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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.