Horns Hold Final Scrimmage, Focus on ASU

Texas scrimmaged for the third -- and final -- time of the preseason Wednesday at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Now, coaches will finalize the Two-Deep chart and begin preparing for the season-opener against Arkansas State on Sept. 1.

The session all but concludes August Camp, which saw head coach Mack Brown particularly pleased with the development of his first-team offensive line, as well as the progress he has seen from quarterbacks Colt McCoy and John Chiles. True freshman G.J. Kinne will likely redshirt, Brown said.

"Colt has been so consistent and so good," Brown said. "He has been trying to get perfection with everything he does. He is so much more confident and such a great leader. I like that we've really improved in the offensive line with that first bunch. We're developing a little bit of depth there."

It's also been a stand-up preseason for RB Jamaal Charles, Brown reports. Coaches have been particularly keen to emphasize ball security and durability for the junior.

"He's done everything he needs to do to get ready and carry the ball a lot," Brown said. "He's in great shape and every practice has been really good. He has not put the ball on the ground....I'm proud of him. He deserves to have a great year. He's done everything right."

Otherwise, TE Jermichael Finley has had an outstanding camp, Brown reports. The only question at TE, now, is who emerges as the RS-sophomore's primary understudy.

Converted RS-freshman TE Greg Smith is working exclusively at center.

Defensively, the secondary is a point of emphasis as Texas looks to replace three starting DBs and improve on what was the most porous pass defense in program history last season. The biggest battle for the starting spot remains at FS where fifth-year senior Erick Jackson is head-to-head with senior Drew Kelson. The defensive play of the day, however, belonged to CB Deon Beasley, Brown noted.

"He made a great play on a sweep," Brown said. "He came up and made a really physical play. That's something he could not have done this time last year."

Not surprisingly, WLB Roddrick Muckelroy has enjoyed an exceptional preseason. He started the first three games of the 2006 season but missed the final 10 with a ruptured tendon in his ring finger.

Much of the emphasis Wednesday was on simulating the game day experience for younger players and on special teams play. Ryan Bailey was a perfect 3-for-3 in FGs, even during a brief torrential downpour while sophomore Hunter Lawrence continues to handle KO duties. Coaches are working with six different snappers (including Greg Smith, Aaron Lewis and Scott Derry, but walk-on Will Harvey remains the DS while do-it-all Derek Lokey will be responsible for short snaps). Quan Cosby will start at both KO return and punt return. Cosby will also back Jordan Shipley as a holder.

There were no injuries in Wednesday's scrimmage, Brown said. And as far as the three injured WRs (Limas Sweed, Billy Pittman, Jordan Shipley), they'll be back "the next week or the next week or the next week," Brown said, before adding, "I don't think you can get concerned about injuries. You do the best job you can do and play the guys that are well."

As a stopgap measure, fifth-year senior Tyrell Gatewood has trained at both WR and safety during the preseason.

The Horns are slated to practice at 3:30 p.m., Thursday and early Friday morning before players break for the weekend.

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