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WATCH: Texas WR Collin Johnson’s diving catch among Monday’s practice highlights

A true freshman also flashed at defensive tackle.

The video team for the Texas Longhorns chronicled the first practice in pads for the ‘Horns on Monday and while the footage doesn’t include sophomore quarterback Jerrod Heard working at wide receiver or sophomore running back Kirk Johnson’s impressive run, it does count a diving catch from freshman wide receiver Collin Johnson among the highlights.

The primary focus of the opening half of the video is 1-on-1 drills between offensive and defensive linemen.

Sophomore defensive end Charles Omenihu and junior offensive guard Brandon Hodges battled to a virtual stalemate in the opening contest, with Omenihu showing a good ability to anchor with his base against an opponent who has about 40 pounds on him. If Omenihu can hold up at the point of attack like that against offensive tackles — or even win those battles — he could be a huge asset for the ‘Horns this year, whether he’s behind senior defensive end Bryce Cottrell or across from him.

Omenihu made another appearance later against junior offensive tackle Tristan Nickelson and ended up winning another rep and letting Nickelson know about it. After a strong offseason of conditioning work, Nickelson didn’t lose the rep badly, as he battled with Omenihu for several counts before Omenihu swam around him, though it was another example of Nickelson not being able to stay balanced.

Last season, get out over his feet too far was an issue for him.

One of the single most impressive reps of the 1-vs.-1s was seeing sophomore left tackle Connor Williams get under the pads of freshman defensive tackle Gerald Wilbon and walk him back in a technical display of strength, hand placement, leverage, and continued leg drive.

With Williams listed at less than 300 pounds and Wilbon listed at nearly 330, the fact that the Texas franchise left tackle won that match up so convincingly against an interior linemen who played with good leverage and massive lower-body strength as a senior in high school was quite remarkable, even if Wilbon is so young.

Senior Kent Perkins is a guy the Longhorns need to be good for in the trenches at guard, but on this particular rep against sophomore defensive tackle Chris Nelson, Perkins quickly lost his leverage and Nelson was able to disengage relatively easily.

It’s a zero-sum game (and only one rep) that favors the defensive player, though the need for Nelson to play a large role in the defensive tackle rotation is the bigger win here.

The flipside is that Perkins wants to play inside and is a marginal right tackle because of his feet, but he can’t allow opponents to get under his pads that easily against the run or the pass or the ‘Horns will be giving up too much penetration from a spot that he needs to lock down.

Especially given what could happen right next to him.

The rep from freshman defensive tackle Jordan Elliott against fellow freshman center Zach Shackelford was the best of the group from the defense’s perspective — Elliott came off low, hard, had perfect hand placement, and was able to discard Shack with a quickness. In fact, the Texas center didn’t even really get his hands on Elliott because he got rocked so hard by the initial punch.

Jordan Elliott vs. Zach Shackelford

It’s a rep worth watching several times because it highlights the upside that allowed the 2016 US Army All-American defensive tackle to record 78 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, two fumble recoveries and nine forced turnovers as a junior at Houston Westside.

The Longhorns will surely need Elliott to contribute around 10-15 snaps a game and it will probably be difficult for him to play at a consistent level during that time, but based on his overall upside and his ability to do things like he did to Shackelford on that play, he should flash this season.

Of course, it would be a tease not to mention Johnson, who was going 1-vs.-1 against sophomore cornerback Kris Boyd in off coverage. The big, smooth freshman hit Boyd with just a subtle little shoulder fake outside and left the cornerback grasping desperately at Johnson trying to slow him down on the post route.

Senior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, as he does all too frequently, only had to put enough air under the ball to let Johnson find the end zone with no other defender even in the middle of the field, but instead fired a rocket that forced Johnson to go to the ground to ensure that he caught the football.

The bigger takeaway here is that Johnson is rapidly improving at the technical aspects of the game — on that route, he threw a look back in the direction of the quarterback before he planted and exploded inside and then made sure that he could contort his body just enough to keep the football he tucked instantly on his right-hand side from even coming close to touching the ground.

In addition to the obscene height, length, and leaping ability combination that Johnson possesses, his ability to learn quickly will maximize his upside as long as he continues hanging around with freshman quarterback Shane Buechele all the time. Let’s go ahead and pencil that one in, then.

The next passing rep showed sophomore cornerback Davante Davis close on sophomore wide receiver John Burt to make a nice play attacking the football just as Burt reached for it and knocking it away on a pass that was underthrown just enough to allow Davis to recover.

Junior wide receiver Armanti Foreman caught an underthrown touchdown pass against Boyd, though it’s a little bit concerned that Foreman still makes basket catches on those plays instead of attack the football with both hands.

Yet another underthrown pass intended for Foreman ended up in the hands of sophomore safety DeShon Elliott ranging over from the middle of the field for an interception.

Sophomore running back Chris Warren, who sat out on Saturday with a tweaked hamstring before participating in Sunday’s practice, was in pads on Monday and looked to be at full speed.