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Burnt Ends - 1/9/2017

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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.




San Antonio Reagan OL Derek Kertstetter wasn’t a huge name in recruiting circles when he flipped his commitment from Oklahoma State to Texas.  The Army All-American was overshadowed throughout the week by five star names on both sides of the ball.  It came as a shock to some that Kertstetter was listed as a starter for the West team.  The Texas commit just lined up and destroyed the man across from him more times than not.  “It was great,” Kertstetter told us afterwards.  “It was just great to see what I was going to face at the next level, and it’s been a lot of fun to play against everyone here.”


Kertstetter started at guard, but he also played several series at the center position.  That versatility will help him throughout his college career, but he said the Texas staff hasn’t nailed him down on a position yet.  “They have not said.  Anywhere I can play is fine with me.”  Kertstetter is slated to visit Austin on January 13th, and he’s looking forward to the visit.  “Just to be in the atmosphere at Texas and get to have meetings with them.  I’m just looking to enjoy myself in Austin, so it will be fun.”  The former Oklahoma State commitment flipped to Texas just a few weeks ago.  The lifelong Texan said some state pride went into the decision.  “I wanted to be able to represent the state of Texas and play in front of my friends and family.  It’s an honor to be able to represent them.” 


Kertstetter is still getting to know the other recruits in the class, but he has had some contact with the class leader.  “I’ve talked to a couple of them.  I’ve talked to Sam (Ehlinger) some and it’s exciting.  You can tell they are all really good guys.”  Kertstetter acknowledged that Ehlinger is the lead recruiter in this class, but he said he didn’t get pressure from his future quarterback.  “Not a ton, he was just cool with me.  He was just nice, and you can tell he’s a good guy.”



Lancaster (TX) WR Omar Manning didn’t get to show his skills at the Army All-American game.  The elite wide receiver was dealing with a hamstring injury that’s nagged him since competing at the Opening in the summer.  The competitor in him thought about putting on the pads at halftime and coming out for the second half, but Lancaster’s head coach Chris Gilbert was on the West staff, and he talked him down.  For Manning, it was disappointing not to compete.  The TCU commit visited Austin before the dead period began, and he told us all about it.  “It was good.  I got a chance to talk to the coaches and catch up with a few of the players.” 


Manning is getting attention from all the Texas coaches, but he has a connection with Drew Mehringer reaching back to his sophomore year.  “He’s been recruiting me since my sophomore year when he was at Houston.  They were one of my first offers.  He used to come to our school all the time, because we had Demarcus Ayers who played at U of H.  He coached him, and he’s familiar with me so we have a good relationship.” 


Manning also has a connection with new Texas offensive coordinator Tim Beck from his time being recruited to Ohio State.  “He recruited me to Ohio State and showed me a lot of love.  He kept communicating with me, and that’s the same thing he’s doing now that he’s at Texas.” 


Manning is still committed to TCU, but he definitely has some decisions to make.  He’s pondering taking a few more visits including Baylor and Ole Miss, but he hopes to have a decision finalized soon.  “I plan to lock things down before signing day,” said Manning.




Quick notes on a couple of prospects in this class.


2017 Cedar Hill WR Charleston Rambo is still on the board, and if he visits Austin things could get interesting.  We connected with a few sources this weekend who maintained that while Rambo likes Texas, he’s deeply entrenched with Oklahoma.  As of now we still think it is too little too late for the Longhorns.


There’s been some talk that Temple DE Taquon Graham could be looking to make a move before signing day.  We spoke with a high level source close to Graham this weekend who said that Texas is still in a really strong position, and Graham likes the relationship he’s building with Oscar Giles.  The source said he feels confident that his official visit next week could lock it down for good.




We spoke to a number of underclassmen at the Army All-American underclassmen combine to get the latest on where Texas stood with them.


2018 Allen OL Trey Stratford already holds a Texas offer, and he showed up to the combine in a Longhorn hoodie.  We spoke briefly with Stratford during a break in the camp, and he was not shy about professing his feelings for Texas.  “It was a dream come true when I first got the offer.  I’ve always been a Longhorn fan from the moment I was born.  All my family are Longhorn fans, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity.”


Derek Warehime is the lead recruiter for Stratford, and he’s had a lot of contact with the talented lineman.  “He’s told me that he thinks I’m going to grow a bit and be an offensive tackle, and he really needs guys like me that do well in the classroom.  He needs guys that are natural born leaders..  Stratford told us he’s hearing from TCU, Oklahoma State, and LSU as well.  Stratford doesn’t know an exact date for his decision, but he does have a goal in mind.  “I plan to have a decision made by the start of the season, because I don’t want to distract my team.  That might not happen because I’ve only got to take one official visit to SMU, and I haven’t been out to see that many places so it might not happen.”


