On Monday, Longhorns head football coach Steve Sarkisian addressed the media ahead of Saturday's season-opening game against Louisiana-Monroe. Below, we have listed several notes from Sarkisian's press conference with the media.
Noted that redshirt freshman punter Isaac Pearson has looked good, while freshman Will Stone and sophomore Bert Auburn continue to compete for the starting placekicker job.
Commented that he feels that this year's roster has playmakers on all three aspects of the game, particularly noting special teams play and the defense's ability to create turnovers.
Stated that he believes that much of last year's struggles can be attributed to a lack of confidence.
Notes the importance of a team's bond and believes that this year's roster is closer than it was in the past - giving examples of position groups hanging out off the field.
Stated that the tight end position is quicker than it was a year ago.
Photo credit: BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK
In advance of the upcoming college football season, the Associated Press released its list of preseason All-Americans on Monday. Included on the list were junior running back Bijan Robinson and sophmore wide receiver Xavier Worthy.
Robinson was a first team selection by the AP, coming off a sophmore campaign that saw him rush for 1,127 yards on 195 carries for 11 touchdowns. He also had 295 receiving yards with four touchdowns.
Worthy, a second team selection, made his mark on the 40 Acres last season by leading the Big 12 in receiving touchdowns and receiving yards per game (81.1). Additionally he broke freshman records at the University of Texas for receiving yards (981), receptions (62) and receiving touchdowns (12).
Both Robinson and Worthy were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team and are on an array of preseason award watch lists.
Full AP Preseason All-Americans
FIRST TEAM - OFFENSE
Quarterback - Bryce Young, junior, Alabama
Running Backs - Bijan Robinson, junior, Texas; TreVeyon Henderson, sophomore, Ohio State
Tackles - Peter Skoronski, junior, Northwestern; Paris Johnson Jr., junior, Ohio State
Guards - Andrew Vorhees, sixth-year, Southern California; Caleb Chandler, sixth-year, Louisville
Center - Jarrett Patterson, senior, Notre Dame
Tight End - Brock Bowers, sophomore, Georgia
Wide Receivers - Jordan Addison, junior, Southern California; Jaxon Smith-Njigba, junior, Ohio State; Kayshon Boutte, junior, LSU
All-Purpose Player - Deuce Vaughn, junior, Kansas State
Kicker - Jake Moody, senior, Michigan
FIRST TEAM - DEFENSE
Edge - Will McDonald IV, senior, Iowa State; Isaiah Foskey, senior, Notre Dame
Linemen - Bryan Bresee, junior, Clemson; Jalen Carter, junior, Georgia
Linebackers - Will Anderson Jr., junior, Alabama; Noah Sewell, junior, Oregon; Jack Campbell, senior, Iowa
Cornerbacks - Kelee Ringo, sophomore, Georgia; Eli Ricks, junior, Alabama
Safeties - Jordan Battle, junior, Alabama; Antonio Johnson, junior, Texas A&M
Defensive Back - Riley Moss, senior, Iowa
Punter - Adam Korsak, senior, Rutgers
SECOND TEAM - OFFENSE
Quarterback – C.J. Stroud, junior, Ohio State
Running Backs - Braelon Allen, sophomore, Wisconsin; Sean Tucker, junior, Syracuse
Tackles - Connor Galvin, senior, Baylor; Dawand Jones, senior, Ohio State
Guards - O’Cyrus Torrence, senior, Florida; Emil Ekiyor, senior, Alabama
Center - John Michael Schmitz, sixth-year, Minnesota
Tight End - Michael Mayer, junior, Notre Dame
Wide Receivers - Xavier Worthy, sophomore, Texas; Josh Downs, junior, North Carolina; A.T. Perry, senior, Wake Forest
All-Purpose Player - Jahmyr Gibbs, junior, Alabama
Kicker - Harrison Mevis, junior, Missouri
SECOND TEAM - DEFENSE
Edge - Myles Murphy, junior, Clemson; Nolan Smith, senior, Georgia
Linemen - Calijah Kancey, junior, Pittsburgh; Siaki Ika, junior, Baylor
Linebackers - Nick Herbig, junior, Wisconsin; Andre Carter II, senior, Army; Edefuan Ulofoshio, senior, Washington
Cornerbacks - Cam Smith, junior, South Carolina; Clark Phillips III, junior, Utah
Safeties - Brandon Joseph, junior, Notre Dame; Jalen Catalon, junior, Arkansas
Defensive Back - Jammie Robinson, senior, Florida State
Punter - Kyle Ostendorp, junior, Arizona
The QB competition between Quinn Ewers and Hudson Card has come to an end, with Steve Sarkisian announcing through a UT spokesperson on Friday that Ewers would open the season as the starting quarterback.
