Texas Football: Week 2 Spring Practice Stock Report
Week two is now complete for the Texas Longhorns' spring practice, and already we are seeing some young players give the incumbents a serious run for their money.
With both open practices over and done with, we will not get a look at these 'Horns again until the spring game on March 30th. So far things are going as expected, with the highlights being David Ash taking command of the quarterback position and Johnathan Gray showing up looking like this.
In the background, major moves are being made as the young guns are vying to make jumps on the depth chart while some of the upperclassmen are watching their roles slowly slip from their grasp.
Riser: QB Connor Brewer
While many believed it would be Jalen Overstreet that would make the strongest case to be David Ash's backup, it is Connor Brewer that is currently turning heads at the position.
Thus far, Brewer has taken as many or slightly more snaps than current backup Case McCoy and is making the most of them. He continues to showcase solid mechanics as well as above-average arm strength from the position. Brewer also won three state titles at Chaparral High School in Arizona so he has shown the steady hand in big games, a must for a Texas quarterback.
The only issues with Brewer are his deep ball and his public intoxication arrest earlier in the semester. He tends to wind up when he is trying to put his arm behind a throw, tipping off defenders and giving the pass-rush extra time. As far as his arrest, it could be the only thing holding him back from being named the backup already.
Faller: QB Case McCoy
If Brewer's rising that means current backup Case McCoy needs to be showing out to hold him at bay. So far that is not what is taking place.
The same issues that have always plagued McCoy are still present. He just cannot get the ball downfield and consistently make the right decision. He also threw the ball into the stands after a touchdown in the team's second open practice, which is not exactly displaying senior leadership.
McCoy probably doomed himself after violating team rules before the Alamo Bowl and is not doing anything to convince the coaches sticking with him is a better option than giving the young guns a shot.
Riser: WR Cayleb Jones
The same could be said of his classmate Kendall Sanders, who has serious ups, but right now sophomore Cayleb Jones is leading the race to replace Marquise Goodwin in the slot.
Jones is doing all the right things for himself so far this spring. He has been showing improved quickness to go with his already impressive route-running and has been making difficult catches with regularity. Given his 6'4" stature that could translate to him being a serious weapon in the red zone, which Texas desperately needs.
He does not have Goodwin's speed, but Jones is as good a bet as any to take over his spot as Texas' third receiver.
Also keep an eye on Bryant Jackson at the receiver spot. He made a few tough catches last season and continues to do the same in the spring. In short, Texas is in great shape with Jones, Jackson and Sanders.
Faller: LB Steve Edmond
The battle for Texas' starting mike linebacker spot is probably going to drag all the way until the fall. Currently, Steve Edmond is not doing himself any favors while his backup closes in on him.
Sophomore middle linebacker Dalton Santos came to spring practice ready to go. He is still a wrecking ball, but he has lost about 20 pounds translating to much crisper acceleration and change of direction. He is even breaking down the defensive huddle, which shows the respect his teammates have for him.
Edmond on the other hand is still having the same problems. He is too slow getting off of his blocks and is still struggling to diagnose plays in a timely manner. That was acceptable last year when Kenny Vaccaro was available to help out around the line of scrimmage, but it will not fly in 2013.
Riser: DB Adrian Colbert
With Kenny Vaccaro departing for the NFL, the Longhorns are in desperate need of an enforcer in the secondary. Heck, any defensive back that can consistently finish a tackle would be welcomed with open arms.
That defensive back could be redshirt freshman Adrian Colbert, who was Texas' top safety in the 2012 recruiting class. Not only does Colbert have 4.4 speed, but he is more than willing to lower his head and bring the wood, something very few Texas defensive backs did a year ago.
He needs to continue to work on his technique, but Colbert is as good an athlete as there is on this team. Once his skills catch up with that athleticism, Big 12 receivers should be on high alert.
Faller: DB Mykkele Thompson
While Colbert makes his case for some of Vaccaro's snaps, Mykkele Thompson continues to give the coaches headaches with his inconsistent effort in the defensive backfield.
Same as last year, Thompson has been struggling in coverage and just cannot finish a tackle. In Case McCoy's aforementioned rushing touchdown, he had the senior quarterback wrapped up and still let him walk into the end zone. What is he going to do when that is Baylor's Lache Seastrunk coming downhill at him?