For the first time under new head coach Steve Sarkisian, the Texas Longhorns hit the practice field on Tuesday for the start of spring practice.
The school also provided an updated roster that featured the medical retirements of running back Derrian Brown, who suffered a stroke two years ago after signing as a member of the 2019 recruiting class, and defensive end Peter Mpagi, who never saw the field at Texas due to heart issues. Defensive end Reese Leitao is also no longer on the roster after graduating with a degree in neuroscience.
Graduate transfer running back Gabriel Watson, one of the late additions to the team from Souix Falls during preseason camp last year, remains with the Longhorns.
There’s also one notable position change, with graduate transfer Brenden Schooler moving from wide receiver to defensive back to address the lack of ideal depth at the safety position following the early declaration for the NFL Draft by Caden Sterns and the transfer of Xavion Alford to USC. Schooler started his Oregon career at safety, recording 74 tackles, six pass breakups, and four interceptions as a freshman. Schooler is also one of the few position players to gain weight — he’s now listed at 201 pounds, five pounds heavier than last season.
With Schooler moving to defense, senior Montrell Estell remains at wide receiver after switching from the safety position prior to the Alamo Bowl.
Following the departure of quarterback Sam Ehlinger, junior quarterback Casey Thompson switched from No. 8 to No. 11, the jersey that Ehlinger wore at Texas.
The roster revealed the numbers for new arrivals, too:
- McNeese State graduate transfer CB Darion Dunn — No. 4
- Freshman WR Jaden Alexis — No. 13
- Freshman QB Charles Wright — No. 14
- Freshman S JD Coffey — No. 27
- Freshman CB Jamier Johnson — No. 31
- Freshman LB Terrence Cooks II — No. 35
- Freshman LB DJ Harris Jr. — No. 40
- LSU graduate transfer LB Ray Thornton — No. 46
- Freshman P Isaac Pearson — No. 49
- Freshman OL Hayden Conner — No. 76
- Freshman TE Juan Davis — No. 81
- Freshman TE Gunnar Helm — No. 85
With new strength and conditioning coach Torre Becton focusing more on explosiveness and mobility during winter workouts, many of the skill position players have lost weight. Junior defensive back Chris Adimora, who played Chris Ash’s nickel position called Spur last season, dropped from 214 pounds to 206 pounds. Sophomore running back Bijan Robinson lost seven pounds, dropping to 215. Senior tight end Cade Brewer lost 13 pounds.
Several offensive lineman gained significant weight — junior Christian Jones, who played right tackle last year, is up from 310 pounds to 327 pounds, and junior guard Junior Angilau is up from 294 pounds to 316 pounds. Sophomores Tyler Johnson and Isaiah Hookfin both apparently lost weight, however, with Johnson dropping from 320 pounds to 300 pounds and Hookfin down to 300 pounds from 310 pounds.