Ewers transferred to Texas after spending his first season at Ohio State. The Texas native was ranked the #1 overall recruit in the country coming out of Southlake Carroll before deciding to skip his senior season to head to Columbus a year early. Ewers redshirted during the 2021 season and did not attempt a pass.
The Longhorns are set to open the 2022 season against Louisiana-Monroe in 15 days.
With the season opener 18 days away, injuries were the biggest topic of discussion for Texas as they exited their first scrimmage this past Saturday.
Steve Sarkisian confirmed on Monday evening that WR Isaiah Neyor and OL Junior Angilau would miss the 2022 season with knee injuries. RB Roschon Johnson, DB Jahdae Barron and OL Cole Hutson were also banged up and would miss some time. Sarkisian said the hope is all 3 would be available for the season opener.
In addition to the injury news, Sarkisian also provided an update on the status of WR Agiye Hall, who was suspended indefinitely last week following an arrest. Sarkisian said the program is currently working with Hall and his family to make sure that when the returns to the team, he will be in a good spot.
(Photo: USA Today)
The injury bug was something Texas battled throughout the 2021 season, and it unfortunately struck again on Saturday afternoon as WR Isaiah Neyor and OL Junior Angilau reportedly suffered season-ending knee injuries during the first scrimmage of fall camp, according to Orangebloods.com.
Neyor, who transferred to Texas from Wyoming this off-season, was set to open the season as the #2 receiver for the Longhorns after having a breakout season for the Cowboys in 2021 (44 catches, 878 yards and 12 touchdowns).
Angilau entered 2022 with 34 career starts at guard and was set to help anchor a Texas offensive line that would be breaking in several new starters.
In addition to the injuries suffered by Neyor and Angilau, RB Roschon Johnson was also banged up and will reportedly miss some time.
The Longhorns are 20 days away from opening the season against Louisiana-Monroe.
It has been a wild ride for Texas fans over the last decade, with many ups and equally as many downs on the gridiron. At a team level, preseason goals typically involve a conference championship and a hope for more, but the curtain of truth will not be unveiled on this team until several games into the season and maybe longer. Steve Sarkisian has reeled in an impressive recruiting class in his first full cycle, but as you know it takes time to acclimate and develop high school talent. Let’s take a realistic look at what it would take to call this season "successful" for Texas.
This year the Longhorns open by hosting Louisiana Monroe and then Alabama before wrapping up non-conference play with UT-San Antonio. The Warhawks are a decent opponent to begin the season with, but Texas should take care of business easily and have a boost of confidence as they await the arrival of Nick Saban's team the following week. Alabama will by far be the best team the Longhorns face in 2022, plain and simple. This game will serve as a good measuring stick for the 2022 Longhorns. While nobody expects them to win, if the Longhorns can keep it competitive with the preseason favorite to win the national title, it could help Sarkisian and Texas in the confidence department, which leads to more potential wins in close games. It certainly would not hurt recruiting efforts either. Game three serves an intriguing matchup vs. UTSA, led by longtime Texas High School Football coach and former Texas Assistant Jeff Traylor. In 2021 Traylor led UTSA to 12 wins and a Conference USA Championship. This could be a game that may not turn out to be the cupcake it would have been in the past, but Texas should win this one handily.
