August 10, 2007

The 40 Acres Report: A change is made

Kindle and Melton return to practice

The Texas Longhorns saw the return of two familiar faces on Wednesday, as junior defensive end Henry Melton and sophomore linebacker Sergio Kindle returned to the team after missing the first three workouts as part of the conditions of their punishment for their involvement in separate DWI arrests.

While the rest of the team will suit up in full pads for the first time on Friday, both players will be held back for a few days because of NCAA rules.

"They came back to practice and they have to go through the shorts part of practice now," Brown said. "They were in shorts yesterday and shorts tonight and they'll be in shoulder pads tomorrow. Then they'll have to be in should pads on Saturday and the first time they can be in full gear is Sunday.

Position change

There's been a lot of talk on the 40 Acres about potential position changes and the team officially made a switch on Thursday to help bolster the depth on the offensive line.

"Greg Smith came to us and said that we were thinner in the offensive line than we were at tight end so he asked us if he could move to the offensive line," Brown said. "It is something that we looked at and talked to him a little bit about in the spring when he had his knee operation.
He'll move in now and start looking at all five positions in the interior line. He played there tonight for the first time because he wanted to move this afternoon."

Freshmen linemen will play

Even with the addition of Smith to the offensive line ranks, Brown confirmed on Thursday that the staff plans to go against it's usual of policy of trying to redshirt each first-year offensive lineman in the program.

"I have been impressed and some of them will play," Brown said. "We usually wouldn't say that at this time and we're not even in full pads. We are really thin there, we will be young there, but we felt that with Matt Nader this was one of the best classes we have ever signed of offensive lineman. Matt has done a great job of coaching. In fact he broke the team down and at 285 he looks really good out there running around. We feel like all four of those guys are good and some will play this year, we're just not sure what that will mean in ten days."

One of the biggest problem areas for the Longhorns is their depth at center, but at this point none of the members of this offensive line class is lending depth at that position.

"Right now we have Michael Huey at guard, Andre McGasky is playing guard, and Kyle Hix and Trey Allen are playing tackle. We didn't want to over load the guys until they understood what to do," Brown said.

Redshirt sophomore Chris Hall has been filling in at second-team center through the first week of practice.

Brown raves about young tight end

There's no question that third-year sophomore Jermichael Finley has created a real buzz through the first week of camp, but Brown mentioned on Thursday night that there's another young tight end that the staff has high hopes for.

"Josh Marshall is to us what David Thomas or Bo Scaife potentially were when they got here and it became a really good story for us," Brown said. "He is also like Jermichael Finley, he's a 220-pound wide receiver that is now 230 or 225 and can run faster against linebackers and safeties than he did against corners that could bump him. We feel like it is a really good move. Our tight end as become such a valuable down the field receiver for us that we want to keep speed at that position.

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