Longhorns hold first practice in full pads, Strong addresses departure of Cherry, Catalon

Cecil Cherry drops back into coverage during practice

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Five days into training camp, and the Longhorns have already lost two players. But unlike last year, Cecil Cherry and Donald Catalon’s departure was their own choice.

“They make a decision on what they want do,” Strong said after Tuesday’s first practice in full pads. “We always want guys to stay here, but it’s also this: Anything you get in this program, you’re gonna work for.”

During his media session, Strong never confirmed whether or not he had granted either player’s transfer request, but he did say he spoke with Catalon, Cherry and Cherry’s father.

Junior defensive end Shiro Davis had similar thoughts about transferring his freshman year, but decided against it.

“I can definitely see where [Catalon’s] coming from, but every freshman gonna have them problems,” Davis said. “You can’t really let that change your decision. I mean, I thought about it, but I had to put my head down and go to work. It’s not something I want everybody to look at me like a quitter. I understand why [they left], but that’s the decision he has to live with.”

Aside from the attrition earlier in the day, Strong wasn’t too pleased with how the Longhorns fifth practice went, calling the first day of full contact “a little sluggish.”

“You’d like to see our guys just come out with a better attitude,” Strong said. “I tell ’em, you’re gonna come out here and work, so you might as well just put it in. But it’s all mental collapses. But, you know what, it’s day five. It’s always just about getting better and we just gotta come out each and every day with the right frame of mind. We just can’t waste practices.”

“Today we put on full pads, gotta get used to it,” Johnathan Gray said. “I think tomorrow will be better. Guys are continuing to work hard and become mentally tough.”

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