Texas running back Gabriel Watson (33) runs ball. Texas Tech took on the University of Texas at Austin at Darrell K. Royal stadium in Austin, Texas on Sept. 25, 2021. Photo: Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman via Imagn Content Services, LLC
The Longhorns then open conference play against Texas Tech on September 24th in Lubbock. Lubbock is always a rowdy environment when Texas comes to town, but this is definitely a winnable game for the 'Horns. Last year the Longhorns hung 70 on the Red Raiders in Austin, and that will certainly will be on Tech’s mind entering the game. Following that Texas welcomes West Virginia before heading into the Cotton Bowl to face rival Oklahoma. After losing Lincoln Riley, Caleb Williams and many others, it is 10-year rarity in which Texas enters the Cotton Bowl as the favorite. Following last year’s collapse against the Sooners, this will be a game that Steve Sarkisian and company will be looking to get the bad taste out of their mouths. It will be interesting to see who gets the best of the other between Sark and Brent Venables in their first matchup as head coaches in the Red River Rivalry.
Texas continues to build an impressive 2023 class and added a key piece Wednesday evening by picking up a commitment from RB Cedric Baxter.
Baxter, who is widely considered one of the best running back prospects in the country, chose Texas over Miami, Florida and Texas A&M.
The Orlando native rushed for over 1,700 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2021. Baxter's commitment gives Texas 22 verbal pledges for the 2023 cycle as the Longhorns look to secure another top 5 class.
Steve Sarkisian and the Texas coaching staff picked up another key victory on the recruiting trail Friday afternoon as 4-star LB Derion Gullette pledged to the Longhorns.
Gullette is the 21st commit of the 2023 class and chose Texas over Texas A&M, Ohio State and Oklahoma. He starred on both sides of the ball last year for Marlin high school, totaling 125 tackles while also recording over 1400 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns. Gullette will reportedly miss his senior season due to a knee injury, but he brings a lot of upside at a position of big need for the Longhorns.
Prior to the start of the 2022 football season, 2023 four-star cornerback Javien Toviano remains to be one of the most sought-after recruits in the country. In fact, the Arlington Martin product currently holds 34 college offers from powerhouse programs such as Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.
The 6'0" cornerback is one of the few true lockdown cornerbacks in Texas high school football, and is not afraid to face off against some of the state's best wide receiver and quarterback duos. In addition to his work on the defensive side of the ball, Toviano showcases his athleticism on special teams and occasionally on offense, as a wildcat quarterback. Last season, Toviano tallied 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 kick return touchdown and 8 rushing touchdowns.
As of today, Toviano is ranked as the fifth highest-rated recruit in the state of Texas during the 2023 recruiting cycle according to the 247Sports Composite. If Texas were to land Toviano, he would become their highest-rated class of 2023 pledge from the state of Texas, surpassing wide receiver Johntay Cook, who is just one spot below Toviano.
(Photo: USA Today)
Steve Sarkisian opened up fall camp Tuesday afternoon by meeting with the media to discuss the offseason and goals for the Longhorns as they prepare to open up the 2022 season. Here were the hot takeaways from the first of many press conferences from the head coach this season.
Sarkisian was asked about what he asked himself this offseason coming off the 5-7 2021 campaign. He responded by saying one of the biggest things he focused on when doing a self-reflection was culture. Sarkisian said he did not feel like his team responded well to adversity last season.
One of the hottest topics of the day was about quarterbacks. Sarkisian said both Quinn Ewers and Hudson Card have certain things they need to work on before potentially being named the start. For Card, Sarkisian mentioned the comfort level he has with the playbook, something Ewers is still learning to master. In terms of a timeline for naming a starter, Sarkisian said he has an idea of when he wants to do it but would not be sharing that timeline with the media.
Defensively, Sarkisian talked about finding consistency. He referenced several games in 2021 where the Texas defense played well in the first half but fell apart after halftime. He also mentioned they made some adjustments scheme wise as they to turn the corner in year 2 under Pete Kwiatkowski.
Sarkisian was specifically asked about LB Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey, who he said is solid against the run, slippery against blocks and also possesses the ability to drop back into coverage.
On the injury front, Sarkisian said there were no new injuries suffered over the summer. There will likely be a few guys who are limited from previous injuries to open camp, but no one will be completely held out of action.
The Longhorns are set to open fall camp on Wednesday, with the season opener against Louisiana Monroe just 31 days away.
