Chizik: Arrests Won't Be Distraction

Texas has enough depth and maturity in its secondary that RCB Tarell Brown's arrest on handgun and marijuana possession charges will not be a distraction as the Longhorns prepare for top-ranked Ohio State, Co-Defensive Coordinator Gene Chizik said. The senior was booked in the Travis County Jail early Monday morning along with junior S Tyrell Gatewood and former UT linebacker Aaron Harris.

"Our football team is very focused," Chizik said. "Even though we have some young guys stepping in, overall, our football team is a very mature one. If you go back over the past two or three years here at The University of Texas, there's been so many big games and so many things that could have been distractions out there (that) I don't even worry about it."

Brown was released on personal bond around noon after being charged with possession of 'two ounces or less' of marijuana (Class B misdemeanor) and unlawful carrying of a handgun (Class A misdemeanor). Gatewood was also released on personal bond while Harris, who also faces possession of marijuana charges, remained in the county jail at mid-afternoon, according to reports.

Chizik would not speak specifically of Brown's situation or his status with the program ("I'm not at liberty to comment on that because I don't know the details"). He deferred specific comments to head coach Mack Brown, who made no reference of the cornerback's situation during a press conference that preceded Chizik's. Instead, Chizik spoke of the team's depth in the secondary which, one month ago, was generally the one area of the defense where the Horns were inexperienced behind a seasoned group of three seniors.

"One of the things that's awesome about being at The University of Texas is you have opportunity to have great depth," Chizik said. "Depth is something we really don't have a problem with. You really don't have to address those issues very often, and we feel the same way right now. On Saturday, we'll line up with a very focused team."

The news comes a blow as Texas prepares for not only the biggest home game in school history but also for WR Ted Ginn, Jr., widely regarded as one of the most explosive receivers in college football. The 6-0, 200-pound Brown is backed by 5-9, 180-pound junior Brandon Foster. True freshman Deon Beasley is listed as the No. 3 RCB. Foster generated a lot of buzz during spring drills; coaches applauded him for his closing speed and hard hits. Sophomore LCB Ryan Palmer ((5-10, 185) could also slide over to the right side.

Brown registered six tackles in Saturday's season-opening win against North Texas; Foster and Palmer were each credited with an assist.

"(DB) Coach (Duane) Akina has done a great job of preparing all of those guys to be able to play," Chizik said. "We play a lot of nickel and a lot of dime. There are times when we have seven DBs on the field. With the issue of who the backups are, we feel very lucky. We have enough depth there that we can pick whoever we feel is best for that week in the matchup and do whatever we need to do. We'll be fine."

A statement from Mack Brown is expected later in the afternoon. (See DBs Sidelined)

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