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Found 132 results

  1. New UT Baseball Volunteer Assistant Coach Troy Tulowitzki and Coach Pierce make an appearance at UT football practice today. I really like the support that each of the coaches and programs give to one another.
  2. http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll LSU (6,) Texas (9,) and ags (16,) with largest jumps (+5) Go Cougs at #10
  3. VIA UT AUSTIN, Texas – Kickoff times and television selections for three of Texas' contests in the 2018 season were released on Thursday. Longhorn Network will air the home opener versus Tulsa on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. CT, while home match-up against USC on Saturday, Sept. 15 will be on FOX at 7 p.m. CT, and the game at Kansas on Friday, Nov. 23 will be on FS1 at 11 a.m. CT. Longhorn Network will also televise an additional game this season with further details to be announced at a later time. Since its launch in 2011, LHN has televised 16 Texas Football games, with the games against Tulsa and a to-be-determined opponent serving as the 17th and 18th, respectively. The 2018 season marks the eighth year LHN has exclusively televised select Texas Football games. Texas GameDay, a two-hour pre-game show, and Texas GameDay Final, an hour-long post-game show, will once again supplement LHN's Texas Football telecasts. Further details on both the game telecasts and the pre-and post-game coverage will be announced at a later date. The game against Tulsa will mark the first-ever meeting between the Longhorns and the Golden Hurricane, while the contest against USC will be the seventh all-time between the two storied programs, but the first in Austin since 1966. The game at Kansas will be the first between the schools to be played on a Friday in 18 series meetings, and the first time they have met around the Thanksgiving holiday.
  4. By Daniel Seahorn If you couldn’t tell by now, Texas running back coach Stan Drayton values versatility in his meeting room. Being able to tote the rock is one thing, but when you can be an asset as a pass blocker in blitz pickup and or as a receiver out of the backfield or split out wide then you really set yourself apart from the pack in evaluations. Running backs Daniel Young and Toneil Carter have certainly shown in flashes that they possess these traits and incoming freshman back Keaontay Ingram has shown on tape consistently that he can be that kind of back as well. The thing these three players have in common? They will all be underclassmen when the 2018 season kicks off this fall and they could probably benefit from some veteran experience in the rotation. That’s where former Cal running back Tre Watson enters the picture. Watson possesses the traits mentioned previously and he was setup for a breakout year as the lead back in Berkley in 2017 before suffering a season ending injury. Watson got the Wally Pipp treatment, as his replacement Patrick Laird experienced a breakout season of his own as he tallied over 1400 yards from scrimmage . With that transpiring, Watson opted to go the graduate transfer route and look for a new home. Watson looks to have found what he was looking for in his new home in Austin, Texas. After officially visiting Texas over the weekend and thoroughly enjoying himself for the spring game festivities, Watson decided to call Austin home for the next year and become a Longhorn. Film Analysis Player InformationName: Tre Watson Position: RB High School/ College: Centennial/ Cal- Berkley City & State: Corona, CA Measurables Height: 5’11 Weight: 205 40-yard: N/A Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics 2014: 25 carries, 94 yards, 1 TD, 1 reception, 1 yard, 20 kick returns, 407 yards, 1 punt return, 4 yards 2015: 88 carries, 494 yards, 3 TDs, 10 receptions, 106 yards, 1 TD, 2 kick returns, 44 yards 2016: 143 carries, 709 yards, 4 TDs, 21 receptions, 241 yards, 4 TDs, 12 kick returns, 206 yards 2017: 17 carries, 83 yards, 5 receptions, 31 yards ** ** Suffered a season ending injury Film 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWuSOjeUMoI 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxwl50ssIy4 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGry4SIXHVE Pros: Battle tested veteran. Tallied just under 1800 yards from scrimmage during his time in Berkley. Brings a diversified skill set to the table. Can be effective as a receiver out of the backfield and can also be split out wide. Possesses solid size for the position at 5’11, 205 pounds. Possesses good vision and runs decisively. Sticks his foot in the ground and goes without much hesitation and shows good up-field burst. Shows to have a good feel and patience for inside and outside zone as well as the power run game. Has the speed to get the corner of the defense and rip of yards in chunks. Not the biggest guy, but runs with some subtle power and runs behind his pads when anticipating contact. Has some wiggle and can make defenders miss in close quarters and in the open field. Will be a big asset in the screen game in Austin just like he was in Berkley. Possesses a reliable set of hands as a receiver. Could be an asset in the return game. Cons: Suffered a season ending lower body injury in 2017. Will have to be sure he has fully recovered from that injury without any setbacks. Returning from a lower body injury makes me wonder if he will have the same decisiveness and burst as he did pre-injury. Was easily replaced after going down with an injury. Product of a plug and play system? Can he BYOB (be your own blocker) with the state of the Texas offensive line? Shows a lot of good on tape, but I have questions about how he holds up as a pass protector. He’s a one year band-aid for the position that is young and struggled a bit this spring with ball security. Will likely steal carries from one of the young backs, which could be both good and bad. Summary Tre Watson is a former three year lettermen with the California Golden Bears. Watson participated in 37 games and logged 8 starts before going down with a season ending lower body injury in the second game of season in 2017. Prior to the injury in 2017, Watson displayed the makings of a player that could be an asset in three different phases of the game (as a runner, a receiver, and returner). As a runner, Watson displays good feel for both the zone (inside and outside) and power run game. He shows good vision, and patience as he lets the play and blocks develop in front of him before showing off his up-field burst and exploding to the second and third levels of the defense. At 5’11, 205 pounds, Watson has solid size for the position and does a good job of running behind his pads and show good tackle breaking ability both through finesse and at times through pure strength from his lower body. Watson has some wiggle to his game and is capable of making defenders miss in close quarters as well as the open field and particularly showed off this facet of his game as a receiver in the screen game. As a receiver, Watson proves to have reliable hands in the screen game or even flexed out wide in empty sets. Watson possessing this ability only adds to his value due how Texas likes to utilize their running backs outside of just turning and putting the ball in their belly. Watson being a reliable target in the passing game gives Watson the opportunity to potentially be a three down back during his time in Austin, which would be a change a pace from the game of musical chairs the position experienced in 2017. During his time in Berkley, Watson also logged snap both as a kick and punt returner, and while he didn’t put any points on the board as the return man, he does bring that experience the table and give the coaches another option back there going forward. Final Verdict The more I watch Watson, the more I really like this pickup for Texas. Does him coming off a lower leg injury worry me? Yes. Does he likely take carries away from two young backs that showed promise last year? Yep. Does the Texas offensive line still need to be able to open up consistent running lanes for him to be successful? You would be correct about that. In regards to the young backs, I don’t think the Texas coaches would be going down this avenue if they felt 100% comfortable with their stable after concluding spring practice. We’ve already covered the staff’s concerns about ball security and we saw that issue in the spring game with Toneil Carter putting the ball on the ground. And while many are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Keaontay Ingram in the summer, it would be nice if the staff didn’t have to rely heavily on a true freshman for the second year in a row at the running back position. Watson may be a one year rental, but he could prove to be a very valuable asset in the Texas backfield in 2018 with the skill set he brings to the table and he takes the pressure off of Keaontay Ingram to have to provide meaningful snaps from Day 1.