Late last season, 2023 four-star defensive end Colton Vasek, out of Westlake, emerged as one of the premier defensive lineman in the country following a string of impressive playoff performances - ultimately being capped with a state title. Since then, Vasek's recruitment has become a national battle as he has received 38 college offers to date, and is considering programs such as Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas. Vasek's teammate from Westlake, 2022 four-star defensive end Ethan Burke, starred alongside Vasek during their championship run, and has since joined the Longhorns football program. Now, time will tell whether Burke and Vasek will be reunited at the college level.
Similar to Burke, Vasek's sizable frame, being listed at 6'5.5" on 247Sports, is attractive to college programs throughout the country as Vasek couples it with an innate pass rushing ability. Vasek showcased his ability to rush the quarterback in last year's championship game against Denton Guyer, a game in which he tallied three sacks in Westlake's dominant 40-21 victory.
Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Running back is one of the most important roles on an NFL team. There are three key aspects to the position, and they are catching passes from out of the backfield, receiving handoffs from the quarterback, and blocking. In terms of physical characteristics, a running back can be small, agile, and fast or big and strong, with both having their benefits on the field. With that in mind, let us look at who will be the leading running back in the NFL next season.
Having burst onto the scene for the Indianapolis Colts in 2020, Jonathan Taylor started all 17 of their games last season. Taylor accumulated a total of 2,171 yards during the season, which is the fourth most by any running back over the past decade. In the NFL last season, Taylor led the way in rushing yards, attempts, and rushing touchdowns (18), the latter of which was 3 clear of James Connor and Damien Harris, who tied for second. At 23 years of age, the 2022 season is going to be huge for Taylor, who plays the game with the perfect blend of speed and power. Taylor is an explosive player and is the top tip to be the number one running back next season.
For those who enjoying having a wager on NFL, you could back Taylor to win the AP Offensive Player of the Year award next season. Before you bet, we recommend using mobileusbetting.com, where you will find the latest bonuses plus reviews of the top US mobile betting apps ahead of the new NFL season.
For those who love to watch an elusive runner, Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns is your man. Since he was drafted in 2018, there has not been a better natural runner with the ball in the NFL. From 2019 onwards Chubb has reached the 1,000-yard mark, including a total of 1,259 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground last season. It is worth noting Chubb has missed several games over the past two seasons but when fit, he will be the focal point for Cleveland Browns next season, especially when Jacoby Brissett is playing quarterback. The Browns have plenty of depth in the running back position, but Chubb is the pick of the group and is definitely one to watch in 2022.
The Tennessee Titans have asked a lot of Derrick Henry over the years and the workload proved too much last season. Henry missed the second half of the regular season for the Titans having suffered a broken foot. Henry returned for the Divisional Round defeat at the hands of Cincinnati Bengals and that means he will be back and eager to go for the 2022 NFL season. Having played 8 games in 2021, Henry had amassed 237 touches and but for injury, could easily have totalled more than 470 touches last season. Due to the absence of A.J. Brown, Henry is likely to be the focal point of the Titans offense next season, making him a contender to finish as the leading running back.
There is no doubting the ability of Dalvin Cook and he has been exceptional when fit. Throughout his career, Cook has averaged 4.5 yards per carry but has always struggled with injury. In fact, Cook has yet to complete a season and that is something Minnesota Vikings hope will change in 2022. Despite only scoring 6 times last season, Cook totalled more than 1,000 yards having missed three games due to injury. Cook is expected to play a more varied role in the Vikings offense this season and it will be interesting to see how he performs under new head coach Kevin O’Connell.
Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers, Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints are three additional running backs who could compete to be number one in that position next season in the NFL. However, the favorite to finish the season as the #1 running back must be Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts.
Photo: Texas Sports
Texas baseball received some good news Thursday morning when it was announced OF Eric Kennedy would be returning for the 2023 season. David Pierce shared the news during a radio interview with 104.9 The Horn.
Kennedy has started 166 games in his Texas career, hitting .285 with 14 home runs and 45 stolen bases. He battled an injured hamstring during the 2022 season, limiting him to 42 games. Despite the fact his name was not called during the MLB draft, Kennedy had the option of signing as an undrafted free agent.
