Fifteen practices, including Saturday night’s spring game, are done. It feels as if it came and went all too quickly, which is the opposite of what the period from the end of spring ball to the start of fall camp will feel like for Longhorns fans.
A continued look at things to ponder from spring football and the spring game:
- As we go into the summer, perhaps the most interesting battle will be what happens behind David Ash at quarterback. Judging by Saturday night’s display, it’s not a stretch to say Tyrone Swoopes is the third-best quarterback on campus right now and could be pushing to be No. 2.
It would be best if he were to redshirt. But if he shows more promise than either Connor Brewer or Jalen Overstreet and can have a zone read package in the fall, the coaches might not have a choice but to play him.
“All of them are going to compete in the fall,” said Major Applewhite, the Longhorns’ co-offensive coordinator and play caller. “Case (McCoy) has a tremendous amount of experience, and it’s really hard to sit a guy who has that much experience. But my goal is that Tyrone, Connor and Jalen are strong enough to be able to go take a swing at it.”
- Looking for some unsung heroes from the scrimmage? How about Garrett Porter, Geoff Swaim and John Harris on offense. All three had noticeable positive contributions — Porter’s pulling ability in the inside run game, Swaim’s aggressiveness at the point of attack and Harris’ game-high 73 receiving yards. And Aaron Benson played some inspired defense as one of the few upperclassmen on that side of the ball without a role.
- When Jackson Jeffcoat gets back, there should be some great battles for reps at defensive end. Caleb Bluiett had a productive night with four tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss. Shiro Davis and Bryce Cottrell didn’t flash much, but you know they’re there.
“We have a two-deep, and that’s what we’ve been looking for in the spring,” Cedric Reed said. “Defensively, we have a standard, and everyone is stepping up.”
- It’s amazing what a spring without track has done for Sheroid Evans. He’s always been a football player (fighting the notion that he’s a track guy trying to figure it out) and showed Saturday night that he’s not afraid to strike someone and mix it up physically on the edges. His interception off of McCoy was a gift, but for a player who needs to keep building confidence, his showing Saturday was a good cap to a great spring.
- Manny Diaz called a simple game plan, but file away a few things from Saturday night.
One, the 3-3-5 nickel look with either Reed or Peter Jinkens coming off the edge. The other is the opening look of the second half, when the Longhorns were two-down up front on two straight plays.
One time Steve Edmond was up as an end; the other time he crowded the line of scrimmage and Adrian Phillips came off the edge. This is a defense that executed its blitzes and stunts much more cleanly over the last four or five games of the year than it did the rest of the season, and those looks could be more prominent if the players can handle them.
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