3 'pleasant surprises' from Week 1 of Texas spring practice

After one week of Texas football spring practice, who has emerged that most Longhorns fans and media could have written off on the two-deep depth chart on both sides of the ball?

Juan Davis, Texas football
Juan Davis, Texas football / Mikala Compton/Austin American-Statesman
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After the first week of spring practice, Texas football has started to identify which players are making bigger impressions and who is making progress on the two-deep depth chart on each side of the ball. Texas officially hit five spring practices on March 27, marking one-third of the days of camp to now be in the books for head coach Steve Sarkisian and staff.

Texas football has a good mix of upperclassmen and young players who have made positive strides early this spring

The Longhorns have 10 spring practices remaining until the annual Orange-White spring football game at DKR on April 20.

A big storyline from the early phases of spring ball is the players who have surprised and made waves at the outset of camp. With the amount of raw talent and depth Texas has at almost every single position group on both sides of the ball, the breakout players can really come from anywhere.

It's not just the younger players that have made waves early in spring camp. Some of the returning upperclassmen have also made big strides during the first week of spring practice.

Here are three of the "pleasant surprises" from the first five spring practices for the Longhorns.

Juan Davis, TE

Jeff Banks and the Longhorns have a good blend of young talent developing for the future and experienced impact players who are ready to start this upcoming season in the tight end room this spring. Texas returns one of its starting tight ends (when Sarkisian ran 12 personnel), rising senior Gunnar Helm.

The Longhorns also added an impact tight end who will add another dynamic and downfield threat to the Texas passing game via the transfer portal in former Alabama sophomore Amari Niblack.

Niblack and Helm are expected to be Texas's two starting tight ends this season, giving Sarkisian a nice combination of blocking ability and receiving threats.

The most experienced Texas has in the tight end room outside of the two projected starters is senior Juan Davis. The 6-foot-4 and 230-pound fourth-year tight end Davis didn't get much of an opportunity to make an impact in live-game action in the last few years at Texas.

Earlier this offseason, Davis was very close to entering the transfer portal before the staff was able to convince him to return to Austin for another year.

That decision to return to Texas looks to be paying dividends for Davis and the Longhorns this spring. Davis has impressed with his performances early in spring practice. He looks more physical and motivated in individual and one-on-one receiver drills this spring, leading to more buzz coming out of camp for him than we heard at any point in the last few offseasons during practice.

Sarkisian gave a nod to Davis for the work he's put in this spring in a press conference earlier this week. He literally said that Davis has been a "pleasant surprise" for the Longhorns early in spring practice. Sarkisian also mentioned that this has "definitely been his best spring so far since we've been here".

This is a big year for Davis to make his way up the depth chart and push for more live-game reps this upcoming season in the SEC. If Davis doesn't have that breakthrough moment now on the depth chart, it might not ever happen for him at Texas.