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Longhorns Coach Steve Sarkisian Reveals His 'Pleasant Surprise' in WR Room

Texas' receiving room has taken some major hits recently, but Sarkisian labeled one up-and-comer as a "pleasant surprise."

In the blink of an eye, the Texas Longhorns lost two big transfer names in the receiving room with the start of the season just a little over two weeks away. 

On Thursday, Alabama transfer Agiye Hall was arrested on criminal mischief charges, prompting an indefinite suspension for him by Texas coach Steve Sarkisian. 

And just two days later on Saturday, another loss. Wyoming transfer Isaiah Neyor, who was expected to play a significant role this season, tore his ACL in the team's scrimmage. His first year on the Forty Acres was over quicker than it had begun. 

But the Longhorns' receiving group is brimming with talent, as hope is far from being lost. Sarkisian addressed the loss of both players when speaking to the media Monday but remained confident in his pass-catching group.

"I think that we've got really good leadership in that room obviously with Jordan Whittington and Xavier Worthy," he said. "We've had some players start to emerge, start to take really positive steps in a direction where we're starting to count on them.

With or without Neyor and Hall, Worthy and Whittington were already fixing to be the team's top receivers with momentum carrying over from last season. But Sarkisian spoke quite highly of redshirt freshman receiver Casey Cain, who, despite not playing a collegiate snap yet, has full confidence from his head coach. 

"Casey Cain has been a guy to me that's been a really pleasant surprise this training camp, made some plays ... I think (he) could line up anywhere," Sarkisian said.

At 6-3, 195, the New Orleans native has been one of many names to watch for the Longhorns receiving corps but has also gotten lost in the mix due to redshirting his first season. 

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The way Sarkisian has spoken of him is a solid indicator that Cain could be the third or fourth receiving option behind Worthy and Whittington. Iowa State transfer Tarique Milton is another strong candidate. 

"The goal is to make sure that when we go play that first game we got out frontline crew ready to go and that we've got the crew behind that frontline that is capable to go in when needed and I think we'll get to that spot," Sarkisian said. was in attendance for Tuesday's open practice, as Cain made a few strong plays.

Given the program-wide hype surrounding the young but talented receiver, he could see a handful of targets early on while defenses focus on Worthy, Whittington, and Milton.

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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