QBs Split Time In Saturday Scrimmage

The first Longhorn scrimmage of 2006, held Saturday afternoon at DKR, saw RS-freshman QB Colt McCoy take 30 snaps with the first-team offense and true-freshman QB Jevan Snead log 30 snaps with the second team unit. But Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis said it will likely be next August before coaches will name the starter.

"It's going to be a heckuva competition that we probably won't know (the outcome) until we get into the season next year," Davis said. "Colt has taken every snap so far with the first (team) and Jevan has taken every snap so far with the second group. But they've had equal snaps. As the spring goes on, we'll switch that up. Jevan will get some work with the first group and Colt will get some with the second group."

The highlight Saturday may have been McCoy's 30-yard run on the zone read, but coaches and teammates continue to give props to Snead's arm-strength. Yet, head coach Mack Brown said the most impressive thing about both QBs is the relative ease with which they've transitioned into the offense.

"The thing that I'm most amazed about is their poise," he said. "They are both talented but they have controlled the huddle and the team and the tempo. Today, if there was a tipped ball or if it was intercepted, they went right back to work. For Jevan Snead to walk out there and play well -- the first time a freshman's walked into that stadium -- is pretty impressive."

Said Davis of Snead: "To go in that stadium today and to play like he did was really amazing.

There has not been, nor does Davis anticipate, a significant makeover in the offense now that Vince Young is spending his spring primping for the NFL.

"What we have to do," Davis said, "is find out where the feature will go."

As in, the bread-and-butter 'feature' play orchestrated by the future quarterback.

"We're going to continue to do the zone reads and the quarterback draws," Davis continued, "but the 'feature' of the offense will be have to be tweaked, and turned, to what they (QBs) can do best."

Both quarterbacks lined up in the shotgun approximately two-thirds of Saturday's scrimmage, Davis estimated.

"We're not sure, when it all shakes down, how much we'll be in the 'gun'," Davis said. "Neither one of them (as prep stars) played much underneath (center) but we're making sure that, every day, they're getting some work in."

The scrimmage was closed to the general public and media but was attended by hundreds of the estimated 1,000-plus on hand for the annual High School Coaches Clinic at the Forty Acres. Yet, Brown and Davis reported that some of the underclassman have begun to make strong bids for playing time. Notably:

TE

Both Brown and Davis lauded RS-freshman Jermichael Finley's performance Saturday, namely for his hands and his stretch-the-field explosiveness. His versatility gives Davis not only the option of two-TE sets but also an H-back cut in the mold of David Thomas.

"We thought Jermichael would have a good day and he did," Davis said. "He's an extremely talented guy. You all know how important we feel like that position is. He probably had three catches for more than 30 yards today. He's blocking much better than we expected for his first spring."

FB

So far, coaches think they have found a FB in Chris Ogbonnaya. He notched a TD grab out of the backfield from McCoy during the scrimmage.

"His move to FB showed to be very positive today," Davis commented. "It was a route that we really hadn't run before with our fullbacks but, because of Chris and the fact that he can run, we worked on it and got him open for a touchdown."

RB

Ramonce Taylor was dismissed from the team this semester for academic reasons, Brown reported Saturday. Senior Selvin Young got the lion's share of the snaps, Brown added, noting that coaches used Jamaal Charles sparingly today because of his participation in track. RB Henry Melton will probably spend less time at DE than originally planned, in part because of RT's situation but also because Melton has had an impressive first week of spring carrying the rock.

"Henry Melton made some really good, physical runs today and has a couple of other days as well," Brown said.

WR

Keep your fingers crossed that WR Jordan Shipley doesn't take an awkward spill and that he continues to look both ways before crossing the street. Not only does the kid deserve a healthy career following all that he's endured, reports of his play-making capacity continue to surface among coaches and teammates. Case-in-point: Shipley netted 60-plus yards on a couple of reverses in Saturday's scrimmage.

"Jordan Shipley ran a reverse, made a really nice catch, and looked well. He got hit really hard a number of times and he jumped up and came back. I think we can pronounce Jordan 'well'," Brown said.

Shipley reportedly had all but nailed down a starting job at FL when he tore his right ACL as a true freshman (August 2004) before suffering a nagging hamstring injury last year.

"People around here think he's a ghost," Davis said of Shipley. "He had several catches. It's good to get him back out there."

O-LINE

O-line coach Mac McWhorter was "less than pleased" with some of the younger linemen during the early part of the scrimmage, Davis said.

"As it went on, things kind of settled down," Davis continued. "It's hard to explain going in there (DKR) for the first time to scrimmage. You might not think that's a big deal. But if you're a kid that grows up in this state and you get to go in there and play, that's a big deal. Some of them react funny when they go in there for the first time. But as the young linemen stayed in, they really played better."

D-LINE

"Guys like Roy Miller and Derek Lokey played enough last year that they played really well today in there around the older guys," Brown told IT. "Frank Okam and the ends seem to be getting more of a pass rush on the quarterbacks that at times last year."

LINEBACKERS

Said Brown: "The linebackers seemed to show up some so it will be interesting to see (Rodderick) Muckelroy and a guy like Sergio (Kindle) because it was the first time any of them had been in that setting."

D-BACKS

Brown has been throwing props at CB Brandon Foster and the junior reportedly lived up to billing Saturday.

"Brandon Foster made a really good interception in the end zone," Brown said. "It was a really good play, and he batted down another ball. He seems to be coming on each day and getting better."


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