AUSTIN (KXAN) — Coming off a scrimmage Saturday as the team winds down spring practices, Texas Longhorns head football coach Steve Sarkisian said every player needs to be “intentional,” for the remaining five practices.
He said spring is unique because there isn’t a game against another opponent to prepare for. Of course, there’s the Orange and White game April 15, but even that’s just a glorified scrimmage against each other that fans are allowed to attend.
“Everyone needs to focus on what they can do themselves to raise their level of play, whether it’s knowledge of the system, fundamental or technique, how to recover physically so you’re prepared to go again the next time, so we can continue to grow individually, and then ultimately our team is better at the end of 15 practices we’re better than we were at the start.”
With 51 rushing yards on 18 attempts in the Alamo Bowl loss without standout running backs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, the Longhorns moved Savion Red from wideout to the backfield to join Keilan Robinson, Jaydon Blue, Jonathan Brooks and incoming freshman Cedric Baxter Jr. Sarkisian was pleased with his running back corps following Saturday’s scrimmage.
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“I thought Jaydon Blue had a nice scrimmage and made some plays on the perimeter. He’s an explosive athlete,” Sarkisian said. “Savion shows physicality that’s really encouraging. He played receiver a year ago, and we know he’s gifted as a receiver, but to really start running between the tackles kind of like he did in high school as a wildcat quarterback, that has been encouraging.”
Blue emerged last year as a potential impact player in 2023 and beyond, and Sarkisian said he learned quite a bit from Robinson and Johnson ahead of him.
“Jaydon has really matured during his time here,” Sarkisian said. “It’s not always about one play, it’s the complete body of work and growing from it. Mistakes are going to occur, but how do you reset after them? That’s where we’ve seen the most growth from him. Not every play is going to be beautifully blocked. Sometimes you have to go get a dirty three or four yards and get back in the huddle. That’s the level of maturity we’re looking for from him.”
Baxter, a 5-star recruit from Edgewater High School in Orlando, Florida, is learning the system as an early enrollee but the talent is undeniable, so Sarkisian thought he did a good job adapting to situations during the scrimmage.
“It was good for him,” he said. “He kind of struggled early on, but then he settled in and made some plays as the scrimmage went on. When we get back out there again on Friday in a similar format, it’ll be a big step for him to be comfortable with what we’re doing, and we can see what he’s capable of.”
Texas has four more practices plus the Orange and White game remaining before they move into its summer conditioning program.