Some trusted friends & family took in the Longhorns 7 on 7 workout in the Bubble (there's a cheerleading camp going on at the practice fields) yesterday and had some things to share:
Garrett Gilbert's shoulder is healthy and "he was throwing lasers." He's a legitimate 6-3/6-4 200+ and he has a broad frame. He'll go 6-4 225+ when he fully matures and though he won't be a zone read running threat at the college level, he's mobile with good feet. GG was not known for having a particularly big arm in high school, but it appears that the shoulder surgery rehab has benefited him in terms of arm strength. He runs the drills with the backs and linemen and then grabs a few reps with the receivers when Colt lets him.
Colt McCoy's accuracy is off of the charts, his footwork is improved, and his timing throws in the mid-range passing game is the stuff of Swiss watchmakers. Our DBs were blanketing the WRs and Colt kept fitting the ball into tight spots. He's unquestionably the team leader and the other players interacted with him like he was the gruff Dad that they were trying to impress with their antics off of the high dive. He lets everyone have fun to a point and then he reins it in and refocuses the participants - occasionally barking at young receivers who don't absorb his instruction or make a shitty decision on an option route.
Pretty structured for a non-practice with no coaches - everything works on a clock and players all get their reps in. A lot of former Longhorn players were on hand (like Brian Orakpo, Griffin) and one definitely gets the sense of continuity that engenders, not to mention the motivational aspect of having several millionaires who used to be your teammates loitering around.
DJ Grant is a rock hard 220 and still runs like a WR. He'll be a huge deep threat up the seam. He's also reliable working in tight spaces. You won't see any volleyball set interceptions from him. Any team that tries to cover him with a LB on an inside release is conceding a potential six. Obviously, we won't know what he can do as an extra blocking surface until the pads go on.
Dan Buckner is filling out with good weight. He struggled with getting a good release last year and though some of that is technique, a good bit of it has to do with upper body strength and explosiveness out of his stance. He at least looks a lot stronger.
Malcolm Williams is still a physical freak and now looks like a polished physical freak.
On the DB side, we look really good. Crazy good. It's obvious that these guys will be the strength of our defense this year and we've got at least seven DBs who can play at a high level and 2-3 freshmen who would be grabbing meaningful snaps at any other Big 12 school.
Aaron Williams & Earl Thomas were particularly impressive. Both have really filled out without sacrificing quickness and have big time ball skills. Earl's ability to play midfield safety or run up to the LOS and man-n-jam give us a lot of coverage flexibility.
A lot of the skinny kids from last year have filled out and you're going to see a much more physical secondary. Expect more forced turnovers, more big hits, and a lot of depth. That also bodes well for our special teams play.
The players are all unfailingly polite and pose for pictures and sign autographs with enthusiasm. Definitely some really good guys on this team. Bitches Must Be Kicked seems like a very long time ago.
One last thing: David Snow is put together like a brick shithouse. He has some kids ahead of him with a lot of skins on the wall, but if we don't make him a co-starter rotating in at Center/Guard I'd be fairly surprised.