April 2, 2006

Stars in the making

Mack Brown and the Longhorns were back it on Saturday night with their annual Orange-White game, and the defending national champs turned in several standout performances. Interestingly, it was some new faces that actually stole the show. So who were the top dogs and who showed a glimpse of what the future could hold?


Longhorn fans have grown accustomed to seeing No. 16 snatching passes out of the air for big gains, and it looks like that trend will continue in 2006. Tight end David Thomasmade the number famous in leading the team in receptions last season.

Thomas' career on the Forty Acres is over and he is busy preparing for the NFL, but a new player has apparently stepped in to fill his shoes. Jermichael Finley, a redshirt freshman out of Diboll, has drawn rave reviews from the coaches and his teammates during spring drills, and he put his skills on display on Saturday night.

Finley led the team with 73 yards receiving and one touchdown, and he drew comparisons to Thomas from the Texas coaches.

"You also saw the ability of Finley tonight," said Brown. "He can run and catch and give us a chance to continue to stretch the field like we did with David Thomas."


Several players were held out of action on Saturday, but the most glaring admissions from the line-up came from senior running back Selvin Young and true freshman linebacker Sergio Kindle. Young is expected to be the team's starter at tailback next fall (assuming he can hold off Jamaal Charles) and Kindle is one of the more highly-touted freshmen to ever come through the program.

As for Young, it was a case of precautionary measures being taken for the talented back - "Selvin had a slight pull and we held him out," Mack Brown said - while Kindle's situation had to deal with issues related to the classroom.

"Sergio had a situation come up where someone on campus advised him to drop a class yesterday and it dropped him below 12 hours," said Brown. "It was someone who was thinking that since it was spring practice it didn't matter, but this is still a game according to the NCAA. He will be fine, but it is just unfortunate for him. He learned he needs to come ask us, not someone else."

The good news … everyone should be ready to go by the time the team takes the field for two-a-days, and the line-up should not have any unexpected vacancies in the season opener, barring the unexpected.

"Everybody should be 100 percent for fall. It is one of the great things about our spring; we shouldn't have lost anybody this spring for this next fall," Brown said.

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