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About WesC512

  • Birthday 12/14/1990

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  1. Yea, I think I'm on these lines of thinking. QB play will likely come with both its highs and lows/headaches. Maybe things smooth out as the season goes on... OL may be about the same as last year, maybe it takes a small step forward. But it's a unit that can be a part of a 7 to 8-win regular season. Defensively, I tend to think PK's defense goes as the edge play goes... Secondary likely rounds out with solid play, but I can't get a sense of the how the edge shakes out (though adding Mathis would help). So here I am thinking Texas can end with a winning record, but anything beyond 7 or 8 regular season wins seems like a stretch right now...
  2. It's April, which means it's spring practice time... which means whether I like it or not, my brain is starting to gauge how this Texas football team could fare this fall. With that in mind, I'm going to give my initial thoughts on the 2022 season, provide a "way-too-early" prediction, and share the top questions rolling around in my head. Feel free to share your predictions/top questions, or share where you think my blind spots are with my thinking right now. Before we talk about this season, let me talk about where my thinking was heading into last season because that will lead into my thoughts for 2022. 2021... My 2021 Prediction Just before last season, I thought Texas could land somewhere around a 7 to 8 win season. Well, clearly I (and many) overestimated that, but I think the questions before last year still held true - just in a way that had a bigger effect than I had expected. Texas entered the 2021 season with many key questions and factors in play. Those were things like: Would either QB (Thompson/Card) take control of the job in this new scheme and play well-enough to lead Texas to a winning record? What level of play would the OL provide? How would the defense perform in year #1 under a new DC in a new system (with players recruited for different systems)? Would Texas be able to get impactful play from key positions on defense? (Edge, LB, CB, S... damn near every position on defense.) How would this team perform with a completely new coaching staff, new schemes, and new culture in year #1 of this coaching change? Those were just a handful of questions surrounding the team prior to 2021. If we look ahead to 2022, has Texas found good answers to any of the numerous questions? In the immediate, for 2022, a little bit... But do any of the "answers" Texas has gotten so far this off-season lead us to believe 2022 will be better? I think so, but Texas still may feel like it's a year or so away from really competing at a high level. My top-5 questions... One of the steps I take when gauging an upcoming season is to scan the depth chart to figure out what Texas is working with. I also do this weekly during the season. Here is where I stood in November of last season. My Nov 2021 Roster Thoughts Like it or not, the roster overall had gaps and questions. It still does. It's one reason why Texas football is in it's third regime change in about 8 years. And it's one reality that gives me pause when thinking how well Texas could do in 2022. Fortunately, context clues in the form of the recent recruiting class, portal adds, and even position-coach changes so far can tell us it seems like Sarkisian understands where the gaps lie. So, for the longer-term view, it does seem like Sarkisian and his staff have a coherent plan. But we're talking about 2022, and we know true freshmen may not be ready to play "above the line" in year one or even year two in college... which leads me to my questions for the immediate season. Here are my top-5 questions right now, pretty much in order of priority. Questions #3 to #5 could be shuffled some but let's not get hung up on that. What level of play will Texas get from the QB position? Can Pete Kwiatkowski find an answer on the edge? Overall, can the Texas defense take a step forward in this new scheme? Can the offensive line at least perform similar to last season or is it in jeopardy of regressing? Will the kicking/punting game see any sort of significant drop-off? To me, questions #1 and #2 stand out. And #2 could be one key to clarity for #3. Obviously figuring out the QB play in 2022 will be a main talking point until its settled (please, get settled). But I'd say that finding impactful edge play is a close #2 priority and is one of the keys to this defensive scheme actually working Texas needs more "dudes" across the depth chart. Guys at key positions who can be counted on to get their jobs done. Some of my concerns in November ended up getting clearer answers (Xavier Worthy, come on down!). But one main position I'm still unclear on is the edge - well both edge positions. Texas 2021 Sacks Stats In 2021, Texas tied Texas Tech at #7 in the Big 12 for overall sacks and ranked #8 behind Texas Tech in total defense... Not ideal, and not winning football. Looking ahead to this season, I don't have a clear answer as to how Texas improves its edge play (against the run as well), and there's still a lot of questions around how this defense could come together and perform overall... Maybe a guy like Alfred Collins takes a good step. Maybe someone else on roster steps up. Maybe a transfer adds some help. Regardless, consistent edge play in this scheme can go a long way. Jumping back to the offense, I'm unclear how the offensive line will shake out. This isn't a knock on coach Flood. Most signs would tell us he's delivering overall. This is more so a concern with the pipeline (or lack there of) he inherited at the position, and that's evident given he recruited seven (SEVEN) offensive line recruits this past recruiting class. Help appears to be on the way at the OL position for the longer term but for 2022, that help may not be ready to step in and execute at the level needed. So how does the OL group come together? And what level of play will it provide? I honestly think if it performs similar to last season (somewhere around average). And given the players Flood will be working with, that would be somewhat of a win... This may be a "In Flood We Trust" sentiment. Lastly, I think a dark horse question looming around the program is how the kicking and punting games perform. Dicker the Kicker (and punter) was very steady. He had the third best yards-per-punt average in the conference (45.63) and the third best FG% (86.7%). I'm not sure Texas has someone at either position who can step in and put up those types of numbers next season. Could we see some sort of step back with punting, field goals, or both? The prediction... So... where do I stand right now? I'm sitting at seven wins in the regular season. That, of course, is where I stand in freaking April, ha. It may be a loose prediction, and we didn't even talk about how the teams on the schedule (and their own changes this year) can affect the record Texas ends the 2022 season with. But I'm using this "way-too-early" prediction as a level-set for my own sake in the spring while I day dream of football in the fall. What say you?
