Horns hit spring's closing stretch

Texas held its final shorts workout of the spring in DKR Wednesday. The remaining five practices, including scrimmages scheduled for Thursday, next Tuesday and next Saturday (Spring Game), will be full pad workouts.

With just five practices remaining, the players fighting for spots on the two deep have a limited amount of time "to get the attention of the coaches," as Mack Brown said. Here are several spots that will be a focus over the final week of workouts: fullback, where Matt Trissel has the starting job in hand but where Will Matthews and Brock Edwards are still fighting for the back-up spot; right tackle, where redshirt freshman Jonathan Scott has displaced sophomore Lionel Garr and is now getting the first-team snaps and where Will Winston is the top back-up; tight end, where Bo Scaife is the obvious starter but where Artie Ellis and Chad Stevens are battling at No. 2; defensive tackle, where Miguel McKay made a recent move into the starting unit but where Adam Doiron and Stevie Lee are still trying to make a similar move; linebacker, where all three back-up spots, now manned by MLB Eric Hall, SLB Braden Johnson and WLB Aurmon Satchell, are still questionable in terms of ability to play at a championship level; safety, where the four redshirt freshmen have five practices to make their final push for the No. 1 jobs heading into the fall at both strong and free; and punter, where returning starter Brian Bradford holds the edge but where Justin Smith has made a recent move and where there may be a newcomer to the battle (see below).

The upshot of the list above is that very few starting jobs -- right tackle, one DT spot, and both safety spots -- are unsettled. The downside is that the proven quality depth at several positions -- offensive tackle, corner and the positions listed above where the first-team isn't yet set -- is still slim.

Wednesday practice notes: The Horns spent the majority of the first 45 minutes of Wednesday's practice on special teams work before spending the last half or so of the afternoon in light, non-tackle scrimmaging. . . . Walk-on kicker Richmond McGee, who Brown said yesterday "looks like the leader right now in kickoffs," punted some on Wednesday and showed the ability to knock the ball high and deep. McGee may yet be a contestant in the positional battle at punter just as he is at kicker. . . . And just as last fall, Cullen Loeffler and Chad Stevens are the top two deep snappers, with Loeffler the first-teamer on punt snaps and Stevens No. 1 on field goal/PAT snaps. Walk-on Nick Schroeder and Jonathan Scott are the other two deep snappers. . . . Tony Jeffery, with a heavily taped foot and ankle, returned to practice Wednesday after suffering a sprained foot in Monday's workout. . . . Roy Williams, although not cleared for contact work, did limited route running and catching for the second consecutive practice. . . . Lee Jackson, who left Tuesday's workout after suffering a cut on his arm that required 15 stitches, practiced Wednesday.

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