Some quick notes on the Horns:
Swoopes is still getting the bulk of QB snaps with the 1s. He's ahead of Heard as a passer and in understanding the offense. The crucible is game play and the coaches understand that they need to groom Heard as if he's a co-starter.
The first four Longhorns WRs are Marcus Johnson, Daje, Armanti Foreman & John Burt. We have the most options at the slot and inside (Warrick, Bernard, walk-on Ty Templin), the fewest outside (Leonard has disappointed, I can't get word on Joe). All of the receivers have been dropping balls like crazy.
Freshman Patrick Vahe continues to get looks with the 1s at guard. That slides Perkins out to tackle and puts Marcus Hutchins out of the line-up. As you know, Wickline is a best five proponent. Conventional depth charts are immaterial in understanding what player replaces another - he's trying to create the best sum of five parts. Right now this is tinkering, pay more attention if it's happening a week from now.
Connor Williams starts in South Bend.
Duke Catalon was regarded as a very good player by his teammates and the coaches (some Longhorn players regard him as better than Gray). Rather than demonstrate that in live action, he got fed up and quit due to sharing reps with the freshmen and Foreman. Mostly in drills. While the team was still in shorts. If Catalon had just played football and waited a week, he'd probably have cemented a co-starter role. Now he's heading to a one year stint at a JUCO.
Chris Warren has been challenged early and often to run like his size. He's learning that high school angles don't work anymore. We're trying to become a good inside zone running team. The first RB that figures this out is the one who backs up Gray and gets ten touches a game.
The young DBs are as good as advertised. Right now they comprise most of the 2nd and 3rd string at their positions. Strong and Bedford won't compromise on assignment soundness (and they shouldn't in the secondary) so the guys that play real snaps will be the ones with the fastest schematic uptake.
Deshon Elliott hurt his foot. Enough to sideline him.
Tank Jackson is running 2nd team at nose tackle since he missed the Spring. Paul Boyette is playing nose and the early returns point to better play from him at the point of attack. Poona Ford is disruptive at 3, but we need Ridgeway back.
Hassan Ridgeway has a back injury and the coaches are being cautious with him. He's sitting out some drills and contact work for now. The whole defense is premised on his disruptive abilities. It's not just what Hassan can do - it's what he can free other players up to do.
Bluiett is still feeling the effects of his knee injury. Naashon Hughes has been out dealing with some academic work.
Jinkens is showing better. The coaches challenged his physicality and he's responding. Jinkens has a history of flashing, earning a starter's role and then being benched. Every year, in fact. We'll see if anything has changed.
The linebackers are struggling to make adjustments and call the defense. Intelligent players like Jefferson will get up to speed quickly and end up filling the vacuum left by Jordan Hicks, but it's not going to happen immediately.
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