  5. Texas reeled in their first defensive back commit of the 2019 class with the verbal pledge of 4-star Kenyatta Watson. The Georgia product is ranked as the 11th best safety in the country (187th overall), according to the 247composite rankings. After signing an historic defensive back class in 2018, Texas had the opportunity to be selective on whom to take in the 2019 class. Watson was offered back in November while he was committed to Florida State. The commitment did not last though, as Watson de-committed from the Seminoles in January, and proceeded to visit Austin in late February. In early March, Watson named a final two of Texas and Notre Dame, with Texas set to host him on an official visit the weekend of April 27th. Following the official visit, Watson ultimately chose to shut down his recruitment and pledge to the Longhorns, giving Tom Herman another key piece of the 2019 class. Player Information Name: Kenyatta Watson Position: CB,S High School: Grayson City & State: Loganville,GA Measurables Height: 6’2 Weight: 187 40-yard time: 4.50 Shuttle: 4.12 Vertical: 45″ Statistics No stats available. Film Kenyatta Watson Junior Season Pros: Plays very physical. He is not afraid to get up close to the scrimmage and disrupt the timing and rhythm of a receiver. In the run game, Watson shows a good nose for the football and isn’t afraid to fight through blockers Reliable open-field tackler. Shows the ability to tackle in space and take good angles to the ball carrier. His tape shows him reading several screen plays well and making an open field tackle Possesses quick hips and good length as a corner. Stays with receivers well and rarely gets beat deep Very athletic and multiple. Watson has the speed to play sideline to sideline, while having the athleticism to play pretty much anywhere in the secondary. Impressive special teams player. Played on both punt block and field goal block, where he used his speed off the edge to disrupt kicks. Will almost assuredly be a special teams contributor early in his career. Cons: Needs to show a little better awareness with the ball in the air. There were times where balls that should have been picked off ended up as PBU. There are questions about whether he is a safety or a corner. He probably has the frame to tack on a couple extra pounds, which could lead to his future being at safety. Summary The first thing that stands out about Watson when turning on his film is his length. At 6’2, he uses his length both at the line of scrimmage and in coverage. Watson is no stranger to press coverage, and he isn’t afraid to get physical with receivers, re-routing them at the line and throwing off their timing. In the run game, Watson shows the ability to make open field tackles and be a solid run defender. The biggest question for Watson has he heads into college is what position best suits him long term. Texas appears to be recruiting him as a corner, and he has the skills to be successful, but his best long term position may end up being safety. Regardless of where he ends up, his quick hips, good length and physicality help him profile well at any of the defensive back positions. Final Verdict The 2019 defensive back class in the state of Texas is not as strong as the 2018 class, so it is not surprising Tom Herman opted to look at some out-of-state players. Watson’s father mentioned early in the process that current Texas TE Reese Leitao is cousins with Kenyatta, so it certainly did not hurt to have a family tie to Austin. Many pegged Watson as a Notre Dame lean early in the process, but Tom Herman once again worked his magic. The Longhorns now have 2 big out-of-state commits, with Watson joining California LB De’Gabriel Floyd.
