Tuesday Player Interview Notes

Some news and notes from player interviews on Tuesday afternoon.

* One of the biggest stories to come out of fall camp has been the development of Cody Johnson into an every-down back. Johnson said Tuesday that he made the decision to up his work rate following the Longhorns' loss to Alabama in the National Championship game.

Up to that point, Johnson said the coaches had pressed him to drop weight and body fat, but he hadn't been consistent in his eating, conditioning and work ethic.

"I definitely wasn't slacking off," Johnson said. "I feel like I just wasn't consistent."

Johnson said part of the problem was that it was difficult to maintain that consistency when the improvement didn't come as quickly as he wanted to. But this time, Johnson's mind was made up, and he put in what he called "straight dedication," even staying after normal conditioning sessions to put in extra work.

"No matter if I saw improvement or not, I was still going to work on it," Johnson said.

Johnson did see improvement, from the loss of weight and body fat to the increased boost in his legs.

"I feel like I'm not a fullback," Johnson said. "I want to play running back and help the team.

"There's a lot of excitement, knowing that I can play every down," Johnson said. "If they give me that opportunity, I'm going to take it."

It appears that Johnson will get that opportunity, as he's been working alongside fellow tailbacks Tre' Newton and Fozzy Whittaker all through camp.

Johnson said his turning point came with age and maturity.

"I'm a junior now," Johnson said. "I didn't want to keep doing goal line up until I was a senior."

* Another player getting a shot at becoming an every-down player is defensive end/linebacker Dravannti Johnson. Johnson has been rotating through both positions, spending time at the SAM linebacker spot and as a pass rusher at defensive end.

Johnson was a defensive end in high school, but came to Texas to play linebacker. He said he reveled in defensive coordinator Will Muschamp's scheme, which allows him to move around and harrass the passer.

"It's really tough learning two positions," Johnson said. "I've been cross-training a lot. I've been doing it for the last couple years. I'm loving it, being able to play linebacker and defensive end.

"Whatever coach tells me I'm good at, that's what I'm good at," Johnson said.

* Both Garrett Gilbert and Curtis Brown talked about how impressive the young receivers have been through camp. Brown said that it was impossible to tell who was standing out, as each of the receivers had their own moments of brilliance.

Gilbert said that Texas didn't need to have a No. 1 receiver to be effective.

"All the receivers are working really hard to become that guy," Gilbert said. "If each receiver does his job, then we're going to be successful."

* Brown had high praise for the young defensive backs, saying that they were expected to play like veterans.

"They're following us," Brown said. "They're paying attention. We're being good leaders to them. As a group, young guys included, it's just a tight group between us. (There's) no slack. They expect to do everything we do."

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