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HornSports Staff

Burnt Ends (5-4)

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The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker.


Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask...


Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends.


This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports.




Last week we told you that one of our baseball insiders said that Augie Garrido would retire and that there was a palatable buyout clause built into the contract extension he signed last year. Two more losses in four games, including another Big 12 series loss, and we checked back in with our contact to see if the fire is hotter. What we heard is not surprising:


“Everything I’m hearing on this end tells me that it’s a foregone conclusion that Coach Garrido will retire after the season. It was all but inked after the TCU series, and now it’s in Sharpie.”


Rather than waste his time talking about what went wrong with this team and season, we cut straight to the chase – who will replace Augie Garrido?


“You will see a typical coaching search by Patterson. That means there will be a ton of names tossed around by the media, but there will less than five actual candidates. When this goes public, remember how the football and basketball hires were made – everyone, including most media and insiders, was focused on Nick Saban and Gregg Marshall. While the stories were running one direction, Steve Patterson was on a different path.


There are a lot of names that make for interesting candidates. The top of that list and the name everyone will focus on is Skip Johnson. I have doubts that Skip gets more than a professional courtesy in terms of consideration for the job. In UT’s eyes, this season has not done him any favors. If Garrido would have walked away after last season, Skip would have had a much better chance.”


After hearing that, we asked who is a legitimate candidate. If Skip Johnson isn’t a realistic probability, then who is?


“With four games left plus the conference tournament, it is not appropriate to speculate or start circulating names. Let this situation come to fruition first, and then we’ll talk about potential candidates.”




One more baseball note:


To lend confidence to the above report, y’all should know that a second source is telling us almost the exact same things. Garrido’s retirement isn’t idle gossip or speculation, it’s real.




As we mentioned in Burnt Ends last year, Kerwin Roach isn’t the only athlete in the family - his brother Kieston (Class of 2017), plays defensive back for the North Shore football team.  The 5’10”, 170 pound playmaker for the Mustangs is a name getting strong consideration for inclusion on the initial Top 50 for 2017.


While he does play hoops at North Shore, the younger Roach’s future is on the gridiron. Expect Roach to be a name that is mentioned a lot as he enters his junior season. With the ability to turn and run with a receiver and crash into the backfield in run support, Roach has the athleticism needed to garner attention at Power 5 schools.


As for whether or not he’d follow Kerwin’s footsteps to Austin and give the Longhorns a family member in a second sport, he had this to say when we asked if an offer from the Longhorns and Charlie Strong would make an impact:


“[Texas would] definitely be one of my top schools.”




Continuing our look at the HornSports Top 50 takes us to the 22nd ranked player – Aldine Davis linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch.  In retrospect, McCulloch was a glaring omission from the early draft of the rankings – his recruitment really took off right after the initial rankings were released. 


Over the last few months, McCulloch joined Alief Elsik’s Dontavious Jackson as one of the most recruited linebackers in the entire country. Nicknamed “The Shark”, McCulloch patrols the middle of the field searching for prey before disrupting plays in a sudden and violent way. 


The 6’2”, 235-pound prospect holds 35 offers from the likes of Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, LSU, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas A&M, and USC.  While “The Shark” is versatile enough to play any of the linebacker spots, he projects very well to the “Fox” position in the Texas defense (the position currently manned by Naashon Hughes).


As a kay component of the variability in Vance Bedford’s scheme and a focal point of the Texas defense, playing Fox End requires the intelligence to play in a number of roles in any given situation. McCulloch would also be an ideal fit for the SAM or strong side linebacker, but that role has been reduced in Vance Bedford’s defense.


McCulloch took several spring visits, and specifically mentions Florida and Michigan as two schools that impressed him.  Florida State and USC are also schools to keep an eye on as out-of-state competition, but the early word is the battle for his signature will come down to an in-state dogfight between Texas and Texas A&M. 


While McCulloch has been pretty quiet about his intent, the word is that Texas holds the early edge. After competing at The Opening regionals where he won a ticket to the finals, expect McCulloch’s stock to really take off over the summer.  With film that is every bit as impressive as Malik Jefferson’s, “The Shark” could make a rise into the top 10 of the state before signing day.




