Longhorns begin looking at QBs McCoy, Snead

Updated: April 1, 2006, 11:07 PM ET
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Jevan Snead could be like most other 18-year-olds and be preparing for his high school prom. Instead, he spent this spring learning how to be a college quarterback.

Snead and redshirt freshman Colt McCoy made their public debuts Saturday night as potential starters for defending national champion Texas as the Longhorns wrapped up spring drills with the annual Orange-White scrimmage.

Both made good throws. Both made mistakes. And both said they were nervous in front of the announced crowd of 41,200 and the lights, cameras and microphones of the media horde waiting for them outside the locker room.

"The competition is fun," McCoy said. "It brings out the best in both of us."

Texas was left without an experienced quarterback when Vince Young bolted for the NFL after leading the Longhorns to a 13-0 record and a 41-38 win over Southern California in the Rose Bowl.

That means McCoy or Snead will take the first snap in the season opener Sept. 2 against North Texas. Ohio State visits Austin a week later.

Coach Mack Brown shielded the young quarterbacks from the spotlight by keeping spring drills closed to the public, but he wanted to crank up the pressure Saturday by simulating game day in the fall.

Brown said he was watching how well they managed the huddle and the intensity of playing in front of a big crowd expecting big things.

"I was pleased with the young quarterbacks," Brown said. "They've got a lot of work to do. I thought the most impressive thing was their poise."

McCoy redshirted behind Young last season. Brown designated him as his No. 1 going into spring practice, and he finished the scrimmage 7-of-11 passing for 75 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Snead was still at Stephenville High School last season and enrolled in college this spring. With just a few weeks to learn a complicated playbook, he was 9-of-13 for 97 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

"Sometimes I sit back and think I could still be in high school," Snead said. "[But] I can't imagine coming in in the fall and trying to learn everything."

Brown didn't say if he felt either player had separated himself as the potential starter.

"Both will have to be ready to play," Brown said.

Snead led two touchdown drives -- one short, one long -- against the second-team defense. On the second, he converted two fourth-down passes and hit tight end Jermichael Finley for a 31-yard TD.

None of McCoy's drives reached the end zone, but his second one against the first-team defense ended with a field goal.

McCoy and Snead avoided questions of who they thought should start and how much they expect to share time next season.

"That's the coaches' decision. But I feel like we're both going to play," Snead said.

Said McCoy: "We're out there competing. We're both trying to lead this team to a Big 12 championship."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press