UT gets physical on Friday
AUSTIN, Texas -- After three days of fighting winter conditions and a scheduled off day, the Texas Longhorns finally were able to hit Frank Denius Fields for the first time this spring on Friday afternoon. UT donned full pads and had a spirited and physical two-hour practice in front of more than 500 fans and high school coaches.
"I felt like there was a lot of enthusiasm today," UT head coach Mack Brown said. "We had a real good toughness practice for our first day in pads. We had a lot of high school coaches out here watching and that added to it because so many of the guys played for them. That was a real positive thing for us. Practice was spirited, we had a lot of contact and no one got hurt. I was pleased with the first day of us running the ball and stopping the run. We did some good things at both ends. It will be a good film for us."
UT's sixth-year head coach said he was pleased with the work of the Longhorns running backs on Friday.
UT returns its ground game virtually intact with all of its primary ball carriers returning this season.
Joining Benson in the backfield again is Young and Robin. Young rushed for 408 yards and five TDs in 13 games as a true freshman last season, while Robin has been a reliable third-down back that has played in 35 career games and caught 29 passes for 322 yards and a TD, while rushing for 124 yards and two TDs on 31 carries.
The Horns also return a versatile and explosive threat as both a runner and receiver in Williams at fullback. A former tailback, he came on strong in earning the starting fullback job in the second half of 2002. He caught 18 of his 20 passes for 231 of his 273 yards during the final six games last season. In 34 career games, Williams has rushed for 603 yards and six TDs and caught 23 passes for 293 yards and two TDs.
Matthews returns for his fourth season in the UT system, while Hardy, a versatile back who also has the ability to play tailback, redshirted a year ago.
The Longhorns will have their first spring scrimmage on Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. It is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and is open the public.
"Tomorrow should be an exciting day," Brown said. "We'll do a lot of the things did today. It won't so much be a scrimmage as it will be running sets of plays. They'll be at full speed, but we won't tackle. It will be a great chance for our fans to come out and see the team."