Last week we told you that Arlington Bowie offensive lineman Tope Imade would be a name to watch as Joe Wickline continues to fill his offensive line class. We followed up with Imade this week to get the latest on his recruitment.


Although Texas came by the school, Wickline wasn’t able to make the trip. Instead it was Brian Jean-Mary that attended a Bowie practice and spoke with the coaches about Imade. Imade has been in steady contact with Wickline who told him he’s setting aside some time either this week or next to get by Bowie in order to see him personally. 


As for Imade, his profile is steadily rising as schools from all over the nation continue to check in on him.  He’s up to 17 scholarship offers and has been told that Oklahoma, Michigan, and Texas A&M will be by Arlington Bowie before spring practice concludes.




One more note on potential offensive line targets... 


Tommie Robinson made his way through Crosby high school to check on HornSports Top 50 member Keenan Murphy last week.  Murphy hasn’t heard much from Texas in the early part of his recruitment, but it sounds like the Longhorns are making an effort to forge a relationship.


We were told that Texas Tech, Houston, and Texas State are standing out early for Murphy, while LSU and Oklahoma State are starting to show more interest.  Texas is at a bit of a disadvantage, as other programs have gotten a head start. However, interest from UT carries weight at Crosby, and the Longhorns can still get into the mix for Murphy and other talented Cougar prospects – signing day is still nine months away.




Last week Burnt Ends provided an update on Brother Martin (New Orleans) tight end Peyton Aucoin, who holds a Texas offer.  This week we spoke with Aucoin’s teammate and fellow tight end, Irvin Smith Jr., who also holds an offer from the Longhorns.


Smith hasn’t had an opportunity to visit Austin yet, but told us he is looking forward to visiting the 40 Acres in June.  Jeff Traylor offered both Brother Martin tight ends on April 8th, and Smith said the offer from the Longhorns caught him off-guard:


“I was pretty surprised with Texas.  It was awesome!”


While the odds aren’t in favor of two tight ends committing to the same school, we asked Smith if he and Aucoin had talked about the potential of playing college ball together (the two share offers from more than 10 Division-I schools):


“Yes, we have.  We would love to play together at the next level!  We both work very hard and compete every day, at everything.”


Smith says Texas is “high” on his list but added that he needs to make a visit before he can accurately assess where the Longhorns stand in his recruitment.


The TE position runs in Smith’s family – his dad, Irv, was a star tight end for Notre Dame in the early 90’s. After playing for the Irish, Smith was drafted in the first round by the New Orleans Saints in 1993.


With all that experience close at hand, we asked Smith if his dad offered any advice on the recruiting process:


“He just tells me to make the best decision for yourself and the school that fits me best. You can only pick one school so make sure it's somewhere you want to go.”


As is the case with most high-profile players from Louisiana, LSU is interested in Smith. The Tigers have not offered yet, but are telling Smith they want to evaluate him further in a summer camp. Expect Notre Dame to join the Irvin Smith sweepstakes as well.




In the months leading up to the NFL Draft the only thing you should believe is that teams will do and say anything to ensure their true intentions are secret. Knowing this, we were fortunate to catch up with Nate Boyer days before the draft.


Boyer had a very clear picture on his draft status. Because teams value confidentiality, Boyer needed to keep things off the record before the draft, but we’re able to share some of the information now that he’s officially signed with a team.


For starters, he clarified which team he hoped to play for:


"Where I have the best chance to compete for a spot."


If you haven't been fortunate enough to meet Boyer, read some of the recent interviews - that isn't a tongue-in-cheek statement about signing with a team, as much as it is a genuine look at the kind of young man Seattle signed.


Based on conversations he had with several teams, Boyer was fairly confident that he’d get an opportunity to compete at a team’s rookie camp. Specifically, there were four teams he mentioned that expressed interest in signing him.


Getting back to the league’s affinity for subterfuge before the Draft, the interesting note is that the Seattle Seahawks were *not* one of the four teams that were in contact. When the Seahawks’ head coach, Pete Carroll, called Boyer on Saturday after the final round of the draft concluded, Boyer was both surprised and excited.


