Longhorns football notebook
By Randy Riggs
No rush to name QB
Will Garrett Gilbert keep his job as the Longhorns’ starting quarterback, or will the junior be replaced by sophomore Case McCoy, redshirt freshman Connor Wood or true freshman David Ash?
Don’t expect a decision anytime soon, offensive co-coordinator Bryan Harsin — who’s also Texas’ quarterbacks coach — suggested Tuesday.
In fact, Harsin, who met with the media after practice along with fellow co-coordinator Major Applewhite, guard Tray Allen and running back Fozzy Whittaker, said naming a starter could come as late as the week before the Sept. 3 season opener against Rice.
“I’ve been through this situation before,” Harsin said. “We’ve always got to have that point before the first game (when the decision is made). That can be a week, that can be 10 days, that can be two weeks.”
Harsin, who declined to say if one quarterback is the early leader, said the spring is being devoted to allowing the quarterbacks “learn what we’re trying to get done.”
“They’ll perfect it through the summer, come back in fall camp and let us tweak it and tighten it up a little bit more, then we’ll let them go play and put them in scenarios,” he added. “We’ll base our decision off of that.”
Whaley at H-back
Sophomore Chris Whaley, who was recruited as a running back, is working more as a true H-back in Texas’ new offense, Applewhite said.
Last season. the Longhorns occasionally alternated players between fullback and H-back, but Applewhite said the 250-pound Whaley is being groomed on the line.
“We have roles now where there’s a true fullback in the backfield and there are guys that play along the line of scrimmage,” Applewhite said. “He’s a guy that plays a little bit more along the line of scrimmage than from a true fullback set.”
Spring game on ESPN
If you can’t make it to the Orange-White football game on April 3, you can watch it on television.
ESPN will broadcast the game, which will begin at 2 p.m. at Royal-Memorial Stadium. It is one of three intrasquad games that ESPN will carry this spring. The others are LSU and Arkansas.
Kicker to walk-on
Placekicker Ben Pruitt of The Woodlands will join the Longhorns for the 2011 season as a preferred walk-on, according to Hookem.com, the American-Statesman’s Internet partner. A preferred walk-on, as opposed to a regular walk-on, has the understanding that he will have a spot on the roster.
Pruitt connected on 15 of 21 field goals in his high school career with a long of 42 yards, and also kicked 98 extra points. He played in the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Pruitt had scholarship offers from Texas State, Air Force and Army, and also was offered a preferred walk-on opportunity at Texas Tech, according to Hookem.com. Other placekickers on the roster are senior Justin Tucker, who handled all the duties last season, and redshirt freshman Will Russ.
Two former Horns nominated for hall
Former Longhorns standouts Jerry Gray and Doug English are among 79 players nominated for the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
Gray, a safety, was a two-time All-American and a unanimous selection in 1984. He also was a two-time player of the year in the now-defunct Southwest Conference. Mack Brown hired him earlier this year, but Gray then took a job as defensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans.
English, a defensive lineman, was a two-time All-SWC selection who averaged 10 tackles per game.