August 2, 2006

UT freshmen show skills at THSCA game

After more than 50 years, the THSCA All-Star Game made its heralded return to Austin on Tuesday night, and the event had a certain burnt orange feel to it. In all, 10 different Longhorns lined up on the field at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, as they got a chance to taste what life will be like as a Longhorn in the future. Here's a look at how all of the Longhorns and some of the other notable players performed in the South's 30-20 win over the North.


Vondrell McGee - Perhaps the single most exciting offensive player in the game during the first half. McGee looked the part of a future star for the Longhorns as a running back early in the game, as he made a number of dazzling moves that left defenders shaken out of their shoes in the first half. However, the former East Texas prep standout had a hard time finding any kind of running room in the second half and finished with only 37 yards and nine carries. Still, there's little question that McGee brings a very nice skill set with him to the 40 Acres and on this night he reminded me a lot of former Longhorn Hodges Mitchell. There's very little wasted motion with McGee. He's a true north/south runner that possesses the kind of wiggle needed to make people miss in space and home run hitting speed.

Antwan Cobb - One of the biggest surprises throughout camp this week was the play of Cobb, who is easily one of the least publicized prospects headed to Austin. Cobb scored a touchdown on Tuesday night and showed a better package of skills as a runner than a lot of people probably expected. The former Pflugerville runner is tough between the tackles and is always picking up an extra two or three yards on every carry on extra effort alone. His skills as a receiver are underrated, as his athleticism. There's been some talk that he might get a look on defense, but if he stays at running back, he'll have a chance to be a real contributor.

Jared Norton - If there's one thing about Jared Norton that we know right now it's that he will punish anything or anyone that has the ball in its possession. The question that we don't have the answer to is whether or not he'll be limited to playing middle linebacker at the next level. When Norton was able to run north and south, he might have been the scariest defensive player in the game, but he didn't show a lot of great lateral quickness in the game and you have to wonder whether or not he has the athleticism needed to play outside for the Longhorns. Still, between the tackles, Norton was a beast and he also has some upside as a potential pass rusher coming off the edge. He might prove to be the best middle linebacker prospect that Mack Brown has signed at Texas.

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