As usual, the Horns worked on punts and field goals, but walked through and later went full speed with the kickoff and kickoff return teams. The head coach after practice said that redshirt freshman walk-on Richmond McGee "looks like the leader right now in kickoffs." McGee sent his two kickoffs inside the five against a slight southerly breeze. Nathan Vasher and Cedric Griffin worked in deep return, as did Brian Carter and walk-on corner Chad Davis later in practice. Brown also praised the recent play of punter Justin Smith. "Justin Smith has been punting as well as Brian Bradford," Brown said. "He's really done a great job the last two days so maybe Justin is coming into his own a little bit." The sophomore turned in his second straight workout of consistently strong punting, again hitting at least two of his kicks well over 40 yards with good hang-time. Vasher continues to hold on to the No. 1 punt returner position, with Carter working as his back-up at the spot. Dusty Mangum and David Pino each went one-for-two on field goal attempts, with Mangum hitting a 42-yarder but just missing a 46-yarder wide left and Pino nailing a 42-yarder but pushing a 37-yard attempt wide left. . . .
Miguel McKay, who Brown called the "biggest surprise so far on defense," worked with the first-team D Tuesday alongside definite starter Marcus Tubbs, taking Adam Doiron's spot with ones. Doiron and Stevie Lee manned the tackle spots with the second defensive unit. "He's had a real good spring," the head coach said of his senior DT. "He's popped out and made a lot of plays. He's been around a long time and he's showing improvement so he actually worked with the first defense today." . . .
I asked Brown about his philosophy regarding pulling a second-teamer up to the first-team in ones vs. ones 11-on-11 work vs. simply pitting the twos vs. ones and checking out the player's skills in that setting. "The thing we feel like in the spring as much as we can is that you get your best on your best," Brown said. "When you get guys with similar athletic ability they are less likely to get hurt. If you get a guy that is really overmatched, a great, older, stronger player can throw a young, weaker player into somebody else and hurt both of them, so you try to match up equal ability in the spring as much as you can. The last two days I've changed it up some because if a guy on the second team is dominating another guy on the second, you like to play them against the ones just enough to see how he plays against the better player to give him a fair chance to compete against a one. So you either rotate him up into the ones or you put the ones against the twos 'cause sometimes the twos need to understand why they're twos, and if they're moving the ball all the time on the second team defense they need to go see that if you can block Cory Redding, you've got a chance to be a one.". . .
Brown called linebacker depth the "biggest concern on our football team right now." The coach added, "Derrick Johnson is obviously a great player. We're excited about Lee Jackson being healthy and being back out there. Reed Boyd and Aurmon Satchell are the other two guys that we feel like have played enough that they could jump in and play. Right now Eric Hall is another guy we're looking at for linebacker (depth). We need some of those guys to step up here over the next couple of days or we would put freshman in those positions in the fall." "Those guys" Brown mentioned probably refers to Hall in the middle and Braden Johnson at SLB (and possibly even Satchell at WLB, although he's currently more capable than the other two of providing help in the fall). Although Carl Reese had some positive words Tuesday about Hall -- "he made three or four plays; he's a good athlete and he can run; he's got some speed" -- the redshirt freshman from Tennessee has yet to earn fall playing time. Texas inked five linebackers in February, and there's a good possibility given the performances of all of the back-up 'backers this spring that at least two of those young guys will see action this fall. The No. 1 candidates are Aaron Harris at MLB and Michael Williams on the outside (there's credible talk that he has Derrick Johnson-like abilities and thus the chance to play early), although MLB Brian Robison and OLBs Marcus Myers and Garnet Smith will also get a long look in August. . . .
Although still wearing the red jersey of an injured player, Roy Williams ran a few routes and caught a couple of balls during the drill portion of Tuesday's workout. Fellow wideout B.J. Johnson, who missed Monday's practice, returned to action on Tuesday. . . .
Lee Jackson left practice early in the 11-on-11 team period after suffering a cut on his arm. Brown said Jackson should be back on Wednesday. With Jackson sidelined, Braden Johnson worked with the first-team D at strongside linebacker while walk-on Stevie Stigall filled in for Johnson with the second unit. . . .
After spending Monday's practice at TE, Chase Pittman donned a white defender's jersey Tuesday and took some 11-on-11 snaps at right defensive end. . . .
The Horns will hold their third and final NCAA-mandated shorts workout of the spring Wednesday before returning to DKR for a full-pad scrimmage on Thursday. . . .
UT's graduating seniors will get a chance to show their stuff to the NFL scouts Wednesday morning at the team's annual Pro Day. Former tight ends coach Tim Brewster will be among an expected 100 NFL scouts at the workout. Brown said Brewster expects the scout turnout to be greater than at any other school in the country, including the recent workout of the seniors from the national champion Miami Hurricanes. The Horns have two probable top 10 draft picks in Quentin Jammer and Mike Williams, plus several others, including Major Applewhite, Antwan Kirk-Hughes, Mike Jones, Marcus Wilkins, Ervis Hill, Tyrone Jones, D.D. Lewis and Everick Rawls -- who are hoping to make an impression with the NFL types Wednesday.