HOW SPRING DRILLS SHAPE UP AS HORNS GET BREAK

Start­ing safety Hall will likely miss rest of work­outs with in­jured ham­string.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Danny Davis daniel­d­avis@states­man.com

After only two prac­tices, Texas’ spring sched­ule will be in­ter­rupted by a pre­vi­ously sched­uled va­ca­tion.

The foot­ball team wrapped up its se­cond spring prac­tice with new coach Tom Her­man on Thurs­day. But the univer­sity is about to go on spring break, which means UT play­ers won’t re­turn to the prac­tice field un­til March 21.

When prac­tice re­sumes, UT’s most vet­eran starter will be on the side­line. Her­man said Thurs­day that ju­nior safety Ja­son Hall will prob­a­bly miss the rest of spring drills with a ham­string in­jury. Hall, who left De­nius Fields on crutches, has a team-lead­ing 28 starts un­der his belt.

Her­man said that Hall’s “fairly sig­nif­i­cant strain to his ham­string” would not need surgery. He is ex­pected back for sum­mer con­di­tion­ing.

“Pretty good pull that needs some time off and some re­hab,” said Her­man, who also is miss­ing tight end Andrew Beck (foot) and punter Michael Dickson (ham­string) with in­juries.

After his se­cond prac­tice at Texas — which was even­tu­ally moved in­doors due to weather — Her­man re­it­er­ated his stance that th­ese early work­outs are less about the play­book and more about es­tab­lish­ing prac­tice habits. He wasn’t will­ing to give a scout­ing re­port on his new play­ers.

“I’m never go­ing to com­ment on any­body’s per­for­mance in shorts. It’s not foot­ball,” Her­man said. “We’ll wait and see Tues­day after spring break. It will be a good (in­di­ca­tion) of who stands out.”

Sopho­more run­ning back Chris War­ren III said his spring break sched­ule will fea­ture work­outs. Left tackle Con­nor Wil­liams said the weight room needs to be a des­ti­na­tion next week for him and his teammates, although he ad­mit­ted he might spend a day or two at the beach.

“I think see­ing what they de­mand from us, we need to be ready (when we get back),” said Wil­liams, who will be a ju­nior this fall. “We need to be work­ing out dur­ing spring break. We need to be ready to roll when we get back be­cause they’re not go­ing to go into it lightly.”

Her­man said the idea of wait­ing to start spring work­outs un­til after UT’s spring break was floated, but he didn’t want to cram 15 prac­tices into a four-week pe­riod. He also didn’t want the pos­si­bil­ity of those post-break prac­tices con­flict­ing with the coaches’ re­cruit­ing sched­ules.

So Texas will in­stead re­con­vene for a team meet­ing on the Mon­day after the break. The Longhorns will be in pads for the first time the next day, and that prac­tice will be par­tially used as a re­fresher on what was learned this week.

Texas will con­duct three prac­tices a week dur­ing three of the next four weeks, the ex­cep­tion be­ing a four-prac­tice stretch April 4-8.

Texas’ spring game is sched­uled for April 15.

“I’d rather us go all the way through, but it is what it is; that’s how they wanted to sched­ule it,” War­ren said. “We’re just go­ing to go by what they say, be­cause we’re try­ing to win around here. If we follow what they do, we’ll win.”

DUSTIN SAFRANEK / FOR AMERICANSTATESMAN

At prac­tice Thurs­day at Frank De­nius Fields, many Horns had new num­bers, in­clud­ing Devin Duver­nay (6).

DUSTIN SAFRANEK / FOR AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Noth­ing on dis­play at Thurs­day’s prac­tice made it seem as if coach Tom Her­man had cho­sen a start­ing QB. Shane Buechele (above) and Sam Eh­linger both worked with a mix of skill play­ers.

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