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UNT Friday practice notes, thoughts: Krasniqi gets look at nose tackle

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

One of the big questions heading into the late stages of North Texas' second week of fall practice is how the Mean Green will adjust after losing nose tackle Bryce English for at least the first few games of the season to a broken foot.

One possibility is moving Roderick Young from defensive end to nose tackle. Young played nose last season and was one of the Mean Green's more productive players.

UNT appeared as if it will go a different direction during practice on Friday when Tony Krasniqi saw time with the Mean Green's second-team defense. Krasniqi isn't the biggest defensive lineman out there at 249 pounds and is just a freshman. He could be UNT's best option, though.

T.J. Tauaalo has moved into the starting lineup and will get the majority of the snaps.

UNT moved Young to defensive end because the staff believed he could be a playmaker there. It doesn't appear as if the Mean Green will alter those plans, despite losing English.

And in other notes and observations ...

-- The deeper UNT goes into fall practice, the more it appears as if Colton McDonald is going to start at linebacker. The West Texas A&M transfer is running with the first team along with Brandon Garner and E.J. Ejiya. 

-- UNT continues to look at a host of different combinations on its offensive line. UNT had Jordan Murray and Elex Woodworth at the tackle spots with T.J. Henson and Creighton Barr at guard with Sosaia Mose at center today. 

-- UNT's passing game is looking a whole lot better as we get deeper into camp. Mason Fine seems to have settled into a groove. He hit Michael Lawrence for a 61-yard touchdown today and capped the day's workout with a touchdown pass to Caleb Chumley. 

-- The Mean Green's secondary had a bit of a tough morning. UNT left multiple receivers wide open.

-- Safety Kishawn McClain is still limited in practice and hasn't gotten a whole lot of work in. He doesn't really need it, but it is worth noting. 

And finally, a few plays that stood out ...

-- Michael Lawrence made a great grab on a deep ball that was tipped into the air before he pulled it in.

-- Jaelon Darden and O'Keeron Rutherford made impressive grabs in goal line drills.

-- Evan Johnson made a nice spin move and escaped for a touchdown in run game drills.

-- Backup quarterback Quinn Shanbour hit Jason Pirtle for a long touchdown.

-- Caleb Chumley continues to be a threat over the middle and made a couple of nice catches.