Wednesday Practice Notes and Observations

Notes and observations from the Horns' Wednesday practice at Denius.

He got the boot: Chance Mock. After participating through the better part of Tuesday's practice while in apparent pain, the senior signalcaller sported a boot on his lower right leg and foot Wednesday and did not practice. "Chance has been around a long time and he knows what to do," Mack Brown said. "He's got a sore ankle. In fact, we've told (trainers) not to rush him back." Third-team QB Matt Nordgren (shoulder) threw a few balls to receivers before the break but did not participate in either the 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills. With Mock and Nordgren both sidelined, Vince Young and Eric Foreman took all of the 11-on-11 snaps Wednesday evening. For the second night, Young was more accurate on his tosses than he was during the spring. "Vince is throwing the ball so much better than he did in the spring and last fall," Brown said. "We're really excited about that..." Foreman appeared far more comfortable in his second practice at QB. Tuesday, the sophomore was accuracy-challenged, to put it nicely, but Wednesday, he demonstrated a bit of the form that made him a second-team all-state high school quarterback (albeit at the 2A level).

No. 3 no more: Ramonce Taylor. After spending opening day in an Orange No. 3 -- the same jersey color and number as backup tailback Selvin Young -- the true freshman donned the Orange No. 25 Wednesday as he continued to work as a backup running back and return man.

A taste of spring in August: the depth chart. So far, there's little movement from spring aside from the spots where players did not report. That means that walk-on Stevie Stigall continues to work with the second team defense at the SAM linebacker spot, ahead of Eric Hall, Braden Johnson and true freshman Jeremy Campbell. Walk-on WR Eric Enard's time as the starting split end could be short, though, with both Limas Sweed and Tyrell Gatewood moving to the front of the SE line ahead of Enard during drills (which doesn't necessarily signal a demotion, but it's worth watching...). Enard, though, continues to get substantial work in 11-on-11 and will almost certainly be a contributor this fall.

A taste of spring in August part two: the weather. Austin has offered up two spring-like days to kick off camp. Realizing full well that I'm basically taunting Mother Nature, I dare say it was pleasant out at Denius Wednesday, a far cry from the summer sauna that has been typical of previous camps.

Catch of the evening: Brian Carter. The junior flanker laid out for a Vince Young attempt, fully extending his body to haul in the wide throw to the left flat, drawing the loudest ovation of the night from fans in attendance. Word coming out of the team after spring had the coaches extremely pleased with the play of Carter, and it's becoming more evident what they saw during all those closed practice sessions. He looks solid.

Catch of the evening (first runner up): Bo Scaife. It came on a reception from Young in heavy traffic in the left flat. "Bo's had his best camp since he's been here," Brown said. "I told him tonight that he's looking like the guy that we signed (back in 1999 before successive knee surgeries). He said he might have to go back and watch film to remember those days. He's in great shape and he's got very little body fat. His knees are well for the first time since he's been here. He and (starter) David Thomas are going to give us a strong one-two punch at tight end."

The honorary Larry Dibbles Conditioning Award goes to: Cedric Dockery. OK, that may be a tad harsh to the true freshman lineman, but Dockery labored through early practice stretching and running, consistently finishing last among his peers. When we interviewed Dockery for the Inside Texas Recruiting mag back in January, he said that the Texas coaches had told him to come prepared to play, but he made a comment that indicated he didn't plan to, shall we say, hit it hard during the off-season. It shows. (Regardless of conditioning, it was -- and still is -- highly unlikely that left guard Dockery or right tackle Greg Dolan would play this year barring multiple injuries among the veteran linemen.)

Because 18 would just be too many: wide receiver. Seventeen wideouts -- including 11 scholarship players -- participate in the QB-WR drills. Of note, true freshmen Nate Jones and Myron Hardy are working out at split end, while Jordan Shipley, Chris Ogbonnaya and George Walker are working out at flanker. "...the young receivers, we're still evaluating," Brown said. Those young receivers -- but particularly Shipley and Nate Jones -- showed that their opening-night performance was no flash in the pan. In fact, Shipley looks like a legitimate contender for serious playing time at flanker. This much is clear: senior Tony Jeffery has a fight on his hands.

Sidelined: Aaron Ross. The sophomore started at left corner Tuesday night but watched from the sidelines Wednesday (hamstring) as Tarell Brown took over at the spot. The secondary starters: Ross and/or Brown at left corner (backed by Erick Jackson and Ryan Palmer), Cedric Griffin at right corner (backed by Brandon Foster and Steve Richardson), Michael Huff at strong safety (backed by Michael Griffin and Andrew Kelson) and Phillip Geiggar at free safety (backed by Matt Melton and Bobby Tatum).

On the run: the offensive guards. Mac McWhorter ran his charges through a two-man drill where the tackle blocked down on his man as the guard pulled to the outside to lead the running play. And the guards, as a group, ran very well.

Just hope opponents don't run at him: Nic Redwine. The true freshman got eaten up several times on run plays, but he also demonstrated his pass rush ability both in one-on-one drills with the OLs and later in 11-on-11 work. As advertised, Redwine is extremely quick off the edge and appears most comfortable when in pass rush situations. He also was pushed to the ground several times when his speed rush didn't get him clear of the tackle, who will often out-weight him by almost 100 pounds.

He did it again: Stevie Stigall. The walk-on SAM 'backer picked Eric Foreman as practice wound down for the second consecutive evening, this time tipping the ball in the air before bringing it down and tip-toeing the left sideline all the way to the far end zone.

Too early to tell: Andrew Kelson. While he certainly looks the part of the prototype strong safety, I haven't seen enough on the true freshman to pronounce him ready to take on the world (or Razorbacks, Sooners, and the like this fall). I will say that he is physically imposing and linebacker-like in appearance but with defensive back speed.

[Note: IT's Bill Frisbie contributed to this report.]

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