UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger goes through drills at football practice at Whitaker Sports Complex on Friday August 2, 2019. Watching are backup quarterbacks Roschon Johnson, from left, Sam Saxton and Casey Thompson. [JAY JANNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

BEVO BEAT Football

Three observations from Texas’ first practice of fall camp

Posted August 2nd, 2019

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Texas held its first practice of the season on Friday, and the media was granted access to a portion of the drills. Here are three observations:

Hello, Braun

Texas returns 20 players who started at least once last season, so there were plenty of familiar faces at the Whitaker Sports Complex. Among the newcomers was Georgia Tech graduate transfer Parker Braun.

The 6-3, 300-pound Hallsville native is considered a candidate to replace Patrick Vahe, who had 45 career starts at left guard. Braun did not run with the first two offenses during a pursuit drill on Friday, and he was seen receiving instructions from offensive line coach Herb Hand and senior center Zach Shackelford during a blocking drill. Braun was a two-time first-team All-ACC selection who had 32 career starts for the Yellow Jackets.

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Braun wore No. 75 at Georgia Tech, but he’ll go with 73 at Texas.

New jersey numbers for Longhorns who weren’t here for spring football:

  • 2: DB Kenyatta Watson II
  • 6: LB Juwan Mitchell
  • 11: DB Chris Adimora
  • 15: WR Marcus Washington
  • 16: WR Jake Smith
  • 18: TE Jared Wiley
  • 24: DB Marques Caldwell
  • 33: LB David Gbenda
  • 44: DB Tyler Owens
  • 45: DL Peter Mpagi
  • 55: OL Willie Tyler
  • 65: OL Isaiah Hookfin
  • 73: OL Parker Braun
  • 77: OL Javonne Shepherd
  • 84: WR Kennedy Lewis
  • 89: TE Brayden Liebrock
  • 92: DL Myron Warren
  • 93: DL T’Vondre Sweat

Freshman running back Derrian Brown, who was not at Friday’s practice, has been assigned No. 24. His future in football is in question after a blood clot was discovered in his brain in January. Linebacker DeGabriel Floyd (spinal stenosis) and receiver Al’Vonte Woodard (foot) didn’t practice, but the freshmen were spotted stretching. After the practice, Texas coach Tom Herman told reporters that defensive lineman Rob Cummins had recently suffered another knee injury. Freshman receiver Marcus Washington also missed the first practice with an illness.

RELATED: PHOTOS — Texas football starts fall camp on Friday

Replacing LJH

A surprise candidate has emerged in UT’s quest to replace Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Senior Devin Duvernay worked as the first-string H, or slot, receiver. He lined up as a Z receiver last year. Overshadowed by the performances of Humphrey and Collin Johnson, Duvernay still had 41 catches and no drops over 14 starts.

Following Bru McCoy’s transfer back to USC, sophomore Joshua Moore and freshman Jake Smith seemed like the leaders for playing time at slot. Last year, Humphrey led the team in receptions (86), receiving yards (1,176) and touchdown catches (9).

With Duvernay moving inside, sophomore Brennan Eagles has moved up the depth chart. In addition to Friday’s first-string reps at Z receiver, Eagles has also received a new jersey number. After wearing No. 82 as a freshman, he has inherited Jerrod Heard’s old No. 13.

When asked about the moves, Herman said that “We hadn’t planned on that until these last few weeks. It wasn’t even on our radar, to be honest with you. Then we had some long personnel meetings, offensively. Devin’s had an unbelievable offseason and so has Brennan. We feel like (Moore and Smith) have to really prove that they deserve to be on the field for an extended period of time. Because if that’s the case and Brennan and Devin are playing the same position, then one of them is going to be standing on the sideline every other snap. Experimenting with it right now, but it was due to some recent personnel discussions and how good of summers both Brennan and Devin had.”

Burt’s back

Speaking of the Z receivers, John Burt was back on Friday. A talented hurdler in UT’s track and field program, Burt sat out all of the football team’s practices this  spring. A fifth-year senior, he has 58 catches in 38 games in his career.

Other observations via Twitter:

 

 

 

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