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Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Four downs: QB Swoopes is the future

By Sean Adams

AUSTIN, Texas -- Each week Sean Adams looks at a few topics around the Texas Longhorns and college football.

First down: Is Swoopes the future?

By reading between the lines about the repetitions in Saturday's Orange-White scrimmage, it appears that freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes will have a package to fit around his unique skill set and size this season. But could he already be Texas' No. 2 signal-caller?

Tyrone Swoopes
Freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes had fans talking after his performance in Texas' spring game.
If starter David Ash were to go down and miss time in the first game of the season, it's likely that Case McCoy would take over the role. But even that would likely only be until Swoopes' schooling could be accelerated to get him ready to play.

Swoopes is the future. I am still in the small group of people who believes a redshirt would be best for him, but that might not be an option when the Texas coaches look forward to 2014. Swoopes has already passed Connor Brewer and Jalen Overstreet, and it appears McCoy is just exhausting his eligibility as a backup.

That leaves Swoopes as the primary backup in 2014 and as the man his junior year for the Longhorns, assuming he doesn't redshirt this season. If the spring of 2013 is any indication, the future will be sooner rather than later for Swoopes.

Second down: DE Okafor taking some hits ...

Texas went through pro day last week and defensive end Alex Okafor has taken some hits. His strength, speed, explosiveness and even tactical awareness have been questioned.

I just don’t buy that. He is a football player. I have never been in the camp that he is going to be great, but I am in the camp that he can have a lengthy career in the NFL.

All things considered, that would be a really good career. It must be pretty hard for an All-American to get his career torn apart for a couple of months. I honestly hope he is not paying attention to the media at this point.

Third down: On the move ...

I will be the first to say it did not do a whole lot for me to hear that Duke Thomas might play both ways, but after watching him the spring game, I’m a believer. He caught the ball in traffic, ran fairly good routes and looked to have pretty solid ball skills.

There is uncertainty at receiver for the Longhorns. If they truly want to push the tempo, depth is needed. Sheroid Evans' play could ease the pain of possibly losing Thomas for part of the time to the offensive side of the ball.

Even if John Harris, Kendall Sanders, Marcus Johnson and Bryant Jackson all perform well, Texas will still need more receivers to complete its arsenal.

Fourth down: Texas needs "it"

"Swag" is a shamefully overused phrase that borders on annoying now. Everyone has their own definition and most people think they have "it" when most can’t tell you what "it" is.

Here’s what I do know: Texas needs more of something.

Linebacker Peter Jinkens seems to be a guy who has some of what they need. He can flat-out ball. On a team that I still feel lacks passion and "want to," Jinkens could be a guy to infuse some energy into the defense. He plays with the attitude of the Texas teams of 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2008. He is one of a small number of current Longhorns who could have played on those teams.

I hope his personality and passion rubs off on some of the other players and this team starts to play with the word I hate.