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Texas injury update: Horns getting healthy as fall camp looms

Texas will need to stay healthy this season to compete for a conference title and the news in that vein is positive so far.

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns will have a number of players cleared to fully resume workouts at the start of fall camp, according to the school on Monday.

Among those cleared are prospective starting quarterback David Ash, running back Johnathan Gray, tight end Greg Daniels, offensive linemen Kent Perkins, defensive tackle Paul Boyette, and linebacker Jordan Hicks.

Cornerback Sheroid Evans, safety Erik Huhn, and linebacker Deoundrei Davis have not yet been fully cleared to participate. The former two will be limited, but Davis apparently will not participate at all for at least the beginning of camp.

The news that Gray is ready to go following his Achilles injury last fall against West Virginia made the rounds late last week, but doesn't make it any less heartening. The same goes for Ash, whose Jones fracture in his foot had a decent probability of lingering and becoming a more serious long-term issue.

Then there's Daniels, who combined with fellow senior tight end Geoff Swaim to consistently execute run blocks at a high level last season. He missed the spring with a shoulder injury that required surgery following the 2013 season.

And Perkins is a huge addition to an offensive line short on experience, especially at the tackle position. However, as long as Kennedy Estelle and Desmond Harrison can somewhat capably handle the work outside, Perkins will likely be the starter at one of the guard spots. Either way, he'll be a critical piece of the rotation during the 2014 season.

Boyette didn't dress for the spring game after having shoulder surgery and is at a critical point in his career -- if he can't start to make some progress in cracking a rotation that isn't particularly deep at this time, his odds of ever playing at Texas will start to dwindle significantly.

For Hicks, who has suffered season-ending injuries in each of the last two seasons, it's about staying healthy and trying to stay on the field after his name surfaced last week in connection to the self-reported violations. The former five-star prospect was reportedly one of two Texas players to accept a meal from an agent and it could cost him two games this fall.

As has been apparent the last two seasons, the Horns linebackers are much better when Hicks is on the field -- he was leading the team in tackles before he suffered his injuries the last two years.

Not having Evans available isn't much of a surprise, as his torn ACL happened late enough in the year that his recovery was always going to stretch into fall camp at least. But getting him back quickly could prove a major boon to the questionable depth at cornerback.

With Huhn, the concern is starting to become his ability to stay healthy. He tore his ACL in the first game of his senior season nearly two years ago and has struggled to regain his full health since. The bio from UT says that he spent last season rehabbing an offseason shoulder injury that was apparently in addition to some recovery time from his ACL as well. Then, during the spring, he missed the Orange-White game with a knee injury.

The other player to miss the game, wide receiver Jake Oliver, was not mentioned in the injury report and is likely cleared to fully participate along with Ash, Gray, and the host of other players given the green light.

More concerning than Huhn is the status of linebacker Deoundrei Davis, the type of big, rangy 'backer that the Horns have been noticeably lacking at times. It's not clear whether the knee injury that is still bothering him has been lingering from high school, when he tore his ACL his senior season, or whether it's a new injury.