• Senior Bowl watch list highlights Longhorns

    Three Longhorns were named to the Senior Bowl watch list Tuesday, with defensive tackle Paul Boyette Jr., safety Dylan Haines and offensive lineman Kent Perkins making the cut. The list features the top seniors in the country, as well as the nation’s best NFL prospects. The Senior Bowl kicks off Jan. 28 in Mobile, Alabama.

    Texas’ three selections bring their all-time total to 66 since the Senior Bowl’s inception in 1950. Nine of those players are currently in the NFL.

    Each of the Longhorns chosen for the watch list has made significant contributions to Texas in their first three years with the program. Boyette has the most experience, boasting 30 career appearances, including six starts in 2015.

    Haines has started in 23 of his 24 appearances, leading the Longhorns with five interceptions last year. The fifth-year senior from Lago Vista, Texas, also has the second-highest career interception return yardage in the team’s history.

    Perkins was the lone offensive Longhorn to make the watch list, anchoring the Texas offensive line. Perkins started 10 games in 2015, leading the charge for a running game that ranked No. 18 in the nation.

  • Strong talks quarterback battle, Jacorey Warrick

    Head coach Charlie Strong addressed the media shortly after the team scrimmaged on Saturday. He discussed how individual players are progressing two weeks ahead of the season opener against Notre dame. 

    Quarterback battle is quietly shaping up 
    Senior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and freshman Shane Buechele have been locked in a tight quarterback battle since Spring.

    But Strong said he has an idea of which quarterback will start for Texas in week one — he just won’t announce it.

    “The decision will be made and then the team will know,” Strong said. “But I’m not going to put it out there because I don’t want Notre Dame [to know.]” 

    He went on to say he doesn’t even have to make an official announcement to the team about the choice he and offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert make — it will be self-explanatory. 

    Strong said that both quarterbacks have shown promise and will get a chance on opening night.

    “They both made really good throws and had some really good runs when they pulled the ball a couple of times on the quarterback run,” Strong said 

    Strong talks up receiver Jacorey Warrick  
    Recent talk about Texas football has revolved around the quarterback battle and redshirt sophomore Jerrod Heard’s transition from starting quarterback to wide receiver. 

    But Strong said senior receiver Jacorey Warrick deserves some of the spotlight after shining through the first two weeks of camp.

    “We just need to get the ball caught and never let allow the ball go over our head where we lose yardage,” Strong said. “The guy that’s doing a really good job for us right now is Jacorey Warrick.” 

    Warrick is coming off a season in which he caught just six passes for 35 yards. But don’t be surprised if he cruises by those numbers early this season.

    “I think [Warrick’s] having an unbelievable camp right now,” Strong said. “He’s making all of the catches and he’s just practicing so hard. You feel him.”

  • Erick Fowler cleared to join Longhorns

    Texas signee Erick Fowler has been cleared by the NCAA and is set to join his teammates for practice, per his father’s Twitter.

    The tweet comes a few days after head coach Charlie Strong said Fowler had reached the clearinghouse stage of his academic qualification process Saturday.

    Fowler has been taking summer school classes and was originally thought to join Texas for the start of training camp. His mother told the Austin-American Statesman he will begin practicing once he passes his physical early this week.

    The 6-foot-3, 233-pound freshman played at Manor High School and ranked as the nation’s No. 9 outside linebacker in ESPN300’s annual recruiting rankings. He arrives on the 40 Acres less than three weeks before Texas’s opening tilt with Notre Dame.

  • McNeal to transfer from Texas following suspension

    Sophomore receiver DeAndre McNeal’s time as a Longhorn is over.

    The 6-foot-2 receiver from Poteet High School in Mesquite was granted a release from his scholarship on Friday, according to 247Sports. He is allowed to transfer to any team not on the Longhorns’ schedule this year.

    McNeal’s decision to transfer comes on the heels of his suspension for violating team rules on Aug. 3, another setback in a career full of them at Texas. He made waves before the 2015 season, telling the media that head coach Charlie Strong guaranteed him the first touch of the season prior to the Longhorns’ matchup with Notre Dame.

    But McNeal couldn’t match his off-field bravado with performance on the gridiron. He provided Texas with little more than special teams depth, receiving the ball just once for nine yards.

    With Austin in his rearview mirror, McNeal is reportedly looking to join Texas A&M or UCLA, telling the Austin-American Statesman he is interested in “any program willing to invest in me.”

    McNeal still has his redshirt available, and he told the Statesman he hopes to find a new home soon.

    “I don’t have a lot of time to be going left and right, right and left, up and down,” McNeal said. “I have to hurry up and make a decision before school starts.”

  • Heard moving from quarterback to wide receiver

    Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jerrod Heard is on the move. The team’s starting signal caller from 2015 took reps at wide receiver on Wednesday, marking the third straight practice in which he was not under center.

    Senior safety Kevin Vaccaro confirmed the news Wednesday evening after Horns Digest originally reported the position change on Monday. Vaccaro said he is pleased with Heard’s progression at wide receiver.

    “[Heard] is an athlete as everyone knows,” Vaccaro said. “He’s really fast and he has the size. It’s good seeing us use him.”

    Heard started 10 games for Texas in 2015. He shined against California on Sept. 19, setting a Longhorn record with 527 total yards in a 45–44 defeat. But Heard faltered as the season continued, and fell behind freshman Shane Buechele and senior Tyrone Swoopes on the depth chart during spring practice.

    With Heard sitting as the third-string quarterback, a position change became a distinct possibility this summer. And Heard is impressing with only a few days under his belt as a receiver.

    “[Heard] has adjusted pretty well,” sophomore wide receiver John Burt said. “He’s already making some good catches, I feel like this is a good spot for him.”

    Texas boasts a deep receiving corps with Burt, freshman Collin Johnson and junior Armanti Foreman expected to take most of the team’s snaps at receiver. But it looks as though Heard will get his chance to contribute — out wide rather than under center.

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