5 Players To Watch at Spring Game

William Wilkerson and Chip Brown list 5 players they'll be watching closely at the spring game.


Chip Brown’s Take

1. QB Jerrod Heard -

Everyone's highly anticipated first look at the 4-star dual-threat QB in a game-like setting. How far has he come? How far does he need to go? An uplifting showing Saturday would make for an uplifting summer for Horns faithful.

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2. LB Ed Freeman -

The redshirt freshman safety-turned-linebacker has all the physical tools to be a sideline to sideline assassin. Now, I want to see it.

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3. DE Shiro Davis -

It's now or never for the senior-to-be. With injuries sidelining DEs Caleb Bluiett (knee) and Derick Roberson (knee) this spring, it's been Shiro's time to shine. But he needs to do more than shine - more like dominate or a player like Bluiett or Bryce Cottrell could pass him up.

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4. OT Tristan Nickelson -

Some thought he might redshirt. Not Joe Wickline, who has settled on the right side for the 6-8 JUCO transfer. Is he good enough to start?

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5. WR Dorian Leonard -

There's been some buzz from the coaches about the big wideout from Longview. Let's see if he can get separation or make some kind of statement on Saturday.





William Wilkerson’s Take

1. QB Jerrod Heard -

From those we’ve spoken to and from what we’ve seen Heard has improved. His velocity is up, he’s much more comfortable in this offense and is competing at a much higher level. So let’s see how it all comes together in a game-like setting when he knows all eyes will be on him. Tyrone Swoopes has done nothing to suggest he’s ready to give up his starting spot. Can Heard keep pace or even surpass Swoopes heading into the dog days of summer?

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2. LB Malik Jefferson -

How good is the five-star linebacker going to be for the Longhorns? Early reports suggest he’s going to be exceptional and has drawn nothing but praise from the coaching staff and teammates alike for his playmaking abilities and for his humble attitude. This will be everyone’s first time seeing him in full pads in a Texas uniform. It’s a dream come true for many. Let’s see what he’s got.

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3. RB Duke Catalon -

We all know what Johnathan Gray can do and D’Onta Foreman looked solid in the time he got on the field as a freshman. But what about Catalon, the speedster from Houston who Tommie Robinson recruited when he was at USC? He was injured most of his freshman season. He’s battling knee and toe injuries right now but sources say he is at about 80 percent and should be good for the spring game. He can be a true difference maker for this offense if he can stay healthy.

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4. DB John Bonney -

There have been few players who have impressed the HD staff this spring more than Bonney has. The coaches believe they have found something special in him as their nickel defensive back, and I couldn’t agree more. He’s got great size and his instincts are like that of a seasoned vet. I fully expect Bonney to live up to the hype he’s created for himself on Saturday.

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5. OL Connor Williams -

Williams has gone back-and-forth from the first and second team, and at various positions too, which speaks to just how highly Joe Wickline thinks of him. It sounds like he’ll be starting out with the second team on Saturday, but I’m not completely convinced that’s where he’ll be once Texas touches down in Sound Bend for its season opener against Notre Dame. Williams is a special talent who did himself a world of good by enrolling early. He’s the future of UT’s offensive line. Pay close attention to him.




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