Notes and notes from practice

AUSTIN – Texas State finished their third pre-season training on Friday afternoon. Here are some notes and observations from the short open viewing windows and post-workout interviews with coach Steve Sarkissian and two players.

Although a few Longhorns were limited early on, the entire team was able to train at least in some abilities this week. That includes five-year-old full-back Luke Bruckermayer, who made 10 appearances last season before suffering a rupture in the AFC Champions League in late November.

Rookie Malik Murphy also moved well after dislocating the broken ankle he suffered in his final season at Junipero Serra (California). The four-star player is in better shape than he was as a limited participant in spring practices, and Sarkissian was delighted with Murphy’s growth while acknowledging the usual growing pains of a freshman coming out of injury.

“I think there are some things he does naturally, really well and he did create some big plays today when he was there, but there is still a lot to learn,” Sarkissian said on Wednesday. “There are some other plays I’m sure he’d love to come back and some educational experiences, and that’s all part of growing up, but it was nice to have on day one.”

Wideouts Troy Omeire (knee), Jaden Aelxis (knee) and corner back Ismail Ibrahim (suspension) were also rehearsed without any setbacks.

Easy start helps Hutson

Frisco’s Cole Hutson was the only new forward pilot to score in January. And it became apparent that extra time on campus, being able to go through winter conditions and practice spring, provided a huge boost to his chances of playing in the inaugural season.

Hutson has worked with the team’s first line in the right guard and took the picks as a potential backup for starting center Jake Majors. New five-stars Kelvin Banks and Devon Campbell were impressed too, but Hutson’s start made it look like the start of Week 1 inside.

New RB coach leaves Bijan Robinson with no choice.

If scientists one day try to create the perfect run experiment in the lab, there’s a good chance they’ll end up replicating the novice Pegan Robinson. It can break interferences. It can cause whiff. It can operate roads and trails. He has the physique, drive and intellect.

But there is one thing Robinson hasn’t always been very good at. Admittedly, it wasn’t a top priority for the star quarterback — until Dallas Cowboy’s Chard Choice became the program’s new linebacker coach in December.

“The coach’s choice has been very focused on blocking passes, so we’ve been doing that every day,” Robinson said on Thursday. “I just have that part of my game at a high level with the rest of my game, and that makes you (more) a complete back that you can be at the next level. Getting that pass blocking your tee is very important for your future as a back to back.”

Sarkissian was more experienced in defense.

Sarkissian has vowed to spend more time with the defense this year.

He adjusted the team’s morning schedule, splitting drills between attack and defense so he could attend my morning meeting. Sarkeesian is also trying to spend more time observing defensive combos during training.

“I try to be more involved in defensive meetings,” Sarkissian said. “I just want more presence. I want them to feel the style of play that I would like to play for us defensively.”

Sarkissian also arranged for defense coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski to meet with Dallas Cowboys DC Dan Quinn earlier this summer. Quinn was the AP’s Assistant of the Year for 2021, and has a Super Bowl episode from his time as coordinator in Seattle (2013-14).

“I think Dan is an excellent teacher,” Sarkissian said. “And I think there’s a unique relationship between him and PK in that they’re both up front players. We can all keep growing. It’s no different than me going to visit with (LA Rams coach) Sean McVeigh.

Twitter: @NRmoyle

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