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 noteworthy items that came from Charlie Strong's press conference on Tuesday.

As for as individual practices go, Tuesday's might have been the one that left Strong the most aggravated so far.

Strong said he noticed the team was "just going through the motions" during the beginning of practice, particularly during stretches. So he stopped them, told them to go back to the entrance gate and had them start practice over.

"You can always tell when your football team is ready to practice," he said. "They are just going through motions. You can sense it."

That fell in line with what Strong said some on the team did during the end of Saturday's scrimmage, the first in full pads.

"The longer the scrimmage went guys stopped competing, and that's what we can't have," he said.

"As the scrimmage went, it's all about when you have a chance to make plays go make plays. When the ball is thrown I expect the receivers to catch the ball. I expect us to not turn the ball over in the redzone. I expect defensive players to go make tackles."

Strong said he also told his players they weren't good enough to waste practices."

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Strong pointed out Malcom Brown, Desmond Jackson, Duke Thomas, Dominic Espinosa, and Malcolm Brown as players that stood out during Saturday's scrimmage.

He hasn't gone a press conference without mentioning Espinosa, who will presumably start at center for the fourth straight season. So Texas' lone returning offensive line starter is clearly doing a good job.

Strong also commended Malcolm Brown for the way he is running these days. He said he really follows his linemen well and always manages to fall forward.

Texas' head coach also said he was "really impressed" with how Shawn Watson and Joe Wickline called plays.

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Texas got a bit of unfortunate, but promising news on Tuesday when it announced that sophomore offensive lineman Kent Perkins had successful arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday. He'll miss the rest of the spring but is expected to return in time for fall camp.

Perkins injury obviously hurts depth across the line as Strong said Perkins, who only played offensive tackle in high school, could see some time at guard.

"Losing Perk hurt us because he was doing so well," Strong said. "Now it gives us a chance to watch the young guys."

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Like Espinosa, Quandre Diggs is another player that Strong has singled out as a leader on the team. He said Diggs was coming into his own and showing leadership ability.

"He can play outside at corner and nickel," Strong said. "He's a very smart player. He knows his size is not what you like to see all the time, but he plays within himself."

Junior receiver Marcus Johnson also received some high praise from Strong for his work ethic. Johnson reportedly looked really quick on Saturday and even posted a video of himself scoring a touchdown on a cross pattern, in which he was able to avoid a few tackles and break away down the field.

"Marcus does a great job," he said. "He can run and separate from a defensive back. What I told Marcus is he has big time ability. He has to go play like that each and every day."

Strong also commended the tight ends for having a good scrimmage, which is welcomed news for any Longhorns fan considering the positions struggles over the past few seasons.

Daje Johnson is a player you can tell Strong is working with. He realizes the ability but has made comments that suggest Johnson has had, or is having trouble hanging on to the ball."

"The thing about Daje, he has so much ability and has enough speed," Strong said. "But it's all about ball security. You have to have a short memory."


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