January 13, 2013

What's the impact of Hicks and McCoy's reinstatement?

- Mack Brown on the status of LB Jordan Hicks and QB Case McCoy: "Jordan Hicks and Case McCoy have rejoined the team. Obviously when you break team rules there's a certain amount of trust that has been broken, and that will be addressed with further discipline. That discipline will be handled within the team."

BIG OFFSEASON FOR HICKS: Mack Brown's decision to allow junior LB Jordan Hicks and junior QB Case McCoy back onto the team after their suspensions from the Alamo Bowl for violating curfew shows that Brown believes the lawyers for his players.

Those lawyers have said the San Antonio Police Department investigators looking into an accusation of sexual assault in a 21-year-old woman's hotel room on Dec. 28 will not result in charges against Hicks and McCoy.

Our sources indicate the investigation will be officially closed once the Bexar County district attorney signs off on the police department's decision not to file charges, which could come this week.

As far as what's ahead for Hicks and McCoy on the field, I think Hicks' path is more clear than McCoy's. Linebackers coach Manny Diaz needs Hicks to have the off-season of his life and rebuild the trust he once had with his teammates after his suspension.

So much has been made about Hicks' absence from the 2012 team after his groin injury suffered against Ole Miss in Game 3 that expectations for him in 2013 are somewhat Paul Bunyan-like.

The bottom line is that Hicks' presence in 2012 was always going to be more about leadership and helping to bring along a young LB corps than it was about him challenging Manti Te'o on the awards circuit.

Hicks is a holdover from the blue-collar ways of Will Muschamp, and quite honestly, that whole LB corps needed a bunch of Muschamp's intensity and fire. Hicks should have two years of eligiblity remaining once he gets a medical redshirt for 2012. Hicks should be as motivated as he's ever been to make amends for his poor decision-making at the Alamo Bowl and to help lead UT's defense back from the abyss.

MCCOY IN CROWDED QB LANDSCAPE: As for McCoy, the QB landscape is suddenly very crowded. It will be David Ash's show, and Jalen Overstreet moved into the backup role for the Alamo Bowl and certainly has Major Applewhite and Darrell Wyatt intrigued.

Applewhite said as much after the Alamo Bowl, when he said he was looking forward to working with Overstreet in the spring (because Overstreet is more physically developed at this point than Connor Brewer and brings the QB run game into play).

Just where McCoy fits into the landscape at this point is a bit of a mystery. But the field is suddenly crowded with Ash, Overstreet, Brewer and early enrollee Tyrone Swoopes on campus. And, of course, Texas has been flirting with JUCO QB Nick Marshall, who may or may not end up on campus.

- Fifth-year seniors OG Thomas Ashcraft, TE Trey Graham and DT Kyle Kriegel have all either graduated or will graduate this spring and have elected to give up their remaining football eligibility to prepare for their futures.

PLAYER ATTRITION AT THIS TIME OF YEAR: Let me say first and foremost DT Ashton Dorsey, whose future has been the subject of speculation, is fine and is expected back for the 2013 season.

Dorsey missed the Alamo Bowl because of a concussion. But he's expected to be back with the team for spring football.

I thought Ashcraft was going to be a contributor, even in a rotation. Graham's injuries are well documented, and Kriegel couldn't find a position.

Brandon Moore's decision to leave early for the NFL Draft is the most significant loss of this off-season so far. Moore played well at times, and it's hard to find that kind of size and strength at DT, even if the motor didn't run all the time.

Texas should still be OK at DT with another off-season of development for guys like Malcom Brown, Desmond Jackson, Chris Whaley and Dorsey. But Moore's departure is a loss.

- Texas has four newcomers joining the team as January enrollees. Junior college transfer TE Geoff Swaim (Chico, Calif. [Pleasant Valley HS/Butte (Calif.) Community College)] is joined by true freshmen LB Deoundrei Davis (Cypress, Texas [Cypress Woods HS]), OL/DE Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas [Celina HS]) and QB Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas [Whitewright HS]).

The four have enrolled in school, will begin classes this semester and be a part of spring practices. Their joining of the program will be addressed in detail along with the rest of the signing class on National Signing Day, which will be Wednesday, Feb. 6.

WHO CAN HELP NOW?: Texas needs Geoff Swaim to have a great spring and develop into someone who can help right away with the graduation of TE D.J. Grant.

The development of Swaim and M.J. McFarland and Greg Daniels this off-season is huge for a position trying to gain relevance in Texas' offense once again.

Davis, Raulerson and Swoopes will probably need more time to get on the field. Any contribution they make in 2013 would be a surprise and would mean they had incredible off-seasons.

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