3 takeaways from Texas football’s open fall practice

Morice Blackwell, Byron Murphy II, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Morice Blackwell, Byron Murphy II, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Byron Murphy emerging as a breakout candidate this fall

A big-time takeaway from the last few days of fall camp is the play of sophomore defensive lineman Byron Murphy, who is clearly taking his game to another level heading into this season. Murphy sounds like one of the more impressive players along this Texas defensive front so far this offseason. And he just continues to get better as fall camp progresses.

One of the more notable nuggets that came out of the open practice, in particular, is the starting duo of defensive linemen to anchor this unit in the trenches. In this open practice, Murphy and sophomore Vernon Broughton were the starting nose tackle and defensive tackle, respectively.

That does come as a bit of a surprise given how it was mostly upperclassmen and/or returning starters getting the starting reps just one week ago in fall camp. This goes to show how impressive the duo of Broughton and Murphy were so far in practice that they were able to pass up a trio of seniors in Keondre Coburn, Moro Ojomo, and T’Vondre Sweat.

Murphy seems to be getting wins in pass-rushing drills and scrimmage situations against the offensive line so far in fall camp. And that was the case in the open practice, as Murphy showed the seamless ability to work through his offensive line matchups when rushing the passer and defending the run.

What will be extremely interesting to see throughout the rest of fall camp is if both Murphy and Broughton continue to separate themselves from the rest of the competition along the defensive line. If this is the starting duo to anchor the defensive line heading into the regular season, that would be a big shift from the personnel groupings trotted out by defensive line coach Bo Davis and DC Pete Kwiatkowski last season.