Tuesday Player Notes

Several players took time Tuesday after practice to meet with members of the media. Here are some of the fun notes and quotes from that session.

* On leadership

Both quarterback Garrett Gilbert and receiver James Kirkendoll talked Tuesday about the importance of leadership. Gilbert said that leadership was the main thing he worked on over the offseason.

"Leadership has been the thing I've really been working on, and then timing with the receivers," Gilbert said. "I feel like all of the older receivers have done a great job. We've been able to talk through some stuff and figure (it) out and go out and work on it in the summer. We've gotten to be very comfortable with our timing."

Kirkendoll said he had worked on being more vocal as well, though he said the freshman wide receivers were making his job easy.

"You can see the difference," Kirkendoll said. "They're really growing. As far as learning the plays, different coverages, it's a lot different from high school. I was just there a couple of years ago, so I know exactly what they're going through, but they're going to be fine in the future. They're really talented. I just don't think, as a group, as a receiver group, that we're a finished product yet."

* On avoiding Christian Scott

Several questions focused around what players would do to avoid Texas's heavy-hitting safety. Gilbert said he would slide rather than take the player on, a skill that Gilbert said he developed playing baseball.

Kirkendoll knows first-hand what a Scott hit feels like, as a knock from the then-sophomore resulted in a Kirkendoll shoulder injury last camp.

"I've learned not to take it easy," Kirkendoll said. "I keep my head on a swivel at all times."

* On new duties

When asked about trying to win the holding duties on field goals and extra points, Kirkendoll was blunt.

"I'm not winning that," Kirkendoll quipped. "It's a lot harder than it looks."

* On competition between the receivers and defensive backs

Who's winning the battle between two of Texas's deepest position groups?

"Of course I'm going to say the receivers," Kirkendoll said, laughing.

But Kirkendoll did have plenty of praise for the group as a whole, stating that it was difficult to praise an individual defensive back because of the group's overall prowess.

"It's really kind of hard to say one guy sticks out because it's so deep," Kirkendoll said.

* On "The Play"

Gilbert was asked about what his father, Gale, remembered about The Game, where California defeated Stanford on a last-ditch, multi-lateral kickoff return that ended with the infamous "The band is on the field" call. Gilbert's dad was the winning quarterback in the game.

"I think he just remembers not knowing what was going on after the play, the refs coming back out after about 15 minutes and calling it a touchdown," Gilbert said. "Everyone hurried off the field so they wouldn't change the call back."

* On defensive tackles

Tackle Kheeston Randall said Calvin Howell had emerged as Texas's three-technique, while Randall is playing at nose tackle. Randall also lauded the freshmen for their progress.

"They're not that far away at all," Randall said.

Randall said the freshmen were smart, and were able to line up and execute assignments. The youngsters simply need to improve their technique, he said. Randall said Ashton Dorsey was backing him up at nose tackle.

Randall also said that he would bear the burden of making the unit a strong one.

"I believe it falls on my shoulders," Randall said. "I just have to go out there and lead by example."

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