Saturday Spring Practice Notes

Notes from the Horns' Saturday morning practice.

**Due to inclement weather, today's session was moved Texas' indoor practice facility (The Bubble). Therefore, the practice was closed to both the public and the media.**

Spring brings about revival. A new beginning. Such is the case for Texas wideout Jordan Shipley who missed the entire season last year due to a knee injury.

"It (knee) feels good", Shipley said. "It's just a matter of icing it down and making sure that I take care of it." Asked if he still feels any tweaks or twangs in the knee, Shipley replied: "It's always a little creaky. The doctors said that it would take about a year to where I can't feel it (pain) anymore."

Shipley went on to say that it felt "unbelievable" to be back out on the field playing the sport that he loves. And that he's "having the most fun I've ever had" simply because he used to take his talents for granted before the knee injury took his season away last year.

Team doctors ran a 30 minute test, consisting of cutting and jumping, on Shipley's leg a week ago to determine whether he would be able to begin spring drills. All went well enough that Shipley says he's "about 90%" speed-wise right now.

With a young and somewhat inexperienced receiving corps, chemistry is very important to have between a QB and his wideouts. When asked about the chemistry between himself and Vince Young, Shipley said, "we've already started to develop it. We started throwing and catching with each other on Tuesdays and Thursdays about a month ago... I also went through last summer with him... so it was easy to pick it right back up."...

Head coach Mack Brown seemed pleased with today's session despite the horrible weather outside. "Thank goodness for the indoor practice area. It was fine." Brown went on to say that the attitude amongst the players was great and that they are having fun. When asked about the progress of Jordan Shipley, Brown said, "Jordan has been phenomenal in that he's this far ahead after only six months." ...

The Longhorns are making a lot of offensive changes. With new personnel comes a lot of "tinkering" and evaluation. Of this, Brown said "...what we found is, that if it's not working as good with one guy at a position as it is for another, we'll give him an opportunity to move to a position where he can help himself and help the team."...

Obviously, wide receiver was not a strength of the Longhorn team last year. Largely out of necessity, Brown hopes this year is a different story. "When you lose Cedric (Benson) and you lose Bo Scaife, you've got to look to start over to find where you'll have your emphasis," Brown said. "Last year our emphasis was on running the ball and throwing to the tight ends. Now this year we'll have to go back and see who we are again and hopefully... the wideouts will come around."...

Texas' recruiting class wasn't as large this year as it has been in the past, and depth and inexperience, particularly at several key positions, are areas of concern Coach Brown. "We're going through a little bit at QB that we went through at WR in recruiting," said Brown. "When you've got B.J., Sloan and Roy and they're playing every play for three or four years... it was harder to sign young guys during that period of time. And even if we had them here they wouldn't get to play that much so we are re-inventing that position (WR)." Brown went on to say, "It's the same with Vince. People see him playing QB so it's been harder to get someone else to want to come play QB." Shipley's return is being seen as having an extra recruit in this year's class and having all the wideouts back from last season should be a real plus for this year...

Mack Brown says that the Longhorns have more seniors this year than they've probably had since his first year here as head coach. One of those seniors, Rod Wright, will be looked upon for his senior leadership. "It'll help," Wright said. "With this team, we don't want to just emphasize senior leaders. We have juniors, sophomores and even freshmen that are going to be playing... any one of them can step up and be a leader." Since the Longhorns won their first BCS game by winning the Rose Bowl, expectations have risen even more-so than usual. "This year we know what it takes," Wright said. "It's not like we have a bad taste in our mouths from losing that game. So we have to make sure that we don't get complacent."


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