Spring Football Notebook

The Texas Longhorns returned from Spring Break with a late afternoon practice on Tuesday before holding today's annual Pro Day. Mack Brown met with media after practice to discuss the team's progress and the goals for the remaining spring workouts.

Texas Longhorn Spring Football Update

Goals for the remaining practices - 1) Run the ball better on offense, 2) separate the wide receivers and give the younger receivers more looks, 3) improve the tight end position, 4) determine who is going to step up in the running back competition, 5) build depth on the defensive line, and 6) improve the kickoff return and coverage teams.

MASH Update - As posted Tuesday night on the message board, three injury updates were given. Starting right tackle Kyle Hix had a scheduled surgery on his left shoulder and will be held out of the rest of spring. Coach Mack Brown confirmed that promising tight end D.J. Grant did just sprain his ankle and did not practice on Tuesday. Brown indicated that he was "day to day" and "hopefully we can get a little something out of him here at the end (of spring ball)" but head trainer Kenny Boyd indicated that Grant would be out for the rest of the spring. And defensive end Eddie Jones, who was already out with a foot injury, had right shoulder surgery.

The good news on all three is that they are expected to be able to participate in voluntary summer workouts.

Depth is the key word - Coach Brown indicated that the second half of spring is where you really push the team to see what guys can show up, so you can better evaluate the depth on the team. "We're really just working on depth more than anything else," Brown said. The specific position groups that were mentioned as depth areas of concern were defensive line and tight end.

Still Looking for a RB to move to the head of the class - Cody Johnson started today as Fozzy Whittaker had a tweaked ankle and Vondrell McGee had class. Brown did highlight the fact that fullback Antwan Cobb is doing some good things at fullback. Aaron Smith is the number two fullback.

High School guys are still "in shock" - In general, Coach Brown indicated that the eight newcomers are still getting their feet wet with the team. As mentioned previously, Kenny Vaccaro (knee) and Dominique Jones (shoulder) are out with injuries. Pflugerville standout, Alex Okafor, continues to get praise from Brown. "I would say the guy that's made the biggest impact has been Alex Okafor because he's really been good at pass rush and that's what we hoped, and he's just got to continue to get better against the run," Coach Brown praised.

Will Ben Alexander contribute? It seems like a senior always steps up out of no where and contributes big minutes and it sounds like Ben Alexander could be that guy this season. Coach Brown said, "We've really been impressed with Ben Alexander. His weight's down and he's had probably the best spring of the inside guys on a consistent basis up front. Lamarr (Houston) has played a lot, but Ben's a guy that it's his turn to play, so we've been really impressed with him and it'll be fun to watch him today and see if he continued to play as well as he did in the first seven practices." Sophomore Kheeston Randall is still expected to gobble most of the minutes that were left behind in the defensive tackle rotation by the departures of Roy Miller and Aaron Lewis, but Alexander is pushing to get snaps in the rotation.

Texas Pro Day - On Wednesday, Texas will host a myriad of NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts. It is a chance for the players that were not invited to the combine to show their abilities, but it also allows for the combine players to improve any of the tests that they didn't like. The majority of the pro guys will stay for the afternoon practice to get a look at the younger players on the team.


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