Posted: 10:23 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013
By Wescott Eberts
Rain in the area broke the recent heat wave in Austin, dropping the temperature into the low 90s as the Texas Longhorns held their final open practice for the public on Saturday evening.
For the fifth straight day, junior college transfer Desmond Harrison didn't not participate. He was joined on the sideline by senior cornerback Carrington Byndom, who was in shorts after taking a vicious shot to the head from sophomore tight end MJ McFarland towards the end of Friday's practice. Sophomore safety Kevin Vaccaro also did not seem to participate -- he's been out for several days now.
Unfortunately, there wasn't much to see from the players who did participate -- the first hour of practice was spent mostly in position drills that provided little perspective on where the team is right now or even any information about the players.
The last half hour was spent in one-on-ones and a brief bit of team work.
The defensive backs dominated early in the one-on-ones, with junior cornerback Leroy Scott, redshirt freshman cornerback Bryson Echols, and redshirt freshman Adrian Colbert all breaking up passes, most of them solid throws, but ones they were able to play once they got into the hands of the receivers.
In the session, the best play came from Colbert, who broke on a pass from senior quarterback Case McCoy outside the hash, intercepted it, and would have taken it to the house in a game. As always, McCoy should be more careful throwing the ball outside with his lack of arm strength, but he still hasn't learned.
In the one-on-ones between the offensive and defensive linemen, redshirt freshman Alex Norman had a couple of impressive bullrushes to beat freshman Jake Raulerson, who still struggles anchoring against bigger players. Shortly thereafter, sophomore defensive tackle Malcom Brown beat walk-on Drew Russo with a swim move before doing the same to junior center Dominic Espinosa later on. Senior left tackle Donald Hawkins was the most impressive of the offensive linemen, pancaking redshirt freshman defensive end Bryce Cottrell on one rep and winning the next one as well.
In the team session, junior quarterback David Ash looked in command of the offense, throwing the ball away when necessary early, then but then getting into a rhythm later, delivering strikes on time and right on the hands of his receivers. He did not appear to throw any interceptions after throwing two on Friday.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jalen Overstreet worked with the third team at quarterback, running the offense instead of just working out of the Wildcat formation. During that time, freshman offensive tackle Kent Perkins struggled notably with some inside rushes from senior defensive end Reggie Wilson. Those are reps that Wilson should win at this point in his career, but it may also provide some evidence of why so many evaluators felt that Perkins was destined for the right side of the line in college instead of the left.
Colbert flashed again during the period, as he delivered an absolute shot to junior tight end Greg Daniels down the seam to dislodge the former defensive lineman from the football in his hands. The Mineral Wells product may not quite be ready to contribute for the Longhorns this season, but his performance on Saturday did flash the considerable upside that had Texas fans so tantalized when he flipped from Baylor as part of the 2012 class.