Texas Longhorns Zach Shackelford looks on during spring practice Thursday, March 23, 2017. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

Three observations from Texas’ fourth practice of spring camp

Posted March 23rd, 2017

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Texas held its fourth spring practice on Thursday, and the media was granted access to 15 minutes of drills. Here are three observations:

University of Texas defensive line works on tackling and rushing fundamentals during spring practice on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.
RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

1. The right side. Texas split up its offensive line for part of its time in front of the media, and it used that opportunity to simulate runs to both sides of the field. When it ran to the right, the Longhorns used one unit that consisted of center Zach Shackelford, guard Jake McMillon and tackle Tristan Nickelson, three players who combined for 17 starts in 2016. Additionally, guard Patrick Hudson and tackle Denzel Okafor worked out on the right side.

Wearing a green jersey, tight end Andrew Beck also took part in the drill. Beck had been sidelined this spring with a foot injury, but the rising senior was a limited participant Tuesday. Texas coach Tom Herman said a few days ago that Beck wasn’t expected to return to full-contact drills until next week.

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Texas Longhorns Shane Buechele, Jimmy Morton works out during spring practice Tuesday, March 21, 2017. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

2. Who’s No. 17? Quarterbacks Shane Buechele, Sam Ehlinger and Josh Covey have been dressed in black jerseys this spring. Respectively, they can be identified by their numbers (7, 11 and 18). But who is wearing No. 17?

That would be walk-on Jimmy Morton, who was an all-district quarterback his senior season at San Antonio Central Catholic in 2015. Morton wasn’t seen taking any meaningful throws from Buechele or Ehlinger, the position front-runners, or Covey, a Georgetown East View product who’s vying for third-string duties.

Following Matthew Merrick’s departure this week, Texas only has two scholarship quarterbacks (Buechele and Ehlinger). Texas is recruiting LSU’s Brandon Harris as a graduate transfer, and quarterback-turned-receiver Jerrod Heard could be an emergency option this fall. Herman also had nice things to say about Covey following Tuesday’s practice.

UT running back D’Onta Foreman(33) breaks tackles with the help from tight end Caleb(42) and offensive lineman Kent Perkins(76) on a touchdown drive against Texas Tech at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock Saturday November 5, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

3. Pre-Pro Day spectators. In addition to the Undertaker, Texas also practiced under the watchful eye of two members from last year’s squad. Former running back D’Onta Foreman and offensive tackle Kent Perkins were spotted at the Denius Fields on Thursday. Foreman and Perkins are both expected to participate in Texas’ pro day, which will be held next Tuesday.

 

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