Sourced Practice Notes | Friday
– CJ Vogel
Had some notes passed along to me from Friday’s practice. Appears Friday’s practice was a big day for Jay Valai’s group with some other tidbits here and there on the offense.
** I am told there is a big focus on the current group of corners to make plays on the ball this year. As I mentioned last week, the defense is making it a point to get hats on the ball even on incompletions and dead plays. The same applies to the cornerbacks who are seemingly working on ball skills in every drill with dropped interceptions resulting in pushups.
** On top of making plays on the ball, the secondary and linebackers are being drilled on tackling in space. Of course we are all aware of the struggles the Longhorns had in that category last year after leading the Big12 in missed tackles.
*** The first team defensive backs had a look similar to this:
- CB – D’Shawn Jamison
- CB – Josh Thompson
- S – Caden Sterns
- S – Chris Brown
- nCB – Chris Adimora
** Freshmen Jahdae Barron and Kitan Crawford, who have turned heads since arriving on campus, ran some with the twos on Friday as well. Of course, Jalen Green and Anthony Cook were able to snag reps with the group as well. At the safety positions behind them were BJ Foster and Montrell Estelle.
** Former tight end turned defensive lineman Reese Leitao has been very active in drills behind Joseph Ossai at the JACK linebacker position.
** On to the offensive group, WR Alvonte Woodard sported a green non-contact jersey.
** The offense this fall will feature much, much more jet-motion than previously under Tim Beck’s play-calling. Pre-snap movement will be a big part of this offense I presume, something that should be utilized considered the speed that will be on display in the fall.
*** The first team offense remain mostly unchanged. Roschon Johnson and Bijan Robinson took most of the first team reps with the Keaontay Ingram still nursing a hamstring issue.
** A nice emergence on the offensive side of the ball has been freshman WR Kelvontay Dixon. Dixon has been getting run with the first team on the outside and has the makings of a solid deep threat in this offense.
** I am told when the team took to the live periods in today’s practice, the defense really stood out.
*** Both the first and second team defenses had interceptions, with the interception of Sam Ehlinger being returned to the crib. The INT was a result of a miscommunication on behalf of Ehlinger and the inside WR stopping on a whip-route with Ehlinger throwing the continuation of the route.
** As I mentioned earlier, Dixon is getting some looks on the outside. He beat D’Shawn Jamison off the line on a go-route and was met with a great ball from Ehlinger early in the live periods. Problem is, he wasn’t able to hold on.
** Tight end Jared Wiley, who is running with the second team group behind Cade Brewer, made a really nice full-extension snag over the middle of the field.
** Wide receiver Jake Smith had himself a really nice catch and run that resulted in ~25 yards or so. He was shaken up on the play and was removed to be looked at by trainers.
** As K mentioned last week, the 2nd team offensive line is being tested in these live scrimmage situations. The running game with this group was smothered for the most part.
Ewers Effect | 2022 Targets
– Andrew King
With over a year until National Signing Day 2022, it could be awhile before we see the true result of Texas’ 2022 class led by 5-star quarterback Quinn Ewers. Though I expect big things from the class. And while Ewers isn’t the alpha of alpha males, but to think guys aren’t looking at Texas a little harder following his commitment is a lie. Texas has a chance to build something special in the 2022 class, and land certain guys they’ve been missing on in previous classes.
The two most important recruits for Texas following Ewers commitment are the two main positions Texas has failed to land the top guy in recent classes. Offensive line and wide receiver. Arlington Bowie 5-star offensive lineman Devon Campbell is a DFW guy, like Ewers. Texas is in a solid spot for him right now and adding Ewers can only help. At wide receiver, it seemed like Ohio State was a forgone conclusion to steal the top guy in Texas at the position in Del Valle’s Caleb Burton, but Ewers commitment could give Texas a major jolt in the recruitment.
Ewers was working out with two star 2022 wide receivers Evan Stewart Frisco Liberty HS and Armani Winfield from Lewisville HS. Those are two other guys I see trending towards Texas right now following Ewers commitment.
Like I said, lots can change between now and NSD 2022. But there is no reason Texas shouldn’t land an elite 2022 offensive class. And the addition of Ewers had some 2022 defensive guys turning their heads too. But the performance of Chris Ash’s defense will be a bigger selling point for 2022 defenders. All I can say is, the Ewers effect is real.
Running Back Tavorus Jones Talks Texas
– Andrew King
The wheels are turning when it comes to 2022 running back recruiting. Texas has a chance to add another elite running back recruit in that class and one of the best in the state is El Paso Burges (TX) running back Tavorus Jones.
As a sophomore, Jones rushed for over 1,100 yards and had 15 touchdowns on nearly 10 yards per carry. He also caught 33 passes for 498 yards and 5 more touchdowns. Jones can do it all, he shows good burst and when he gets north and south he can outrun guys and also become a powerful runner to finish off runs. at 5’10 185 pounds, Jones will likely need to add some weight to his frame, but I don’t see that being an issue given he’s just beginning his junior season.
Jones has picked up 15 early offers. Those offers include schools like Texas, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M, and more. As of right now, Jones told me Texas, Penn State, Florida, and Mississippi State. And while things are very early in Jones’ recruitment, those are the school standing out early on.
When it comes to Texas, running back coach Stan Drayton and assistant Brandon Harris are making a huge impact on another top running back target. Jones told me he likes the two because “they definitely are similar, both have great knowledge of the game, and a great since of humor.” And when it came to Stan Drayton specifically, Jones told me “I have done some research on Coach Drayton and what type of running backs that he has produced and he told me that I would be a great fit for what they are doing.” It’s more than just the coaching staff that has drawn Jones to Texas. He said “Austin seems like a great place to be and they have a great brotherhood over there and produce great athletes.”
When it comes to the crown jewel of the 2022 class, 5-star quarterback Quinn Ewers, Jones has yet to connect with Ewers. But told me that’s something he wants to do very soon. Jones wouldn’t say Texas adding Ewers gives Texas an edge over other schools but added, “playing with a Quarterback like that would be a great backfield.” Take that quote as you may…
Jones gives me the feel of a recruit who isn’t loving all the social media attention that comes with being a national recruit. He even mentioned to me that while he doesn’t have plans to commit soon, he wouldn’t mind getting a decision out of the way before the season. I’m not extremely confident in that happening though because he has yet to take many visits due to COVID-19. So I expect him to wait until he can take some visits, if I had to make a prediction. Jones hasn’t even visited Texas yet, but said “that would most likely be my first one I would want to go on.”
Texas is in a really good spot here early on. Remember, Stan Drayton and Texas were the first school to offer Jones back in April. The two elite in-state running backs in 2022 Jones and Klien Cain’s Jaydon Blue. Denison’s Jadarian Price is another name to watch at running back in 2022.