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Mike Roach

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Everything posted by Mike Roach

  1. This community means a lot to me, because I fully believe it has the best group of readers on the internet. It is for that reason that I'm excited (and a little sad to announce) that I'm leaving HornSports. An opportunity came along to push my writing career in a new direction, and after a lot of thought and prayer on the subject I've decided to accept it. I can't yet say where my next destination will be, but I wanted to thank the readers of this community for giving me a shot to build the foundation of a dream job here. You all have been very supportive to me while I tried to bring you the best information I could. This decision wasn't particularly easy because I'm a big loyalty guy. I talked things over with Aaron Carrara, and he encouraged me to take the next step. I can't tell you how much Aaron means to me as both a person and a mentor. Together he and Matt Cotcher gave me the opportunity and guidance to break into an industry I have a true passion for. Aaron is one of the best people I know, and that made the decision to leave difficult. The opportunities afforded to me here in my 3 years with the site were unbelievable. I never thought I'd have an opportunity to be on the road with a major college football team reporting from the pressbox. I'm not sure I can ever repay Aaron for these things. I feel I did a good job as a recruiting reporter because I worked with a tremendously talented staff. Daniel Seahorn and I clicked right from the start, and I have full confidence he will succeed in whatever he chooses to do because he's hard working, honest, and an overall good person. Ryan Bridges taught me so much more about the game of football, and he became a vital sounding board for me to bounce ideas off of. Will Baizer helped me get into podcasting, and he expanded my thinking in creating new ideas. He also gave me the opportunity to serve as a teacher for him as he tries to go the same road I went down. Harrison Weir was an incredible asset to us as soon as he came in. His ability to pick things up and run with them was a tremendous help to me. Chris Flanagan and I didn't cross paths much as I try to stay away from basketball as much as possible, but his support for me was a huge boost early on. I'll still be around the internet, and I might even drop in here from time to time to see how everything is going. I have great confidence that this site will continue to grow in this industry, and I'm happy I was a part of helping to put us on the map. Thank you all once again for your support.
  2. Hey guys we've added some new stories Here is the Pouncey evaluation http://www.hornsports.com/forums/topic/13895-commitment-spotlight-jordan-pouncey-by-mike-roach/?do=findComment&comment=242901 Here's our signing day wrap up http://www.hornsports.com/forums/topic/13897-signing-day-wrap-herman-inks-transition-class/?do=findComment&comment=242904
  3. 1. We can't sugarcoat things. This recruiting class was a disappointing finish for those who had high hopes when Tom Herman was hired. Herman had close to no hope with the elites in state making early decisions (Walker Little, Anthony Hines, Baron Browning) but he did have a chance to close on guys like K'Lavon Chaisson, Stephan Zabie, and Grant Polley. Texas missed out on a top 10 player in the state according to the 247 composite rankings, and their highest ranking recruit was #20 (Sam Ehlinger). Schools that scored higher ranked players than #20 include Oklahoma State, Michigan, Stanford, USC, TCU, Alabama, Texas Tech, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and Ohio State. 2. The state of Texas as a whole took a hit. Only one player in the 247 top 10 stayed in state (Anthony Hines - Texas A&M), and only 4 players in the top 20 chose to stay home. The top priority for this staff in 2018 should be to close the borders while still cherry picking from elite out of state options. It's a tough task for sure, but it's in the job description for the head coach at Texas. 3. This class was always going to be tough when the previous staff shut the recruiting operation down mid-season. A majority of the blame for losing out on top targets goes to them, but we have to point out the failings of the new staff. Chaisson himself told multiple people over the last two months that Texas is where he was headed, but LSU got in last minute and made an impact. Nothing matters except closing time. 4. All this said, I will still reserve judgement on the recruiting abilities until he has his first full class under him. In 2014 Charlie Strong lost a number of commitments and added Edwin Freeman, Poona Ford, Chris Nelson, Elijah Rodriguez, and Alex Anderson. As you know, Strong went on to put together two very good recruiting classes, so keep that in perspective. Herman was able to keep the majority of this class together, and he added some nice pieces including Gary Johnson, Marqez Bimage, Reese Leitao, Jordan Pouncey, and Toneil Carter among others. 5. Since we put some blame on the previous staff let's give them some praise. The one thing that can mitigate misses like Texas had in this class is the level of talent Charlie Strong assembled in the last two classes. If Herman and company can close a top 10 class in 2018 they shouldn't have many problems down the line as they look to build their roster. 