Last season, 2022 four-star defensive end Ethan Burke was the anchor of the Westlake Chaparrals state-title winning defense. To say the least, Burke had an eventful fall - starting with a sudden explosion in recruiting interest which led him to commit to Michigan before eventually flipping his pledge to Texas. However, for fans who are ardent supporters of Texas high school football, Burke's highly-anticipated recruitment should not have come as a shock as Burke became a star on Westlake's dominant defensive line.
During his senior season, Burke stood out on the football field with tremendous length, standing in at 6'7", using his long frame to disrupt quarterback's passing lanes with his active hands on the defensive front. Additionally, Burke was certainly no stranger to putting pressure on the quarterback as he seemingly always found a way to tally a sack in the season's biggest games.
David Pierce has dipped into the transfer portal once again as he looks to fill out his 2023 roster. The latest addition is former Long Beach State INF Tanner Carlson, who announced his commitment to Texas on Wednesday afternoon.
Carlson, a California native, hit .345 this past season in 32 starts. He saw time at third base and second base for the Dirtbags. Over the course of 3 seasons, Carlson started 70 games and hit .290. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Photo: MLB Photos
It was a busy few days for the Texas baseball program, as the Longhorns saw 8 players from their 2022 roster selected in the MLB Draft. The 8 total selections tied for 4th most by any college program.
1B Ivan Melendez- 2nd round (Arizona Diamondbacks)
LHP Pete Hansen- 3rd round (St. Louis Cardinals)
C Silas Ardoin- 4th round (Baltimore Orioles)
OF Douglas Hodo- 6th round (Baltimore Orioles)
SS Trey Faltine- 7th round (Cincinnati Reds)
Murphy Stehly- 10th round (Washington Nationals)
Jared Southard- 12th round (Los Angeles Angels)
Skyler Messinger- 19th round (Colorado Rockies)
In addition to the 8 selections off the current roster, the Longhorns also had 4 signees selected: Cutter Coffey in the 2nd round (Boston Red Sox), Henry Bolte in the 2nd round (Oakland A's), Brenner Cox in the 4th round (Washington Nationals) and Wyatt Cheney in the 10th round (Baltimore Orioles)
Draft picks have until August 1st to sign.
Photo: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
There are some prominent world-class sports stars who play an active role, not just on the field of play but also in the back room, where their name and status can be used to help entice individuals to the organization. It appears that Dallas Mavericks' favorite Luka Doncic is not built that way.
23-year-old Slovenian Doncic was an instant hit from the moment he left Real Madrid to move to the American Airlines Center back in 2018, and he has played a key role in helping the Dallas Mavericks to three successive play-off finishes, and Texas fans of the team might want to visit this page in order to size up a bet for the coming season.
Doncic is one of those players who lives and breathes the game, always smiling both on and off the court but ultra-determined to play his part for the team, but that doesn’t, seemingly, include helping with recruitment.
Though owner Mark Cuban and general manager Nico Harrison might be keen on using Doncic’s star power to help with recruitment, it’s apparently not really something the player is interested in, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, who stated;
“They seek his input, but he’s not heavily involved in personnel decisions. He has not shown interest in being heavily involved. He spends much of his offseason in Europe. He’s not a guy who has shown the desire to be a recruiter.”
To be fair, if you are a player of Doncic’s caliber, then frankly, your off-court input seems less relevant; we are, after all, talking about a player who has secured three NBA All-Star picks over the course of his first four seasons in the league.
Doncic is obviously keen to secure a first NBA title in over a decade for the Mavericks, and in a recent interview, he expanded on those hopes and what he personally thinks he can achieve in the NBA, highlighting team success over individual awards;
“Well, I think they look more at rings and what you've won. Records are fine, but winning is the most important thing.”
On the subject of a possible move away from Dallas, Doncic was pretty clear about his intentions;
“I'm not thinking about moving; my goal is to stay and win it in Dallas. Of course, you never know in the future, but my idea is to win in Dallas, and I hope I achieve it.”
