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Texas football players begin returning to campus

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Nearly 70 Longhorns football players are now on the Forty Acres preparing for the resumption of voluntarily workouts.

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Texas football

The first group of Texas Longhorns players are now back on campus this Monday, the first time they’ve been at the facilities since the coronavirus pandemic began back in March.

According to a report from Horns247, about 67 players were among Group 1, with some driving in on Monday and the others coming out of self-quarantine after flying into Austin last Monday.

Those players will undergo physicals, coronavirus testing, and education about the new protocols put in place for on-campus workouts, which can begin voluntarily on June 15 across the Big 12 Conference.

Other schools have seen positive coronavirus cases as student-athletes have returned to campus, including reports of “less than five” athletes at Texas A&M, three Auburn football players, and at least five football players at Alabama. Multiple Texas Tech basketball players are infected.

Members of Group 2, made up of about 49 players, will also drive in next Monday or fly in today and then self-quarantine for seven days. They are allowed to begin working out on June 22.

The final group, made up of 17 members of the 2020 recruiting class who did not enroll early, will follow the same arrival schedule, but must also undergo evaluations from the sports medicine team to receive clearance to begin workouts.

Players will work out three times a week — Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — at three outdoor weight-lifting areas at Frank Denius Fields, with protocols put in place limiting physical contact and requiring regular hand sanitization.

“The voluntary workouts for Football will be conducted outside at the Denius Practice Complex, and the activity will be closely monitored by our Sports Medicine and Strength & Conditioning staffs in small working groups,” athletics director Chris Del Conte wrote in late May. “The student-athletes will report to the Denius Fields workout area and will not utilize any other on-campus athletics facilities at this time.”

Texas coaches arrived back on campus for three-day work weeks in the facilities three weeks ago in order to test the new protocols put in place for them.

“The job they’ve done to adopt them and adapt to them safely has been tremendous, and we commend their focus and commitment,” Del Conte wrote last week.

Volleyball, soccer, and cross country student-athletes can return on July 1, while basketball and all other student-athletes are allowed to return to campus for voluntary sport-related activities on July 15.

The transition period will allow student-athletes to adjust to a new normal this fall that will include wearing masks at all times while in class or inside campus buildings. On Monday, the school also revealed recommendations that students wear masks while in crowded outdoor areas.