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primal defense

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  1. What does LSU AD hire mean for Tigers ... and Texas A&M? http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26551758/what-does-lsu-ad-hire-mean-tigers-texas-am
  2. I don't know about his body language, but I don't blame him for a bad scrimmage with a 30 mph wind. Sam is the one player I'm not concerned about going into the season. In a segment on Longhorn Network during the game, head coach Tom Herman admitted that the defenses were loading the box and daring the offenses to throw the ball over the top, saying afterwards that it was “almost impossible” to throw the football. “It was even difficult to throw and catch a bubble [screen], let alone a ball thrown down the field,” Herman said. As usual, the offense was pretty vanilla, too, with Herman mentioning that there are a variety of run-pass options that the Longhorns installed this spring, but didn’t want to put on film for opponents to scout. https://www.burntorangenation.com/2019/4/13/18309737/texas-longhorns-orange-white-game-12-6-defense-casey-thompson
  3. After years of bad luck, Texas RB Kirk Johnson finally ready to make a mark https://www.expressnews.com/sports/college_sports/longhorns/article/After-years-of-bad-luck-Texas-RB-Kirk-Johnson-13778974.php
  4. If LSU–Texas A&M Needed an AD Heist to Become a Real Rivalry, It Got One https://www.si.com/college-football/2019/04/18/lsu-scott-woodward-joe-alleva-athletic-director-texas-am
  5. College basketball coaching moves: Grading 2015's biggest hires four years later TEXAS The hire: Shaka Smart Grade: C-plus Smart's gone 71-66 with two NCAA Tournament appearances -- no wins there -- and a 2019 NIT title (which should be applauded). The Longhorns are 31-41 in Big 12 play under Smart, their best finish being fourth in his first season in Austin. That's rough. Recruiting-wise, Smart has delivered. Texas has lured Andrew Jones, Jarrett Allen, Mohamed Bamba and Will Baker, all five-star recruits, to sign for Smart. The Longhorns' recruiting-class rankings the past four years: No. 6, 6, 8, 13 according to 247Sports. The contrast of those rankings and lack of NCAA Tournament success is what's hurting Smart's reputation. There's no denying that Smart's name will be as prominent as any coach in college basketball in terms of 2019-20 hot-seat status. There's also no denying that Smart will have options moving forward. If UT doesn't have a strong season (and make the NCAAs) next year, a split seems inevitable. The hire: Rick Barnes Grade: A-minus If a Final Four appearance had come to be in 2019, this would have been an automatic "A." Barnes has done wonders for Tennessee, though: an 88-50 record; the recruitment and development of two-time SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams; an SEC regular-season title; a No. 2 seed and a No. 3 seed in consecutive seasons. Tennessee's 31-6 mark in 2018-19 matched for the most wins in a season in program history. And now Barnes is landing five-star players for Tennessee, which is good, considering Barnes just admitted on Tuesday that he'd have bailed on Tennessee if UCLA was willing to pay his buyout. OK, then, Rick! Barnes is the only coach on this list who has a team ranked in Gary Parrish's Way Too Early Top 25 And 1 for 2019-20. https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/college-basketball-coaching-moves-grading-2015s-biggest-hires-four-years-later/
  6. Why Jordan Whittington is the Texas Longhorns' breakout player of the spring Jordan Whittington arrived at Texas in January with lofty expectations and a month removed from one of the biggest performances in Texas high school football history. The five-star Cuero product dominated the Gobblers' 4A Division 2 state title win over Pleasant Grove at AT&T Stadium, totaling 377 yards -- including 334 on the ground, which broke NFL legend Eric Dickerson's Texas state title game record -- six touchdowns and 11 tackles, leading to him claiming the game's offensive and defensive MVP awards. Fast forward to now, and in the short time that the Longhorns have had their hands on him, Whittington has been one of Texas' most talked about players. He finally got a chance to showcase his abilities for public consumption during this past Saturday's Orange and White spring game, and he didn't disappoint. Whittington was one of the few bright spots on Saturday night in Austin. He carried the ball 12 times for 62 yards to finish as the Longhorns' leading rusher, while also catching four passes for 27 yards. Whittington, who was the nation's No. 2-ranked athlete, per 247 Sports, has the skill set to play multiple positions, and many thought he may play receiver initially. But with Texas needing some immediate depth help in the backfield, and with his explosive running ability, he's assimilated quickly as a running back so far. Texas coach Tom Herman said after the spring game that the versatile Whittington will stay in the backfield for the foreseeable future. "He could probably go drive the bus tomorrow, too, if we asked him to," Herman said. "I'm amazed at how well he took to that position. Just his ability to, having never played that position, go in there and do some of the things that he has done throughout the course of the spring, so it wouldn't shock me if he could