Ash looks like leader in practice

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Open Practice Notebook

David Ash steps up

Although head coach Mack Brown won’t name who the starting quarterback is, his reps at practice this weekend displayed David Ash’s improvement. Maybe it’s Ash’s increased confidence after the Holiday Bowl or that he is getting a majority of snaps with the first team during practice — but it’s pretty clear that he is widening the gap between him and the other quarterbacks.

He made some impressive long throws during the practice. Although the pass rush was not as physical or intense as it would be in an actual game, Ash seemed to make strides.

Ash’s body language displayed confidence. And so did his throws.

Mike Davis dominates DBs

Mike Davis’ sophomore season was not overly productive. But his performance Saturday was nothing short of impressive. His one-handed catch in the end zone while matched up against Quandre Diggs was a stunning play.

Throughout the day, he shook off defensive backs and played very hard.

Last season he led the team with 45 receptions and 609 yards. Although it is only March and Texas’ first game of the season is still months away, it looks like Davis could make a big difference for the offense next year.

“The last few practices he has been very exceptional out there with making plays and going to the ball and being aggressive and showing a lot of confidence,” co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said.

Kickers struggle

Even though Ash and members of the offense seem to be making strides, Texas’ kicking game struggled in open practice. During the team’s practice Saturday, walk-on kicker Ben Pruitt missed a 32 and a 36-yard field goal.

Sophomore William Russ missed a 32-yard field goal as well.

When asked about kicking, Harsin said, “That’s not my area.”

But kicker Nick Jordan from Coppell will be graduating in June and will join the Longhorns then.

If Jordan does not live up to expectations, the kicking game has the potential to be a very big problem for the Longhorns.

Steve Edmond shows athleticism

Linebacker Steve Edmond weighs 260 pounds, but he showed his agility and versatility during practice this weekend. He and Kenny Vaccaro forced a fumble from running back Malcolm Brown.

“He has the ability to play the run and pass equally well which will be important in the league that we play in,” defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said. “But he’s still learning. He’s a down-after-down guy. That if he’s going to be in our first 11, has to be one of our best 11 players.”

Although Texas lost a lot of core members of its defense, Edmond has the potential to replace Keenan Robinson at middle linebacker.