  6. Texas has made a huge splash in the recruiting world today, securing a commitment from elite California LB De’Gabriel Floyd. Floyd becomes the first linebacker commit in the Longhorns 2019 class and ranks as 40th best player in the country (3rd ranked LB), according to the 247composite rankings. The addition of Floyd fills a huge need at the linebacker position, a position Tom Herman and Todd Orlando knew they needed to address in the recruiting cycle. On January 28th, Floyd was extended an offer. In Mid-February, he attended junior day and said afterwards that he was blown away and said the Longhorns were very high on his list. Floyd returned a month later during his spring break in March, and ultimately chose to commit to Texas, giving the Longhorns their highest ranked player so far in the 2019 class. Player Information Name: De’Gabriel Floyd Position: LB High School: Westlake City & State: Westlake Village, CA Measurables Height: 6’2 Weight: 220 40-yard time: 4.78 Shuttle: 4.51 Vertical: 35.6″ Statistics No stats available. Film De’Gabriel Floyd Junior Season Pros: From the moment you turn on the film, the first thing that stands out is Floyd’s willingness to hit. The first play of his HUDL is him blowing up a running back trying to pass protect and then slinging the Quarterback to the ground Floyd spent time on offense, defense and special teams during high school, and excelled in every well. On defense, he spent time at linebacker and DB. Plays very well in space. Takes good angles to the balls and diagnoses plays well. Definitely a guy who knows what he is doing in pass coverage Shows good patience in the run game. Chooses gaps wisely and rarely plays timid when attacking a running lane Not afraid to mix it up between the tackles. Takes on offensive lineman willingly and will knock them on their backside if they aren’t ready. Football savvy. Shows good instincts and high football IQ. Cons: Loves to lower the shoulder to deliver the big hit, which worked out for him a lot in high school, but he will need to become more reliable as a tackler at the next level. He shows the ability to wrap-up and drive a ball-carrier, he just needs to do it consistently Since he played all over the field, he will probably need at least a year to adjust to the ins and outs of playing college LB. Testing results shows a lack of straight line speed, which is worrisome, but his play speed seems adequate on tape. Have some questions about his coverage ability, but certainly seems athletic enough in space to be competent. Depending on how the roster shakes out, he could be counted on early, but could benefit from a redshirt. Summary Watch the first play of Floyd’s HUDL, and you will be sold. Tom Herman often times talks about how he wants physicality to be a trademark of his program, and Floyd fits that category. The California native shows tremendous athleticism on film. At junior day, he talked about how Todd Orlando had been discussing the Rover role with him, and it’s easy to tell why. Floyd possesses the ability to play between the tackles and serve as a run stuffer, while also having the speed to play in space. Against the pass, he has the ability to both rush the passer and play in coverage. Unlike some recruits, he doesn’t need to bulk up too much or add a lot of weight. Overall, Floyd has all the tools and traits coaches drool over at the linebacker position, and it’s easy to see why Texas made him a priority target early in the process. Final Verdict Entering the 2019 recruiting cycle, there were some questions about where Texas was going to turn for linebackers. The LB depth in-state was not outstanding, but the Longhorns still had glad a glaring need that needed to be filled. Tom Herman and Todd Orlando deserve a lot of credit for building a relationship with Floyd and pulling him out of California when many thought it was not possible. It certainly does not hurt to bring Floyd into the fold with the Longhorns still heavily pursuing elite California CB Chris Steele. With several members of the 2017 signing class hailing from out of state, it appears Tom Herman and company are willing to go wherever they see fit to bring talent to the 40 acres.
  7. According to Tom Herman, Gary Johnson will miss 6 weeks with a groin injury. Also, Cameron Townsend has moved from LB to RB. Sounds like Herman wants some more competition at the position.
  8. Tom Herman confirmed during his signing day press conference that Reggie Hemphill Mapps will transfer from UT. He has not been working out with the team and is currently looking for a potential landing spot. The redshirt freshman caught 32 passes for 328 yards in 2017.
  9. The 2018 recruiting class will officially come to a close as National Signing Day 2 is upon us. Texas inked 19 players during the early signing period in December, but will look to add to that number with a strong finish. Below are the remaining commits and targets, with the time they plan on signing: Committed DL Daniel Carson (SIGNED) DL Moro Ojomo (SIGNED) DL Keondre Coburn (SIGNED) RB Keaontay Ingram (SIGNED) WR Josh Moore (SIGNED) OL Christian Jones (SIGNED) DL Michael Williams (2:40 PM) Targets DL Joseph Ossai (9 AM) LB Andrew Parker (9 AM) WR Lawrence Keys III (10 AM) WR Tommy Bush (10:30 AM) DL Vernon Jackson (TBD) Follow along here at HornSports for live updates throughout the day.
  10. There may be some injury news coming in the next several days that impacts the Texas offense. The injury could be minor, because the player has not had an MRI yet. That's all we can say at this time. We will release more information as it comes to us.
  11. It all began with his tweet after the spring game. "Could've told my mother to save her money on the plane ticket". Half of a game after being called on account of rain, or a subtle blast to the fact he didn't sniff the field? I don't know, but I believe, when it comes to a young guy who wants his shot, it was the latter. When Buechele became the obvious nod to the future with Ehlinger on deck at QB, I knew Locksley was going to have to change positions or transfer. Then it was even more evident when Heard got moved to WR, where a stable of capable guys was already in place. Now, I don't even know what the plan is, if any for the kid. I know he never had huge expectations, but does anyone feel bad for him? I just feel like he is a perfect example of how you can be swept up in the circus that can be recruiting. It's a valid thought to wonder if he ever really knew what he was doing/expecting when he said yes to Texas and bailed on FSU. Then again, you wonder what he was told. Who knows. I'll give him this much: I don't know what it's like to be 18 and have those kinds of decisions to make with the confidence and probably somewhat arrogance that I can go somewhere and be the guy. But at the same time, how do you make such a huge decision without really looking at the reality of the situation and asking yourself where you fit in? At one point during camp, his name came up on a brief article about roster position changes, what ifs, etc. And I completely forgot the kid was on the team. I'm betting the house on Texas this Saturday and putting all my winnings on my next bet, which is news that Locksley transfers before this season ends.
  12. Kirk Johnson appears to have not been improving from his torn ACL last year. The answer why is now known. Johnson had a slight meniscus tear in his knee, which was hindering his progress. Johnson underwent a minor scope procedure to resolve the issue. I would not be surprised if Johnson medically redshirted this year, but he could also be back later in the season. Tough break for him, but he will be back. Luckily, Texas has three solid RB's in front of him. Rumors are circulating that Patrick Vahe injured his wrist in practice and is in a cast. Before any of you freak out, this is just a rumor for now. Nothing has been confirmed. On the positive side, it is not uncommon for a lineman to play in a cast. If there is any way that Vahe can get out on the field against Cal, he will play. Vahe is key to the Texas run game, and OL coach Matt Mattox wlll not hold him out unless the injury is serious. I will update the thread as more information arrives. Stay tuned.
