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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Christian Clark, Texas football
Christian Clark, Texas football / Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman

Christian Clark, RB

Tashard Choice has the running back room in a tremendous spot for the Longhorns this spring. Texas has recruited at an extremely high level at the running back position in the last couple of years with Choice at the helm as the RB coach.

All of the victories on the recruiting trail in the last couple of cycles for Choice and the Longhorns at the running back position have started to pay dividends in terms of depth in the RB room this spring. Choice has assembled an ideal mix of young and talented backs that he targeted in the 2024 class, including true freshman early enrollees Jerrick Gibson and Christian Clark, along with the more experienced starters in the backfield.

While junior Jaydon Blue and sophomore CJ Baxter Jr. are the clear-cut top two backs for Choice and the Longhorns this spring, the two true freshmen have made a big impression early in camp.

Gibson and Clark have proven to be two backs who can handle the physical play running between the tackles and getting out in the open field against the physical defenders in the SEC. They are two big backs who look more like college sophomores or juniors regarding their physical frames and strength than they did supposed-to-be high school seniors.

Clark is the back I would highlight that has really impressed the coaches and his teammates with his lower-body strength, versatility, and business-like mentality. He really hit the ground running when he arrived on campus this semester as an early enrollee, getting down to work right away in offseason workouts.

The fruits of that labor for Clark to take the offseason workout program as seriously as he did have started to show early in spring ball. His lower body looks like that of some NFL running backs. And he's got a good feel out of the backfield when he's in space as a receiver motioning out or getting out in the open field and making defenders miss one-on-one.

Clark has earned himself some reps with the third-team at running back early in spring practice behind Baxter and Blue. If he keeps this up with how well he's looked early in spring ball until the spring game on April 20, Clark could work himself into the third or fourth spot in the running back rotation entering summer workouts and fall camp.

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