AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Longhorns are a little over a week away from wrapping up spring practice with the annual Orange-White Spring scrimmage on April 13th at 6:30 p.m.
Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has been limited because an illness, but is expected to be a full participant at practice on Wednesday.
Highly-touted, early enrollee receiver Bru McCoy is also expected back after suffering a stinger.
Safety B.J. Foster is working his way back from a concussion. Foster was non-contact in practice Tuesday, but is expected to be Wednesday.
Senior running back Kirk Johnson is being evaluated for a stinger. Depth at running back will be a constant talking point this offseason, and is a team concern heading into the 2019 season.
Keontay Ingram is the only returning true running back with significant experience after 142 carries for 708 yards and three touchdowns during his freshman season. Early-enrollee Jordan Whittington is working at running back, which gives Texas just three scholarship backs.
Ehlinger was a big part of the running game, carrying it 164 times, but without an experienced back up at quarterback, the coaching staff might be less inclined to run Ehlinger, if at all possible.
Players meet with the media
The Texas defense will be breaking in a lot of new starters in 2019. Texas senior Jeffrey McCulloch could be an anchor for an unproven linebacker unit. He’s the only returning player at the position with legitimate playing time.
McCulloch showed flashes of his potential, making a critical interception in the regular season finale against Kansas, but he’ll be counted on for consistency in 2019. He’s saying the right things when it comes to stepping up in a leadership role.
“Everything matters. You check in for your meals on-time, go to class, do your homework and show up ready to go at football practice. You don’t get ready, you stay ready and everything matters,” linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch said.
Nine players from the Longhorns 2019 recruiting class are already on campus and attending/participating in spring practice. McCoy and Whittington are the names that have been most often discussed, but McCulloch gave praise to all the freshmen including his early-enrollee linebackers, De’Gabriel Floyd and Marcus Tillman.
“They’re gritty, I like them. They don’t complain. They put their heads down and just work,” McCulloch said.
The Longhorns offense is working on being more explosive in the offseason—making big plays. Offensive tackle Sam Cosmi says it’s been an emphasis in the spring.
“We get the joy out of seeing our guys produce big plays. We feel like we did the job right…it puts a smile on my face seeing a 30 to 40 yard run or a pitch and catch where it goes 50 to 60 yards,” offensive lineman Sam Cosmi
The Longhorns failed to produce an offensive play for more than 40 yards during the 2018 season, staggering for a team that finished with 10 wins.