  13. “Texas is back, folks.” These words from Joe Tessitore as Tyrone Swoopes plunged into the end zone in double overtime to knock of the 10th ranked Fighting Irish sent chills down my spine. I’ve probably watched that final play 50 times since Sunday and it still gets the heart racing every single time. Let me begin by saying that I’m extremely happy for senior Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes. As much adversity Swoopes has experienced since he arrived in Austin in 2013, he absolutely deserved a moment like that on Sunday. If you flash back to the debacle in South Bend in 2015, Swoopes was a horrendous 7/22 passing for 92 yards and was promptly benched the next week for Jerrod Heard. Getting benched is something that is incredibly difficult to handle mentally as a player. It’s more or less a mark of failure and sometimes there is no coming back from it. So what did Swoopes do in response to his demotion? He didn’t pout or disappear into the Texas bench. Instead, he embraced his new role in his package of plays. When the “18 Wheeler” package was born there was a different person on the field under center. Swoopes was confident, he ran with power and conviction, and he played with a swagger. With true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele getting the starting nod in the season opener, we once again saw Swoopes’ selflessness. It’s not often you see a coach opt to go with the young and inexperienced true freshman quarterback over a senior in an opener of this magnitude. This was another opportunity for Swoopes to get down on himself, and once again he did not. Instead Swoopes played a very key cog in a win that can best be described as a game changer for the Texas program on the field and off the field. Speaking of Shane Buechele, for me it is hard to put his performance into words. The true freshman from Arlington Lamar High School went from making a playoff start against Mansfield High School to playing against the 10th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and he didn’t flinch in the least bit. Did he make some mistakes? Of course he did, and he is going to make plenty more because that’s what freshmen across the board do as they are adjusting to the speed of college football. The main takeaway from his performance is that he played with confidence and poise beyond his years. He had absolutely no problem leading the offense up and down the field throughout the night. The same mental processing that folks have been raving about since seeing him in the spring game earlier this year was on full display again for the entire country to see. We knew coming into this matchup that Notre Dame’s defense was going to show a variety of looks and blitzes in an attempt to try and overwhelm Buechele, and despite following through with that game plan they were unable to get to him all night. Not one sack. That can be attributed to the offensive line's ability to hold up well in pass protection as well as Buechele's propensity to get rid of the ball when he had to, avoiding negative yardage. Either way you slice it, Buechele played a pretty clean game for a true freshman given the overwhelming circumstances. A win of this magnitude in week one means I have to completely recalibrate my expectations for the Longhorns' season going forward. Cautiously, I predicted an 8-4 season, but I was not expecting a win over Notre Dame in any scenario I had in my head. I also did not think that Buechele and the offense would look this good this early in the season. While the defense obviously has plenty of work to do, I want everyone to keep in mind that Deshone Kizer is a future NFL player. The defense is still very young, but has plenty of talent to make strides as the season progresses. I do not think it is unreasonable to say a 3-0 OOC record is a must at this point. I’ve said before that I think that Cal is more than beatable after watching them early on and now having seen what Texas is looking like this year, I believe that even more. What this means for Charlie Strong and Texas on the recruiting trail can’t be understated after Sunday's win. They had over 102,000 people in the stands at DKR on Sunday with 11 million more watching at home; I think it is safe to say the Longhorns stole the nation’s attention. If Texas continues on this trend throughout the season, I think we need to prepare for an even more ridiculous recruiting finish than we saw last February. There is a buzz and a feeling around the team and among the fan base that we haven’t seen in sometime. Football on the 40 is fun again, guys. Buckle up for an exciting ride.
  14. Jerrod Heard started 10 of the 12 games under center for the Longhorns last year. His first game was his best, setting the school record for total yards in the loss against Cal. Now, he will be helping the team in a new capacity. Heard will be moving to wide receiver, a position where the coaches look to utilize his speed, which is by far his greatest strength. With the former quarterback moving to receiver, the future of the Longhorns’ quarterback position has a different outlook now. The transfers of Ryan Newsome and DeAndre McNeal allow Heard to have an early chance at playing time, as the Longhorns were left thin at inside receiver. Devin Duvernay will likely be the starter at that spot, but behind him there are certainly spots up for grabs. With Heard’s grasp of the offense from a quarterback’s perspective, he should know exactly what the receiver is supposed to do. This could give him a big advantage playing the position, and would be a big pick-me-up for a team that lost two players in a span of three weeks at the slot position. Kai Locksley’s athletic ability could allow the Longhorns to use him as a wide receiver as well. The versatility of those two allows them to get on the field and use their best attributes while still taking reps and helping the other quarterbacks out. The role is a new one for Heard, who won two state championships as quarterback at Denton-Guyer, but he’s embraced the opportunity to contribute to his team. “The transition is going good. Right now I'm enjoying it, loving every minute of it. It's just a learning thing every day. I didn't fight against it. Really I was ready for the transition myself, so I felt like it would be a positive thing for me and for my future. So I was all for it and ready to go." Heard making the switch to receiver doesn’t mean he won’t continue to help the team in his former role. He will still probably take some reps in practice with the quarterbacks, and will likely act as the third string guy in the event something happens to Buechele or Swoopes. Texas still has four other guys in the quarterback room - Buechele, Swoopes, Locksley, and Matthew Merrick all there. With the commitment of Sam Ehlinger, there will be no shortage of bodies at the position going forward, making Heard’s move that much easier. Heard's incorporation into the Texas offense as a new weapon at receiver is only one new wrinkle offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert looks to implement this season. Will the new offense live up to the hype it has received through spring and fall camp? "Yeah, definitely. There's so much stuff that we do with this offense, personnel-wise and scheme-wise. It's unreal what we do now. I'm ready to go and ready to see how it all plays out and excited," said Heard.