HornSports is working with Boyer to setup an exclusive chat with the community. Especially since he was snatched up quickly by Seattle, finding time in his schedule is difficult. As soon as details are confirmed, we’ll let you know.

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I had a chance to talk to Nate Boyer this morning and he reiterated how surprised he was to receive a call from Pete Carroll. Carroll told Nate he couldn't wait to watch him compete.


I don't think failure is in Nate's genes, so I look forward to watching him play at the next level.

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I had a chance to talk to Nate Boyer this morning and he reiterated how surprised he was to receive a call from Pete Carroll. Carroll told Nate he couldn't wait to watch him compete.


I don't think failure is in Nate's genes, so I look forward to watching him play at the next level.

plenty of guys names Nate. Going forward, he should ask to be called Sqwirl.

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Come on Juan I had that up 30 minutes earlier. You not following me? 😉

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Look at Strong's 1st year with learning the roster, dismissals, installing new schemes, his values, etc. each will be different but they'll share common elements.


The football transition has been rough from the lack of good players and the entitlement culture left behind.


I expect the basketball transition to be a lot smoother.


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Franchise Quest

  • Latest Posts

    • Looking to build off a big win on the road against West Virginia, Texas welcomed Texas Tech to Austin. The Red Raiders were in search of their 6th win and bowl eligibility. The Longhorns never trailed in the game until the 1:47 mark in the 4th quarter, but 2 costly Sam Ehlinger interceptions helped Texas Tech pull out a 27-23 win. The Longhorns opened the game with a trick play, with Lil’ Jordan Humphrey taking a reverse and throwing a 27 yard completion to Sam Ehlinger. A few plays later, Ehlinger found Armanti Foreman on a slant for 27 yard touchdown for the games first score. Ehlinger finished with 239 yards through the air. The Red Raiders responded late in the first quarter when Carter McLane scored on a 1 yard run. After the two teams traded field goals, Kris Boyd intercepted McLane to give Texas good field possession. The Longhorns quickly capitalized and regained the lead on a Daniel Young 9 yard touchdown run. Young finished as the Longhorns leading rusher with 55 yards on 13 carries. McLane was intercepted again late in the second quarter by Devante Davis. Texas was able to march the ball inside the 5, but ultimately had to settle for a Josh Rowland field goal to give the Longhorns a 20-10 halftime lead. Texas Tech opened the second half with the ball and quickly got into Texas territory following an insane catch by T.J Vasher, but the Longhorns defense held and the Red Raiders settled for a 34 yard field goal. Later in the 3rd quarter, Reggie Hemphill Mapps muffed a punt to give Texas Tech great field position again. The offense was unable to take advantage though, and the drive ended in a missed field goal. The Longhorns extended their lead to 23-13 with a Rowland 40 yard field goal at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Texas Tech then opted for a QB switch, and Nic Shimonek took over for McLane. Shimonek led the Red Raiders down the field and tossed a 13 yard touchdown pass to TJ Vasher. Texas had the ball in Texas Tech territory late in the 4th quarter with the opportunity to run out the clock, but San Ehlinger threw his first interception of the game interception and it was returned inside the Texas 15. The Red Raiders scored 2 plays later on a 13 yard pass from Shimonek to Cameron Batson that was ultimately the game winner. Texas had one last chance to take the lead, but another Ehlinger interception ended any comeback hopes. Texas will await the bowl selection in the coming weeks. The Longhorns officially finished the season 6-6 and will look to finish with a bowl win and a winning record for the first time since 2013.
    • (FYI, this is a very long read) Coming off the win against West Virginia this Texas team looked like they were heading towards capping off Tom Herman’s first season with a three game winning streak with what looked like an inevitable win over a struggling Texas Tech team. Confidence only improved when the new broke prior to kickoff that Texas Tech would be rolling with their backup quarterback in the season finale. Then the game happened. Texas was in control of the game for most of the night despite the offense being poor for majority of it. The defense did their job for most of the night, but once Nic Shimonek entered the game he jump started the Tech offense to a degree that resulted in two passing touchdowns, including the dagger that won it. My intro to my actual thoughts will be a page long if I don’t get started, so here we go. ·         That was