One-third of the way through spring football, here are five Texas players drawing some praise.

It was a rough week with the injuries to fifth-year senior to be CB Sheroid Evans (knee), senior to be LB Dalton Santos (ankle) and redshirt freshman to be CB Jermaine Roberts (knee).

So let's try to focus on a few positives.

According to the sources we've talked to, here are five players off to a nice start this spring:

OLB Naashon Hughes - Hughes has the size, athleticism and versatility to line up as defensive end in a 4-3 alignment or as the OLB in a 3-4 or as the OLB in a 3-3-5 - basically to be the master of disguise on this year's defense. The mental mistakes from last year appear to be clearing up, and coaches are trying to get him to play more physical (something I felt Caleb Bluiett had the advantage over Hughes last year).

QB Tyrone Swoopes - When you hear positives about Swoopes, you have to remember that he's in an offense that gives him more confidence. And he's playing with confidence right now. It's early. Long way to go. But Swoopes is turning in some consistent performances so far. Jerrod Heard is still going up and down. Some really nice moments ... and some not-so nice moments, we're hearing.

RB Duke CATALON - Catalon is a Swiss Army knife type back. And even though he's battling back from a knee injury and is somewhat limited - in terms of contact - he's impressed coaches and teammates with his command of the offense and versatility. Catalon may be more of a third-down back this season (with Johnathan Gray taking more snaps on first- and second-down). But there is a sense that Catalon is going to be big-time.

CB John Bonney - Bonney's value is increasing this spring with the injuries to CB Sheroid Evans and CB Jermaine Roberts. Bonney was already impressing teammates with his football IQ and ability to dissect plays and react quickly. Bonney is now battling Bryson Echols to replace Evans at LCB, although Bonney may be more valuable, at times, at nickel.

WR Marcus Johnson - After being told he was too hard on himself and needed to relax, cut loose and be more vocal - as a senior - Johnson appears to be stepping up. Overall, the receiver group - Daje Johnson, Jacorey Warrick, Dorian Leonard and Lorenzo Joe (Armanti Foreman has missed some practice time with a minor injury) is having a solid spring so far.



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