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New Texas wide receivers are drawing a lot of attention in the spring game

Isaiah Bond started slow and then caught a full-field charge off the foot of Arch Manning for a touchdown on Saturday.

DeAndre Moore Jr. started fast and also hauled in a 75-yard pass from Manning, stopping cornerback Terrance Brooks in his tracks. Moore also finished quickly with a three-yard touchdown on a smooth, downhill route into the end zone. He was the most pleasant surprise of the day in the Orange-White spring game in Texas.

Then there was Ryan Wingo. Boy, was there Ryan Wingo. Remember the name, because you will hear it often.

The man has barely been on campus long enough to know where the Tower is, but Wingo was still impressed. At 6-foot-4 and 208 pounds, he already has star quality.

Johntay Cook had some nice receptions after his promising freshman season.

Alfred Collins did that too, but that’s another story. He is a defensive tackle after all.

Ryan Niblett had a catch. Another freshman. Jeepers, how many freshman wideouts do they have?

Matt Golden was limited but had a 15-yard catch. And he will be the starting kick returner. It’s electric.

Silas Bolden might too, but he’s not here yet because Oregon State’s slot receiver won’t arrive until after Memorial Day.

More: Texas will also have to pass the ball, which we did in the spring game | Bohls

Texas lost its stars, but has depth this season

The point, judging by the displays at Saturday’s game in front of about 40,000 interested fans on a gray, overcast afternoon, is that Texas has a slew of excellent receivers to choose from this fall. A lot, and that’s always good.

Now all Steve Sarkisian has to do is pick them.

And he doesn’t choose them all.

Frankly, the fourth-year Longhorns coach wants some good guys. A few will do.

He might be looking to replace the best two-man tandem on this side of Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby or two of the Roy Williams-BJ Johnson-Sloan Thomas trio.

“We have a quality room there,” Sarkisian said of his wideouts. “There’s a mentality that receivers have to have, especially for us. It’s pretty clear that our receivers have gained confidence, skills and a good rapport with this quarterback. So hopefully we just create that as an overall attitude in that room. And not just one or two guys.”

Or not. Texas has more aspiring receiver candidates than Sark can shake a stick at. He could certainly use another defensive lineman or two and probably a cornerback, as Holmes and Brooks don’t seem to be on the same level as Malik Muhammad.

More: Arch Manning is buzzing for Texas, but Quinn Ewers is clearly the starter for the Longhorns | golden

“We saw a lot of different guys play today, which is encouraging,” he said. “You never know in April what your rotation will look like in September. The positive is that a lot of guys made plays from the guys on the front line, even against other guys. Walk-ons made plays.

Yes, Thatcher Milton, a 6-foot-4 senior walk-on from Houston Cypress-Fairbanks, scored a 50-yard touchdown from Trey Owens on the freshman quarterback’s first series of the day. Still, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Bond and the 6-foot-1, 208-pound Wingo may have separated in the spring. They can be the leaders in the clubhouse for the key roles at Wideout.

“Oh, they’re unique because they can both actually run,” Sarkisian said. “We thought Wingo was a unique talent and had character.”

More: No Trey Moore? No problem for Texas football’s pass rush in the spring game

Wingo combines athleticism with 10.5 man speed in the 100 yards and the ability to make contested catches. It’s pretty clear that it’s ready to play right out of the box.

Texas has a lot of options at receiver

And Bond has a physical style, good speed and experience that comes with playing at Alabama. His catch to beat Auburn on the final play of the game last season further embellishes his credentials as a big, impactful receiver who had 48 catches with four scores last season.

Ewers also likes what he sees in Bond and Wingo.

“Bond can surpass any DB. You can see that,” said Ewers. “The same goes for Wingo. Wingo has a bigger frame.”

Texas is virtually operating with a blank slate. The top four receivers, including tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders, totaled 217 receptions for 3,046 yards and 19 touchdowns. Besides Xavier Worthy, Adonai Mitchell and slot receiver Jordan Whittington, three other receivers caught just 10 passes for 153 yards in 14 games. Cook had eight of those receptions for 136 yards.

More: To end the spring, Texas proves it has depth rather than controversy at quarterback

In short, Sarkisian is very selective about who will catch the passes from Quinn Ewers and Arch Manning. He is not a democracy. He wouldn’t be opposed to using more, but he’s not keen on everyone getting shots.

If the spring game was the only time you saw these receivers, you would probably be in the top three with Wingo, Moore and Bond. And that’s possible because Wingo is a five-star freshman from St. Louis, Moore had a showcase game that included two touchdowns and 93 yards, and Bond has his Alabama pedigree and showed his playing potential by splitting from Gavin. Holmes for that shocking touchdown late in the day.

That doesn’t mean this will be the top three, but it could be.

But it’s good to have options, and Sark has plenty.

Going deep takes on a new meaning for this group

It would be nice to have two alpha receivers like Worthy and Mitchell, as they shouldered most of the load last season, combining for 130 catches and 16 of the team’s 25 touchdown receptions. Worthy was an FWAA second-team All-American all-purpose player as he also excelled as a punt returner, averaging 17 yards per running back and scoring a touchdown.

Mitchell was as great a receiver as Texas has ever had. He scored just once in 86 goals last year as a Longhorn, made the catch of the year on a crucial third-and-long to hold off TCU and scored a touchdown in a College Football Playoff game for the third straight year.

It may be impossible to duplicate the success of either, if not both.

But the Longhorns have a plethora of prospects, three talented quarterbacks targeting them and four returning starters on the offensive line. Sarkisian does not want to impose restrictions on who can and cannot start when Texas plays against Colorado State on August 31.

He doesn’t rule out freshman Parker Livingstone, who “has been making plays this spring, but didn’t have the big wow play today.” Or newcomer Aaron Butler. Sarkisian said: “There is no doubt about the skills he has. He can really run.”

Golden? “He made some plays today too.”

The list goes on. This also applies to Sark’s quest.