the worst loss of the season and it’s not even close. I didn’t think it would get much worse than the debacle that Texas opened the season with against Maryland at home. Well the Red Raiders rolled into Austin and Texas promptly said hold my beer. Maryland prior to the massive rash of injuries they went thru actually wasn’t a bad football team. It was easy to see the pieces for the Terps and be hopeful with what they had to work with. In Tech’s case you have a coach who was on the brink of getting fired by his alma mater, he just benched his starting quarterback, and the defense despite being improved is still not very good and had given up their fair share of points and yards this year. They were beaten down coming into this game and even though they were playing for their bowl life they probably would have folded after a few good punches to the mouth. Was Texas able to accomplish that? Nope. After coming right down the field on the first series of the game, the Texas offensive continuously found ways to keep Tech in the game by struggling to make first downs (7 for 22 on 3rd down) and being absolutely horrific in the red zone when they actually made it down there. This offense failed time and time again this year that they were unable to impose their will on a defense when they needed it most and tonight it ended up costing them. Josh Rowland had to kick field goals from 19 and 20 yards out because the offense was unable to finish in the red zone and if they punch just one of those in it’s a completely different ball game. Even after that the game was still there to be won. The bottom line is this game was absolutely winnable and the team proved once again that they have an issue putting teams away. And to be clear this was bigger than the offense not getting done. The defense had several let downs of their own and the biggest ones came down the home stretch once Shimonek was inserted into the game. Good teams finish and the proof is in the pudding for this once again for this 6-6 team. ·         Turnovers cost Texas in more ways than one. I probably could have led off with this considering that turnovers led to Texas’ demise in Austin this evening. The Longhorns gave the ball back to the Red Raiders on four different occasions (two INTs, two fumbles) and the last two were the most crucial. Texas managed to navigated around the fumbles, but the two Ehlinger picks were back breakers and were both were questionable at best decisions from the freshmen. Texas is driving to put the game away in Tech territory and as he scrambles right he throws back across his body in the arms of a defensive back, who ran the ball back deep into Texas territory setting up Tech for the go ahead score. The final one looked like a desperation heave towards to two Texas receivers who didn’t have a shot at making the catch and tried fruitlessly to play defense to no avail. I still think Ehlinger will get better and by no means am I bailing on him this early in his development, but he at least three instances this year where he turned the ball over in crunch time. The fumble at USC, the turnover against Oklahoma State, and the pick tonight against Tech. Depending on how you view the Oklahoma game you could add another one onto his resume. The kid will live and learn, but those were all game deciding turnovers that could have drastically changed the trajectory of Texas entire season. While we are on the topic of turnovers, how many potential turnovers did the Texas defense leave on the field tonight? They managed to pickoff McLane Carter twice, but they also dropped several more that could have changed the outcome. DeShon Elliott in particular dropped one that hit him right in the hands and if he keeps his feet he has a chance at one on the game winning touchdown. ·         Something has to give in the offensive meeting room For me (and just about everyone else) this goes way further than just a one game performance. The Texas offensive went an entire season without really having an identity or any rhyme or reason. At best the offensive performance was frustrating this year and at worst it was absolutely maddening. Tonight was more of the latter than the former. The offensive line only allowed one sack tonight early in the game when the Texas offensive brain trust inexplicably inserted Shane Buechele into the game after initially starting Ehlinger. Buechele completed two passes for six yards and then was never heard from for the rest of the evening, so I am still struggling to grasp the idea of putting Buechele in early on. That’s one of many things I would like explained by the offensive decision makers on this staff. I’ve already touched on the red zone issues the offense has faced all season, but the most puzzling football decision of the night game on the final drive before the half. With only seconds left and no time outs deep in Tech territory, why on Earth are you trying to run the football? Not only was Tech selling out on the run on that play, but Texas was fortunate progress was blown dead because it almost became a turnover. That was a bad football decision in a season that has been full of bad ones. Another instance that stands out in my head was when Texas tried to hurry to the line and run back to back quarterback sweeps on second and third down. The Texas offensive line struggled all night (and year) to impose its will in the run game, so you rush into the same play to the opposite side just to get thrown for a loss and have to punt? This offense scratched and clawed out 116 yards on the ground at a whopping 3.5 yard s per rush against a less than stellar defensive front.  