Spring Football Kicks Off Again for Horns

The second half of Texas spring football, which began Monday at Denius Field, will largely determine the two-deep chart heading into August camp. Under the microscope during the final eight practices will be backup QBs and RBs, Longhorn coach Mack Brown said.

"The things we've got to get accomplished is we've got to get separation between our two quarterbacks behind Colt (McCoy)," Brown said. "We've got to get one of them more in a position to be in a leadership role for that second team spot."

Consider it a lesson learned on a frigid November 11 night in Manhattan, Kansas. RS-Sherrod Harris and early enrollee John Chiles are considered outstanding runners, but Brown is looking for more consistency in their passing game.

"We think John can play quarterback," Brown said. "He wants to play quarterback, and he has not discussed playing anywhere else. He's a very strong runner, and we all knew that. He's protected the ball well. I thought he had his best day throwing today. He and Sherrod are both ahead in the running game but both have got some work to do in the passing game."

Added Brown: "It's the same thing at tailback. We've got to find that second guy. We need to continue to work on the running game because we've got some ideas we need to look at."

RS-freshman Vondrell McGee, junior Chris Ogbonnaya and RS-freshman James Henry (a former safety) are vying for playing time behind junior RB Jamaal Charles. Each have made plays during the first half of spring ball but, again, the key is consistency.

"One makes a good play here and another makes a good play there," Brown noted, "but, right now, no one has secured the (No. 2) spot."

Coaches evaluated film during last week's Spring Break for UT students and decided that there would be no position changes.

Defensively, the priority remains establishing across-the-board depth with special attention to establishing the rotation in the secondary. FS Marcus Griffin is the only returning starter in the secondary. Even though three starters return at linebacker, backups Sergio Kindle and Roddrick Muckelroy continue to impress and may very well work their way into starting assignments. (Muckelroy, of course, started the first thing games of the 2006 season before a ruptured tendon in his right ring finger ended his season).

"We're trying to get everybody as much experience as we can. We're using the spring to evaluate and create depth. We'd like to see the more experienced ones against the less experienced ones. We've got a really young football team, so there are a lot of guys that need to get pressed this spring instead of waiting for the fall."

Hunter Lawrence is expected to handle kickoff duties while Ryan Bailey will continue to handle goals and extra points. Sophomore Trevor Gerland will likely handle punting duties but is challenged by junior Justin Moore.

Junior William Harvey is projected as the deep-snapper but "we're still working there," Brown added. Derek Lokey will handle short snaps.

The Broadway cast of "The Lion King", currently performing at the UT Performing Arts Center, were guests at practice.

The annual Pro-Timing Day is slated for Wednesday at the Forty Acres. (ESPN is expected to be on site for footage, Brown said). The team returns to practice Thursday and will scrimmage on Saturday. The annual Orange-White scrimmage is set for noon, Saturday, March 31.

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