The Longhorns put on full pads for the second time of the preseason camp on Wednesday morning at Whitaker Fields.
Here are notes and observations:
Watson still restricted
During Thursday’s news conference, head coach Tom Herman laid out a play for graduate transfer Tre Watson, who is returning from an ACL injury. They would limit Watson in the first two practices, then start to crank him up when the team puts full pads on.
The first part of the plan went fine, but when it came to full pads Herman said they haven’t been able to “crank” him up like they expected to by this time.
“In team we’re going to test the strength levels in his legs again on Monday and then hopefully by then, those strength levels will test closer to even enough where the medical staff feels like he can be tackled and be in a live environment,” Herman said.
Watson is still running reps with the twos, so if he can get cleared relatively soon, there’s no reason to doubt he will play a part in revitalizing the run game come Sept. 1.
Junior Kyle Porter, on the other hand, who was once highly praised by Herman, has appeared to drop down the depth chart and is now on the outside looking in.
Longhorn legends make appearance at practice
Several Longhorns from the 2005 national championship squad made guest appearances at Wednesday’s practice, including Tim Crowder, Justin Blalock and Jim Thorpe Award winner Aaron Ross.
Jim Thorpe Award finalist and Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas also observed the defensive backs along with Ross and Jim Thorpe Award finalist and assistant defensive backs coach Michael Huff.
Thomas released a piece on The Players’ Tribune on Aug. 2, demanding the Seattle Seahawks either offer him an extension or trade him. Since then, he has not reported to Seahawks preseason camp as he waits for the Seahawks organization to make a decision.
Several reports showed Thomas at McNeese State’s first day of preseason camp Tuesday, one day before his appearance in Austin.
Freshman finds time at linebacker after McCulloch injury
After Wednesday’s practice, Herman gave a quick injury report: juniors linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch has sustained a strained pectoral muscle while running back Tristian Houston has a bruised rib after falling on a ball.
As a result, freshman safety DeMarvion Overshown has been receiving reps at linebacker.
“We’re already thin at linebackers so we felt that he’s the closet young guy that is suited to be at that position,” Herman said. “It’s not a permanent move yet but we need bodies there to take reps and he’s more than willing. He was excited about it because it gets him on the field playing football.”
Herman said they will figure out what to do once McCulloch returns from injury.
Practice six is set for Thursday morning at Whitaker Fields.