3 big standouts for Texas in final week of spring practice

Who has impressed for Texas football in the last week of spring camp?
Jaray Bledsoe, Texas football
Jaray Bledsoe, Texas football / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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Just a couple of days remain for spring camp for Texas football until the Orange-White spring football game at DKR on April 20. That assumes that the rain and thunder/lightning hold off for enough time in Austin to get the complete spring game played on Saturday (which begins at 1 p.m. CT).

Texas football hitting the final stretch of spring ball 48 hours before the Orange-White Game

Texas has completed 14 of the 15 allotted spring practices as of the writing of this article on April 18.

The final week of spring practice has been pretty quiet for the Longhorns, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Texas has seen some key players on the two-deep have big weeks in spring ball to get some last-minute momentum down the stretch before summer workouts and preseason camp.

Various players on each side of the ball also emerged as standouts during last weekend's scrimmage.

"The goal for us is when we finish Saturday and we do our exit meetings with every player and sit down with them and we walk them through what their strengths are and what we think their weaknesses are, things we want them to work on, what their weight room numbers, how they do in recovery and the training room, how they're doing academically and we give them a full 360-degree snapshot of how they're doing in the program."

Head coach Steve Sarkisian spoke to the media on April 16 to detail some of the players that stood out to him in the final stretch run of spring ball, including last weekend's final scrimmage before the Orange-White game.

The feeling around the program is that the Longhorns is that the guys on this team are getting down to business with the right mentality to focus on what matters when preseason camp begins in August. In the meantime, Texas has a couple of opportunities to get some of these key players making progress on the two-deep more valuable reps and see what they can do in some sort of simulated live-game action this weekend in the spring game.

Here's are three Longhorns players trending in the right direction entering the spring game with some big showings late in spring practice this week.

Jaray Bledsoe, DL

Defensive line coach Kenny Baker is seeking new contributors to ensure the depth and quality is high for the rotation at defensive tackle entering the fall. We've heard mostly positive reviews regarding senior defensive tackles Alfred Collins and Vernon Broughton this spring.

But Texas still needs more depth along the interior defensive line rotation and someone proven who can play over the ball at nose tackle this upcoming season in the SEC.

Two defensive tackles who have stepped up late in spring practice and made some noise since last weekend's scrimmage are junior Jaray Bledsoe and redshirt sophomore Aaron Bryant. Bledsoe was one of the players on the defensive side of the ball for the Longhorns singled out by Sarkisian among the standouts from Saturday's scrimmage.

"I think he's starting to cut it loose a little bit more, who played 85 snaps in 2023 - mostly in garbage time of lopsided victories. When you're kind of moving positions like he has - he's played defensive end; he's played inside - there's a lot of thinking, there's a lot of, 'How am I playing this block? What gap?'"

Bledsoe consistently held his own in run defense while getting ample pressure on the quarterbacks with the interior pass rush during last weekend's spring scrimmage. His insane athleticism and length allowed his versatility to provide value for the second-team defensive front against the first and second-team offenses in the scrimmage last weekend.

The upside Bledsoe brings to the defensive line makes him an absolute matchup nightmare rushing the passer and being disruptive as an interior run defender. If Bledsoe can build off last weekend's strong performance in the scrimmage and a good day in practice on April 16 in the spring game, he'll be on the right track to lock down a spot in the iDL rotation for fall camp.