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Burnt Ends (1-26)

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The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point and select edges off a whole brisket and return them to the smoker.

 

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

 

Rather than discard 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.

 

***DO NOT FORWARD***

 

 

We’ll start things off with Texas fans favorite topic – Kyler Murray…

 

According to one of our best baseball guys, Charlie Strong privately asked Augie Garrido to help him in Murray’s recruitment. The good news for the Longhorns is that the two Texas coaches collaborating seems to have worked.

 

What we were told is that Murray will pass on MLB if he thinks that he can win a National Championship in college. Never one to shy from expectations, Texas currently has the roster to do it according to Garrido. Basically, the baseball team is really close to getting their next one and now Kyler knows it.

 

Before Garrido’s current contract runs out, all involved believes they will have another piece of hardware for the trophy room. And for those unaware, Garrido’s contract extension runs through the 2017 season…which fits nicely with Murray becoming draft eligible after the 2018 season.

 

In summary, the baseball deal definitely is working in the Horns favor.

 

+++++

 

One interesting side note to the hardball story: we were told that Murray did not meet with the baseball team when he was in town last week. How long these conversations have been happening, as well as where & how they've taken place are all things that sources aren’t comfortable divulging yet.

 

+++++

 

Greg Abbott didn’t waste any time getting involved in UT affairs. As publically reported, Texas’ new governor went straight to work, appointing three people to both the UT and A&M Boards of Regents. For UT, Steve Hicks was re-appointed, and Abbott selected David Beck and Sara Martinez Tucker. Hicks, Beck, and Tucker are all Texas Exes.

 

Other than that Tucker is from Dallas and runs the National Math and Science Initiative, her background and qualifications are standard for a nominee to the BOR. Working for the US Department of Education, running the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and being a graduate of UT will work together to earn a notable position.

 

Hicks and Beck are more interesting where UT athletics is concerned. Beck is currently on the Athletics Council, like Hicks was when he was appointed. Another commonality that they share is their history of supporting Bill Powers.

 

Digging a bit deeper, HornSports was tipped that Beck is representing Wickline in his suit with OSU; that he represents UT in the Bev Kearney case; and also represented UT in their suit to get the Farrah Fawcett painting from Ryan O’Neil. Nothing extraordinary about those connections, but they are interesting nonetheless.

 

+++++

 

Back to recruiting…5* running back Soso Jamabo also plays basketball. In addition to playing at Plano West, Jamabo also plays for the Texas Titans (AAU). The way it was described to the site is that Jamabo knows football will pay the bills, but hoops is his first love.

 

Apparently, Plano West basketball games are good opportunities to catch bits about Jamabo’s recruitment. According to one of our sources, Soso told his teammates he was going to pick Texas.  That same source also heard at the game that Jamabo didn’t know where Kyler Murray was going to school but that he planned on trying to get Murray to go Texas with him.

 

+++++

 

There are all kinds of theories on which recruits might be conspiring together to make sure the deck is stacked in their favor. The two most popular versions are that Kyler Murray & Co. are not serious about playing for the Horns and this is a giant troll (A&M version); the 2ndtheory is that Kyler Murray, DeMarkus Lodge, Daylon Mack, and Soso Jamabo are all talking to each other behind the scenes to maximize a commitment en masse to UT.

 

In the world of recruiting, prospects definitely share insights with each other. Typically though, that is as far as recruits go. Blue chippers understand that picking a school is a business decision, and thus tend not to pressure each other in any particular direction. It’s not an “every man for himself” mindset – instead it’s, “I’ll do what’s best for me and you do what’s best for you.”

 

With that in mind, we tended toward dismissing the rumors of the final 7-8 prospects on Texas’ board coordinating their recruitments….until we heard from a recruit that took an official visit at UT this past weekend.

 

"Don't underestimate the power of guys getting together and making plans.”

 

Whoa!

 

In the unwritten code of conduct book for recruiting, the only thing that ranks higher than recruits allowing each other to make their own decision is that recruits don’t betray the trust of other recruits. With that in mind, the statement above is a massive hint at what is going on behind the scenes on the 40 Acres.

 

And while it’s no secret that recruits hear things early – many times before coaches even know anything – this Texas class of commits is no different.  It’s apparent after talking to multiple recruits that they are talking amongst themselves. Several guys mentioned that they needed to keep things close to the vest, but one recruit mentioned the possibility of landing the big-name guys that took official visits this past weekend and the weekend before is:

 

“High....Very High.”

 

+++++

 

If you like foreshadowing then you’ll be a fan of one of the things that Texas running back commitment Tristian Houston told us after his official visit this past weekend. When we asked him about having an opportunity to interact with the other commitments in Austin over the weekend, Houston said:

 

“This class is a great one with great people coming.”

 

The second half of that statement is pretty interesting, especially when viewed in context with the official visitor’s quote in the section before this one. At this point, it seems clear that there is quite a bit going on under the surface, and right now only recruits and the Texas coaching staff know all the details.

 

Houston was one of a handful of commitments on hand over the weekend. We picked up on an unexpected trend in our conversations with visitors – most of the guys specifically named Houston when talking about who they bonded with while in Austin. For example, a current commitment that was in attendance this weekend on Tristian Houston: 

 

“You can tell he’s a mature, disciplined player just by looking at him."

 

+++++

 

Another name that rolled off a lot of tongues was Soso Jamabo. Since Jamabo had a prior commitment in Plano over the weekend, he tripped to Austin at the end of the week.

 

Even though Jamabo was wrapping his visit up when most of the other recruits arrived, one recruit told us:

 

“We hung out and talked a lot.  Since he got there early, he had a little time to soak it in before us.  He can play wideout or running back and his athleticism is so natural. He’s a freak.” 