It feels like the guys in the booth have been watching a different group from the rest of us all year long. From the beginning of the season to the end of the season I didn’t see any growth or progress on the offensive side of the ball. Injuries impacted that side of the ball this year, but that still doesn’t explain several that ranges from game planning, play calling, and personnel groupings. I can’t imagine Herman envisioned having to make a staff change this early in his tenure, but there is absolutely no way he can stay with what he has after the performance on the field and up in the box. ·         Finding the optimism will be tough heading into the offseason This team just scratched and clawed its way to yet another 6-win season and even with a bowl game on the horizon this season feels deflating on so many ways. A three game winning streak and a seven win year can be candied up a bit, but ending the season on that kind of note leaves an awfully bitter taste in your mouth even with the bowl eligibility. All of the momentum and you built up last week just went out the window and now you are likely to lose several guys to the NFL via early declarations. Lets say hypothetically Connor Williams, Malik Jefferson, Holton Hill, and DeShon Elliott all declare for the draft next month. Do you feel confident a 6-win team will improve in 2018 after losing those key players considering the issues it faced this year? This season has several parallels to Charlie Strong’s first season in Austin to the point its almost scary. Only thing that is missing is a beat down in a bowl game that sends the team to 6-7 on the year before being victimized by the NFL Draft. ·         Kris Boyd continues to play well Lets end this thing on a positive note. I’ve criticized Kris Boyd as much as anyone this year, so it’s only fair that I acknowledge when he is playing well like he has lately. Last week he locked up a Biletnikoff award finalist in David Sills and this week he was matched up on Dylan Cantrell who on logged two catches for 12 yards this evening. Boyd may not have played at a high level all year like his counterpart Hill did prior to deciding to be a knucklehead, but he is showing with Hill out that he can pick up the slack as the team’s number one corner. That’s very encouraging with the likelihood of Hill declaring for the draft in the coming weeks and gives Todd Orlando a building block to work with in the secondary in 2018. A loss like this takes the wind out of your sails if you are this team and the staff. It looked like the staff was going to be able to hang its hat on progress with a 7-5 year, in which they were competitive week in and out and weren’t embarrassingly blown out like we had become accustomed to. Instead of ending the regular season on a high note, Herman and his staff endured their worst loss to date during his short tenure in Austin, by allowing a mediocre Texas Tech squad mount a comeback in the final moments and embarrass a once program in prime time. I’m not sure where you even begin if you are a coach in that locker room tonight. Now you have to get this team refocused and confident over the next month as you prepare for some third tier bowl game that nobody will probably remember. On to the bowl season.
    • 1st Half The Longhorns took a 20-10 lead into the locker room at halftime but the score wasn’t indicative of promising play from the offense. After starting with a bang on its first offensive possession, Texas had trouble converting in the red zone on several occasions. Todd Orlando’s defense had their share of issues in the first quarter but settled down in the second quarter, giving up just 46 yards of offense in the quarter. *On the first play of the game, LJ Humphrey found Sam Ehlinger for 27 yards. 3 plays later Ehlinger would hit Armanti Foreman for another 27 yards and a touchdown. Looked like the offense was in rhythm and ready to play early on. *Michael Dickson showed again why he is a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award. Dickson’s 5 punts averaged 52 yards and were all placed deep in Tech territory. Dickson is my MVP of the season for Texas. *Sam Ehlinger started at quarterback and ended the half at quarterback, but Shane Buechele was inserted for the 3rd series of the game. After an opening TD drive and a punt on the next drive, I’m left scratching my head why Ehlinger was replaced for a drive with Buechele? *The Texas running game went for 1-yard in the first quarter and 32 yards in the second quarter. Even with Connor Williams playing again this week the line struggled again to provide holes and protection. 