Texas tabs McCoy to start at quarterback

Updated: August 29, 2006, 1:33 AM ET

AUSTIN, Texas -- Colt McCoy was selected as the starting quarterback for No. 3 Texas on Monday, ending a battle with fellow freshman Jevan Snead to replace Vince Young when the defending national champions open the season against North Texas.

McCoy, who redshirted last season behind Young, earned the start with a strong preseason camp, coach Mack Brown said.

"He [McCoy] had a terrific camp and was at his best during our scrimmages," Brown said.

Brown said he still wants to play both quarterbacks against North Texas, but won't script when Snead might get in the game.

"I think we're in as good of a spot as we could expect at the position. All they need now is to get some game experience," Brown said.

Snead, the Longhorns' top offensive recruit, graduated high school early and pushed McCoy in spring practice. McCoy responded by getting stronger in the weight room and with diligent workouts with receivers over the summer.

"Nobody worked harder," McCoy said. "I did feel like I had a really good camp."

Getting an edge on Snead was one thing. Winning the hearts of Longhorns fans will be another.

Young was one of the greatest players to wear a burnt orange uniform. He won 20 straight games and capped his career by scoring the winning touchdown in the Rose Bowl to give Texas its first undisputed national title in 36 years.

It was Young's decision to leave school early for the NFL that thrust McCoy and Snead into the battle to be the starter.

"Our competition brought out the best in us," McCoy said. "I feel like I had a really good fall camp. This whole week is going to be awesome."

McCoy was one of the most prolific passers in Texas high school history. He was 34-2 as a starter at Class 2A Jim Ned High School and set a Class 2A career record with 9,344 yards, fourth best in state history. He threw 116 touchdowns.

Now he leads an offense that returns most of its starters after scoring an NCAA-record 652 points last season. Texas averaged more than 50 points and 500 yards per game.