  15. The 2016 season is just around the corner and the Texas Longhorns are looking to make significant strides from their struggles on offense last season. Under Sterlin Gilbert’s new spread offense, there will be a lot of passing, and frequently. However, teams like Baylor and Oregon have shown that running the ball from the spread is key to keeping the defense off balance. Texas will have a stable of talented backs to choose from, and to use in certain situations. D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren will most likely get the majority of the carries out of the backfield. Foreman showed off his talents throughout last year, having multiple bright spots, including an 80-yard dash in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma. Warren didn’t see much time last year, but made the most of it. He had his breakout game on Thanksgiving night against Texas Tech, when he broke the freshman record for most yards in a game. Kirk Johnson saw limited action last year as well, but could see more playing time this season with the fast pace of the offense and the necessity to have fresh legs. Two other running backs to keep an eye on are Tristian Houston, a track star from Galena Park North Shore and incoming superstar Kyle Porter. Houston spent last season red-shirting and building up his body to be able to withstand a season of college ball. Porter, who may have the most upside of any of these guys, could see the field and contribute as a true freshman. Receiver Deandre McNeal has shown an ability to take the ball out of the backfield as well, and could be used on jet sweeps and other outside runs. Needless to say, the arsenal that Gilbert has at his disposal is not lacking in talent. Look for Texas to keep the 18-wheeler package as part of the offense. Tyrone Swoopes excelled in the role of bulldozer last season, especially in goal line and short yardage situations. Throw in a couple of passes to that formation to keep the defense on their toes, and Texas could have a very versatile option to work with on 3rd or 4th and short. The Longhorns did not feature this package in the spring game, but in the fall, it will most likely be in Gilbert's plans. No one has ever doubted Swoopes’ running ability, and with his big frame it is difficult for opponents to bring him down. If the offense can get seven or eight yards on first and second down, slowing down a little bit to bring Swoopes in and move the chains would be an ideal strategy. Sticking with the quarterback theme, despite Jerrod Heard’s regression as a passer throughout the year, he certainly showed off his wheels during his playing time. While it is unclear exactly how Heard fits into Gilbert’s plans at the moment, he could also be used in a wildcat or a trick play situation with his running ability. Heralded recruit and early enrollee Shane Buechele is likely to play this season, and won't hesitate to scramble if given the opportunity. With the running talent the Longhorns possess, it is inevitable that the coaches exploit it. Just because a new spread offense is implemented, doesn’t Texas will stray away from its strength. And Texas’ absolute greatest strength on offense is the ability to run the ball. Charlie Strong and Sterlin Gilbert know this and will work the running game into what is known traditionally as a very pass-happy offense.
  16. with 2 months until Texas vs Notre Dame here is my very early depth chart QB: Beuchele,Heard,Swoopes RB: Foreman,Warren,Porter,Johnson (Kirk to me has all the tools to be NFL safety) TE: Blueitt,Beck,Aucoin WR: Burt,Foreman,Joe WR; Johnson,Humphrey,Leonard WR: Duvernay,McNeal,Newsome,Curtis LT: Williams,Delance,Uriquidez LG: Hodges,Hudson,McMillon C: Shackleford,Rodriguez,Cuney RG: Vahe,Perkins,Major RT: Perkins,Nickelson,Okafor, K: No one all 2pt conversions and going for it on 4th down P: Dickinson Fox: Hughes,Hager,Roach if Fowler makes it on team in time he would be 2nd team DT: Boyette,DCG,Nelson,Wilbon DT: Elliott,Ford,Daniels,Southall DE: Omenihu,Cottrell,Fitzgerald,Vasser LB: Jefferson,Cole,Boyd LB: Wheeler,Freeman,McCullouch,Townsend CB: Hill,Boyd,Cuffee CB: D.Davis,A.Davis,Evans NB: Locke,Bonney, SS: Hall,Elliott,Brown FS: Haines,Joes,Vaccaro
  17. The proverbial Texas football throne. A mythological creation from the minds of Texans and college football fans everywhere. For many years, the general consensus was whichever program ruled the state of football in Texas would rule college football’s landscape. To some extent, this is accurate but not always. When the Pony Express of the 1980s at SMU was riding high, they didn't win a national title but they were the kings of Texas and recruited at a high level (sans the obvious NCAA violations). When Johnny Football captivated the nation in 2012, Texas A&M was riding the wave of endorsement and fandom, even selling more T-shirts than the Longhorns. Don't get me started on that irony. And who could forget what 4th and 5 did for the Texas Longhorns? Mack had recruiting classes filled up with future All-Pros 11 months before signing day. Everyone expects to see the Longhorns at the top, and when they fall from grace everyone likes to take their shots. Goliath is feared when he is standing tall but not when he is wounded. The 2016 season is just around the corner and with it comes opportunity for the program. Texas is older, more experienced and has a chip on its shoulder. It’s time for Strong and company to make the move to reclaim the state’s top spot. And it’s ripe for the picking too. Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is on the hot seat and in all likelihood needs to knock it out of the park this year to keep his job. Easier said than done. Late night Twitter rants from coaches resulting in a loss of recruits doesn’t help Sumlin’s or the program's cause. The aggies have a new starting quarterback and a new offensive coordinator. While both are experienced, there will be a new product on the field in Aggieland. Whether this is a good thing or disastrous remains to be seen. Baylor is reeling from the rape scandal with a fired head coach, 6 signees from the last recruiting class gone (most to Texas) and players defecting from the program. TCU is hoping to reload with Kenny Hill at quarterback but with only 10 starters returning, it might be a rebuilding year in Fort Worth. Kliff Kingsbury is doing what people expect in Lubbock: keeping the Red Raiders competitive and making it to bowl games. Anything beyond that is unforeseen at this point. The Longhorns have survived another insane off-season by going about their business, not talking greatness or wins, but working on improving the product on the field. No real off-the-field issues and no team drama. Everyone is focused on their studies and on their preparation for the upcoming season. This is precisely what Charlie Strong had at Louisville. No drama, no frills... just going about the work at-hand with intentionality and in a manner that yields results in the long run. Does that mean the ‘Horns will go 11-1 and win the Big 12? No. Does it mean they will beat every Big 12 team in the state? No. What it does mean is Charlie Strong’s players must start to methodically take back the throne by taking care of business. Winning games that they are supposed to win (Iowa State), closing out close games (Cal) and not allowing referees to decide games (Oklahoma State). If the Longhorns can do those 3 things consistently, they can be an 8-win team in 2016 positioned to win big in 2017 and 2018. That will be enough to swing momentum back to the 40 Acres and reestablish the Longhorns as the premier program in the state of Texas. Who wants the throne? Only the Longhorns can answer that.