go do something else, too. But for now, that is his position. "Obviously getting him in space is to our advantage, but there is something to be said for running between the tackles and making a safety miss and then there's nobody left, too. He can do all of that. You kind of did see a glimpse of what we've seen from him throughout the spring." Texas offensive coordinator Tim Beck even recently called Whittington the most impressive player he's seen during spring camp. "Really smart football player. His football savvy is a lot like LJ (Humphrey), but he's faster -- much faster," Beck said. "He can play a lot of positions. He understands the game. He's a quick learn. He's very dynamic with the ball in his hands." Following spring camp, Whittington projects to be No. 2 on the depth chart, behind sophomore Keaontay Ingram, and should receive plenty of touches in 2019, whether that's taking a handoff or catching the ball out of the backfield. Expect Whittington to make an impact next season and for him to grow into a huge weapon for the Longhorns during his career. https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/texaslonghorns/2019/04/18/jordan-whittington-texas-longhorns-breakout-player-spring
  7. Texas football is ... Back? Overrated? A Complete Mystery? Apr 12, 2019 Sam Khan Jr.ESPN Staff Writer AUSTIN, Texas -- Tom Herman is in a good mood these days. As he enters his third year at Texas, the Longhorns have made significant progress under his watch. In January, they wrapped up their first double-digit-win season since 2009 with a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia. He has turned in consecutive top-10 recruiting classes. The Longhorns have the same starting quarterback for the third straight season, something that couldn't be said of the rest of this decade. ADVERTISEMENT Herman's desired culture is set. Expectations are understood. What's left in the "Texas is back" tour is competing for and winning a championship. "Obviously we've got a lot of work to do on the field," Herman said. "But these guys are a joy to be around. I love coming to work every day. The guys do a good job policing our culture, the players do." Flipping the culture was a crucial part of Herman's building project. There was endless talk about being "1-0" every day. Bodies had to be reshaped by strength coach Yancy McKnight. The talent, quite simply, had to be upgraded. And players had to understand what Herman believed to be the most important aspects to their on-field success. "It was starting to shift last year," Herman said. "These days I do a lot less running. We tell our guys all the time, 'There's two demands in this program that are non-negotiable, and that's effort and ball security.' And if you see a guy loaf, you'll see eyes changing colors or smoke coming out of ears. Can Tom Herman lead the Longhorns to even more wins in his third season? Tim Warner/Getty Images "Or a guy carrying the ball loose, it's not me running after the perpetrator, it's usually some player, saying 'Hey, that's not how we do things.' That's pretty cool to see." Those positive trends combined with a strong finish to 2018, in which the Longhorns made the Big 12 championship game and dominated the Bulldogs in New Orleans, have observers bullish on Texas in 2019. The Longhorns dot the top 10 in various "way-too-early" top 25 national rankings, but the metrics are more skeptical of Texas at this point. ESPN's Football Power Index has the Longhorns outside the top 25 (they check in at 26th) while Bill Connelly's S&P+ projections has Texas even lower, at 35th. That's not necessarily unusual (insert your Texas-is-back or preseason rankings joke here), but it is fascinating, because the Longhorns are a team that seems to be on the rise even if it's hard to pinpoint where their 2019 ceiling is. The reasons those metrics might be skeptical could be related to a couple of areas of concern for Herman this spring: the loss of defensive leadership and the lack of big plays on offense last season. On defense, there are numerous voids to fill. A host of veteran, multiyear starters are gone: the entire 2018 starting defensive line (Charles Omenihu, Chris Nelson, Breckyn Hager), two of the three starting linebackers (Anthony Wheeler, Gary Johnson), both starting corners (Kris Boyd, Davante Davis) and the starting nickelback (P.J. Locke III). That doesn't mean there isn't talent in the pipeline. Herman is comfortable with the ability of the players who will take over. What he is concerned with -- and a focal point for the defense this spring -- is developing players who can lead in the way those did. "These guys have been vocal leaders," Herman said, referring to his bygone defensive seniors. "We just have to develop some more vocal leadership from some of these guys that are not used to that role." Safeties Brandon Jones and Caden Sterns have already established themselves as playmakers at Texas. Both, however, are sidelined this spring with injuries, and Herman noted that it's "tough to lead from a scooter on the sideline." One player Herman increasingly has looked to this spring is senior defensive end Malcolm Roach, who has 34 games under his belt. "He's a guy everyone's respected but has always acquiesced to the Wheelers, the Maliks [Jefferson], the Charleses, the Breckyns of the world," Herman said. "He was the Plan B leader if you