33 yards rushing in a half of play won’t win you many ballgames. Couple this with the fact that Sam Ehlinger couldn’t get settled in the pocket on many throws and was instead forced to roll right and look for receivers that weren’t open. Offensive line woes continued again this half and didn’t provide the necessary time the offense needed to operate efficiently. *While it may be a little late in the season, Josh Rowland went 2-2 in FG’s, something he sorely needed to boost his confidence. The downside is that Texas squandered two opportunities that could have easily been converted into touchdowns. #RedZoneWoes *Big 12 officials take entirely too much time to review the simplest of plays. I’ll leave it at that, but some of the delays are downright excruciating and unnecessary. *Texas Tech had 189 yards of offense in the first quarter. Credit the Texas defense for a nice job of relinquishing just 46 yards in the second quarter. *2- 2Q picks: by Kris Boyd and Davante Davis. Boyd read Carter McClane perfectly and returned his pick 44 yards. Davis struggled in coverage in the first quarter but redeemed himself with a timely interception. *Chris Warren may have moved to Tight End, but he is still a beast. After Davis’ interception, Ehlinger found Warren over the middle for 19 yards to the Texas Tech 1-yard line, punishing defenders in the process. While it is nice to see Warren utilized more in the offense, Texas settled for a Josh Rowland FG on what should have easily been a touchdown. Have to be able to score from a yard out on 4 downs, plain and simple. 2nd Half The Texas offense struggled to put up points in the second half, with Josh Rowland’ field goal serving as the only score for the Longhorns.  Sam Ehlinger’s two interceptions proved to be costly, with the last sealing the Longhorns’ fate tonight. *Michael Dickson yet again.  Dickson’s first punt of the second half was booted and downed at the Texas Tech 1-yard line.  He had a long of 67-yards which was kicked into the end zone. Again, M.V.P. *Toneil Carter fumbled early on in the third quarter.  Sure it happens, but when your running backs aren’t getting consistent carries in real games…. *At the 4:32 mark in the third quarter, Reggie Hemphill-Mapps muffed a punt return which was recovered by Tech at the Texas 32-yard line. Luckily for Hemphill-Mapps and Texas the result was a missed Clayton Hatfield FG. Hands, Reggie, Hands! *Nic Shimonek replaced McLane at quarterback for the Red Raiders early in the 4th quarter and it paid dividends for Kliff Kingsbury. DeShon Elliott was burned on a 52-yard pass early on from Shimonek, who followed it up with a 13 yard TD to TJ Vasher.  Elliott doesn’t give up many big plays, but this was the first of two tonight. Shimonek’s second TD of the night to Cameron Batson as DeShon Elliott slipped in the end zone (with 1:47 left in the game) left the Longhorn offense with the task of scoring a touchdown to come from behind and win.  Texas could only muster up a field goal thus far in the entire second half and a touchdown wasn’t happening. *Sam Ehlinger’s interception at the 2:06 mark which was returned for 55 yards is problematic because it shows that the true freshman’s decision making is still a work-in-progress. As much as Texas fans want him to be the guy right now, he still has a ways to go. *Ehlinger’s second interception of the night sealed the victory for the Red Raiders. Texas had a shot to try and make things happen on their last drive, but Tech’s Douglas Coleman picked the true freshman off. Tech took a knee and became bowl eligible. *The loss hurts for the Longhorns, who are still going bowling, but opens a door for the Red Raiders who became bowl eligible with the win tonight.
    • Page 16 pretty much sums it up for me. Add... one team and coaching staff wanted it more.  A lot more. Their coach was on the hot seat. They looked for a way to win. That 3 and 2 was most telling. Willing to risk a turnover for 2 yards than protect the ball and rely on your Ray Guy punter. Plus, at least a quarterback draw. Too much time in the pocket is a big killer for this offense. Roll-out quick read passes with a dual threat QB is a better game plan. Coaches are paid to (a) know the game better than most (b) optimize plays for the talent they have. Orlando does that well. He makes me dizzy just talking shop. The guy knows his shit. The offense needs that kind of moxie. Ehlinger would make a helluva Tight End.  He is not my QB for the future. That position needs a lot more than what he brings. The new ones on the way are the future. Like the one from Calif. Hope he enrolls for the spring.  
    • Somebody brought up a good point on twitter... how is Mehringer not getting more shit? We have tons of WR talent and NONE of them get open. Even when a qb has some time to throw... none are able to make anything happen consistently.