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Texas DC Bedford: S DeShon Elliott still working on getting aligned

More than any other factor, a failure to understand pre-snap positioning will keep the sophomore off the field.

DeShon Elliott
DeShon Elliott
via @CoachBedfordUT

While Texas Longhorns sophomore safety DeShon Elliott has been making "tremendous strides" in his growth as a player, according to senior safety Dylan Haines, he still has to overcome a significant hurdle in order to find playing time this fall.

During a media availability Wednesday, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford praised the Rockwall-Heath product for several noteworthy qualities.

"(Elliott) has the most confidence of anyone you're ever going to see," said Bedford, who calls Elliott "Mr. Boom Boom." "In tight quarters, he is going to knock your helmet off."

However, the answer to one question will define how much Elliott sees the field in his second season. Can he get aligned?

"If he can't get aligned, I'm going to be asking him to give me grape Gatorade on game day," Bedford said. "It's not high school where you fly around and hit somebody. You need to get aligned and making checks. Otherwise we're going to be drinking Gatorade together. That's where he is right now."

So all the confidence in the world won't make up for the lack of understanding. The good news is that Haines believes Elliott is putting in the necessary time to learn where he's supposed to be on every play before the ball is snapped.

Elliott is also competing against junior safety Jason Hall for playing time and Bedford didn't hesitate to call out Hall's alignment issues on Wednesday, noting that he's played enough football that he can no longer rely on Haines to help out.

However, Hall did earn praise for creating fumbles in the last two practices, a major point of emphasis for the defense.

As a result, Elliott will not only have to fix his alignment problems in order to get on the field, he'll have to create turnovers at a high rate to displace Hall as the starter, assuming that the latter player is able to fix his own alignment issues by the time he starts his third year at Texas.