It's Official: McCoy to Start at Quarterback

On Monday, the Longhorns released their official depth chart for the game against North Texas, answering many of the questions about position battles, but not all...

2006 Depth Chart I 2006 Texas Football Roster Table

It was suspected by most, but Mack Brown made the proclamation many Longhorn fans have waited for.

"Colt will be the starting quarterback," the Longhorn head coach announced.

Brown primarily attributed McCoy's poise and experience to the redshirt freshman getting the starting nod.

"He has been consistent. He deserves the right to start," said Brown.

McCoy found out on Monday that he'd be the starter, but said he doesn't feel intense pressure because of the team that he has around him.

"What better position to be in?" asked McCoy. "I've got guys out there, a tremendous offensive line. A great defense. Our defense is going to be really good this year, running backs and receivers are going to make plays. I just got go out there and have fun."

Brown also said that McCoy's back-up, true freshman Jevan Snead, despite being in the No. 2 spot, has progressed much faster than any of the coaches anticipated.

"Jevan, we're absolutely amazed at how far he's come, this quickly out of high school," the head coach said.

Another tight position battle is running back and on Monday Brown announced Selvin Young would be the starter.

"He's back to where he was his freshman year with his health, his confidence and his weight," said Brown.

Young is excited about the opportunity he's getting and is also very confident about what he can produce on the field this year for Texas, after rushing for a disappointing (by his standards) 461 yards and eight TDs last season.

"It's gonna be fun," said Young. "I feel like I'm a little ahead of the college game and coming back for my senior season, I prepared myself like I was preparing for the draft."

Young may be the starter, but sophomores Jamaal Charles and Henry Melton, as well as others, will see plenty of playing time against North Texas.

"We will play Jamaal a lot. We'll play a lot of guys Saturday," said Brown. "If somebody gets a hot hand, we'll leave 'em, but when it's 100 degrees, it's tough on running backs."

Those positions are settled (for now), but there are still a few that are unsettled, most notably, the right side of the offensive line.

"Cedric Dockery and Adam Ulatoski will both play as starters on the offensive line," said Brown of the battle that still continues along the line. "It would just depend on who goes out there first and Justin (Blalock) will move in and out. Justin could play every play in the ball game."

The competition is still neck-and-neck, but the leader has changed. Two weeks ago, Brown said that if the season had started then, Blalock would slide in to right guard and Ulatoski would start at tackle. Now, Dockery would be the first to see the field. Regardless of who trots out first on September 2nd, both will play and the competition may not still be settled after the game.

Another unsettled position is place-kicker, for both kick-offs and field goals. Senior Greg Johnson has the starting punter job secured, but must fight off true freshman Hunter Lawrence for the other two kicking responsibilities.

"Either Greg or Hunter will do the kickoffs and extra points," said Brown. "We'll decide that probably at game time."

Brown indicated that he'd prefer not to have one person handle all three duties, but will still put in whoever will give the Horns the best chance to win.

"We'd like to take some of the pressure off of Greg," said Brown, "so he doesn't have to do all of the stuff, but we also want to make sure Hunter is ready."

Kicker is a spot the Texas coaches would like to get squared away, because of the position's importance in early games.

"Turnovers and kicking absolutely scare you to death in opening ball games," said Brown. "We lost an opener N.C. State where we had blocked kicks and a bad snap and fumbled the ball."

Texas also missed three extra points in last season's opening win against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Playing a relatively clean game is important to Brown, because it can be a harbinger of things to come.

In 2003 Texas defeated New Mexico State 66-7…but also turned the ball over four times in the game.

"We scored 66 points and were really sloppy and I thought we walked out of here way too cocky and got our rear ends kicked the next week by Arkansas," said Brown.

Coming off of a national championship, a key point for Brown is making sure the 2006 version of the Longhorns isn't a cocky team.

"In the last 27 years," said Brown, "only SC and Nebraska have repeated as national champs. So for us to sit around and talk about repeating is against all odds. You have to earn the right to talk about repeating and that would be at the end of the year. Two in 25 aren't good odds. And I told them last night, I said that's a fact. I'm not saying your not going to, I'm not saying you can't, I'm not saying we don't want to, but let's be factual here. Let's grow up and go back to work."

So, with Ohio State looming, what are Mack Brown's main goals for Saturday's opener against North Texas?

"Win and stay healthy."

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