Showed up while they were still doing the punting stuff. About 5 minutes in -- and I filed this under "What am I missing?" -- the players started filing into the bubble, followed by the fans.
That's right, we got to watch the practice in the hollowed football cave. It just felt mystical.
At first the non-conformist in me was outraged that I was expected to waddle into an enormous group and wait my turn for the priviledge of seeing the damn thing. But because I know my place as slave labor for Sailor Ripley's demented ambitions, I swallowed my pride and marched in with the plebes. Let this be remembered at the next BC tailgate so that I will be rewarded with the finest in alcohols and meats.
Anyway, the bubble was cool, but any novelty quickly wore off when I started watching Alex Okafor. I want to make this very clear right now:
Alex Okafor will be the best football player to ever play at Texas. And I never, ever use hyberbole.
He is a couple inches taller than Kindle, and is filled out enough to start today. He would if Kindle went pro. His first step is great, but it's his phenomenal second, third and fourth steps and make him. He is the kind of guy that can run down a back on a zone read, or be at the QB in under 3 seconds. He's long in the right spots, quick, and has the frame to add 15-20 and keep his speed, and has the big rear end that holds a lot of power.
There is no way to know exactly how good he'll be until he sees actual game action, but that will be this year. He isn't redshirting. I can tell you right now that you are going to love him.
The bubble had kind of limited room, so I had to choose between the linemen and the skill players. The skill players are way more fun to watch, but not only do we basically know what we have there, but I never get a chance to watch the linemen up close.
Kindle, Acho, and Okafor are going to really good by season's end. Anyone else would be gravy.
Kheeston Randall started with Lamarr Houston. I don't recall anything about him except for that he's tall. Nothing stood out.
Tyrell Higgins looked good again. I think he's too small to play with Houston, but as a backup he'll be just fine. Ben Alexander had a great day, but everytime he did anything it was against a weaker lineman. I honestly have no idea what you do at NT this year. Houston is too small to play a 3 man front, Jarvis Humphrey has feline HIV or something, and nobody else is good or big enough. I would just teach everyone to take up space and put whoever does it best on the field. We can't hope for a playmaker with this group.
Emmanual Acho lined up at DE some.
Russell Carter is still raw. Needs to find the feel for the position.
Tariq Allen and Marcus Davis were the other true fish that got significant run. Allen looks the part. I thought Davis was that walkon that wears #24 (Ford?) so I ignored him. It wasn't until Akina yelled for his by name that I realized who he was.
DeSean Hales fits into what we do perfectly. If he can catch he is going to be dynamite.
Goat-turned-underdog John Chiles had a few nice plays today. The team and fans really got behind him. As that continues, he'll get more into his new role and we'll see what he can do. The spring game will be interesting for him.
DJ Grant is in that tweener area still. I only saw him when he was flexed out and he just looked like a big receiver. Didn't get a chance to watch him block.
None of the freshman OL will play, if today is any indication. Yeesh.
Talent in the secondary and WR core is not an issue whatsoever. This might be the most talent we've had at WR, top to bottom, in the Mack Brown era. The problem is going to be consistency. Anyone one guy can do it for any one play, but can he do it for 70?
Charlie Tanner was impressive in pass protection, just flat out stonewalling guys. Michael Huey, Kyle Hix, Adam Ulatoski, and Audre McGaskey were the other 4 best protectors today.
Greg Smith is at center, and got abused the one play I saw him.
Tre Allen isn't a tackle. He has no feel for the position, and displays no awareness or anticipation whatsoever. Anything Kindle tried worked. Had one play towards the end of practice been live, Kindle might have manslaughtered Colt. There would've been a trial. I'd make McGaskey the #3 and move Allen inside.
All the other TEs outside of Grant and Irby can't catch. It's kind of sad.
Sherrod Harris could start for us. Both he and Colt showed off a bit today, throwing a lot of deep balls, but he is a natural. He could transfer to A&M and start today.
Mack was being even more gregarious than usual, casually addressing the group of fans and keeping us in the loop. It was unusual, and I wonder if he was on drugs this morning.
Tolley loves his job.
If anyone has any other questions I will try to answer them best I can. And if anyone else was there, please contribute.