3 Texas players losing ground on depth chart in spring ball

Talented newcomers have stolen the show for a few positions groups for Texas football in the first half of spring practice.
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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The halfway point of spring practice officially arrived for Texas football in the middle of this week. Texas held its seventh and eighth practices of spring camp on April 2 and 4.

Depth chart movement has been plentiful for Texas football in first half of spring ball

Since the Longhorns have 15 practices allotted for spring ball, we're past the midway point before the Orange-White spring football game at DKR on April 20.

In the first few weeks of spring practice, we've seen plenty of young players impress and progress up the two-deep depth chart on both sides of the ball. True freshmen impressing has been a major storylien for the Longhorns early in spring practice.

But one of the consequences of the Longhorns having so many underclassmen (namely the freshmen) rise up the depth chart is that they have to take other's spots. Some Texas players who are still developing a couple of years into their collegiate careers can get passed up on the depth chart when they're maybe not performing at the levels that some of their peers are that are younger than them in camp.

Here are three Longhorns players who are losing ground on the depth chart through the first half of spring practice.

Gavin Holmes, CB

Defensive back depth has greatly improved across the board for the Longhorns this spring compared to where the two-deep was at in the secondary in preseason camp last year. Texas has added multiple immediate impact players to the secondary, including a couple of talented true freshmen and transfer safety Andrew Mukuba.

There is also the progression of junior defensive back Jaylon Guilbeau, who looks better than he has at any point in the last couple of years physically this spring. Guilbeau's emergence has allowed the Longhorns to cross-train returning senior defensive back Jahdae Barron at corner in spring ball.

Texas also returns multiple key contributors at cornerback from last year's squad, including sophomore Malik Muhammad, junior Terrance Brooks, and senior Gavin Holmes. Muhammad and Brooks entered the spring as the projected starters at corner.

But Barron taking reps at corner leads many to believe that he could edge out Brooks for the starting job at the field spot opposite Muhammad. Then, you also have to factor in the rise of young and talented defensive backs such as true freshman Kobe Black and redshirt freshman Warren Roberson.

The combination of the rise of younger DBs along with the returning experience at corner means that an upperclassmen like Holmes is in a spot to fight even for second-team practice reps this spring. Holmes has split between the second and third-team reps this spring while Barron has been cross-training at corner.

Something I don't want to discount is the experience Holmes brings at corner and the progress he's made with his technique in coverage early this offseason. Holmes has three years of Power Five experience as an impact cover DB between his time at Wake Forest and Texas.

That type of experience is not only valuable for Texas to help mentor some of the younger defensive backs on campus this spring, but it also ensures that the Longhorns have proven depth in the secondary entering the SEC in 2024.