6. Despite the disappointment of losing out on several highly rated players, Texas fans should feel good about many of the players the staff did land. Sam Ehlinger is thought by many to have a big future, and he'll continue to add quality talent to the quarterback position. Toneil Carter and Damion Miller are game breakers with big play ability. Derek Kerstetter looks like a steal on the offensive line, and the tight end position was addressed with a great duo in Reese Leitao and Cade Brewer. On the defensive side of the ball they were able to put together a strong secondary class with the trio of Kobe Boyce, Josh Thompson, and Montrell Estell. Gary Johnson is a guy who should play immediately, and Marqez Bimage looks to be one of the most underrated players in the state. The Longhorns also addressed the kicking position with JUCO kicker Joshua Rowland. 7. The early feedback from 2018 prospects is strong so far. Job 1 will be to hit the ground running in this class and get off to a fast start. Texas is high up early for several elite guys including BJ Foster (top player in the state), and if they can land someone early they should be able to get some momentum going. 8. Winning is the quickest fix to these issues. Charlie Strong was recruiting with the strength of Mack Brown's tenure at his back, and while Brown struggled in his final seasons he still was within a half of winning the Big 12 and a bowl game. Playing time was an easy sell, and a quick re-build wasn't out of the question. Fast forward to today, and all of those things look more difficult following 6-7, 5-7, 5-7. If Tom Herman can put together a good season in his first year he should be able to make some waves on the recruiting front. 9. I'd expect a very aggressive push starting on junior day for the next class. This staff understands the urgency at hand, and they will have a much different early recruiting approach than the previous regime. 10. Thank you to everyone who followed along this cycle. We're committed to bringing you the best recruiting information we can here, and our staff puts in a lot of hours to gather information for you. Recruiting never sleeps, so we'll be back on the grind tomorrow to introduce you to the newest Texas targets on the board.
  4. From what I was told early in the week, Chaisson notified Texas commits and coaches he'd be headed to Austin. Yesterday he did the same thing to LSU coaches and commits.
  5. Just posted an interview I did with Texas signee Max Cummins. http://www.hornsports.com/articles/texas-longhorns-football/signing-day-spotlight-max-cummins-took-the-roa-r5156
  6. When the Longhorn season ended after a disappointing finish against TCU, Max Cummins was not a name on the Longhorn recruiting radar. Cummins would commit to Connecticut on December 11, but he didn’t know that his recruitment was about to heat up. In order to tell the full story you have to go back to Austin where Cummins played at St. Andrews high school. Cummins was a stand out at the Austin area private school, but their program was in serious decline. Cummins and his family made the decision to seek a new opportunity in order to better his future, and in December of 2015 they made the trek to Fort Worth in order to meet with the All Saints Episcopal staff. “It was going a little bit downhill, and so the best decision for me was to come down here”, said Cummins. “The coaches up here deserve all the credit. They did all of my recruiting for me. They even did things over Christmas break for me to get me on the radar. They made my physique what it is today”. Cummins was one of the hottest prospects in the state during the month of January. After de-committing from Connecticut shortly after the new year, offers came in from Houston, Baylor, and eventually Texas. TCU and Oklahoma also showed quite a bit of interest in the massive defensive lineman, but he had his eye on one school. Once Texas offered him, he accepted almost immediately, and he credits his belief in the new Texas staff for the quick decision. “Coach Orlando, Coach Herman, and Coach Giles have the mentality that’s going to be championship mentality and a winning mentality. We’re going to go in there and turn this program around. There are facility upgrades they’ve been talking about, and they have a phenomenal strength and conditioning program, and a phenomenal nutrition program. We’re going to work together to make this program a championship contender again”. Cummins is no stranger to the weight room. His father is a former athlete who still carries a division one level physique, and Cummins has been hard at work to prepare him for the rigors of college football. “I’m going to get my workout plan, and I’m going to get to work. I’m gunning for playing time, and possibly a starting position. I know there are going to be a lot of skeptics out there, but I’m going to put all of my effort into that goal”. There is certainly an opening for Cummins to make an early impact. Tom Herman stated multiple times that all positions are up for grabs, and the Texas defensive staff pitched Cummins on a versatile role in the Texas defense. “They’ve told me I’m going to fit nicely into the 4i position, and that I’m going to fit nicely into the overall defense because of the way I played at All Saints”. From unknown to a Longhorn signee, Cummins was happy to make everything official. “It’s unreal for sure. I’m really excited to become a Longhorn, and I’m really excited to make all the coaches and fans proud”. Mack Brown was famous for telling fans not to worry about who they didn’t get on signing day, and to focus on who they did get. While Cummins might not tilt the recruiting rankings, he’s hard at work and ready to prove he deserves a spot in major college football. This post has been promoted to an article
  7. Yeah I wasn't going to say anything yet but the first two texts I got this morning were about his LOI going to lsu
  8. Teased this last night late in the chat. Texas came in last minute and got him. They were really looking for DL depth.
