Texas Football: Week 4 Spring Practice Stock Report

Taylor GasparFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2014

Texas running back Joe Bergeron (24) runs over Iowa State defensive back Sam E. Richardson during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in Ames, Iowa. Texas won 31-30. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall

The Texas Longhorns are approaching the final stretch of spring practice. Head coach Charlie Strong and staff have kept things on the quiet side in regards to depth chart progress, but that is to be expected from a first-year coaching staff.

The positive news for Texas fans is there could be progress from the quarterback position. Strong said David Ash has shown steady progress throughout the first four weeks of spring. 

"The thing about David is he's studying it and working at it," Strong said. "And each practice he has gotten better."

Progress is a big positive for Ash, who spend the majority of the 2013 season sidelined with recurring concussion symptoms. One should not coin him the starter just yet, but his continued progress could help him secure the starting role for Texas.


Running Back Out for Spring

Running back Joe Bergeron will miss the remainder of spring practice to focus on academics but is expected to be ready for summer workouts, as first reported by Orangebloods.com:

Texas does not have a lot of depth at running back without Bergeron and Johnathan Gray sidelined with a torn Achilles tendon. However, Bergeron's absence has freed up a lot of second-team reps for Jalen Overstreet. And one cannot forget about Malcolm Brown.

Strong had a lot of good things to say about Brown, who has appeared to impress the first-year head coach with his hard hitting running ability.

"He's a really solid player," Strong said of Brown. "I told our defense, at times they didn't want to tackle him because of the way he runs. He does a great job just running behind his pads. He's a punishing runner. When he hits, he's always falling forward."

Brown really stepped up after Gray's injury in 2013, and it sounds like he is once again stepping up and continuing to punish defenders.


Strong Changes Worth Mentioning

For the last few years, Texas has often been referred to as soft by many critics. Strong seems to be on a mission to change that, and he started that change when he decided the team needed to walk to practice rather than taking an air-conditioned chartered bus.

"They don't have a choice, they're going to walk back and forth to practice. What else are they going to do? They're for sure not going to ride with anyone," Strong joked. "It's been a great group of guys. They're done everything we ask, and I can say that there has not been another who has challenged us on anything we have asked of them."

Texas held a coaching clinic for in-state high school coaches last weekend, and the coaches seemed to be impressed with the change in football staff, according to an Orangebloods.com report (subscription required). 

"There's definitely a new sheriff in town," the report said. "Gone are the days of glad handling boosters and pampering your five star athletes. They're going to push those kids, break them down firm, and then believe they'll build them back up."

Sheriff Strong is changing the culture at Texas, and fans across the nation should happily accept that news.


Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.

Taylor Gaspar is Bleacher Report's featured columnist covering the Texas Longhorns. Follow her on Twitter: @Taylor_Gaspar.