With the beginning of football season a mere 24 days away, head coach Mack Brown and his coaching staff are taking a hard look at their team. Fall camp started last Friday and every unit is making noise; from the quartet of quarterbacks to the shorthanded receiving corps to the remarkable group of linebackers. Here’s the latest on the Longhorns as they prepare for their season opener.
The coaching staff hopes the quarterbacks begin to separate themselves soon: “We’ll start putting guys in more 1s and 2s and position groups and see how they operate,” said co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin. “We’ll see what they can do from there.”
Despite the recent loss of Malcolm Williams, Harsin isn’t too worried about the receivers: “We’ve got depth at that position,” he said. “Right now where we are, we’re just getting some of those young guys up to speed, and we’ll start to see how they fit in and who’s going to be our top two or three guys.”
Harsin is especially impressed by sophomore wideout Mike Davis: “He’s been great,” Harsin said. “He practices hard, he’s out there to compete and he’s prepared when he comes out there. Mike has a lot of physical tools.”
Offensive line coach Stacy Searels is fostering competition: “Coach Searels is moving them around, and he’s done a really nice job of that. He’s putting them in different positions and different scenarios,” Harsin said. “We’re mixing and matching and seeing how guys compete.”
Defensive tackle Desmond Jackson has received two Roy Miller comparisons in the span of a week, and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz says he has no fear in starting a true freshman at the position: “We’re an equal opportunity employer.”
Alex Okafor looks like the star of the summer: “I’m not sure if he knows how good he can be,” Diaz said.
Texas’ linebacking corps has the confidence of Diaz: “There’s an old adage that your seniors have to be your best players,” he said. “It just so happens that two of our three linebackers are seniors. Between Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson, our leadership has been outstanding. They have a chance to be a really good tandem, but we’re coaching them to be dominating players. They want that.”
It looks like a tango between Carrington Byndom, Adrian Phillips and freshman Quandre Diggs for the starting corner spot: “We like the way our corners have been progressing throughout the summer,” Diaz said. “We feel like we have a three-man race right now.”
Printed on Thursday, August 11, 2011 as: Holes need to be filled as season opener draws near