  9. Texas fans were treated to a surprise when Northeastern Oklahoma A&M defensive lineman Jamari Chisolm made a surprise announcement to sign with Texas. The junior college prospect was recently committed to Central Florida, but the Longhorns were able to stage an eleventh hour coup to add depth in the trenches. Georgia State also held offers from Minnesota, Syracuse, and Georgia State. Chisolm officially visited Texas in January, but he wasn’t given an offer at that time. The Longhorns came in with a last minute offer, and they were able to secure the flip from Chisolm. Herman and his staff were on the prowl for a long, athletic defensive lineman to play multiple positions, and they appear to have found one with Chisolm. Chisolm spent two years at junior college, so he’ll have three years to play two once he reaches Austin. Film Analysis: Chisolm has a great frame at 6’5, 290 lbs. He has long arms, which he uses to control offensive linemen at the point of attack. Chisolm shows a quick first step off the line, and violent hands he shoots quickly to knock his opponent off balance. Chisolm plays with good leverage, and he plays with a strong base to anchor against the run. Chisolm is better against the run than he is against the pass, but he does show an array of pass rushing moves including an inside rip to defeat his man. He’s at his best using his quickness and strength to bull rush and collapse the pocket from the inside. Chisolm could play inside as a three-technique or on the end as a 4i or 5-technique. When he’s outside he shows a decent ability to convert speed to power in the pass rush, but he’s more of a strong end. Chisolm shows a good motor, and he runs well in the open field when chasing the play down from the backside. He plays with a mean streak, and his versatility allows for usage in a number of different fronts. Final Verdict: Chisolm is a solid pick up for Texas, especially late in the cycle. Texas searched far and wide for a player of his ability and versatility, and he should be a fit right away to contribute. Chisolm is already physically developed to play at the college level, and the need for players in the trenches will push him onto the field early. Chisolm is already close to a finished product, but he should be able to contribute depth and challenge for a starting spot. If he reaches his ability at the FBS level he could be a multi-year starter with a possible future in the NFL.
  10. It's someone other than the three we've been talking about, but I can't say who at this time. I'm doing some more digging on it.
  11. I've gone back and forth on this. Earlier tonight I told someone 55% was about where I was at. Starting to feel a little better the later it gets, but this one has been way harder to read than originally thought.
  12. Not to mention he's best friends with the lead recruit in the class. My source wasn't certain but he was pretty sure. Maybe he's wrong. We'll see tomorrow.
  13. I've been back and forth on that one. Just feel like proximity would win out but the smoke is heavy tonight.
  14. Here's my read on Chaisson. From what I know there were indications given to both sides (Texas and LSU) they would be the pick. We heard earlier in the week the indication was given to Texas, but today learned the same might have been told to LSU. Basically it's all in the game and no one knows for sure. I still think it will be Texas, but there's a bit of doubt.
  15. Just posted an update on the board, but a source at Westlake tells me the UCLA smoke is real. I've switched my official pick.
  16. I spoke to a source at Westlake tonight who told me he's feeling strongly that Zabie is headed for UCLA tomorrow. I mentioned a bit ago that this same source told me in the beginning that UCLA would be a bigger player than most thought, and the vibe from Austin is that Zabie is west coast bound tomorrow morning. I trust this source on the matter, and have switched my pick for Zabie to UCLA.