  18. In this week's episode of the 4th and 5 podcast, Will Baizer and Mike Roach discuss Charlie Strong's offseason hires, starting with OC Sterlin Gilbert, Matt Mattox and ending with the last three hires. But first they touch on the implications of Charlie Strong's subpoena, what the new High School Relations hire can do for Strong and the Program, and Sam Ehlinger's bump in the 2017 recruiting rankings.
  19. Mr. Trotter, After reading your tweets/comments about the “Florida 5â€, and specifically this tweet “@Jake_Trotter: W/ Cecil Cherry leaving, only Davante Davis left from Charlie Strong's touted "Florida 5." Gamble to recruit heavily out of TX backfiring", I decided to respond with an open letter to clear the air. To insinuate the “Florida 5†could end up as the “Florida 1†due to the recruits/athletes not being from the state of Texas, or “in-state†recruits, is laughable and a weak argument at best. But before I go further, I’d like to be clear. I completely agree that each year the majority of the athletes on the Texas Longhorn football roster should be from the state of Texas. A) As a state, Texas has the best recruits year in and year out. That’s why many major college football programs usually have at least a few recruits from Texas sprinkled throughout their roster. C ) A recruit from Texas likely will be more familiar with the Longhorns and the other football programs within the state, as well as with the coaches that are recruiting them during their high school years. And C) an in-state recruit will still be close or reasonably close to home. Those are just a few reasons why I agree the Longhorns should always build their roster/recruiting classes with mostly athletes from Texas. But to try to argue that the recruitment of the “Florida 5†has backfired simply because they are not from Texas is false. Let’s take a look at the evidence to understand why. 1) Tim Irvin – (Palmetto Bay, Florida) - Auburn: Irvin was the first of the 5 to change course. Leading up to National Signing Day, Irvin decided to flip to Auburn largely in part to unite with former Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, who he had developed a close relationship with according to reports. There’s much more to this story of Irvin’s flip than the simple fact that he is not from Florida. Oh and Auburn isn’t in Florida either… Just sayin’. 2) Gilbert Johnson – (Homestead, Florida/Georgia Prep Sports Academy)/Devonaiire Clarington – (Miami, Florida): Let’s take a look and both Johnson and Clarington together. Johnson was unable to attend Texas because he did not qualify academically. And Clarington, who has been on his own academic journey in an attempt to qualify academically, is waiting to hear back from the NCAA on whether he has clearance to join the Longhorn roster. Would being an “in-state†recruit change anything academically? No. 3) Cecil Cherry – (Frostproof, Florida): There is a number of different reasons that have been stated as to why Cherry is leaving the Texas program just days into fall practices. The main reason seems to be that he initially went against what his father wants for Cherry (which is sad in itself that his father is calling the shots for him). Another reason is that he did not get the jersey number (#3) he wanted and instead received #52. At this point, It’s unclear exactly where Cherry will end up (he very well could end up at a school in Florida). But at the end of the day, it sounds like Cherry (though he’s denied this notion) and his father realized he would play behind fellow freshman Malik Jefferson during his UT days as long as Malik was on roster if Cherry and Malik both stayed at MLB. Was not being an “in-state†recruit the main reason why Cherry left? No. Though I will admit it may play a small role into his departure. But main reason? No. As for the remaining out-of-state recruit from the “Florida 5â€, Davante Davis, reports have been positive for the freshman during the first few days of fall practices. And only time will tell whether he will step into a game this season or not. Oh, and as a bonus point (because who doesn’t love bonus points?), freshman wide receiver John Burt (Tallahassee, Florida) has also been receiving positive reviews during fall practices. And there’s increasing momentum to the notion that he has the skills and athleticism to contribute right away during his freshman campaign. As I stated earlier, I agree Longhorn coaches need to keep “in-state†recruits as their main focus when recruiting. The state is consistently oozing with talent year-after-year-after-year. And if Texas can improve its win/loss record, it will be easier and easier to recruit the top-talent in the state to the 40 Acres. But adding some top recruits from outside of the state isn’t certain death for Texas… Ricky Williams says hey… More importantly, though, to use these specific 5 players as evidence for the argument that “[strong’s] gamble to recruit heavily out of TX [is] backfiring†is weak evidence and paints the wrong picture as to the real reasons of why 3, and possibly 4, of the “Florida 5†are not on the 40 Acres right now for fall practices. - Some chump with a perspective, Wes Crochet
  20. Hi newbie here, so forgive me if I'm crossing any lines, but I recently read the 2015 Texas Longhorn Football Prospectus: Thinking Texas Football and it's really good preview of the 'Horns, our opponents and the Big 12. It's thorough, well-written with an entertaining writing style. Maybe everyone already knows about it, but I wanted to pass on a rec. Hook 'em!
