RT To Remain At RB For Rest Of Spring; VY Dazzles

The biggest question heading into Texas spring football was if Ramonce Taylor (5-11, 196) would emerge as the featured RB. Now that spring training is at the halfway point, head coach Mack Brown has seen enough: RT is staying put.

At least for now.

"Ramonce Taylor did a good job again today," Brown said Wednesday. "He is really growing into the running back spot, and so we're going to leave him there the last eight days (of spring ball). We'll see how we feel at the end."

Coaches intended to give RT a seven-day audition as Cedric Benson's heir apparent and then make a decision during spring break, which begins Friday for UT students. The decision, it seems, has already been made. Can Taylor take the weekly pounding once Big 12 play begins? From what we've seen so far, he outruns it!

"Ramonce has done a really good job for us throughout the spring," Brown said, "and he has not had a fumble."

The first half of spring drills culminated with a 60-play scrimmage at DKR. The session was closed to fans and media, but Brown said QB Vince Young enjoyed his best practice day ever as a Longhorn.

"This is the best he's ever looked," Brown said, "and that really says something considering the way he played in the Rose Bowl. Every day he's growing more and more as a quarterback. He had some throws today that were just phenomenal."

Brown lauded his accuracy on the intermediate routes and then gushed over the trajectory and velocity of a deep ball he tossed to FL Nate Jones on what was a breezy afternoon in Austin.

"We're seeing Vince grow up in front of us," Brown continued. "It's phenomenal how much he's changed."

I asked Brown if coaches intended to run the same offense when backup QB Matt Nordgren gets in the game, knowing that there are just some things that only VY can do.

"We plan on running the same offense with him because he runs a 4.7 but, compared to Vince, everybody looks slow. He can makes yards on the same plays that Vince can make. It's just that nobody looks like Vince. I even don't know how to compare him to (VY) because I've never seen anyone like him."

The biggest concern during the final eight days of spring ball has to do with establishing the kind of deep ball receiving threat that Texas did not have last season. Any semblance of a deep threat was pretty much relegated to fleet-footed TE David Thomas.

"We've got to make more deep plays in our passing game with our wide receivers," Brown said. "That has to be an emphasis when we get back."

There is every indication that FL Jordan Shipley will emerge as VY's favorite downfield target next fall but, once again, coaches held Shipley out of Wednesday's scrimmage. The RS-freshman is six months ahead of schedule in rehabbing the torn ACL in his right knee suffered during August two-a-days.

"We'll see how far he comes when we get back," Brown said. "His problem is that he works too hard, not too little."

Defensively, coaches particularly want to settle the depth chart at linebacker and (all together now) work on getting more pressure on the quarterback. The inconsistent pass rush has been an Achilles Heel at Texas for the past three seasons.

"We need to get more of a pass rush from our defensive front four. We still haven't gotten that done."

For now, players are off until Monday, March 21. Coaches will spend next week breaking down practice film and establishing depth charts. The annual Orange-White Game is set for 7 p.m., Saturday, April 2.

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