Texas spring practice notes: Injury report

AUSTIN, Texas -- Mack Brown met with reporters for only the second time since Texas’ Holiday Bowl victory on Thursday afternoon and broke down the state of the program going into the first spring practice of the new season.

Be sure to check out Carter Strickland’s story from today’s press conference on the competition that’s about to begin for every job. We’ll have more in the next few days on some of the topics Brown touched on today, but here’s a few key notes from the day.

Williams to be honored with statue

Texas will unveil an eight-feet, 1,000-pound bronze statue of Ricky Williams at the April 1 spring game. The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner recently retired after an 11-year NFL career.

Brown said the gesture was one Texas has been saving for when Williams’ pro career came to an end, and it was only fitting considering Earl Campbell already has one in the southwest corner of DKR.

“Words can’t describe how honored I am,” Williams said in a statement. “Wow, having a statue at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium is something I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams when I came here from San Diego.

“Texas was such a welcoming place, and with its unbelievable history and tradition, it’s extra special to be a part of that. I’m just humbled and grateful to be recognized in such an amazing way by a school and city that has meant so much to me and my family and is a vital part of my life.”

Position changes

Brown didn’t have any overly surprising position changes to announce on Thursday, but there was one that stood out: Miles Onyegbule is beginning to grow into a flex role.

The sophomore receiver weighed 210 pounds when he joined the program last year. He’s now up to 225 and will get some reps at H-back this spring. Brown admitted it’s possible he could develop into a 250-pound tight end as his career progresses.

In other moves, injured defensive lineman Greg Daniels will become a full-time tight end when he returns to the practice field and Chris Whaley will get work at both defensive tackle and end this spring to shore up depth.

Another defender who’s moving over is Chet Moss. The sophomore played in four games at linebacker as a true freshman last year but will give fullback a try this spring. Texas’ only returning fullback is Ryan Roberson.

Injury report

John Harris saw his promising freshman season cut short three games in when he broke his foot, but his road to recovery is almost complete. Harris did not practice on Thursday, but Brown said he should be back at some point this spring.

Other than that, Brown didn’t have any new injury updates. Jackson Jeffcoat, Adrian Phillips and Daniels will miss spring ball as expected, and Brown said he will not give daily injury updates during spring practices.