  21. It wasn't the regular season finale the Texas seniors or Charlie Strong envisioned... Fifth ranked TCU and Heisman candidate Trevone Boykin handled the Longhorns easily on Thanksgiving night 48-10. Tyrone Swoopes threw four interceptions and Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray averaged only a combined 2.1 yards per carry. A Nick Rose 47 yard field goal and a big play by Armanti Foreman were the lone scores on the night for the Longhorns. The Texas offense had a tough time getting things going... Boykin was pressured all night by the Texas defense but managed to throw for 233 yards and two touchdowns. TCU running back Aaron Green led all rushers with 73 yards on 16 carries. The Horned Frogs out-gained the Longhorns in total yards 368-290. Senior wide receiver John Harris surpassed the 1000 yard receiving mark for the Longhorns, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since Jordan Shipley's 2009 season. TCU improves to 10-1 overall (7-1 Big 12) while the Longhorns finish the season at .500 (6-6 overall, 5-4 Big 12). The Longhorns are expected to receive an invitation to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis) or Advocare Texas Bowl (Houston). Stay tuned for more from our Matt Cotcher, who reported live from the press box at DKR tonight. Notes and tidbits from the post-game press conference
  22. After a poor week 2 performance against BYU, Texas played much better this week against a tough UCLA team. While the Longhorns didn't come away with a victory, the improvements from last week to this were evident in many areas of the team. Quarterback: For the second consecutive week, Tyrone Swoopes started the game off hot as he completed 11 straight passes. The Longhorns seemed to move the ball a little better at times and Swoopes even used his legs more than he did against BYU. As was the case last week, Swoopes was not a main reason that Texas lost to UCLA. He showed good poise, especially in the TD drive that put Texas ahead with five minutes remaining. Grade: B+ Tyrone Swoopes continues to impress and is slowly proving to the coaches that they can trust him more and more to open the playbook up. Running Back: The Texas Runningbacks played a better game last night than they did in week 2. Instead of constantly being stuffed at the line or in the backfield, the RBs were pushing forward for 4-6 yards after the first hit. Brown and Gray again were not called on often to catch the ball out of the backfield, but they weren't a liability either. They also did a good job of helping the line pass block and keep Swoopes off of the turf. Grade: B Brown and Gray showed growth from week 2 to week 3 in many areas. The Horns will need to continue to see the two five stars improve for the offense to get better. Wide Receivers/TEs: Both WRs and TEs played a better game at times. Marcus Johnson showed up and made several clutch catches, usually on hot slants, while Harris and Shipley continued to perform on a high level. The TEs, on the other hand, were again absent save for a two yard TD reception from MJ McFarland. Grade: B- The WRs are doing what they're being asked. The mistakes were limited, but the late drop was still costly. The TEs did block well, but will need to be more of a factor for the offense to continue to improve. Offensive Line: There were times that the line looked like they did against BYU, failing to get a good push and having difficulty protecting the QB. But like every other position on offense, it was easy to see that the line showed improvement since last week. There were more running lanes and a better push in general for the runningbacks and the pass protection was again good enough for the QB to have time to make his throws. Grade: C+ While the line still had their mistakes, they were limited and didn't seem to take points off the board. As the playbook continues to expand the line will need to prove that they can protect Swoopes longer than just a few seconds for short routes. Defensive Line: With Hundley out of the game after the first series, the defense had a prime opportunity to totally shut down the run and force UCLA to pass. Instead, the Bruins continued to run the read play even though Neuhiesel is a pocket passer with very little running skills. The line played well in the first half, helping to limit UCLA to just 3 points in the first half. But the third quarter problems popped up again, beginning with a 58 yard run on the first play of the third up the middle of the defense. The line made their fare share of plays, including another sack by Malcom Brown and a huge fumble recovery by Boyette. Grade: C The line played well at times, but giving up 217 yards on the ground to a team without their starting dual threat QB is inexcusable when you have guys like M. Brown and Reed. Linebackers: To the naked eye, Jordan Hicks played like a man on fire for most of the night. He really seemed to be flying around and involved or in the vicinity on nearly every tackle. Edmonds had his moments as well, including a huge strip late in the 4th. But, like the line, the LBs cannot allow the 217 rushing yards to a UCLA team without Hundley. That said, it was still a big improvement over last week's loss to BYU. Grade: C+ The boys are improving, but they've got to do a better job of closing the gaps and stopping the run. Defensive backs: On one hand, the secondary played well and limited UCLA to short passes within 3-10 yards of the line for much of the evening. On the other hand, when the game was on the line, the Longhorns allowed a 33 yard game winning TD catch on a pump and go to a redshirt sophomore backup QB with little game experience. Texas defensive backs played well for much of the evening, not allowing the WRs to beat them long (until the end) and keeping the short passes from turning into big yards as missed tackles were limited for much of the evening. Grade: B While the secondary gave up the big play, they covered well and forced UCLA to throw underneath for a majority of the night. Special Teams: Will Russ is really starting to come into his own. Russ boomed kicks and had a career high 62 yard punt. Unfortunately, it was a big Russ punt that turned into a game changer when his punt cleared coverage and allowed Ishmael Adams to return the ball to the 33 with 3:00 left, which set up the game winner on the next play. Field goals were better, but there was absolutely nothing in both punt and kick returns available for Texas. Grade: C- One bad punt coverage helped to cost the a Longhorns the game. You can never fault a punter for kicking the ball too far, but the coverage has to be better.
