It was a pleasure representing HornSports.com at the Spring Game on Sunday. This is the first of many Longhorn games we will cover live for the Longhorn Nation. There were over 50,000 strong on hand Sunday to watch the Ricky Williams statue dedication and Spring Game. Also, for our dedicated followers I can confirm that The Longhorn Network does in fact exist. I saw their live set and actual broadcast, to whom, I have no idea, but they were broadcasting.
Now on to the scrimmage:
I took about 4 pages of notes throughout the scrimmage. Instead of going position group by position group, I am going to cover individual players,position groups and overall units:
David Ash: I know Ash had a relatively pedestrian day and didn’t make any “sexy” plays, I can tell you watching him live, he is the clear #1 quarterback at Texas. He was checking in and out of plays and was in complete control of his offense. His mechanics look so much better from last year. His weight transfer is solid, he is throwing a really good ball and it has really good ball flight in the air. His confidence level is sky high right now and it deserves to be.
Case McCoy: I have been very critical of McCoy since last year when he threw a fit at Oklahoma and became a turnover machine. He has gotten a lot bigger and he has a good frame on him now. Early on in the scrimmage, McCoy look very much like the McCoy of last year; he was everywhere with his mechanics, his arm angle was bad, he wasn’t stepping into throws and continued to throw beach ball passes in the middle. He did make a great throw to Hales up the seam, but that pass was negated by the 2 disastrous interceptions in the end zone. He didn’t have much of a presence in the pocket at times and didn’t really look like he was in total control of the offense.
Connor Brewer I really like this kid and I think he is going to be very special at Texas. Longhorn Nation needs to pump the brakes however if they think Brewer should be the #2 behind Ash. He showed some good things, but it was against walk-ons, etc. He should and will be red shirted, but his future looks very bright. Brewer was well coached in high school and you can tell with his overall mechanics.
DJ Monroe He returned the opening kickoff for 20 yards, ran a speed sweep for a 60 yard TD and that was pretty much it for him. I don’t get why its so hard to get this kid the ball. I understand that its just a scrimmage, but if they are looking to move him to WR and expand his package, this would have been the best time to show some things. This kid is lightning in a bottle and it seems like Texas struggles to get him the ball.
Jaxson Shipley This kid is a pure S.T.U.D. He was electric at punt returner and he was solid at WR with another TD reception and pass. He looks healthy and faster. He is poised to have a great year.
WR Corp Outside of Shipley, I didn’t see much from this group. It was said that Mike Davis was having a great camp, but he was nowhere Sunday. DeSean Hales was solid and will make a push to be the #3/#4 WR in the fall. The incoming freshman will have every chance to make their presence known and will via for significant playing time. The wild card is DJ Monroe, but who knows how that will turn out.
Offensive Line The 1st 6-7 are outstanding and will be a formidable until, but depth is a serious issue here. Once you get to #7 it gets pretty slim there. The key is for the OLine to stay healthy.
Tight Ends I really like the duo of MJ MacFarland and DJ Grant. They did a good job of blocking the edge which allowed the interior line to work their combo blocking. Grant caught a TD pass from Shipley.
Jeremy Hills Once again was very solid in his work. With all the hype surrounding Bergeron and Brown plus the addition of Gray coming in, Hills is making the case to not be forgotten or excluded in the RB mix. He is versatile and can catch the ball out of the backfield.
Joe Bergeron He is one angry man when he runs. It doesn’t matter if its a 2 yard run or a 10 yard run, someone is going to get punished. It was curious to see him as the starting back with the #1′s in the first series. Not sure what to make of that, will keep a close eye on it.
Malcolm Brown Was solid, nothing special. As I stated in my analysis of Bergeron, I found it curious that Brown didn’t start the first series. Either way, Texas needs both of these men and Brown must stay healthy.
Special Teams I thought William Russ did very well in punting duties with an average of 4.0 sec in hang time. Ben Pruitt made all of his PAT’s but I found it curious that Texas never attempted a FG in the scrimmage. As far as the return game goes, please take Mike Davis off any return team. He has alligator arms on punt return and just doesn’t have that ‘IT’ factor on kickoff return. I love Shipley as the PR and I really like the duo of DJ Monroe and Mykkele Thompson as the KO/R.
Defense This defense has a chance to be absolutely incredible next year. Depth however, is an issue. There is a gap between #1′s and #2′s so far. This is something that Diaz and company will have to close as they come out of fall camp.
Offense A pretty good effort by the #1′s and I really like David Ash moving forward. Sunday was fairly vanilla from an offensive standpoint, but I saw enough to know that there will be better consistency next season.
Overall The 2012 Texas football team will be better than last year. The QB play is already better which is significant as they move forward. Depth will play a big role on the offensive and defensive line along with the wide receiver position. This team is 1 year away from really being a player for the Big 12 Title, but they will make a lot of noise next year.
2012 season can’t get here fast enough for me.