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OL Luke Poehlmann a pleasant surprise

8/17/2012

Luke Poehlmann's days as a blocking tight end, and occasional pass threat (heavy emphasis on "occasional"), could be over.

The 6-foot-7, 275-pound senior, who was often brought in as a blocking tight end last season, has emerged as a pleasant surprise in camp and has earned a more prominent role at tackle because of it.

"He's the only senior on the offensive line, he's playing really hard and he's playing with confidence," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "He's smart and he can play either guard or tackle."

Much of this could be because he is finally fully recovered from a knee injury he sustained after playing in only two games as a sophomore.

"We thought he was about to be really good when he hurt his knee against Baylor two years ago," Brown said. "Last year I never thought he was well.

"So he gives us immediate depth. And [offensive line coach] Stacy [Searels] really likes him now. He never got to see him last year. It usually takes more than a year, year and a half to get that knee well, and he's seeing him well right now, so he's doing a good job."

Poehlmann's rise in camp couldn't be happening at a better time. When starting right tackle Josh Cochran had his leg rolled up on during Monday's scrimmage, Texas coaches didn't have to look far for a replacement.

They simply turned to the player that already has a degree in applied learning and development, and had confidence that he'd apply what he's learned and develop into a trust-worthy backup.

Cochran returned to practice on Wednesday with the team in shorts and appeared to be moving just fine. So Poehlmann's roll will likely stay the same when Wyoming comes to Austin. But with the revolving door mentality Searels displayed last season, he should still see his fair share of snaps throughout the season.