BEVO BEAT Football

Early enrollees close out spring practices with mixed reviews at Texas’ Orange-White Game

Posted April 22nd, 2018

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At the Orange-White Game on Saturday, a few Longhorns got to introduce themselves to an estimated crowd of 35,000.

Texas signed 27 prospects in its 2018 recruiting class, and nine of those players went through spring practices at Texas. Offensive lineman Mikey Grandy (head) and defensive back Caden Sterns (knee) were injured for Saturday’s scrimmage. Other newcomers, though, still made their debuts at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

Freshmen quarterbacks Cameron Rising and Casey Thompson appeared during the springtime showcase’s second half. Neither quarterback threw for a touchdown, but they combined to complete 11 of their 18 pass attempts. Thirty-two of Rising’s 57 passing yards came on a nice toss to redshirt freshman Jordan Pouncey. With defenders not allowed to touch the quarterbacks, Thompson had a mythical 21-yard run and was “sacked” three times.

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Said Texas coach Tom Herman: “I thought the two young quarterbacks were nervous that first drive. I think Cameron is one that sticks out. Kind of sticks up in the pocket and had (Tim) Yoder out in the flat by himself and threw a duck to him. But as you see them get more comfortable, they make really good throws. Everybody saw Casey’s athleticism, but I also hope they saw that Cameron’s not a stiff either. He can move around too.”

Texas receivers Collin Johnson (left) and Brennan Eagles practice on March 28, 2018 at the Denius Fields. RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

How did the other freshmen do? Brennan Eagles had four passes thrown his way, but all of the attempts fell incomplete. Cornerback Anthony Cook did not record any stats. Linebacker Ayodele Adeoye had only one tackle, but an already-impressed Malcolm Roach told reporters that “he looks like a Greek god, like somebody sculpted him. He’s bigger than (6-2, 235-pound linebacker Anthony) Wheeler I think, and y’all know how Wheeler looks.”

“Ayodele Adeoye looks like he’s a 30-year-old, eight-year vet in the NFL or something, with his body and just maturity,” added Herman. “I’m not saying he plays like it, don’t get me wrong, but just the physical development of those guys far exceeds — it exceeded what I had envisioned.”

Safety B.J. Foster had four tackles for the White team. Foster, who was the top-ranked player on the American-Statesman’s Fab 55 list, also had one of the evening’s top highlight. While breaking up a first-half pass intended for Collin Johnson, Foster almost came down with a one-handed interception.

Finally, freshman punter Ryan Bujcevski averaged 41.1 yards over eight punts. The Australian import is the cousin of ex-UT punter Michael Dickson, and he got off a 59-yard punt on his first kick. Bujcevski also replaced Dickson as the holder for kicker Joshua Rowland.

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