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UT: Freshman receivers push depth chart

9/14/2010

The stated goal for the Texas Longhorns offense is to establish a straight-ahead rushing attack with its three tailbacks. However, the fact is a talented crop of receivers might make it hard not to pull the trigger more with sophomore quarterback and first-year starter Garrett Gilbert.

Last week's win over Wyoming might just be the start. Texas threw it 35 times and ran it 29 times against the Cowboys. In the opener against Rice, the Longhorns came out explicitly to establish its new identity and rushed 46 times to just 24 pass attempts.

While, the No. 6 Longhorns will start their third different running back Saturday at Texas Tech, most exciting in the passing game is a pair of freshmen, Mike Davis, a former Dallas Skyline star who is now ahead of John Chiles on the depth chart (officially they have OR status, meaning either could start, but Davis' name now precedes Chiles), and Darius White, a promising, 6-foot-3, 200-pounder out of Fort Worth Dunbar, that can grow up alongside Gilbert.

Davis draws the immediate spotlight after his seven-catch, 104-yard performance last week that included a big-splash, 45-yard touchdown.

"Mike is a guy that we had seen make some dramatic catches and some really good runs in practice. I'm not sure we've seen anything in practice like we did on Saturday night. I was really proud of him," coach Mack Brown said. "Now as a freshman, he's got to learn to be consistent. That's the hardest thing. If you start believing the things that people will say about you, usually it's too high or too low. If you lose a game, everybody says there was nothing good, which is not true. If you win a game, everything was great and that’s not true. The same with receivers. Mike has some things he needs to fix, but he's obviously a talent with the ball in his hands. He's very confident and that’s unusual for a freshman. We were proud to see Darius White do the same. The replay was very close in the end zone."

Brown said that White, who has yet to make a catch, but has moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart behind Malcolm Williams at split end, could also be used to return punts.