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Practice Report: Position breakdown

Here’s a position-by-position breakdown from the open practice. Included at the bottom of each position is the order the coaches played them.

David Ash is the Horns' No. 1 quarterback.

Quarterback

- David Ash clearly had the best practice of the quarterbacks.

- But the offense sputtered.

- A couple of times he stepped up into the pocket and extended plays that resulted in downfield catches.

- He really seems to favor the right side of the field when the squad is in team drills and he was a tad late getting to his second and third reads.

- Case McCoy played relatively well but like Ash he never really had the offense clicking.

- Connor Brewer saw some time as the third QB while playing with the twos on offense. Brewer made a nice throw to the outside to Jeremy Hills.

- Brewer had some problems handling the snap from under center during the inside-run drills. It led to a couple of fumbles. Remember, Brewer did not take snaps from under center in high school so it’s something he’s working on.

1. David Ash
2. Case McCoy
3. Connor Brewer

Running backs

- Physically, I feel like it’s exactly what our sources have told us. Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown are both in excellent shape.

- I think Brown looks better physically than he ever has.

- As far as grading the running backs, however, it’s impossible to do that because Texas wasn’t tackling to the ground today.

- Brown dropped a catchable swing pass

- He still does not routinely tuck the ball underneath the arm closest to the sideline. He always prefers to keep the ball under the right arm.

- D.J. Monroe provided a couple of the offensive highlights, both on jet sweeps.

- Jeremy Hills spelled Bergeron and Brown and looked serviceable in a back-up role.

1. Malcolm Brown
2. Joe Bergeron
3. Jeremy Hills

All-purpose back
1. D.J. Monroe

Wide receivers

- Behind Jaxon Shipley, Mike Davis and Marquise Goodwin, I’m not sure there is a fourth wide receiver ready to stand up and be accounted for.

- Miles Onyegbule actually got the start in a flex role but I think he dropped more passes (7 by my count) than the rest of the receivers combined.

- If Onyegbule isn’t more consistent catching the ball, I find it hard to believe someone else (like Cayleb Jones or Kendall Sanders) won’t be fighting for his job in the fall.

- Desean Hales had an excellent practice, which falls in line with what we’d been hearing from previous practices this spring.

- Hales made at least four catches that were as good as any receiver made all day.

- The good news is that Shipley and Davis both look good. There is a noticeable difference in Mike Davis physically from last season.

- Marquise Goodwin really looks like he flies coming off the ball.

- Goodwin and Ash really worked well together in one-on-one drills.

- Goodwin did not participate in team drills.

X
1. Mike Davis
2. Bryant Jackson

Y
1. Jaxon Shipley
2. Desean Hales

Z
1. Miles Onyegbule
2. Rotated in tight ends in his place

Offensive line

- Donald Hawkins has the quickest kick-slide on the team.

- Hawkins was bull-rushed successfully a couple of times and Reggie Wilson beat him wide one time, but Hawkins was one of the better offensive linemen on the day, if not the best overall.

- Dominic Espinosa probably received the most “feedback” from line coach Stacy Searels on a consistent basis.

- Espinosa had a hard time beating quicker and bigger interior defensive linemen or even holding his own.

- Mason Walters and Trey Hopkins played well in pass protection during team drills. But I don’t think either of them run blocked very well at any time during practice.

- Josh Cochran is a unique player. He makes a couple of very easy to recognize mistakes, like setting up too deep in pass protection, but then he makes a high effort play very few linemen will make.

Left tackle
1. Donald Hawkins
2. Paden Kelley
3. Kyle Kriegel

Left guard
1. Trey Hopkins
2. Sedrick Flowers
3. Taylor Doyle

Center
1. Dominic Espinosa
2. Garrett Porter

Right guard
1. Mason Walters
2. Thomas Ashcraft
3. Marcus Hutchins

Right tackle
1. Josh Cochran
2. Luke Poehlmann
3. Garrett Greenlea

Defensive line

- The story of the day for me on defense was the outstanding play of defensive tackle Brandon Moore.

