Five Keys for Spring Practice
– Charlie S
Spring practice kicked off…and paused earlier in the week.
The Longhorns will hold 15 practices (including scrimmages) to set the foundation for summer and fall camp under first year head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Below are five things I will be paying attention to in order!
1) Offensive line growth. Texas will have to fill the shoes of Sam Cosmi, which will be no easy task, but my hope is that there will be intense competition among the entire unit as they need to push each other to bring out the best in each other. As I said in a thread yesterday, I believe this unit is the difference maker in an over/under of the nine win mark on the year.
2) You will likely have a true quarterback competition all the way until game one. I would prefer to see one of the guys (Thompson and Card) win the job outright by the end of spring camp as I, personally, like to have a defined leader at the earliest moment I see him. However, some will disagree with me and I respect that, so here is to hoping they both grow and gain a better understanding and command of Sarks offense throughout the srping!
3) I need an alpha to step up in place of Ossai. Who will be the dog on the defensive side? There are lot’s of possibilities, but until I see it, I’m open for anyone to take the spot of leader of the defense. Ossai was a guy the team counted on to make the big play when they needed it…who will be that guy emotionally and physically?
4) Who steps up at wide receiver to be a consistent difference maker? Last year Joshua Moore led the team with 30 catches in what was a pretty solid if not spectacular room. Omeire could eventually be that guy perhaps, but he will not be going full throttle through the spring. Obviously, you would like to see the entire unit step up, but will there be a guy who separates himself coming out of spring?
5) Stay away from the injury bug. (This was written prior to Jake Smith breaking his foot) Injuries are part of football, but nobody ever wants their season cut short in spring ball. My hope is that the team comes through with nothing more than some bumps and bruises and a few strains and pains at the time spring ball ends.
Commitment Analysis | 2022 DL Kristopher Ross
The Longhorns picked up some much-needed talent in the trenches on Tuesday afternoon when Galena Park, TX (North Shore HS) Defensive Lineman Kris Ross announced his commitment to Texas. Texas now sits at seven commitments in the 2022 class (3 on Offense, 4 on Defense).
What’s Texas getting in Ross?
Ranking: Consensus 3-Star
Size: 6’3 270
Offers: Oklahoma, LSU, Baylor, Auburn, Miami, USC, Arizona St
Projected Position at Texas: Defensive End/Interior Lineman
Player Comparison: Calvin Howell (Texas 2009-2011)
Analysis: This is a big pickup on principle alone. There aren’t a ton of high-profile bodies in the 2022 class that project to play along the defensive interior at the next level and Ross is one of the best of the bunch.
For those that don’t remember the guy I compare him to, Calvin Howell, he was a gifted former Army All-American with a very similar build and physical attributes that ended up starting double-digit games during his time at Texas before flaming out before his Senior season. I think that Ross could end up being a double-digit starter during his time at Texas.
Ross is an athletic Defensive Lineman with terrific balance, play strength, and impressive lateral agility. He appears to have an excellent motor and can be seen pursuing plays 30-40 yards downfield. It’s hard to teach effort. I got to see him in person at the Under Armour Camp and was very impressed by his first-step and quickness. He is closer to 6’2 than his listed 6’4, but he has long arms to keep would-be blockers at bay and he actually shows a solid understanding of how to use that length. Ross has very nice feet, which play into the terrific balance that I spoke about at the beginning of his description. He has a lot of natural abilities that coaches covet.
Like most, he will need technique improvement once he arrives. I think that he will have the positional versatility to be able to log snaps both at Defensive End and Defensive Tackle during his time at Texas, depending on what the situation calls for. He’s a very nice pickup.
Instant Impact Rating: 4.
Spring Practice | Sourced Quick-Hitters
– Super K
***As you know, Texas held their first spring practice, yesterday.
***A few things I heard that I found interesting. First, in terms of the depth chart, while the coaches may have a rough idea, I’m told that they rotate the players in various groups of one through four.
***The idea here is that the players are evaluated and they are seen within a similar context to one another. In other words, having your 2s rotate in at 1s gives you a look at what those players will do against the other side’s 1s.
***It also gives the players a sense that this new staff is actually evaluating them and not just playing favorites. Rightly or wrongly, that was a big perception issue with the previous staff.
***I’m told the practice rotations are intense. For example, during team period they have multiple plays going on so in the group there is little downtime. If they aren’t repping players on one field, those players are in another area repping.