  23. Now that we have looked at the different positions on the offensive line, it’s important to know how they work together. The most common type of run play in college football is a ‘Zone Run’ and one of the most advantageous aspects of this play is that it can be executed from any formation, versus any defense. The only time a team should audible out of a zone run is when the defense is overloaded, making them too vulnerable to the pass. Before diving into Zone Combinations it’s important to understand the terminology that offenses use to identify defensive players. Defenders line up either on one of an offensive lineman’s shoulders or directly in front of him (also known as “Heads Upâ€) (fig 1). These different defensive placements have corresponding numbers to help coaches and players recognize the defensive fronts. Each O-Line position is assigned an even number that correlates to the heads-up position of the defender. The other spaces on the offensive line follow a similar pattern on both sides (fig 2) (many teams like to use a tight end in their formations but for the purpose of this article we will only be discussing a five-man offensive line). Most defenses align their ‘3 Technique’ on the same side as the running back to minimize the amount of ground linebackers have to cover (fig 3). In most instances, the linebackers will shift opposite of the defensive line to ‘balance’ the defense. As you know from previous Chalk Talk articles, the first step of a successfully blocked play is identifying ‘Mike’ (the pivotal linebacker). Once done, the offensive line can then call the corresponding zone combinations; the first call will always be how or who should effectively block the Mike (fig 4). Each team will have varying rules and will handle their calls slightly different, but all teams will first account for the Mike. The general rule that offensive linemen follow is that if you’re covered (in a zone run), that defender is yours and if you are uncovered, then you work with the lineman back-side of you (fig 5). Zone combinations are broken into two different kinds, ‘front-side’ and ‘back-side’. The front-side refers to the side of the offensive formation to which the ball is intended to go. If the play is called to the left side of the offense the Left Tackle, Guard, and the Center would be considered ‘Front Side’. The backside however, is the key to the success of the run. These combinations are most important because when running the zone, the backs are taught to “Read the Three†and react based upon how they play the block. In the ‘Gun’ formation the running back will almost always line up on the backside of the play in order to allow the QB to hand him the ball easily. Generally front-side zone combinations are identified by three letter words and back-side combinations are identified by four letter words. For example, if the center and front-side guard are working together to block a ‘1 Technique’ [see fig 2] they would make a three letter call like “Cog†or “Cig†(Center and Guard). If the back-side tackle and guard are working together to block a ‘3 Technique’ [see fig 2] they would call a four letter word like “Grit†or “Goat†(Guard and Tackle). For younger offensive lineman the concept of blocking just half of a defensive lineman seems foreign, but fortunately, there’s a ‘little’ tool that offensive line coaches use to teach a successful zone block called the Rae Crowther Sled. --(yes… your High School Coach used this piece of equipment wrong)-- With extensive knowledge and a great Coach, an offensive-line can block a Zone Run against a three, four, or five man front. They can run the Zone with or without a tight end and they can run it with or without the read. The Zone is successfully executed with teamwork and great communication. An offensive line that has only one of these two skills will not be a successful blocking unit. Remember, there are no poor play calls… only poor blocking.
  24. Each week of the season HornSports will take a look at the major storylines and games being played in the Big 12. This piece will pay particular attention to the games that have the most impact on Texas and the Horns' positioning in the conference. In Week 1, every team has a clean slate and the conference race hasn't even started. With that in mind, here are the major headlines from the Big 12 offseason: The new Big 12 logo While a new logo might not mean much, it retired a symbol of upheaval and instability that had 4 teams leave the conference and 2 teams added to the conference. With no substantial conference realignment talk this past offseason, it's was time for a new image and symbol to represent the Big 12. Oklahoma adds DGB to the roster The Sooners added the playmaker wide receiver after he was dismissed from Missouri after multiple arrests. The Sooners expected that Dorial Green-Beckham will be eligible to play this season. The NCAA decided otherwise and denied his waiver for immediate eligibility. It has yet to be determined if he will be back in Oklahoma in 2015. Joe Mixon out for the 2014 season Joe Mixon was involved in an offseason altercation at a Norman, OK establishment and has been suspended for the 2014 season. Mixon, a true freshman, will redshirt this season and get his legal affairs in order. Baylor returns Bryce Petty In a relatively weak quarterback draft class, many sports journalists believed that Bryce Petty would forgo his senior year and opt for the NFL Draft. He decided to stay in Waco. This helped Baylor's preseason perception and ranking. Chris Flanagan's Preseason Big 12 Football Rankings 1. Oklahoma 2. Baylor 3. Kansas State 4. Oklahoma State 5. Texas 6. Texas Tech 7. West Virginia 8. TCU 9. Iowa State 10. Kansas Analysis: The Oklahoma Sooners are the clear favorite this preseason much to the chagrin of Texas fans. Oklahoma has a very good defense, an improved quarterback and a great running attack. Baylor is the only team that on paper can challenge the Sooners this year. With their match-up not until November, the Big 12 race might well be decided on that game. 3-6 is a toss up. West Virginia and TCU will fight it out for 7th. Iowa State might challenge them but right now, it's unclear if they will. Kansas rounds out the list because no matter what they seem to do, they never can put it together. Big 12 Game(s) of the Week for Week 1 (Time (CST), TV, Location): West Virginia vs Alabama (2:30pm, ABC, Atlanta, GA) Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (7:00pm, ABC, Arlington, TX) Why are these games important? Week 1 is always an important week of the football season. For most teams, it's a tune up game to see how much the team has improved from last season. The Big 12 will have two games against the AP preseason #1 and #2 to start the season. No one is expecting these two Big 12 teams to win. If one or both of those teams pull the upset, it will be huge to the perception of the Big 12. More than likely, neither of them will win the game. However, if both teams can keep it close, it will help the perception of the Big 12 as well. These Big 12 teams are representing the conference and if they do well, the Big 12 champion could secure themselves a spot in the College Football Playoff. Other Big 12 games (Time (CST), TV, Location) North Dakota State vs Iowa State (11:00am, Cyclones.tv, Ames, IA) Samford vs. TCU (6:00pm, Fox Sports Net, Fort Worth, TX) Central Arkansas vs Texas Tech (6:00pm, Texas Tech TV on Fox, Lubbock, TX) Louisiana Tech vs. Oklahoma (6:00pm, PPV, Norman, OK) Stephen F. Austin vs. Kansas State (6:10pm, K-StateHD.TV, Manhattan, KS) SMU vs. Baylor (Sunday August 31st @ 6:30pm, Fox Sports 1, Waco, TX)
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