New faces to look out for in spring practice

M.J. McFarland wasn’t one of the 18 true freshmen who played this season for the Longhorns.

He was a redshirt -- one of the few in the celebrated Class of 2011. In fact his name barely drew a whisper until bowl practice rolled around. It was then the tight end started to draw some praise. Now McFarland has started to elicit some hope among the coaching staff.

“He is up to 254 pounds and we need tight ends,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “It will be fun to watch him in the spring because he has the running and catching because he was a wide receiver, but he has got to continue to get better in his blocking.”

It's safe to say McFarland will be heavily scrutinized starting Feb. 24, but at least he is being looked at now. The same could be said for several other players who didn’t make a splash like Jaxon Shipley, Josh Cochran, Quandre Diggs or David Ash. This spring will be their chance to audition yet again.