Taylor Estes - HornsDigest.com

HERMAN THOUGHTS AFTER SPRING PRACTICE NO. 9

Tom Herman met with the media at the completion of spring practice No. 9 for the Longhorns. Below are some of the most significant things addressed by the head coach Tuesday evening:

Injury Update

As I reported last night, Zach Shackelford underwent ankle surgery Tuesday, and the staff is hopeful he will return to the team in time for fall camp. 

DT D'Andre Christmas-Giles is battling through a sports hernia and will finish out spring practice before getting surgery the week after the April 15th Orange-White spring game.

 

The Longhorns' scrimmage last Saturday was "not great" - per Herman.

The staff addressed the issues with the team by putting together 10 clips of the offense and defense giving "sub-maximum effort" during the scrimmage.

"When we're in a live scrimmage situation, it is unacceptable to give anything other than your maximum effort," Herman said.

"We just need to instill that in them, applaud and praise those that do well and those that exemplify our culture, and then point out those that don't and make sure they're being taught what the expectations are around here every single play."

 

Of the entire team's performance thus far through spring ball, Poona Ford and PJ Locke have stood out most, and have somewhat surprised Herman with their performances in practices and scrimmages.

"You feel those guys when they're standing out there, especially Poona playing zero nose because he's a handful for any center, and with PJ's energy and playmaking abilities."

 

Herman has been really pleased with Kyle Porter's focus and dedication to his game. He also enjoys the fact that Porter keeps to himself and doesn't follow the trend of putting his business out there on social media.

"(Kyle's) seizing it right now. He was player of the game in the scrimmage on Saturday, and he runs hard," said the head coach.

"It's really hard to run against our defense, and we know that. The offensive line - it's taking a while to adjust to that, which is good. By the time fall camp rolls around, there won't be a front or a blitz that has ever been invented that they haven't seen. 

"But until then it's taking them a while and Kyle never complains, never asks for a play off, always goes full speed, always diving. He makes yards as he's getting tackled, he never gets driven backwards. So he's been a joy to be around so far."

 

While Herman acknowledges the raw talent the Longhorns have at wide receiver, he wants to see the unit get tougher as a whole.

Colt McCoy was out at practice and mentioned the talent at wideout to the head coach. Herman relayed a similar message to McCoy that Herman shared Tuesday night with the media: he wants to see more toughness out of the group. 

McCoy recalled Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby being two of the toughest receivers he has ever played with. So Herman is challenging his group to play with the same bad-dude attitude of Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby.

 

The depth at right tackle is "good - not great" in Herman's eyes. 

He wants to see either Tristan Nickelson or Denzel Okafor to "snatch the position, take it and run with it." 

Houston and Okafor have been taking equal reps with the ones and twos, but neither has really separated himself from the other. 

 

Keeping with the o-line, the Longhorns are in need of a fourth tackle option. 

Texas has been rotating guys around to see who will best fit in the fourth tackle role, according to the head coach. 

In watching a portion of Tuesday's practice, I noticed J.P. Urquidez was primarily filling the second-string LT role behind starter Connor Williams.

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