There have, of course, been many players who have moved to the NBA from Europe, but arguably, the instant success Doncic has achieved, albeit without securing an NBA Championship, is pretty special, to say the least, and it’s clear there is more to come.
The Mavericks have, however, suffered the loss of Jalen Brunson, who left for the New York Knicks but have brought in Christian Wood via a trade that saw JaVale McGee move to the Houston Rockets.
Head coach Jason Kidd led the Mavericks to a Conference Final loss to the unstoppable Golden State Warriors last season and will hope to go one better in 2022-23.
Following 2023 five-star quarterback Arch Manning's commitment in June, the Longhorns have been on a roll in recruiting. Now, with Texas's 2023 recruiting class currently being ranked as the fourth-best in the nation by 247Sports, Steve Sarkisian and his staff continue to remain in pursuit of some of the top recruits in the country.
One of the two high-profile recruits that the Longhorns are contending for is 2023 five-star linebacker Anthony Hill Jr., who revealed that Texas and Texas A&M were his two finalists at the end of June. Hill, the nation's top-ranked class of 2023 linebacker according to the 247Sports Composite, could become Texas's highest-rated linebacker commit since Malik Jefferson (in 2015) if he chose to join the Longhorns.
Furthermore, Hill could provide Texas with a much needed mean streak at the linebacker position, as well as championship experience - having won a state title at the high school level with Denton Ryan in 2020. According to 247Sports, Hill tallied 131 tackles, 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions during his junior season at Ryan.
In addition to Hill, 2023 four-star wide receiver Jalen Hale also announced via Instagram last week that the Longhorns are one of his three finalists, joining Alabama and Georgia. Hale, a product of Longview, TX, is currently rated as the eleventh-best class of 2023 wide receiver in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite. If Hale were to decide to commit to the Longhorns, he would become the fourth wide receiver pledge in their 2023 recruiting class, following Johntay Cook II, Ryan Niblett, and Jonah Wilson.
Last season at Longview, Hale accounted for 50 receptions, 1,154 receiving yards, and 14 receiving touchdowns.
Lastly, as announced yesterday on Twitter, 2023 four-star defensive end Braylan Shelby shared that his recruitment is down to Texas and Southern California. The 6'4.5" Friendswood, TX product has amassed an impressive 36 scholarship offers from programs such as Florida, LSU, and Texas A&M, however Longhorns defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski finds himself in a good spot with Shelby's recruitment.
Last season at Friendswood, Shelby totaled 77 tackles, 8 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 1 interception.
Photo: Twitter (@charliehurley21)
The 2023 Texas baseball roster continues to take shape as David Pierce looks to re-tool his program with the upcoming MLB draft likely to take a large chunk of contributors from the 2022 squad. The Longhorns added a key piece on Tuesday afternoon, picking up a commitment from USC transfer pitcher Charlie Hurley.
Hurley, who stands at 6'8, tossed 73 innings for the Trojans in 2022. The right-hander ended the season with a 4.19 ERA and compiled 45 strikeouts to go along with 32 walks. Hurley moved to the starting rotation this past season after spending the 2021 season as a reliever. He is the 4th player to commit to Texas out of the transfer portal, joining LHP David Shaw (Rice), C Garrett Guillemette (USC) and RHP Heston Tole (Arkansas).
Photo: San Jacinto College
David Pierce took one of the final steps in completing his coaching staff Saturday afternoon, tabbing Woody Williams as the new pitching coach for the Longhorns. The move was first reported by Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.
Williams has spent the last 6 seasons as an assistant for San Jacinto Junior College, one of the premier junior college programs in the country. Prior to his time at San Jacinto, he spent 3 years at Fort Bend Christian Academy. Williams enjoyed a 15-year MLB career that included stints with the Astros, Blue Jays, Cardinals and Padres. He was an All-Star selection in 2003 and finished his career with 132 wins.
Williams will replace Sean Allen, who was let go following the 2022 season. Williams will not be the only new face on the Texas staff, as the Longhorns will reportedly hire Steve Rodriguez to be their new hitting coach. The final step in Pierce completing his coaching staff will be filling the volunteer assistant spot which was previously held by Troy Tulowitzki.