Thomas has been the motion man on goal line and short-yardage situations. He's also played in the wing and at flex tight end. Now, both Thomas and Scaife are taking snaps at fullback, H-back and at receiver. Both are Texas' leading returning receivers heading into the fall. Thomas had 219 yards on 14 grabs, trailing only the likes of Roy, B.J. and Sloan in receiving yards. His 60-yard TD grab on the opening series at Texas A&M represented a career best.
"He's got great hands," Brown added. "We feel like that he is one guy that can really help us take up some of the slack for the receivers that we lost until some of the other guys come around."
Part of what sets Thomas apart is his work ethic. Case-in-point, Brown shared this account from the recent off-season program:
"We had the guys up working at six o'clock one morning, and we worked them until 7:30," Brown said. "I go down and shower and get ready to go back up to the office and I stopped by the tight end room. David is sitting in there, by himself, watching Kansas State film from last year. So, here's a guy that got up at 5:00 a.m., he ran for an hour, and he's watching a film trying to get better when nobody asked him to. So, that's pretty good."
Pretty good, also, is Scaife, who returns to Texas for what, his 11th or 12th season? The 6-3, 250-pounder arrived on campus as part of Chris Simms' and Cory Reddings' top-ranked recruiting class in 1999 but missed the 2000 and 2002 seasons due to knee injuries. He was granted a medical redshirt year this past December.
Scaife is stronger and in better shape than at any time during his Texas tenure, Brown said.
"We forget sometimes that he's had so many tough things happen to him that I think he feels well for the first time," Brown added. "I think last year he felt better but he wasn't 100 percent. He wasn't confident. I'm seeing confidence with him right now. He gives you the ability to get open and catch a ball in a crowd."
Scaife has 649 career yards on 49 receptions. He set career highs for receptions (7) and receiving yards (84) in that comeback win over Washington in the 2001 Holiday Bowl. His 39-yard reception against New Mexico State last season is a career long.
Texas will don pads for the first time at 4 p.m., Friday at Denius Fields. The session is open to the public, as is Saturday's 2 p.m. scrimmage at Royal-Memorial Stadium.