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Texas Football Post-Scrimmage Updates: Jason Hall, Desmond Harrison Rising

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Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The media spoke with several Texas players on Saturday and has the goods. The team scrimmaged game situations on Saturday and the coaching staff was pleased with the progress made from a lackluster early week effort when players started to hit physical and emotional walls.

Some great tidbits below.


Malcolm Brown

Coach [Charlie Strong] has already explained to us that we are going to be a run-first team. That is a little different than the other teams in the Big 12; we are just going to roll with it.

No one really knows what to expect from this offense, but I'm pretty sure we'll still be throwing it around 25-35 times a game.   We're not installing the veer.  We'll just look like it compared to West Virginia and Texas Tech.

In Brown's opinion, big Desmond Harrison is starting to assert himself.  Here are his thoughts on The Big Suspension:

Big Dez [Desmond Harrison] … he is just a big athletic dude. He is out there bullying people, and he is doing it against a guy like Ced [Cedric] Reed every day. That is just going to make him so much better because Ced is a great player as well.

The suspension was a wake-up call, the move to RT played to his best use, a good offseason in the weight room and time with Joe Wickline will do wonders for an offensive tackle.  The question is when he'll get to show his wares (he is suspended for at least North Texas) and if he can do it in game conditions.  In previous game situations, he has lost his mind with respect to assignments.

On David Ash asserting himself

David is taking control. That is the thing that stands out to me. He's putting people in places. If somebody messes up, he'll put them in their place and just roll with it. He is taking control … He showed it last year, but it's just a little bit more now.

I've given my thoughts before on the subject: On QB Leadership. The constant barrage of questions on this are irritating, to say the least.

Quandre Diggs

Little Giant likes the cut of the freshman DB's classes jib and confirms that safety Jason Hall has been running with the 1s.

For Jason [Hall], he is getting some reps with the ones. I'm telling him, you have got to stay focused. With Jermaine [Roberts Jr.], Edwin Freeman and John [Bonney], they are all hungry. They want to play and be a part of something special. They remind me of my class when we came in. We all played as true freshmen and those guys have that mindset too.

Bonney is seeing work at reserve cornerback and the back-up nickel.

On the wide receivers:

The group has some depth. Some of the young guys are coming on strong. Marcus [Johnson] is back. Marcus is the big play guy; we all look for Marcus to have a big year. John Harris is having a great camp. He always gets overlooked, but he is pushing himself harder than he ever has before. That is good to see with a guy like that because he is a guy who can make a lot of plays for us. They have a great coach in Coach K [Les Koenning]. He pushes those guys. Even with me, I go ask Coach K what things I need to work on to get better. He is one of those coaches who is going to continue to push those guys, and they have no choice but to be good.

Marcus Johnson has been the best receiver in camp - so no surprise there.  The John Harris comment suggests that he may make a push for his Gaskamp Award.  Armanti Foreman and Lorenzo Joe have apparently showed some things as well. A healthy Jaxon Shipley is still needed for this group to reach its potential.

Cedric Reed

Also had high praise for Dez Harrison:
I think he got moved over to right tackle from left tackle and I think that's where his home is. He is pretty good there. He has a quick step and he is fast in his drop. He is very hard to beat. Especially with him being 6-foot-8 with those long arms, and he is able to move. I think at the right tackle position … he is going to shine.
Harrison's move also suggests that Kennedy Estelle is also getting it done on the left side.  If the two big men can come through, depth inside will give Wickline the opportunity to find his best options at guard.

Cedric put in a good offseason and got stronger - a scary prospect for opposing OL given that he was one of the strongest DEs in the league against the run last year...
Just being with [strength] Coach [Pat] Moorer in one offseason it is amazing to see what happened. I put on about 10 to 15 pounds, and I can definitely feel it out on the field. It hasn't slowed me down a bit. I can see plays more now. With [defensive line] Coach Rumph I see a lot more things. My awareness is high. I think I am a better player than I was last year.
Reed may actually be a better player, but we may see his statistics take a hit in a defense that will ask him to do different things and bear a significant brunt of keeping the LBs clean.

Duke Thomas

On Chris Vaughn and Vance Bedford coaching the secondary...

Coach Bedford and Coach Vaughn really have done a good job. They definitely let me know how to read splits and understand receiver combination routes and things like that. They definitely elevated my game.

This was one of the main areas of focus of Thinking Texas Football - how the DBs had gotten a bit stale under Duane Akina and Akina was unable to mesh with his DC, leaving him off in his own little world of man-to-man coverage drills.  The current DBs have a lot of eyes on them (at any time: Bedford, Vaughn and Strong) and everyone is on the same page.
If you haven't bought the best Longhorn and Big 12 preview e-book out there yet, what are you waiting for?  Do it.

The 2014 Longhorn Football Prospectus: Thinking Texas Football

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