will. Now he's Plan A. He's getting used to that role." Senior Jeffrey McCulloch, who has appeared in 36 games, is a returning starter who will also be looked to for leadership. Tom Herman has stability at quarterback with Sam Ehlinger. Eric Gay/AP Photo Offensively, the Longhorns are in a better situation when it comes to experience and leadership. Sam Ehlinger is entering his third season as the starting quarterback, receiver Collin Johnson spurned the NFL draft to come back for one more year, receiver Devin Duvernay is entering his senior season and the offensive line is sprinkled with veterans, including senior Zach Shackelford and junior Derek Kerstetter. Where Texas' offense must get better is in the big-play department. The Longhorns were one of only two teams in the FBS in 2018 to not have a single play from scrimmage of at least 50 yards. "We had to get more athletic offensively," Herman said. And so they did, or at least it appears so based on the early returns from their 2019 recruiting class. Jordan Whittington, the ESPN 300 athlete from Cuero (Texas), has already impressed in spring drills. He's cutting his teeth at running back, but could also find some time at slot receiver eventually, too. "He's really smooth," Herman said. "When you watch him there's not a whole lot of wasted movement ... It doesn't take seven steps to change direction." Bru McCoy, the ESPN 300 receiver who initially enrolled at USC before transferring to Texas in January, has also impressed thus far. It's not certain if he'll be immediately eligible to play this season as Texas awaits the NCAA's ruling on McCoy's waiver application, but Herman has praised his work ethic, versatility and competitive fire. Add in ESPN 300 receiver Jake Smith, the Gatorade National Player of the Year who will arrive in the summer, and the Longhorns have an influx of speed to complement an already solid talent base on offense. More important, to Herman, is that the team maintains what it did well in 2018, even as it pursues more eye-popping plays. "How do you win 10 games with no plays over 50 yards on offense?" Herman asked. "We do it because we ran the ball when we needed to, we were efficient on third down and we only turned the ball over 11 times in 14 games. I think they all believe in that." The Longhorns will have to ably answer the above concerns in order to challenge Oklahoma's stranglehold on the Big 12 crown. Naturally, that's top of mind right now, isn't it? "Nope," Herman said. "It's going 1-0 today. And then 1-0 tomorrow. And then, when it gets time, we'll worry about beating Louisiana Tech." http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26501666/texas-football-back-overrated-complete-mystery
  8. The ags are going to need an experienced AD to take his place. I got the perfect guy.
  9. Coach Herman, get Jordan Whittington the ball this fall There wasn’t a whole lot of offense on display at the Orange-White game, but freshman running back Jordan Whittington looked anything but a newcomer from first glance. The Cuero product is big and fast — a great combination for a player of multiple skill sets — and will provide a great complement to Keaontay Ingram, who has added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame. Whittington can run it and catch it, as displayed by his Texas debut Saturday — 62 yards rushing and 27 receiving — and there’s a sense that we just got a small glimpse at what he’s fully capable of doing. Coach Tom Herman even mentioned him when talking about the receiving corps after the game. I would expect to see him lined up out wide to get favorable matchups this fall with Ingram in the backfield. That’s one thing about having weapons: You can put them anywhere as long as you find a way to get them the ball. Whittington is one of those types. https://www.hookem.com/2019/04/16/golden-coach-herman-get-jordan-whittington-ball-fall/
  10. The under-the-radar star on each Top 25 college football team No. 7 Texas: Running back Keaontay Ingram The Longhorns have been too reliant on quarterback Sam Ehlinger for a running game over the past two years. To take pressure off Ehlinger and keep him healthy, Texas needs Ingram, a promising sophomore, to help supply more of a steady ground game from the running back position. -- Trotter http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26518222/the-radar-star-top-25-college-football-team
  11. Texas Longhorns fan Matthew McConaughey's message to top recruit Bijan Robinson: 'Enjoy it' https://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/high-school/2019/04/15/matthew-mcconaughey-gives-advice-salpointe-rb-bijan-robinson/3471495002/
  12. Since he got caught, it doesn't sound like Speedy is an accurate nickname anymore.
  13. Jordan Whittington is the guy I want to see from all the reports that I've read including praise from Herman and Keontay Ingram. After missing out on the two 5 star running backs and Darrion Brown's health issues, it looks like we ended up with a 5 star running back after all. The other player is of course is Bru McCoy. I also want to see the backup quarterbacks, Casey for backup this year and Roschon Johnson for the future. From the reports that I've read the offense is ahead of the defense, so it should be fun to watch. More fun than it was with Case McCoy or Tyrone Swoops.
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