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Burnt Ends - 11/07/16


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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.

 

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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.

 

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Three weeks ago it seemed that Charlie Strong was headed for the end of his final season following an embarrassing loss to Kansas State.  Two weeks ago that seemed to still be the case despite a win at home over Baylor.  The Longhorns’ win over Texas Tech in Lubbock put the brakes on the winds of change.  Despite a pretty strong feeling from everyone we talked to that Charlie Strong would not make it out alive, we’ve never had the feeling that people in the program were rooting for that outcome.  The people we spoke with (almost to a man) expressed a great desire for Charlie to figure things out and turn it around.  The embattled head coach hasn’t been able to sustain any real momentum on the field, but he’s well liked and doing great things on the recruiting trail.  Several other sites reported that 7-5 would probably be enough to save Charlie’s job, and we can confirm the same information after speaking with a few sources this past weekend.  There’s definitely a vocal group behind Strong, including Athletic Director Mike Perrin.  One source told us they were just praying for Charlie to make things simple by either winning out (8-4) to keep his job, or losing to West Virginia and TCU (6-6) to make the decision to move on easy.

 

The negative feeling around the program was palpable following losses to Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Kansas State, but the vibes were considerably more positive following the first Texas road win of the season.  The bottom line is that the growing sentiment all around the program is that barring a 3 game losing streak to end the season, or horrific blowout losses to TCU and West Virginia, Charlie Strong will return for 2017.  Strong has the support of the administration, his players, and a good number of influential donors still on his side, and what once looked like a certain coaching search could be saved if Texas wins two of the next three.

 

Both sides of the argument are well represented on message boards and twitter.

 

The argument for Charlie Strong: A big turnaround on the brink of failure, including improvement to the defense once he took over, and cemented by another strong ending to the recruiting class.  His recruiting pitch, “I know what people are saying about me.  They said it about me two years ago, and they said it about me last year, and I’m still here.  We’ve turned the corner, and we have a quarterback.  We had a Heisman finalist at running back (hopefully), and we won X of our last Y games.  We’re going to win the Big 12 next year.  Come be a part of it.”

The argument against Charlie Strong: No matter the number of wins, youth and experience won’t fix the glaring game management issues that plagued this team this season.  The talent level in the Big 12 is down this season, and the banner wins (Notre Dame, Baylor, Texas Tech) are against some pretty average teams.  There was a noted lack of development in some of the young players, and the maximum number of road wins attainable is 2. 

Of course we’ve seen the mood of the program and fans swing back and forth depending on wins and losses, but as of right now there’s some serious optimism budding in Bellmont. 

 

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There isn’t much recruiting news available at this point, but we thought we’d give you some quick notes we picked up from the weekend and a look at the current recruiting class.  November is typically when Strong and his staff start to amp things up in the recruiting realm, and we’d expect some more on that front in the coming weeks.  We did learn that Texas was in contact with Wylie East running back Eno Benjamin over the weekend.  Texas coach Jeff Traylor reached out to Benjamin to establish a line of communications to the former Iowa commit.  Benjamin was hot on Texas early in the process, but the Longhorns never offered.  The Longhorns will still continue to chase JK Dobbins, but an argument could be made that two running backs are needed in this class.  We’ll stay on this during the coming weeks, because if things pick up with Benjamin we could see Texas jump into the mix of his recruitment.

 

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Recruits, fans, and reporters have been in a holding pattern since the questions started about Charlie Strong’s job.  We talked to a number of people this weekend to find out where things stand with the Texas class and targets.  We’ve also identified some possible offers to look out for.

 

Quarterback

 

Commits: Sam Ehlinger – Austin Westlake

On the radar: Bryson Smith – John Tyler

Summary: Ehlinger is cemented in place as the next in line at quarterback, and the leader of this class.  The Longhorns don’t need another quarterback in this class, but John Tyler’s Bryson Smith could be looked at as an ATH/QB option.  The Houston commit is a Greg Ward clone, and he’s very close with Texas commit Damion Miller. 

 

Running Back

 

Commits: None

On the radar: JK Dobbins – La Grange, Eno Benjamin – Wylie East

Summary: Texas probably needs two backs if D’Onta Foreman goes pro after the season.  They could go with Eno Benjamin, and continue to chase JK Dobbins.  Dobbins is an early enrollee, so Texas will be on a truncated timetable, and they are not doing well in this recruitment currently.  Benjamin is also an early enrollee, and though we think he’d probably jump at the offer, Texas needs to get involved soon.  They might need to identify some other targets including the JUCO ranks.