 

Another commit told us Texas fans should feel very good about Jamabo’s interest in UT. The exact words used were:

 

“They [fans] have nothing to worry about. He [Jamabo] will be a Horn.”

 

+++++

 

Rumors about academics persist about Devonaire Clarington, Ronnie Major, and Anthony Wheeler. While Clarington made public comments that he is now fully qualified, and Wheeler is working hard to make his grades, we continue to hear that Major isn’t just a grade risk.

 

“He [Major] isn’t gonna make it. Not happening.”

 

Along with those three, there’s a new name that you can add to this category – Junior College wide receiver Dominique Reed. According to our source, Byrd’s situation sounds similar to that of Wheeler’s. In other words, Byrd has grade issues but is doing what it takes to make them right.

 

+++++

 

Last week was a busy one for Maryland signal caller Kai Locksley. After an in-home visit from Shawn Watson, Locksley flew to Austin for an official visit weekend with the Horns.

 

After his in-home with Watson, HornSports caught up with Locksley, who told us that he had 5 factors that he needed to see first-hand over the weekend. That list would help him compare Texas to Florida State, where he’s been committed since mid-Summer last year. The only factor Locksley was willing to reveal last week was the Texas playbook and scheme – he needed to hear, in person, what Texas plans to do on offense this season.

 

When we caught Locksley after his official visit, we asked whether Texas hit on all 5 factors? Per Locksley, “they absolutely did.”  In addition to playbook & scheme, Locksley was interested in his comfort level with the team, the campus & dorms, playing time, and, as he termed it, the “supporting cast.”

 

Texas fans will be even more encouraged by Locksley’s follow up comment:

 

“They checked off what I was hoping to see and more.”

 

As a follow-up, we asked Locksley if Texas gave him a lot to think about: 

 

“They definitely did but they've been in my ear since I committed and wanted a visit. I decided to do so and it really clicked down there for me.”

 

Since it’s late in the game, Locksley already scheduled in-home visits with both FSU and Texas for later this week. In addition to hearing from both coaching staffs one last time, we asked Locksley if there was anything specific he’ll be focusing on this week:

 

“I have to compare and contrast opportunities in small detail – I will do that with my family.”

 

When pressed about which small details he’d be most focused on, the two he listed first were, “coaching staffs” and “playing time”.

 

None of those answers made it sound like he was still committed to FSU, so we asked him if he already knows where he plans to commit. He told us that he wasn’t sure and that he will know by this weekend after in-homes, but that he does have a clear leader in his mind.

 

One final note on Locksley…several outlets have linked him to Tallahassee wideout John Burt. After committing to the Horns only to decommit later, during an in-home visit from the Texas coaches on Monday, Burt, again, pledged to the Horns.

 

We circled back with Locksley to see if he knew about Burt’s commitment and whether it might impact his choice between Texas and FSU. Locksley’s reply was short and simple:

 

“That’s my boy.”

 

+++++

 

We’ll close this edition with a few snippets from our conversation with Charles Omenihu. Always personable, Omenihu is another commitment that took his official visit over the weekend and bent the ear of some of the recruits on hand.

 

When we asked if he had an opportunity to talk to Kai Locksley, Omenihu mentioned  that he has been talking with Locksley quite a bit, even before Locksley’s visit to Austin.  After that noteworthy tidbit, Omenihu cut loose with, “Kai’s my dude. He’s my dude!”

 

Even though he didn’t enroll early, Omenihu is working hard to ensure that he arrives in Austin ready to play. He told us he visualizes a depth chart and isn’t coming to Texas to sit on the bench. 

 

“I’m coming to take spots.”

 

Omenihu is a solid commitment, but Charlie Strong still scheduled a visit to the Omenihu home for this Wednesday.

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What I find funny is that so many adults are hanging on the every action/tweet of 17/18 yr old kids.  "What did he 'really' say with that tweet?" "I think we can read that he is now leaning towards Univ of X because he retweeted that guy."   I'm telling you, I have both a 17 and an 18 yr old, and I chuckle at some of their decisions. 

 

Either these kids are going to come to Texas or they aren't. 

 

Also, I'm not a huge fan of the production of these commitment announcements.  We don't even know if they'll be making a meaningful difference on the field in 3 years. How about these kids just be happy they have an offer from a D1 University to play the sport they love? 

 

OK, mini-rant over.  ;)

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Great write-up and info, but the statement, "represented UT in their suit to get the Marilyn Monroe painting from Ryan O’Neil" should be Farrah Fawcett painting.

 

Let him go, he's on a roll. 

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What I find funny is that so many adults are hanging on the every action/tweet of 17/18 yr old kids.  "What did he 'really' say with that tweet?" "I think we can read that he is now leaning towards Univ of X because he retweeted that guy."   I'm telling you, I have both a 17 and an 18 yr old, and I chuckle at some of their decisions. 

 

Either these kids are going to come to Texas or they aren't. 

 

Also, I'm not a huge fan of the production of these commitment announcements.  We don't even know if they'll be making a meaningful difference on the field in 3 years. How about these kids just be happy they have an offer from a D1 University to play the sport they love? 

 

OK, mini-rant over.  ;)

Well, what an old Sour Puss;  and spot on. ;)

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AWESOME! THANK YOU FOR THE TIME AND EFFORT AND POSITIVE NEWS! This recuiting class is one of the most exciting that I can remember...

 

All of that said, I would hate to see Heard not get a shot at being the starter. Kid's a winner and was once a kid that we were all super excited about. I want Murray for sure but Heard is  is a very talented kid that all the right things were said about. Spring should be fun!

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