Daily Dose

Welcome to the Daily Dose, a daily collection of random musings surrounding Longhorns athletics and recruiting. Today we'll look at the five UT football players with the most to gain this summer.

QB Jerrod Heard

If he's going to make life difficult on Shawn Watson, Charlie Strong, Joe Wickline and Co., which they are undoubtedly hoping he does, he's going to have to spend any free time outside of his studies studying up on what he's learned about the offense from his visits to UT.

Consider that a done deal from everything I've come to know of this five-star dual-threat. He's proved that he's all about coming in and competing from Day 1 when he spent his last high school spring break in San Diego (on his own dime) at a camp help by renown QB guru George Whitfield.

Heard was in town for Texas' spring game but didn't spend it in the stands with the majority of the recruits in attendance. Rather, he was on the sidelines paying close attention to what the coaches were asking of Tyrone Swoopes. He's taken the right steps so far and should continue doing so this summer.

QB Tyrone Swoopes

Pretty much everything that was said about Heard can be said about Swoopes.

He's the main right now and the guy right now that the rest of the players are turning to for additional reps, etc. That won't be the case when Heard gets here, David Ash returns from injury, and Max Wittek presumably enrolls after graduating from USC.

Swoopes needs to show his teammates and strength coach Pat Moorer, who is effectively the head coach of the summer, that he's taking this as serious as he needs to be.

RB Jalen Overstreet

The former quarterback has a real opportunity to make a difference in this backfield given its current state.

James Gray, Johnathan Gray's father, told HornsDigest earlier this week that his son should be back by Sept. 1. But even he expressed concern with how his son would return from his torn Achilles injury.

And then there's no telling what really is going to happen with Joe Bergeron, who missed most of this spring to deal with personal issues. Can Texas count on him to make a smooth return to the rotation? Or will off-field issues hinder his performance on the field?

Either way, Charlie Strong rewards his players for hard work and, from everything I've heard, that's all Overstreet has done this spring.

"Jalen has been doing great," Malcolm Brown said. "It's just a different transition from QB to running back. He's been bouncing around from those positions. He's been doing a good job of being more consistent with the little details. He asks questions all the time to us."

LB Naashon Hughes

This redshirt freshman could turn into a true playmaker for Vance Bedford's defense if he can get to feeling comfortable with what he's being asked to do.

Right now Hughes is playing behind Peter Jinkens in a roving linebacker roll close to the line of scrimmage. That's going to suit his playing style extremely well considering his wing span, speed and strength to engage and shed blocks at the line of scrimmage.

If he continues to develop this summer and goes into fall camp feeling confident, he'll give UT one more piece at a position that will get some additional help with the return from injury of Jordan Hicks and Tevin Jackson.

TE M.J. McFarland

He didn't do anything noteworthy in the Orange-White game and didn't catch a pass all of last season. So it's really now or never for McFarland considering the improvements Geoff Swaim showed in the spring game, Blake Whiteley's pass-catching capabilities, and the fact that Texas is going after some big-time national TEs in 2015.

If McFarland doesn't want to get lost in the shuffle he's got to work closely with Swoopes this summer to assure their chemistry is as good as it can be prior to fall camp.

Others needing big summers:

Adrian Colbert – Will he factor into rotation at safety or squander his opportunity?

Hassan Ridgeway – He's got the ability to be a monster inside but has to improve his confidence.

Alex Norman – He's climbing up the depth chart at DT. Can he make even bigger strides?

Antwuan DavisBryson Echols appears to be the top reserve CB right now. Can Davis gain ground or even surpass him?

Bryce Cottrell – He's probably fourth on the depth chart right now, but that doesn't include incoming freshman Derick Roberson.

Dylan Haines – The walk-on played very well in the spring game. Can he build off that and factor into rotation?

Chevoski Collins – He didn't make the splash many were expecting during the spring game. Will that change this fall?


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