We Talkin' Bout Longhorn Practice!

via cdn0.sbnation.com

The Longhorns had their first day in pads (well, shells and shorts) and I talked to Some People Who Know Things to find out perceptions so far. We're three weeks away from a Wyoming depth chart, and full pads will tell the true tale, but here are some interesting early snapshots:

Offense

  • We had a spirited discussion about Dom Espinosa a few days ago and in the thread I mentioned "...his shoulder injury was pretty serious. He was weaker last year than he was as a high school senior." The details: Espinosa couldn't bench his body weight a year ago. Now he can rep it 10 times
  • They're trying Ashcraft at OT. I received two conflicting stories on this, both make sense. #1 He's slow-footed, but can't be bull-rushed. With technique refinement, the hope is that he might be serviceable and become a true utility OL. #2 Kennedy Estelle was practicing with the freshmen, Hopkins is our true #3 OT, and Greenlea/Doyle aren't up to snuff. Placeholder
  • Freshman WR Marcus Johnson is good
  • Marquise is back. The coaches are being extra cautious with his return
  • Everyone wants Bergeron vs. Edmond on inside drill
  • Starting three wide set: Harris, Shipley, Davis. Harris at slot
  • John Harris is bigger than several of our LBs. "His value goes up when pads go on"
  • Ash is the "clear starter"
  • None of our FBs can catch. Pads will reveal if they can block
  • Jaxon Shipley is currently on a whole 'nother level, dawg
Defense
  • Adrian Phillips with strong early camp. Wearing precautionary shoulder harness. Best DB in strip drills
  • Duke Thomas will play a lot. Legit possibility as first or second DB off the bench
  • Coaches in love with athletic ability of young safeties, but they're not ready for primetime Xs and Os yet. Good attitudes and willing learners
  • Steve Edmond has "incredible hands and catches like a receiver"
  • Demarco Cobbs begs to run Wildcat. Probably could
  • "There are times when this defense will have 11 players out there who are athletic enough to do something with the ball after a pick, scoop and score a fumble, and finish plays with defensive touchdowns, not just turnovers"
  • Diaz and postion coaches emphasizing to players that while pieces are all there, grinding every down separates good vs. elite defense. "If the offense struggles, you can win the game anyway"
  • "Big 12 offenses will eventually score on you. Score on THEM."
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