Longhorn Practice Observations, Day 2

Inside Texas was out at spring practice on Saturday and takes you through the sights, sounds and goings-on at the second day of spring practice, which was also the Longhorns final Junior Day for the Class of 2009.

Practice Observations

-It was Texas' final Junior Day, so the practice field was filled with high school players, their families and their coaches. Along with the prospects, Texas 2009 commit Paden Kellley and 2008 signee D.J. Grant each showed up to watch practice. There were also some former Longhorn players in attendance for the first two days, including Michael Griffin, Drew Kelson, Kasey Studdard and Kwame Cavil.

-When special teams was on the field at the start of practice, Quan Cosby, Jordan Shipley, Deon Beasley, James Kirkendoll and Brock Fitzhenry were all working as kick returners.

-Blaine Irby is getting a look at fullback. The sophomore has a good shot at being Texas' starter at tight end, but he may play a combo, H-back sort of role for the Horns, playing at both TE and FB. When Irby first lined up at fullback, Peter Ullman was the tight end and Chris Ogbonnaya was the running back, which made for a very big set.

-Cody Johnson is also spending a lot of time at fullback. With Luke Tiemann a senior, Antwan Cobb coming back from injury, Irby working as an H-back and Johnson getting a strong look at the position, fullback may end up having an abundance of talent.

-Great energy again from the Texas coaches. There aren't many quiet coaches on the staff. Greg Davis is relatively subdued, more the cerebral-type, but with Will Muschamp, Duane Akina, Bobby Kennedy and Mac McWhorter on this staff, there's plenty of energy to go around. Major Applewhite even had a few moments of noise.

-Montre Webber is walking around in a boot. He was suited out, but he was forced to watch practice, occasionally heading over to the rehab area to work with coach Charlie Craven, who is in charge of player rehabilitation.

-Malcolm Williams drew some "oo"s and "ah"s from the crowd with his catches along the sideline and then a "whoh!" from the fans in the bleachers as a catch carried him out-of-bounds at full speed, forcing him to hurdle the rope separating the fans from the field. Williams cleared the rope with room to spare. Williams once again was one of the top performers for the Longhorns. He looks very natural and fluid for such a big receiver and has a strong chance of taking over as the starter at split end for Texas.

-Jeremy Hills is showing some good speed and is doing a decent Jamaal Charles impersonation in his No. 25 jersey. Hills isn't a big running back (he's listed at 6-foot. That might be more than just rounding up), but he's got a good set of moves and could make some noise early for Texas. However, after Ogbonnaya and Vondrell McGee, Foswhitt Whittaker was getting the most carries. Expect Fozzy, a redshirt freshman to carry part of the load in 2008.

-The defense had a nice celebration moment during 11-on-11 drills. John Chiles rolled right with the football and hurled the ball down the field about 35 yards for Brandon Collins, but right as the ball was arriving, sophomore walk-on DB Jorge Martinez leaped in front of Collins, picked off the ball and went streaking up the sideline. Akina and all the defensive backs exploded, running out onto the field to mob Martinez and celebrate with him.

-As if to top the defense, the entire offense had a huge celebration just a few plays later. Of course, Dan Buckner had given them plenty to cheer about. Buckner had the ball thrown to him about 20 yards up the field along to sideline, but he was in double coverage and the throw was a bit underthrown. Twisting across his body, Buckner pulled in the catch with one-hand. The offense's celebration was yet another moment of energy in practices that have been full of them.

Whether it be the impressive catches to celebrate about or the enthusiasm brought by the coaching staff, spring practice has a very energetic feel to it this year. Whether it will lead to anymore wins in the fall remains to be seen, but the Texas Longhorns are off to a good start in 2008.

Also: Members Only Junior Day Updates

Longhorn Practice Observations, Day 1

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