Stratford is planning to visit Oklahoma State, Texas, and SMU for junior days but he’s open to hearing from more schools.  It’s early, but you have to like where Texas sits for this one.




2019 Coppell DB Jonathan McGill is a name to know for the future.  We saw the talented sophomore at the underclassmen combine, and he impressed for the most part.  McGill is coming off of a big season, and he’s starting to see recruiting attention pick up.  “I’m hearing from TCU, Oklahoma State, OU, and I’ve been in contact with SMU ever since they offered me.”  McGill hasn’t heard from the Texas staff yet, but he did grow up a fan of the Longhorns.  “Growing up in Texas you always like Texas, you always like TCU and the local area schools.  TCU has been a favorite since I’ve been growing up, and so has Texas.”  Expect McGill to be a big name by the time he’s a senior.




2020 Southlake Carroll DB RJ Mickens didn’t look like a freshman in 1 on 1’s at the combine.  The son of former Aggie Ray Mickens had a big freshman season and earned 1st team all district honors.  He’s already starting to see offers com his way, and he’s poised to be one of the best in his class.  “Oklahoma State, Arizona, Oklahoma, and UCLA are recruiting me right now.”  Mickens hasn’t heard from the Texas staff, but he said he would definitely be interested to.  Growing up with a father who played at A&M doesn’t automatically have him locked in for College Station.  “He played, and the games were always on.  I like Texas.  I like A&M too, but I also like Texas.”  It’s very early on this one, but remember the name in a few years.




Dallas Carter DE Jarell Cherry held an offer from the previous Texas staff, and we got the chance to catch up with him in San Antonio after his combine performance.  “Overall the combine went well, and now I’m just ready for 1 on 1’s.”  Cherry hasn’t heard from the new Texas staff yet, but he’s not too worried about that.  “They’ve been focusing on the 2017 class, but I’m sure they’ll be getting in touch with us soon.”  Herman’s staff at Houston recruited cherry, but his primary recruiter was Major Applewhite.  Cherry looks like a great fit as an outside linebacker in Todd Orlando’s defense, and we expect communication to pick up with him after signing day.



West Mesquite DB Dayven Coleman is hard to miss when you see him.  The big DB with recognizable hair and a big smile showed up ready to ball.  Coleman told us that he’s hearing from a lot of schools recently, including Texas.  “I’ve been talking to Texas a lot.  Syracuse is getting ready to offer me.  I’ve been talking to Colorado, LSU, Alabama, Florida, TCU, and SMU.”  Coleman told us he’s hearing most from Craig Naivar at Texas, and he plans to make a junior day visit to Austin.




Prestonwood Christian DB Jeremiah Lewis is a familiar face to HornSports.  The 2018 playmaker crosses our path at many events, and we saw him once again this week.  Lewis locked down the competition in 1 on 1’s, and we spoke to him shortly after his testing was complete.  “I felt I did well.  I had a decent vertical.  I think I did alright.”   Lewis was hearing from Texas and Houston before the coaching change, but he’s still hearing from Texas since he was previously recruited at Houston.  Lewis says he hears most from cornerback coach Jason Washington, and he’s also hearing from TCU and Oklahoma State.  Lewis plans to hit junior day for Texas and Oklahoma State, and he will compete in the Opening regional in Dallas.




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I'm sorry about this being off topic but I can't find anywhere else to post.

I'm in the second month in row of not being able to access Sirhornsalot monthly landscape topic. I get a "sorry can't reach that page"


This is only post I get this push back. Can someone check it out? Judging from amount of replies, I don't think I'm the only one unable to access his content I want to read.

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Here ya go, minus the photos



Beware the cold, dry winter!
Weather has trended dry in much of Texas during December, with January the driest month still ahead

One of the last things most folks want to think about during the month of January is their landscape. After all, it’s cold out there. lol . . well, sometimes it is.

One of the things we have to look at each month is what the previous month brought us. The southeastern and northeastern parts of Texas received ample rainfall during December. The rest of the state did not. So much of Texas is a little dry right now.

No big deal, right? It’s January, what can go wrong?

January happens to be the driest month on the calendar. Its even more dry than the month of July albeit just slightly. So this can represent a problem for us coming off a very dry December. Compounding this problem is the fact that with these winter cold fronts that don’t have much moisture do have a lot of wind. So the landscape can get very dry and at risk during this month.

For those of you who turned your sprinkler systems off before Christmas – get them turned back on. Program them for once a week at at least 15 minutes per zone (spray heads). If you do not have a freeze sensor included with your system, you’ll want to make sure you do not start a cycle or let a cycle run when its freezing weather.

