AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Longhorns are back at Frank Denuis fields and relearning how to practice just 10 weeks after winning a Sugar Bowl.
Texas opened spring ball activities Monday for a month of practice leading up to the Orange-White game April 13.
The Longhorns are set at more key positions entering the offseason, but the transition is hardly settled. The defensive front is going through a serious overhaul and is expected to have several sophomores and juniors starting for the first time.
“There’s also a lot of young guys that are now running with the one’s and two’s and they’re used to kind of standing on the sidelines. Even those guys are retraining on how to practice,” Texas coach Tom Herman said.
Herman has his culture set and the program heading in the right direction following the first 10-win season in nearly a decade.
“Everybody knows the expectations and everybody believes in them. We talk about leadership and the transfer of belief. We have transferred our belief system to most of these guys. We’ve just got to develop some more vocal leadership from guys that aren’t used to being in that role,” Herman said.
Sophomore defensive tackle Keondre Coburn will miss some time in spring with a kidney issue. He’s expected to compete for the starting nose tackle spot with Gerald Wilbon.
On offense, Texas has more stability because Texas has a returning quarterback. Herman said the biggest challenge will be getting all the playmakers the ball. Collin Johnson isn’t expected to be available until the final portion of spring practice and Devin Duvernay was held out Monday due to a pubic bone injury, but the Longhorns still have a variety of options.
Jordan Whittington, an early enrollee from Cuero, is practicing at the running back position. Texas returns two running backs, Keontay Ingram and Daniel Young, that took snaps during the 2018 season.
There’s no update on Bru McCoy’s eligibility. Herman was complimentary of McCoy’s effort in his first months as a Longhorn. McCoy transferred to Texas after starting classes for two weeks at USC as an early-enrollee. The family is petitioning the NCAA, in hopes that he can play immediately as a freshman during the 2019 season.
Offensive lineman Patrick Hudson is retiring from football due to a long list of injuries, but will stay with the program in a player development role.