The Texas Longhorns are now in the third week of preseason camp and so far, the Horns have only suffered a single long-term injury, suffered by breakout freshman wide receiver Troy Omeire.
Unfortunately, Texas is also down to 73 players recruited on scholarship as a result of two other previous long-term injuries — redshirt freshman running back Derrian Brown and redshirt freshman defensive end Peter Mpagi — three opt outs, and four walk ons who have received scholarships.
|Hudson Card||Casey Thompson||Sam Ehlinger||4|
|Bijan Robinson||Roschon Johnson||Keaontay Ingram||Daniel Young*||5|
|Kennedy Lewis||Jake Smith||Brennan Eagles||Tarik Black||11|
|Troy Omeire^||Marcus Washington|
|Dajon Harrison||Al'Vonte Woodard|
|Jordan Whittington||Joshua Moore|
|Brayden Liebrock||Jared Wiley||Cade Brewer||4|
|Tyler Johnson||Junior Angilau||Sam Cosmi||Derek Kerstetter||15|
|Isaiah Hookfin||Rafiti Ghirmai||Tope Imade|
|Jake Majors||Reese Moore||Denzel Okafor|
|Logan Parr||Christian Jones|
|Jaylen Garth||Willie Tyler*|
|Myron Warren||T'Vondre Sweat||Reese Leitao||Ta'Quon Graham||12|
|Peter Mpagi^||Keondre Coburn||Marqez Bimage*|
|Vernon Broughton||Moro Ojomo||Jacoby Jones|
|Sawyer Goram-Welch||Daniel Carson|
|David Gbenda||Byron Vaughns||Joseph Ossai||13|
|Marcus Tillman Jr.||Ayodele Adeoye||Russell Hine**|
|Prince Dorbah||Luke Brockermeyer**||Cort Jaquess**|
|Jaylan Ford||Juwan Mitchell|
|Jaden Hullaby||DeMarvion Overshown|
|Kenyatta Watson II||Chris Adimora||Caden Sterns||Chris Brown||17|
|Marques Caldwell||Tyler Owens||BJ Foster|
|Xavion Alford||Jalen Green|
|Jerrin Thompson||D'Shawn Jamison|
|Kitan Crawford||Montrell Estell|
|Jahdae Barron||Josh Thompson|
At the running back position, that means only three healthy scholarship players since senior Daniel Young opted out — Texas hasn’t had multiple injuries at the position and could easily move redshirt freshman Jordan Whittington back from running back — but it is an area of concern.
And the concern isn’t just about the normal injuries that happen in college football. Instead, the concern is that a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases, or the need to self isolate or quarantine multiple players in a position group, could leave Texas short of players at a particular position for one or more games.
In fact, that’s exactly what happened to Oklahoma recently when the team was attempting to go through a scrimmage following a recent cluster of cases.
“We had a day last week we were getting ready to do a scrimmage and had a COVID test come back and we lose all but one person at a position group, I mean a major position group on the field,” head coach Lincoln Riley said. “We have to practice that day with a position where we had multiple players on the field at one time and we have one player, and we found out that night and then we’ve got practice the next morning.”
So Herman plans on using 80 to 90 percent of his scholarship roster this season due to the coronavirus. The Longhorns have altered practice as a result, mixing the second- and third-team players more frequently, in part because the team’s overall fitness level is blow the norm after so much time around campus.
Herman is keeping two key things in mind as he plans for the season.
“The one being myself as the head coach being cognizant of the fact that we just need some more blocks of just time devoted to the third group, but also the second part of that is making sure that those guys rotate in with the ones and twos — the ones and twos needed to because we’ve not quite been in the shape that we’re used to be in this time of year. Those guys have gotten some very valuable reps,” Herman said.
The players staying on-campus are in San Jacinto dorm and 90 percent overall plan to take online classes only, which will limit their exposure to the rest of the student body during class time.
Meanwhile, Herman continues to emphasize that the teams with the most discipline are going to set themselves up for success this season.
“The most mature, level-headed, rule-following teams are going to be the ones that have the best opportunity to win at a very high level this season and our guys are completely bought into that fact,” Herman said following the team’s first scrimmage.