  17. The 2017 class will technically be the first to have Tom Herman’s name on it at Texas, but a head coach can’t be judged on recruiting until his first full term class is in the books. Herman and his staff are already at work on that class, but today they closed the book on the transition class between Strong and Herman. The new Texas head coach addressed the stats on transition classes on numerous occasions, and he talked with media about the need to fill holes with solid, versatile players. This class didn’t make a run for the top of the recruiting rankings, but the ‘Horns were able to fill most of their needs as they look to make a big splash in 2018. Let’s take a look to see how things played out for the class of 2017. The Headliners Call them the crown jewels of the class. These players were the headliners of the 2017 Texas class. Sam Ehlinger – QB – Austin Westlake A good rule of thumb is that the quarterback is usually one of the banner members of the class. When the quarterback is a local legend like Ehlinger it only makes him more important. The River City gunslinger committed to Texas before his junior year of high school, and he made it clear that he always wanted to be a Longhorn. Ehlinger led Westlake to the State finals in 2015 before ultimately losing to North Shore in a thriller. He threw for 5,721 yards, 69 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions while rushing for 1,749 yards and 5 touchdowns over his career according to Maxpreps.com. His senior season was cut short by multiple injury problems, but Ehlinger is already on campus and preparing to take part in spring football. Toneil Carter – RB – Langham Creek Texas didn’t figure into Carter’s recruitment for most of the year, but when the Houston area runner de-committed from Georgia in December the Longhorns were there to offer him a landing spot. The Under Armour All-American ran for 2,300 yards and 34 touchdowns over the last two years of his high school career. Carter gives Texas a dynamic option with the ability to score from anywhere on the field, which is something they are sorely missing. Carter is already on campus for spring football, and he will have a chance to factor in for playing time from the jump. Damion Miller – WR – John Tyler High School The best deep threat in the state is also the longest tenured commit in the 2017 class. Miller had his moments where he flirted with other schools, but things never got too dangerous. Miller gives Texas another big, speedy option to stretch defenses vertically. His big play ability is singular at the position in this class, and he should have an opportunity to play early. Gary Johnson – LB – Dodge City C.C. Johnson was a huge win for Tom Herman in January, and he will be a marked man when he gets to campus. The dearth of talent at the inside linebacker position this season made Johnson a must get prospect, and the fact that he’s a junior college player places early impact expectations on the athletic linebacker. The Top Position Group – Defensive Backs Several of these prospects could be considered headliners, but we decided to group them collectively in what we’ve judged as the best group in the class. The Longhorns didn’t land a secondary group that will tip the recruiting rankings, but each player has high upside and tremendous versatility. Kobe Boyce – CB – Lake Dallas The athletic Boyce will man the field corner position for Texas with his pristine feet, fluid hips, and knack for man to man coverage. Boyce’s speed could even translate to the offensive side if the staff wanted to play him two ways. Boyce committed to Texas during the spring of 2016, and after flirting with a few different schools became a ringleader in this class. He might need to add some weight before he’s ready for prime time, but Boyce has NFL ability. Josh Thompson – CB/Safety – Nacogdoches No player grew more between his junior and senior season than Josh Thompson. The east Texas star entered the spring under the radar, but he put on a show in the camp and combine circuits while racking up big offers. Originally committed to TCU, Thompson flipped his commitment in the summer after Texas offered. Following a stand out senior season Thompson became one of the more vocal recruiters in this class. His athleticism and versatility suit him to play multiple positions in the secondary including boundary corner, nickel, and both safety spots. Thompson can run with most receivers, and he’s physical enough to force plays in the run game. Look for him to get into action early on special teams before fighting his way into the secondary. Montrell Estell – Safety – Hooks The lanky east Texan has been quiet over the course of his commitment, but he had to turn down many overtures from the likes of Texas A&M, Alabama, and Notre Dame. Estell could play both ways in college, but he feels his path to the NFL lies at the safety position. While he’s surely in for a big jump from 2A football, Estell has the athletic ability to be a star if he reaches his ceiling. Nasty by Nature These are the guys who play with a brand of aggression and violence a step above most. Marqez Bimage – LB – Brenham The Texas staff made Bimage one of their first priorities when they made the move to Austin. The Brenham defender has a highlight reel full of high impact collisions. Bimage can play inside linebacker, or rush from the edge, and he plays at a full throttle pace. Bimage has the size necessary to play early, and he could be a factor for the Texas defense next year. Daniel Young – RB – Spring Westfield Young is a throwback style runner with a knack for seeking out contact and lowering the boom. While he’s built to get the tough yards Young is a better athlete than he’s given credit for. Young should have a chance to join Toneil Carter in a battle for early playing time following the departure of D’Onta Foreman. Taquon Graham – DE – Temple Graham was on the Texas radar early, and his versatility and nasty disposition land him squarely on