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Texas Football Practice Notes: August 26, 2015

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Some quick notes:

First team OL: Williams - Flowers - Doyle - Vahe - Perkins

Starting two freshmen is good news for 2016 and 2017, not so much 2015.  Marcus Hutchins and Jake Raulerson are probably the first off of the bench.  Apparently, the group had been doing a pretty nice job in the running game, but they're shaky in pass protection.  I think some of their success in the running game has been attributable to an absence of Hassan Ridgeway and Tank Jackson.  Fortunately, we're not going to see many opponents with comparable DTs.

The cornerback battle isn't decided (and may not be until mid-season) but it's coming into focus with Antwuan Davis edging Bryson Echols and the freshmen when we're in nickel (with John Bonney as the nickel).  When it's only four DBs, John Bonney starts at cornerback opposite Duke Thomas.  Davis has an impressive package of physical attributes (he's the fastest DB and the strongest in the weight room), but he needs to demonstrate more instincts and an aptitude for playing the ball in the air.  Right now, he has a rep for being a better athlete than football player.  This staff has truly outstanding DB coaching - if instincts can be instilled, they're the ones to do it.

DeAndre McNeal hasn't exactly been moved to WR.  The coaches just want to move him around as he has the most reliable hands on the team.  Catching the ball has been a challenge this camp and if we're going to run an up-tempo offense with a lot of short routes, the ability to run five yards, turn around, catch the ball securely and try to do something after is at a premium.

The move also tells me we're going to use our TE/H-Back to help an offensive tackle on a lot of our snaps.

The coaches are comfortable with our depth at DB and DL.  Everything else is shaky.

Last year, special teams were horrendous.  Although the coaches are unhappy about it, expect several freshmen to see action there who would have been otherwise redshirted in a healthier program.  If we have even average special teams, it's probably worth an extra win.

We're into specific Notre Dame preparation.

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While it's easy to get lost in the day to day of training camp, it's always helpful to have a broad overview of the team, tactics and our opponents.  And laugh a few times while doing it. This is the tool to do it.