Feb. 28, 2012
S Kenny Vaccaro
On practice today: It was smooth today. Everybody was working hard so it was a good practice.
On comparing this year to last year’s spring training: Everybody has a better feel for the defense. And the offense is connecting on their plays a lot better, too. So everybody already as a feel for the game and the new offense and defense that was put in last year.
On the new guys that are sticking out on defense: Orlando Thomas, the corner[back] - he is playing great. He is fast. He is learning quick. He is playing great for us. I watch the big boys getting after it everyday. [DT]Brandon Moore is completely dominating on the pass rush side of the ball. I haven’t seen much of Alex De La Torre.
On a different feel this year than last year: Coach Mack Brown came and told me if I was going to come back that I needed to practice hard and set an example for the whole team. So I am acting like this is my first day on campus.
QB Case McCoy
On things are different from last year: It is obvious that last year we knew what we needed to do, but this year we know why we need to do it. This gives us two years of running the same offense and we are all developing, all the quarterbacks are developing. We have everything in the offense now, and it is just working out better.
On the quarterback competition: We are all human, and we all are going compete. And I think that is why we are here to compete. I don’t think there is any type of comfort level there. Nothing is being given to anyone. We are all competing and working hard. We will put it in the coaches’ hands, and they will make the right decision.
On his relationship with QB David Ash: David Ash and I have been close ever since he got here. I helped recruit him and tried to get him in here. David is a good guy, Connor Brewer is a good guy, and I imagine Jalen Overstreet will be a good guy when he gets in here. There is nothing wrong with relationships around here. It
is a job. We are all here because we want to compete, and we want to play for the University of Texas.
On QB Connor Brewer thus far: Connor is a player. You see it here and there. I think we have all been at that stage when you are here for the first time, those first throws and trying to get use to it all. Just having him on the field and talking to him in the film room, you can tell he is definitely a player, and he knows the game. He is going to be good one day.
QB David AshOn his assessment of spring workouts so far:
I think we have started really well. We came off of a pretty good bowl win. We are just learning and getting use to each other. We are learning to compete, learning the offense, and coming together as a team. It is going pretty well.On a confidence boost from the bowl game:
A win helps all the time. I felt like I was able to settle into the game for one of the first times in my college career. It was a good win.On overall play last season and using the bowl game as motivation:
Last season is last season. I learned a lot last season, and I am taking what I learned into this season. To me, it is a fresh start.On the quarterback competition:
Spring ball is all about competition and Coach Brown says all the spots are open.On his comfort level with the offense:
You never stop learning. It never stops. But my comfort level is a lot better.
DE Alex Okafor
On the first day in pads: It was good. It is always good to get out there after a couple of months of lifting and what not. Everybody is excited and has a new mentality of trying to get better. It is always a refreshing feeling to get back out there.
On who is taking over the leadership roles: Losing Keenan [Robinson] and Manny [Emmanuel Acho] is always big shoes to fill. I know defensively Kenny [Vaccaro] and I have taken it upon us, being the only starting senior defenders. We take it upon ourselves to fill those shoes and lead the defense. Offensively, of course, you have the quarterbacks Case McCoy and David Ash. The running backs have been stepping up as well, too. Along with [wide receivers] Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley. It is not just the older guys, but a lot of the younger guys are stepping up, too.
On if he is a natural leader: I have to work on it. I have always been kind of a leader by leading through my actions. I have to start speaking up more and that is probably the biggest thing I am trying to work on this season.
On LB Jordan Hicks: He has just matured over the couple months being gone. He has the most experience at the linebacker position. He definitely realizes that, and he has matured a lot. He is kind of coaching up the younger guys.