Texas Football: 5 Most Important Post-Spring Dates

Brett GeringCorrespondent IApril 26, 2012

Texas Football: 5 Most Important Post-Spring Dates

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    The Texas Longhorns players and staff will eye five dates, now that the perennial Orange-White spring game is under wraps

    These upcoming months are crucial to the development of young players, and will provide answers to looming questions—here's looking at you, quarterbacks. 

    Summer and fall sessions will manipulate depth charts, and also offer fans first looks into the worlds of highly coveted recruits Johnathan Gray and Malcom Brown.

    Without further ado, here are the five dates to circle on your Longhorn-themed calendar. 

July 24: Big 12 Media Day

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    Big 12 media days will begin on July 23, but Mack Brown and a small selection of players will answer questions the following day, July 24. 

    The media will undoubtedly pick his brain about the quarterback competition, as well as the progression of recruits Johnathan Gray and Malcom Brown. 

    The two aforementioned days will also, unofficially, be the welcoming party for Big 12 newcomers TCU (July 23) and West Virginia (July 24). 

    Surely, Mack Brown will also discuss the fellow Texans, TCU, taking the place of the SEC-bound Texas A&M Aggies. 

    It will be telling whether quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy tag along, or if one is left in the shadows. 

    Much to the media's chagrin, teams brought along cheerleaders and mascots last year—but who doesn't need more Bevo in their life?

Early Aug.: Start of Fall Practice

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    Although the exact date hasn't been announced, fall practice typically begins the first week of August.

    All eyes will be locked onto incoming freshman Johnathan Gray, Rivals' No. 5 recruit in the nation.

    Defensively, spectators will look out for the 285-pound defensive tackle Malcom Brown, ranked No. 10 nationally by Rivals.

    August will be the final month for players to make last-ditch efforts to promote themselves up the depth chart.

    Fall practice will also temporarily write the ending to the quarterback controversy. In the spring game, Case McCoy threw two interceptions while frequently putting the ball in the air. David Ash only had six opportunities, but reportedly looked more poised. 

    It will also be the last chance to see the newly unveiled practice uniforms (Gamedayr.com) that look like the aftermath of Bevo bull-rushing (steer-rushing?) the Zebra Cakes mascot

Aug. 29: Fall Semester Begins

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    The word "student" is often eclipsed by the word "athlete." But without the former, there is no latter. 

    The UT Tower will become a daily staple throughout life on campus for players.

    Obviously, with football and the alluring downtown of Austin, athletes will have to configure a balance when academics enter the equation. 

    Mack Brown's graduation rate has been exceptional in the past, so Aug. 29 will most likely be the beginning of a four-year journey that concludes with a diploma. 

Sept. 1: Opening Game vs Wyoming

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    Opening-day kickoff. Tailgaters introduce the air to barbecue fumes, generations of fans flood into the stadium and gridiron memories of the past flash forth as the ball is booted sky-high, breaking the burnt-orange silhouette of the stadium. 

    This is where practice pays dividends. 

    The Wyoming Cowboys will attempt to elude the wrath of a talented Texas team, but will likely succumb to it instead. 

    Texas' passing game will headline fans' curiosities, as David Ash will attempt to widen the distance between he and elder counterpart Case McCoy. 

    The backfield accounts for potentially the best trio of tailbacks in the country. Sophomores Malcolm Brown (not to be confused with aforementioned Malcom Brown) and Joe Bergeron will accompany freshman phenom Johnathan Gray. 

    Brown and Gray will assuredly leave defenses black and blue. Both were the nation's top recruit at running back in their respective classes.

    Malcolm Brown's a bruising bulldozer that will top the list of would-be tacklers' regrets in their football career. 

    Johnathan Gray's shoes could be cited for arson. He burns defenders with ease, has superb vision and offers a threatening aerial option coming out of the backfield. The kid averaged 11.2 YPC and scored 65 touchdowns as a senior in high school.  

    Texas may not have a certified gunslinger, but this is one shootout that the Cowboys won't win. 

    Check out Texas' full-fledged schedule here (MackBrown-TexasFootball.com).

Oct. 13: Red River Rivalry vs Oklahoma

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    The Red River Rivalry is the tale of two neighboring states, two prestigious programs and one victor. 

    On Oct. 13, Dallas will be engulfed with rabid fans that paint the city with broad strokes of maroon and burnt orange. 

    Texas leads the all-time series, 59-42-5. 

    Although Oklahoma will likely crack the top five (top 10 at worst) in preseason rankings, numbers fly out of the window in this matchup. If the Sooners hope to leave with heads held high, Oklahoma will have to plug every hole and stop Texas' vaunted rushing attack.

    The Red River Rivalry always has BCS implications attached, and expect this year's installment to be no less.

    Many of the aforementioned dates would be irrelevant in other parts of the country, but everything's bigger in Texas—especially football.