• McNeal to transfer from Texas following suspension

    Sophomore receiver DeAndre McNeal’s time as a Longhorn is over.

    The 6-foot-2 receiver from Poteet High School in Mesquite was granted a release from his scholarship on Friday, according to 247Sports. He is allowed to transfer to any team not on the Longhorns’ schedule this year.

    McNeal’s decision to transfer comes on the heels of his suspension for violating team rules on Aug. 3, another setback in a career full of them at Texas. He made waves before the 2015 season, telling the media that head coach Charlie Strong guaranteed him the first touch of the season prior to the Longhorns’ matchup with Notre Dame.

    But McNeal couldn’t match his off-field bravado with performance on the gridiron. He provided Texas with little more than special teams depth, receiving the ball just once for nine yards.

    With Austin in his rearview mirror, McNeal is reportedly looking to join Texas A&M or UCLA, telling the Austin-American Statesman he is interested in “any program willing to invest in me.”

    McNeal still has his redshirt available, and he told the Statesman he hopes to find a new home soon.

    “I don’t have a lot of time to be going left and right, right and left, up and down,” McNeal said. “I have to hurry up and make a decision before school starts.”

  • Heard moving from quarterback to wide receiver

    Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jerrod Heard is on the move. The team’s starting signal caller from 2015 took reps at wide receiver on Wednesday, marking the third straight practice in which he was not under center.

    Senior safety Kevin Vaccaro confirmed the news Wednesday evening after Horns Digest originally reported the position change on Monday. Vaccaro said he is pleased with Heard’s progression at wide receiver.

    “[Heard] is an athlete as everyone knows,” Vaccaro said. “He’s really fast and he has the size. It’s good seeing us use him.”

    Heard started 10 games for Texas in 2015. He shined against California on Sept. 19, setting a Longhorn record with 527 total yards in a 45–44 defeat. But Heard faltered as the season continued, and fell behind freshman Shane Buechele and senior Tyrone Swoopes on the depth chart during spring practice.

    With Heard sitting as the third-string quarterback, a position change became a distinct possibility this summer. And Heard is impressing with only a few days under his belt as a receiver.

    “[Heard] has adjusted pretty well,” sophomore wide receiver John Burt said. “He’s already making some good catches, I feel like this is a good spot for him.”

    Texas boasts a deep receiving corps with Burt, freshman Collin Johnson and junior Armanti Foreman expected to take most of the team’s snaps at receiver. But it looks as though Heard will get his chance to contribute — out wide rather than under center.

  • Three Longhorns win gold in 4x200-meter relay

    Texas swimming and diving collected three more gold medals Tuesday night at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    Rising sophomore Townley Haas and rising seniors Jack Conger and Clark Smith teamed up to take home the gold in the 4x200-meter relay.

    Haas earned the gold in the final, where he helped Conor Dwyer, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps clock in at the winning time of 7:00.66. Conger and Smith picked up gold medals for competing in the event’s preliminary round. Conger finished with the preliminary round’s fastest split of 1:45.73.

    The trio picked up where former Longhorn Jimmy Feigen left off on Saturday. Feigen won a gold medal for representing Team USA in the preliminary round for the 4x100-meter relay.

    Texas swimming and diving’s all-time Olympic medal count is now up to 71, with 46 gold, 16 silver and nine bronze.

  • Jimmy Feigen wins Olympic gold in 4x100-meter relays

    Former Longhorn swimmer Jimmy Feigen is the first Texas Ex to bring home a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    He earned his medal Sunday night while helping Team USA take second in the preliminary round for the 4x100-meter freestyle relay with his 48.55 leadoff leg. Team USA then secured the gold in the final, where Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps, Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian clocked in at 3:09.92.

    The gold medal is Feigen’s first after he took the silver in the same event in London in 2012.

    Feigen won two NCAA individual titles at Texas during his tenure from 2008-12. He also helped the Longhorns secure a team national championship in 2010.

    The Texas men’s swimming and diving program has now produced 68 Olympic medals, with 43 of those being gold medals.

  • McNeal suspended following violation of team rules

    Sophomore wide receiver DeAndre McNeal was suspended indefinitely Wednesday for “violating team rules,” according to Anwar Richardson of OrangeBloods.com. McNeal will likely not be with the team when Texas begins fall practices on Saturday. 

    The suspension comes before a critical training camp for McNeal. The 6-foot-2 receiver aimed to move his way up an already-crowded depth chart after primarily contributing on special teams last season.

    McNeal arrived in Austin in 2015 alongside sophomore linebacker Malik Jefferson, his teammate at Poteet High School in Mesquite. But off-field issues hindered his freshman season. McNeal told reporters that head coach Charlie Strong guaranteed him the first touch of the season against Notre Dame, and often took to Twitter in order to vent his frustrations.

    McNeal tallied just one rush for nine yards and one special teams tackle in 10 games last season. The timetable for his return is unknown.