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March 25, 2014

Charlie Strong gives spring practice update

* Charlie Strong met with the media after Tuesday's practice (No. 4 of 15) for spring practice.

* Strong actually handed out some praise to young players and listed:

DE Shiro Davis, CB Bryson Echols, WR Kendall Sanders, WR/RB Daje Johnson, WR Jacorey Warrick, RB Jalen Overstreet and LB Deoundrei Davis.

* Asked about how recruiting is going, Strong said, "Recruiting is going well. And we've got the Texas Relays this weekend and some kids running in the relays."

* Strong said he's looking forward to his "Coming On Strong" 11-city tour across the state and the chance to meet UT faithful in April and May.

"I don't know if I'll be on a bus from city to city," Strong said. "I guess if my picture will be on a bus, then I'll literally be on the bus."

* Strong will attend Pro Day Wednesday and welcome the NFL representatives in attendance.

* Strong said even though he didn't coach the players taking part in Pro Day, he has spoken to many of them about their big job interview.

"Some of these guys won't be able to sleep tonight," Strong said.

* The team will scrimmage on Saturday (spring practice No. 6).

A lot of the offense has been put in.

The defensive coaches are "spoon feeding, piece by piece" the playbook while focusing a lot on "fundamentals and technique."

* Strong confirmed that OT Kent Perkins went down with a knee injury on Saturday. UT officials are "trying to determine the extent" of the injury.

When asked how Perkins' injury affects the offensive line, Strong praised C Dom Espinosa and talked about how Joe Wickline is moving players around and "driving them and coaching them hard."

* When asked about the QB, Strong would only say both David Ash and Tyrone Swoopes are "getting lots of reps. They're doing a good job. We're not asking them to do a lot.
They're still getting control of the offense, still getting a grasp of the offense."

* Strong was asked if he's putting players in tough situations to see if players can handle having "the screws tightened." Strong smiled and replied, "The screws have been tightened from day one."

Strong said no players have changed positions yet.

* On Texas' team speed, Strong said, "We can run. There's a lot of speed."

* When I asked Strong about Daje Johnson, he said Daje is "very talented, very explosive. If he gets the ball, it could be a touchdown, or it could go the other way because he might drop it. But he's strong and he's tough."

* When asked what ingredients his quarterbacks have to have, Strong said, "Smart, tough and dependable."

* Strong said he came up with "Putting the T back in Texas - Toughness, Trust, Togetherness, Team" after having a conversation with a recruit.

Strong said he asked the recruit about Texas, and the recruit didn't have flattering things to say. Strong said he then just blurted out, "So I need to put the T back in Texas."

* On Signing Day in February, Strong said players still hadn't come out of their shell. He said guys are getting more comfortable with the coaching staff.

"I think they're on board. When you're not, you have issues and problems. And we haven't had that."

* I asked Strong when the players will earn the right to throw their Horns up once again?

"Haven't decided that yet," Strong said smiling. "They'll get it back one of these days."

* Asked about his defensive philosophy, Strong said, "We will put pressure on the offense. We won't be afraid to blitz, and we will play some man coverage. I've told our guys be ready to play some man."

Strong likes to find guys in recruiting with a chip on their shoulder. He said the one question he asks every recruit is, "How much do you love football?"

"Because it's a different level from high school to college and on up," Strong said. "You have to love it to make a difference."

Texas NEWS


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