***There is constant work and the reps are spread out pretty equally.
***Bottom line is this is an intense evaluation period for the staff. They want to know exactly what they have unvarnished by the past.
***Also, heard that, unlike coach Herman who would walk around quite a bit, coach Sark was a fixture behind the quarterbacks coaching them up.
***I imagine that may change but he likely knows, just like most teams, his team is going to go the way of his quarterback.
***Didn’t get a sense that there was really much difference in performance between Casey and Hudson. Was told both made their fair share of nice throws and forced throws.
Talking Point | Takeaways From Roster Update
– CJ Vogel
With spring ball officially underway, the Texas roster updated for the spring season. I’ll throw in new jersey numbers for the early enrollees as well as any changes from veterans as well.
As well as some notes that I found interesting that may have changed when comparing with the 2020 roster.
- 13 – WR Jaden Alexis
- 14 – QB Charles Wright
- 27 – S JD Coffey
- 31 – CB Jamier Johnson
- 35 – LB Terrence Cooks
- 40 – LB Derrick Harris Jr.
- 76 – OL Hayden Conner
- 81 – TE Juan Davis
- 4 – CB Darion Dunn
- 46 – LB Ray Thornton
- 11 – QB Casey Thompson
- 11 – CB Anthony Cook
- 30 – WR Dajon Harrison (reminder since he opted out last year)
*** RB Daniel Young is listed on the roster.
*** Some weight changes from the end of last year for notable offensive linemen: (2020 first, then 2021 spring)
- Jake Majors: 298 –> 300 lbs
- Tope Imade: 355 –> 358 lbs
- Andrej Karic: 294 –> 294 lbs
- Christian Jones: 310 –> 327 lbs
- Hayden Conner: N/A –>333 lbs
- Junior Angilau: 294 –> 316 lbs
- Tyler Johnson: 324 –> 300 lbs
- Tyler Hookfin: 314 –> 300 lbs
- Jaylen Garth: 299 –> 284 lbs
*** Cade Brewer is listed at 239 pounds. It does appear that he slimmed down a little from last year when he was listed at 252.
*** Alfred Collins (304 lbs) and T’Vondre Sweat (340 lbs) each lost 5-10 pounds from their listed weight on last year’s final roster.
*** Brendan Schooler is officially listed as a defensive back.
*** DL Vernon Broughton is up to 299 pounds.
*** RB Bijan Robinson is down to 215 pounds. Last year he was listed around 222.
*** New addition CB Darion Dunn is officially listed at 6’1″ and 194 lbs.
As for grad transfer LB Ray Thornton, he clocks in at 6’3″ and 242 lbs.
Quick Hitter | ’22 OL Cole Hutson Sets Official
– Charlie S
Texas 2022 offensive line offer Cole Hutson (6’4 290) out of Frisco, TX, tweeted out he has locked in his official visit to Austin for June 11th-13th.
CJ was out to see Hutson recently and his take away is that while Hutson holds well over a dozen offers, this is a two-team race for Hutson’s signature between Texas and OU.
Cole was recently down in Austin for a self-guided tour and he mentioned he is developing a strong relationship with new Texas OL coach Kyle Flood.
Hutson also mentioned that he already had a very strong relationship with Sooners OL coach Bill Bedenbaugh and has obviously been impressed with his track record.
Both programs will now get a chance to host Hutson for officials this summer and a commitment to the school of his choice may not be that far off following those visits.
Certainly, one to keep an eye on and we will keep you all up to date.
Niuafe Junior Tuihalamaka Sets Texas Official Visit
– Super K
2022 4-star California ILB, Niuafe Junior Tuihalamaka (Bishop Alemany) tells us that he has begun setting his official visits.
You’ll recall, we mentioned Notre Dame as a major threat in this one. Well, Junior says he has his Notre Dame visit scheduled for the June 11th-13th weekend.
He says his current plan is to take his official visit on the big Texas weekend along with Maalik for June 18th-2oth. Junior specifically said he wanted to take it that weekend in order to go with Maalik.
Also, I should note that he is now reconsidering the possibility of taking an official visit to USC. After speaking to him last time I was out in California, it was clear USC had dropped quite a bit and shortly thereafter he left them off his top five.
My sense was that Notre Dame and Texas were the teams to watch. But with USC perhaps getting back into the picture with him, I think the hometown school is always one to keep an eye on.