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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David Gbenda, Texas football
David Gbenda, Texas football / Mikala Compton/American-Statesman / USA

David Gbenda, LB

The most experienced among this in the Texas linebacker room in 2024 is sixth-year senior David Gbenda. While Gbenda has experienced his fair share of ups and downs during his six years with the Longhorns, he's really emerged as a major impact player and a reliable contributor at linebacker.

In the last couple of years, Gbenda has really found his role along the defensive front, utilizing his size and athleticism to get hats to the football. He also found his role playing along this defensive front in Year 3 under Pete Kwiatkowski.

Now in Year 4 playing for Sarkisian and PK on defense, Gbenda is one of the leading voices among all players in the front seven for the Longhorns this spring.

Experience and veteran leadership aren't the only valuable aspects that Gbenda brings to the Texas defensive front in spring ball. He's also playing at a higher level than he's ever performed at on a consistent basis in individual and team drills over the course of his long career on the Forty Acres.

Inside Texas gave Gbenda the nod as the linebacker who stood out the most during the first week of spring practice for the Longhorns. Gbenda impressed the coaches and his teammates with a strong performance specifically during Texas's first full-pads practice last weekend (March 23).

It sounds like he was all over the place in team drills during the full contact practice last weekend, making plays on the ball carrier while helping to guide the younger players to know where to be.