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Top Friday Performers

A few guys stuck out during yesterday's open practice in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

A few Longhorns (like Donald Hawkins and David Ash) stuck out in Texas' first open practice.

Here are the ten players that caught my eye after watching the Longhorns hit the field for the first time since their Alamo Bowl win over Oregon State in December.

10. OT Donald Hawkins
I thought Hawkins handled the speed rush better than any of the other Longhorn linemen. He gave Shiro Davis and Reggie Wilson fits in the run game during live periods.

9. LB Peter Jinkens
Of the linebackers Jinkens seemed to be the only starter Manny Diaz didn't have to rip into yesterday. Everything we'd heard of what Diaz wanted Demarco Cobbs to be might be what Jinkens turns out to be. He's an undersized (prototypically speaking) linebacker who never has to leave the field in the Big 12 because of his athleticism.

8. CB Carrington Byndom
He had a quiet day but a good day. He carried himself with a little more confidence, the kind he seemed to lack throughout the 2012 season. He made a great play to knock a ball loose from Jaxon Shipley on a quick hitch during 11-on-11.

7. TE M.J. McFarland
In terms of how guys looked on the hoof McFarland appears to have made the most strides among the offensive skill guys. There's potentially a big role for him in this offense, especially if he can continue to do things like when he baited Josh Turner on a corner route during 7-on-7 for a touchdown.

6. WR Jaxon Shipley
It was a typical Jaxon Shipley performance. He went all-out during drills, showed good hands, ran crisp routes and set the tone for how Darrell Wyatt wants things done.

5. DT Malcom Brown
His feet were the best among the tackles. He commanded a constant double team in live drills. If he can have that kind of presence in the middle this defense has a chance to be much better in 2013.

4. S Josh Turner
He played a good brand of safety with his over the top coverage. The same thing we've constantly heard about Turner was true yesterday: the ball consistently continues to find his hands.

3. DE Cedric Reed
His quickness off of the ball gave Kennedy Estelle fits in 11-on-11 and inside hull. With Jackson Jeffcoat being held out of contact, Reed clearly looked like the best out of the group of defensive ends who were on the field.

2. RB Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown
Both backs performed to the point where I couldn't distinguish them from each other. If both are healthy the Longhorns will have a dynamic one-two punch.

1. WR Kendall Sanders
Between his body control, hands and versatility within the scheme Sanders had the best practice of anyone on the roster yesterday. He appeared worthy of deserving starter's reps at the receiver position.

Five Honorable Mentions:
David Ash, Cayleb Jones, Chris Whaley, Shiro Davis and Steve Edmond

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