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5 players to watch during the Texas spring game


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Texas fans will get their first look at the 2021 Texas football team tomorrow afternoon as the Longhorns end spring practice with the annual Orange-White spring game. There are plenty of storylines to follow as Steve Sarkisian wraps up his first spring at the helm in Austin, but here are 5 players to watch as the Longhorns look to break in new schemes on both sides of the ball.

1. Hudson Card/Casey Thompson

The QB battle will be at the forefront of most people's minds as they tune into Saturday's scrimmage and is likely the #1 storyline heading into the game. Casey Thompson gave Texas fans a taste of what he is capable of during a second half breakout performance in the Alamo Bowl in relief of the injured Sam Ehlinger. Hudson Card was one of the top ranked QB's in the country in the 2020 class and flashed plenty of potential during his career at Lake Travis. Steve Sarkisian has made it clear both QB's started the spring with a clean slate and will receive 1st team reps. Saturday's scrimmage will likely serve as only a small data point in a battle that will likely last through the summer and well into fall camp, but both QB's will get the opportunity to show fans what they are capable of in Sarkisian's offense.

2. Ray Thornton

One of the first priorities when Steve Sarkisian arrived on campus was finding a linebacker who could play on the edge and help replace the production left behind by Joseph Ossai's departure to the NFL. LSU transfer Ray Thornton fit what Texas was looking for, and the Texas native committed to the program before the hire of Pete Kwiatkowski was even announced. Thornton has turned heads throughout spring practice and has been mentioned as someone who is standing out by nearly every player who has spoken with the media. He is likely to get the first crack at the x-backer spot in Kwiatkowski's defense and is known to play with a relentless motor. The Longhorns are in desperate need of pass rushers who can get after the QB in the pass happy Big 12, and Thornton could be just what the doctor ordered.

3. David Gbenda

Juwan Mitchell and DeMarvion Overshown played nearly every meaningful snap at LB for Texas in 2020. Both were set to return in 2021, but Mitchell opted to enter the transfer portal and Overshown underwent shoulder surgery earlier this spring, knocking him out of spring practice. David Gbenda saw his playing time increase towards the end of the 2020, but will now get an opportunity for an increased role heading into the fall. The sophomore from Katy has been praised numerous time by Steve Sarkisian for his motor and playmaking ability. A strong finish to the spring will likely have Gbenda as the favorite to start next to Overshown heading into fall camp.

4. Troy Omeire

Omeire tweeted out earlier this week that he is set to play a limited number of snaps in the spring game, but the fact he will be playing at all is enough for Texas fans to pay attention. Omeire was poised to play a big role as a true freshman before tearing his ACL last August. Despite only being 7 months removed from surgery, Omeire has been able to participate throughout spring practice and should be 100% by fall camp. He will likely be in a no-contact green jersey, but #21 being on the field is a welcome sight for a position group that will be searching for consistent production.

5. Christian Jones

Texas fans has been spoiled the last 3 years with great left tackle play from Calvin Anderson (2018) and Sam Cosmi (2019 and 2020). New offensive line coach Kyle Flood has several options to pick from when deciding who will protect the blindside of Casey Thompson or Hudson Card, but Christian Jones is the most intriguing. Jones spent much of last season at RT as a redshirt freshman and experienced some growing pains. He will now get an opportunity to move over to the left side of the line. Jones added almost 20 pounds during the winter and will look to take the next step in his development.

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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    Week
    Opponent
    W/L
    9/4
    Louisiana
    9/11
    @Arkansas
    9/18
    Rice
    9/25
    Texas Tech
    10/2
    @TCU
    10/9
    Oklahoma
    10/16
    Oklahoma State
    10/30
    @Baylor
    11/6
    @Iowa State
    11/13
    Kansas
    11/20
    @West Virginia
    11/27
    Kansas State

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