this list. Graham can star as a pass rusher, or against the run with his sturdy frame. He’s already used to doing the dirty work for his team, and he embraces that role. Derek Kerstetter – OL – San Antonio Reagan Kerstetter showed off his nasty disposition at the US Army All-American game. Kerstetter was named the starter at guard, and he routinely paved the way for the West team rushing attack. Kerstetter might need a redshirt year, but he can maul defenders in the run game once he gets his hands on them. Kerstetter appears to be a strong evaluation by new Texas offensive line coach Derek Warehime. Jamari Chisolm - DL - Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Chisolm joins the class as a versatile defensive lineman with with a nasty disposition. His college ready frame should challenge for playing time immediately, and he'll give Todd Orlando more options when it comes to aligning his fronts. Chisolm was offered last night, and he made the switch immediately. Filling Needs With High Ceilings Cade Brewer – TE – Lake Travis When the Texas staff attended a playoff game to see Austin Westlake in action, they were wowed by the show that Cade Brewer put on for Lake Travis. The future tight end has some growth and physical development ahead of him, but his skillset is dynamic for the position. Once Brewer fills out physically he should be able to add a new dimension to the Texas offense. Reese Leitao – TE – Tulsa (OK) Jenks Leitao is the most complete tight end prospect the Longhorns signed, and he might even have a future at defensive end. Leitao is a willing and able blocker with the athleticism to stretch the field and make plays in the passing game. He has the size to see the field right away, and there’s a need for him to contribute once he reaches campus. Max Cummins – DE – Fort Worth All Saints Texas offered the fast rising defender latte in the process, and they landed him almost immediately. Cummins has the frame to fill out and play defensive end at over 280 lbs. He’s already been hard at work in the weight room, and he’s eager to make a name for himself in Austin. Joshua Rowland – K – Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. Tom Herman’s first official commitment came at a position of great need for the Longhorns. Kicking issues have been well documented since Anthony Fera left campus, but the Longhorns were able to land the top ranked JUCO kicker in the nation. Rowland should be a factor immediately due to his skill and the immense need at the position. Samuel Cosmi – OL – Humble Atascocita Texas flipped the former Houston commit late in the cycle after searching for numbers at the offensive line position. Cosmi will need to physically develop, but his ability to move and large frame make the future very projectable for him. Jordan Pouncey – WR – Winter Park (FL) Pouncey was a surprise for Texas fans, but the Longhorns ran a nearly flawless recruitment over the last month of the cycle. Pouncey is a big receiver with small player movement skills, and his history at the running back position allows him to threaten defenders in the open field. This post has been promoted to an article
  18. Ingram did indeed follow a few commits, but none of the ones I talked to know why. We don't think he's in play.
  19. Tom Herman took a page out of Charlie Strong’s playbook when he looked to the state of Florida for talent. Herman succeeded when Winter Park (FL) wide receiver Jordan Pouncey announced his commitment to Texas today. The former Notre Dame commit chose Texas over offers from Miami, Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia, Penn State, Florida, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia among many others. The Longhorns lost out on Lancaster wide receiver Omar Manning, but they appear to have found a similar skill set with Pouncey. His long frame is best suited for the outside, but he shows some unique traits for prospects of his size. Pouncey joins Damion Miller as the only other receiver in the recruiting class, and he’s the fourth out of state prospect Herman landed in his transition class. Pouncey reportedly grew up a fan of the Longhorns, and the Texas staff did a great job on their official visit to win this recruitment. Film Analysis: Pouncey has good size at 6’3, 185 lbs. with the room to add more weight to his long frame. Pouncey has good speed, but better short area quickness. He shows some explosive acceleration in his first few steps that allow him to make plays on screens and quick passes. While his top end speed isn’t elite, he moves like a smaller athlete in the first few yards. Pouncey shows strong hands and great body control, and he is dangerous in the air against defenders. He played some running back at the high school level, and that experience provides him with good vision and wiggle in the open field. Pouncey will have some work to do in the route running department, as it looks like he was mainly asked to either catch screens or run go routes in his high school offense. Pouncey’s acceleration and quickness help him separate from defenders off the line, so he can threaten defenses with the deep ball, and his size qualifies him as a red zone weapon. Final Verdict: It’s difficult to see why a player with his tape and offer list would be rated as a three star prospect by most recruiting services, but it appears the Longhorns found themselves a playmaker in Pouncey. He will fill the role they were looking for with Omar Manning as the big outside receiver with some deep ball skill. There are some limits to his ceiling, but if Pouncey physically develops into his big frame he could develop into a multi-year all-conference level starter with a chance to play professionally. This post has been promoted to an article
  20. 19 would put the roster at 87, so they'd have to shed two bodies to get to the limit.
  21. I've got a spreadsheet set up for this. Let me plug in the numbers and get back to you.

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