- Moore had two quarterback pressures on back-to-back plays in team drills. He also had a batted pass later in workouts and then chased the quarterback out of bounds in heavy pursuit.

- Moore absolutely dominated Sedrick Flowers in a one-on-one match-up in front of the entire team. Of all match-ups during that session, Moore’s was the single most dominant in my opinion.

- Alex Okafor dropped some in coverage and played a base defense a lot.

- Okafor was strangely quiet most of the day. Perhaps that’s due to the play of Josh Cochran.

- Cedric Reed is starting to fill out his frame.

- Even though I felt like Moore was the star of the day, Desmond Jackson and Ashton Dorsey were the starting defensive tackles.

- Jackson, in particular, created a couple of negative plays for the offense using his quickness, but he was also more easily moved on a double team than Dorsey.

- Chris Whaley played exclusively at defensive tackle as far as I saw. Whaley has some quickness to him but he is getting lost in the run game too easily.

- If they don’t improve their production, Jackson, Dorsey and/or Whaley could see their playing time in jeopardy when Malcom Brown arrives on campus.

Weak-side defensive end

1. Reggie Wilson
2. Walk-on

Strong-side defensive end
1. Alex Okafor
2. Cedric Reed

Nose tackle
1. Desmond Jackson
2. Brandon Moore

Defensive tackle
1. Ashton Dorsey
2. Chris Whaley

Linebackers

- Just like it’s tough to grade running backs because of not allowing tackling to the ground, the same can be said for linebackers.

- Texas misses the play-making and athleticism of Demarco Cobbs. In his place, Tevin Jackson was almost non-existent against the run with the exception of staying home on one zone read play.

- Steve Edmond certainly looks the part. The big gut is gone.

- Edmond made one play as a pass rusher that I recall vividly. He bull-rushed Espinosa on a blitz and basically pushed Espinosa two yards deep into the backfield.

- Alex De La Torre is the current second team middle linebacker. He will have a fight on his hands from Dalton Santos this fall.

- Aaron Benson is fairly strong against the run.

- I thought Kendall Thompson was more productive than Tevin Jackson, but Thompson was also playing against the second team more frequently.

- Jordan Hicks had a relatively quiet practice, although he allowed a dump down pass to D.J. Grant that he wishes he could have another shot at.

Strong-side linebacker
1. Jordan Hicks
2. Aaron Benson

Middle linebacker
1. Steve Edmond
2. Alex De La Torre

Weak-side linebacker
1. Tevin Jackson
2. Kendall Thompson

Defensive backs

- Physically, Kenny Vacarro looks like a man playing against boys.

- Vacarro only played one series of team drills. He was not injured. He was taken out because they wanted to get younger players more reps with the ones.

- Quandre Diggs broke up a David Ash-Mike Davis slant route and almost had a pick.

- Byndom got beat a few times in one-on-one drills but not during team work.

- Mykkele Thompson, even though he’s running with the first team, still looks a little lost in the secondary at times.

- Josh Turner only played safety but I thought Leroy Scott looked slightly better than Turner.

- Duke Thomas is a player. He may not be a 5th or 6th defensive back this season, but he’s a future multi-year starter for the Horns somewhere in the secondary.

- He has a lot of speed, quickness and fight in him. It’s easy to see why he’s gotten so much positive feedback from our sources.

Cornerback
1. Carrington Byndom
2. A.J. White

Cornerback
1. Quandre Diggs
2. Duke Thomas

Free safety
1. Kenny Vacarro
2. Josh Turner

Strong safety
1. Mykkele Thompson
2. Leroy Scott

Kicker

- Neither player looked particularly good as a field goal kicker.

- Ben Pruitt had one field goal attempt that didn’t get higher than 10 yards off the ground.

- Pruitt, in my opinion, is not getting the ball up quick enough on almost all of his kicks.

- Given what we saw today, I don’t think Will Russ will ever be a place-kicker.

- Russ was booming some punts prior to practice. He was also working on his pooch punts.

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