Dry turf, dry soil in freezing weather is a very bad set up. Small trees, your turf, your bedding plants can all suffer damage or death in this situation. Simply have wet soil can be the difference in life or death for your plants and trees.

That said, if you have beds with desert plants such as yucca or cactus, you’ll want to avoid watering them at all during the winter. Their instincts cause them to soak up water as much as they can when water is made available. So we want to keep them dry as possible during freezing weather.

We’ll get back to winter preparations later in this column. For now, lets move over to the bread and butter of January . . . . topdressings and aeration.


Winter Topdressing and Aeration

Sping and summer lawns are made – or not – during the late winter. Thats right. It all starts in January. What we do later this month will go far in how lawns perform over the season.

Each year we perform lawn aeration and compost topdressings in late January and early February. In the past, we’ve used dairy cow manure compost to topdress our customers’ lawns. However, this year we’ll change over to Cotton Burr Compost instead. It is always good to mix up things rather than repeating the same things over and over.

Cotton Burr Compost is an amazing product. Its loaded with nutrients, enzymes and microbes that are instrumental in turning an average lawn into an above average lawn. Its got that kind of impact. The product contains nothing but composted cotton plant waste so there’s no manure compost odor to deal with.

Cotton Burr Compost also conditions and soften clay soils, which is especially helpful for homeowners in Texas where clay is so common.

What is aeration and why do we combine it with topdressing? Aeration is where we use a machine and create thousands of little holes, approximately 4†in depth, in the lawn soil. This allows oxygen into the soil which revives it. It also allows organic matter, such as the topdressing, to filter into the soil. Remember, the more organic matter the better.

By doing this in late winter, the nutrients will be in place right when they need to be – early spring, when the turf begins coming out of dormancy.


First Pre Emergent Application of the Year

We finish off our topdressing and aeration by applying the first round of pre emergent of the season. We get it down early so that its in place when weed seeds begin germinating in February. This in effect reduces the number of weeds in the lawn during the spring season. The only function pre emergent has is to sterilize soil. It does not kill weeds and will not prevent existing weeds from re-emerging from dormancy (such as crab grass will do). It will however prevent new weeds from forming from seed germination.

When applied three to four times a year at strategic times, you create a cleaner lawn and less need of post emergent applications for weeds.

The heavier the ratio, the more protection you will get for your lawn. So applying lightly will only have minimal effect on reducing weeds. You will want to get a product that continues to work for 60 to 90 days once applied. Remember to water it in immediately after you’ve applied.


Winter Protection and Preparation

In places as far north as Dallas-Ft Worth, winter weather will get so extreme that protecting some of the landscape becomes necessary. We like to use “freeze blankets†which are specifically made to protect plants and keep the temperature below the blanket a full five to seven degrees warmer. These blankets are easily installed in minutes.

We use what are called “lawn staples†to help secure the blankets to the ground. However, it is also good to use heavy items such as small boulders to help anchor the blankets at the ground on each side of the shrub line. The blankets cover the shrubs and protect the foliage.

Freeze blankets are made of synthetic material and will last several winters. There are many styles, including some long enough to cover sections of shrubs and others including one that will cover a single shrub.

What do you need to protect? And for how long? When you know a cold front or winter storm is coming, install the freeze blankets. After the front has passed and when temperatures moderate again, remove them. You do not want them on the shrubs any longer than they have to be.

You will want to pay special attention to covering shrubs on any north-facing landscape and to a lesser extent an east or west-facing landscape. Shrubs such as Pittisporums, Azaleas and even Boxwoods can suffer damage. So its best to get them covered and protected.


Replenish Mulch

After the leaves have been cleaned up a few times over the past month, you may have lost some of the mulch that has been protecting the plants in your bed and providing a nice look. Now would be a good time to get those beds replenished with mulch. If you have small weeds trying to come up, remember to remove them before you put down additional mulch.

If you still have leaves accumulated in the beds or around the property, you need to remove those first. They are a fire hazard and are unsightly. If you can, compost them. If you’re not into that sort of thing, someone in your neighborhood probably is and would be glad to accept your organic waste donation to their compost.


Off-Season Repairs

Now is a great time to get your equipment out and make necessary repairs. Gas powered Blowers, weed-eaters, edgers and mowers will often need their plugs changed. Air filters should be changed. And change the oil. You should also remove and sharpen your mower blades at this time. If you’re not equipped to do this yourself, you can take them to your local mower shop and they will sharpen them for you at a nominal charge. You should sharpen your blades at least once a year and preferably twice a year (again at mid-season).

Fill up your gas tanks with gas (or gas/oil mix if appropriate) and mix in a product called “Stabil†which will reduce or remove the chances of condensation forming inside the tank. Condensation leaves water in the fuel which causes poor performance.

Crank up your equipment after making these maintenance repairs to make sure they operate properly.

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