 

Wide Receiver

 

Commits: Damion Miller – John Tyler

On the radar: Charleston Rambo – Cedar Hill, RJ Sneed – Cypress Ranch

Summary: The Longhorns lost out on Jalen Reagor and Omar Manning in the span of a week.  Wide Receiver isn’t a huge need at this point, but the Longhorns could stand to add some more depth.  Charleston Rambo is one of the best players in the state, and Texas is well aware of him.  RJ Sneed would jump on a Texas offer quickly from what we understand.

 

Offensive Line

 

Commits: None

On the radar: Walker Little – Belaire Episcopal, Chuck Filliaga – Aledo, Adrian Ealy – East Acension (LA)

Summary: Texas is playing a bit of Russian roulette with this position.  After losing Xavier Newman to Colorado, Texas finds themselves with no players on the line, and Walker Little is just about the only recruit they can feel somewhat good about.  Texas received some good feedback from Filliaga, but he’s almost out of official visits.  3 seems like the minimum number here, so the staff might have to start identifying some other targets.

 

Defensive End

 

Commits: Taquon Graham – Temple, LaGaryonn Carson – Liberty Eylau

On the radar: K’Lavon Chaisson – North Shore, Alec Jackson – Jeff Davis (AL), Ryan Johnson – St. Paul (AL)

Summary: If the Longhorns can finish strong they have a great chance of selling K’Lavon Chaisson on being the missing piece of this defense.  Chaisson is a dynamic pass rusher built for the FOX position.  Texas probably needs to add more depth at the strong end in the event Carson doesn’t make it to campus.

 

Defensive Tackle

 

Commits: None

On the radar: Marvin Wilson – Bellaire Episcopal

Summary: Expect to see some targets identified down the line, but right now the Longhorns are all in on Wilson.  We still believe that Texas sits in a strong position if Charlie Strong is retained.  The Longhorns have the Wilson family in their corner, and if they can get Walker Little it can’t hurt.

 

Linebacker

 

Commits: None

On the radar: Baron Browning – Kennedale, Anthony Hines – Plano East, Levi Jones – Austin Westlake

 

 

Summary: What once looked like a clean sweep is now a bit up in the air.  Anthony Hines and Baron Browning will decide in the next few weeks, and neither has taken an official visit to Texas.  For Browning it might not be that big of a deal, but we aren’t hearing good things about the Hines recruitment.  Levi Jones seems like a situation that can be won in the offseason.

 

Defensive Back

 

Commits: Kobe Boyce – Lake Dallas, Josh Thompson – Nacogdoches, Montrell Estell – Hooks

On the radar: Chevin Calloway – Bishop Dunne, Kary Vincent Jr. – Port Arthur Memorial

Summary: Boyce had his moments where it looked like he might open things up, but he appears to be firm as of now.  Thompson is locked into his commitment, and he will remain even more so if Texas retains Strong.  The Longhorns like Boyce as a field corner with Thompson playing the boundary side.  Estell remains all in thanks to Jeff Traylor’s recruiting.  Calloway and Vincent are both attainable, but neither are slam dunks.  If Texas decides to stand pat they will have a pretty nice group of secondary talent.

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If Charlie can keep up the mojo -- yes that is still a big if but keeping the hope alive -- this year will end like last year IMO.

 

Little, Wilson and Browning would be of course epic, But Dobbins would be the mvp to me. Man, if we finish Strong and reel him in, too ... can you imagine Foreman/Warren and Dobbins? Thunder Smash and Lightening.

 

Maybe a nasty early winter jort-filled visit to Ohio State will do the trick. 

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If Charlie can keep up the mojo -- yes that is still a big if but keeping the hope alive -- this year will end like last year IMO.

 

Little, Wilson and Browning would be of course epic, But Dobbins would be the mvp to me. Man, if we finish Strong and reel him in, too ... can you imagine Foreman/Warren and Dobbins? Thunder Smash and Lightening.

 

Maybe a nasty early winter jort-filled visit to Ohio State will do the trick.

Dobbins took his OV to Ohio State this past weekend.

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