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Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Texas still looking for top rushing, receiving threats

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas players have some rest scheduled this weekend after an intense and grueling training camp that will conclude with a short practice on Friday.

But that's when Texas coach Mack Brown will get really busy as he sorts through his playing options as he prepares for the Longhorns' Aug. 30 opener against Florida Atlantic.

Texas coaches will huddle this weekend with several lingering offensive questions. Their primary concerns will be settling on a starting running back and finding a third wide receiver.

Redshirt freshman Foswhitt "Fozzy" Whittaker, sophomore Vondrell "The Bulldozer" McGee and senior third-down specialist Chris Ogbonnaya are hooked up in a tight battle to replace Jamaal Charles as the Longhorns' featured back.

Brown said that the competition is close as each candidate is a little better in one football facet than the others. Early workouts have indicated that Whittaker is the more explosive breakaway threat, McGee is a stronger inside runner and Ogbonnaya is a more experienced player who is suited as a pass-catching threat.

"[Texas offensive coordinator] Greg [Davis] and I will sit down with our offensive staff and we'll go back and figure out where we are after all the scrimmages," Brown said. "Then, we'll go back and see who we need to be as a team. We'll be locked at deciding and talking about what this offense needs to do to help the defense and vice versa."

The Longhorns also are sorting through several options at wide receiver, where leading returning receivers Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley have emerged as the top two players. Among the contenders for the other spot include redshirt freshman Malcolm Williams, freshman Dan Buckner and sophomores James Kirkendoll and Brandon Collins.

"Quan and Jordan are doing a great job," Brown said. "But we're still looking for another guy. We'd like to play with three wide receivers a lot. Those guys are fighting for that job and we're not there yet."

Brown also praised the play of massive tight end Greg Smith -- a converted center who is the largest player at the position in the history of the school. Smith would be a short-yardage blocker to go along with top returnees Blaine Irby and Peter Ullman at the position.

"He's been a good move for us because he's 295 pounds and can move his feet," Brown said about Smith. "He made a nice catch today and he can really block."