Wednesday Post-Practice Notes

Day Three of August Camp and still no Jamaal Charles.

The two-time Texas 5A all-stater, considered the offensive jewel of Texas' 2005 recruiting class, is on campus but will not allowed to workout with the team until his NCAA clearinghouse issue is completed. The conclusion of the process is expected to be imminent, but Charles had previously indicated (in a press release) that he expected to be at practice Wednesday.

"Nothing has changed since yesterday," was all head coach Mack Brown would disclose.

After taking in Tuesday's practice as an observer, freshman RB Henry Melton took the field Wednesday. Melton also missed Monday's practice due to a clearinghouse issue.

"Henry looks good but (it was) his first day of meetings and his first day of practice," Brown said, "so he's like the other freshmen: still lost. It's hard to say anything. We're not going to make many decisions about freshmen until the end of two-a-days."

One of those decisions will involve freshman WR Jermichael Finley. (For my money, the 6-5, 220-pounder is the most physically impressive member of the 2005 recruiting class. I had the same reaction when I saw Vince Young for the first time in a Longhorn uniform, who also reported as a 6-5, 220-pound freshman. VY is now listed at 233 but that should give you a point of reference. Finley is a specimen.) Brown is more worried about the lack of depth at TE then he is at DE or outside linebacker, so Finley is getting a close look in the early going.

"Jermichael is a guy that we felt like we would look at at wide receiver and look at at H-back because he could be the David Thomas of the future," Brown said. "We'll look at him at both places."

For the second time this week, practice was moved to the indoor practice facility due to heavy rain Wednesday in the Austin area. The session was closed to fans and media, but sports reporters gathered with Brown and a few players afterwards. One of the players who isn't talking, and for good reason, is RB Selvin Young. The junior granted interview requests on Tuesday but now wants to focus entirely on the upcoming season.

"Coach, I haven't done anything," is what Young told Brown, in essence. "There are guys who have worked hard through last fall and all spring, and I need to prove that I am going to be a factor with this team before I start talking to the media."

Brown said he respected Young's decision, adding, "He doesn't want to be in the spotlight until he makes something happen."

No argument here. From what we hear, Young is saying and doing all the right things. He's staying hungry, even though Brown has genuine misgivings about whether Young can remain healthy all season.

RB Ramonce Taylor was on hand Wednesday to offer his take on August Camp thus far.

"The competition with Selvin is real good," Taylor said. "He's a veteran. He's still teaching me stuff that I don't know. I'm still learning from him."

Taylor, of course, was atop the depth chart throughout spring drills as Young recovered from a season-ending broken ankle and got his academics in order. A year's experience, plus most of the reps last spring, has translated into a new comfort zone for RT.

"This time last year I was kind of nervous, but now I'm feeling great. I feel everything's going real smooth."

Taylor rushed for 283 yards on just 27 carries (that's a 10.5 ypc average) and one TD during his freshman campaign. He has been clocked at just under 4.3 and is the fastest player Brown has ever coached. Young still wants to field punts, but look for RT (and probably freshman Quan Cosby) as specialists on the KO return team.

"I want to be one of the big-time people on special teams," Taylor said. "I want to help my team out a lot on special teams and help on the kicking game. Last year, we weren't really all that good last year in the kicking game, so I'm going to try and step it up a notch and try to help out my team."

The Horns practice in shoulder pads and helmets, 6:30 p.m., Thursday at Denius Field. The pads come on Friday. Both sessions are open to the public.

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