wants to grind out there with us."

That type of dedication has really caught the eye of the team, and it hasn't taken long for them to buy into what Strong is selling.

"I know for the guys, especially the seniors and the juniors, we're really bought in to what Coach Strong wants of us," Espinosa said. "He really wants us to show what we got and to give effort every day and I think we're all buying into that. I know the coaches are giving their 100 percent effort also."


Espinosa is the only returning starter on the offensive line, which could be unnerving for some. But the three-year starter at center views it a bit differently. He says it's shed any ounce of complacency that might have been lingering.

"I think the best thing we have going for us right now is that they are eager to learn," he said. "Obviously we had a lot of experience before so it might have got repetitive for us at times because we were all so used to each other. Now it's new and exciting because these guys have no idea about certain situations. So they are asking me questions and are eager to learn."

Building depth across the offensive line is one of the main points of emphasis for Texas over the next month and into the fall. Two guys Espinosa knows need to be in the mix are Desmond Harrison and Kennedy Estelle.

"That's obviously a big deal for us," he said. "We need that depth across the board. We don't have that experience right now so we need all the reps we can get, especially Desmond and Kennedy."


Former starting offensive tackle Josh Cochran had to hang up his pads after the 2013 season due to a chronic shoulder problem. But he's still heavily involved with the team, according to Espinosa.

"He's taking more notes than any of us," Espinosa said. "It's pretty interesting, he looks a lot different now. He's a skinny guy so I'm kind of jealous of that. But it's great having him out there. It's cool to have him out there, another older guy sticking around me."

One player that Espinosa has noticed is really taking to Cochran is freshman Alex Anderson, the three-star offensive guard out of New Orleans/O. Perry Walker.

"He's helped a lot with Alex Anderson right out of the gate," Espinosa said. "He's helped a lot with that guy."

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