  3. Beard and co got one win while Shaka was embarrassed again in the first round. I feel better about Beard than Shaka, that I know.
  4. Another game day, another blown lead, (another scoring drought), another disappointing loss... Instantly after the round 1 loss to TCU in the Big 12 tournament today, I thought ahead to March Madness... and I found myself thinking about the following: Sure, I guess one March Madness win would mean something since Texas hasn't had a tournament win in over half a decade but we already know what's lacking from this team... I'm more curious to know what Beard does this off-season to address the current issues plaguing this team and the program. My question to y'all... How would you feel about Beard after this first season if they win game one and lose in the round of 32? Would you feel any different if Texas loses its first game in the round of 64 if the loss is in the same fashion they've typically lost most of their games this season?
  5. Mr. Trotter, After reading your tweets/comments about the “Florida 5â€, and specifically this tweet “@Jake_Trotter: W/ Cecil Cherry leaving, only Davante Davis left from Charlie Strong's touted "Florida 5." Gamble to recruit heavily out of TX backfiring", I decided to respond with an open letter to clear the air. To insinuate the “Florida 5†could end up as the “Florida 1†due to the recruits/athletes not being from the state of Texas, or “in-state†recruits, is laughable and a weak argument at best. But before I go further, I’d like to be clear. I completely agree that each year the majority of the athletes on the Texas Longhorn football roster should be from the state of Texas. A) As a state, Texas has the best recruits year in and year out. That’s why many major college football programs usually have at least a few recruits from Texas sprinkled throughout their roster. C ) A recruit from Texas likely will be more familiar with the Longhorns and the other football programs within the state, as well as with the coaches that are recruiting them during their high school years. And C) an in-state recruit will still be close or reasonably close to home. Those are just a few reasons why I agree the Longhorns should always build their roster/recruiting classes with mostly athletes from Texas. But to try to argue that the recruitment of the “Florida 5†has backfired simply because they are not from Texas is false. Let’s take a look at the evidence to understand why. 1) Tim Irvin – (Palmetto Bay, Florida) - Auburn: Irvin was the first of the 5 to change course. Leading up to National Signing Day, Irvin decided to flip to Auburn largely in part to unite with former Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, who he had developed a close relationship with according to reports. There’s much more to this story of Irvin’s flip than the simple fact that he is not from Florida. Oh and Auburn isn’t in Florida either… Just sayin’. 2) Gilbert Johnson – (Homestead, Florida/Georgia Prep Sports Academy)/Devonaiire Clarington – (Miami, Florida): Let’s take a look and both Johnson and Clarington together. Johnson was unable to attend Texas because he did not qualify academically. And Clarington, who has been on his own academic journey in an attempt to qualify academically, is waiting to hear back from the NCAA on whether he has clearance to join the Longhorn roster. Would being an “in-state†recruit change anything academically? No. 3) Cecil Cherry – (Frostproof, Florida): There is a number of different reasons that have been stated as to why Cherry is leaving the Texas program just days into fall practices. The main reason seems to be that he initially went against what his father wants for Cherry (which is sad in itself that his father is calling the shots for him). Another reason is that he did not get the jersey number (#3) he wanted and instead received #52. At this point, It’s unclear exactly where Cherry will end up (he very well could end up at a school in Florida). But at the end of the day, it sounds like Cherry (though he’s denied this notion) and his father realized he would play behind fellow freshman Malik Jefferson during his UT days as long as Malik was on roster if Cherry and Malik both stayed at MLB. Was not being an “in-state†recruit the main reason why Cherry left? No. Though I will admit it may play a small role into his departure. But main reason? No. As for the remaining out-of-state recruit from the “Florida 5â€, Davante Davis, reports have been positive for the freshman during the first few days of fall practices. And only time will tell whether he will step into a game this season or not. Oh, and as a bonus point (because who doesn’t love bonus points?), freshman wide receiver John Burt (Tallahassee, Florida) has also been receiving positive reviews during fall practices. And there’s increasing momentum to the notion that he has the skills and athleticism to contribute right away during his freshman campaign. As I stated earlier, I agree Longhorn coaches need to keep “in-state†recruits as their main focus when recruiting. The state is consistently oozing with talent year-after-year-after-year. And if Texas can improve its win/loss record, it will be easier and easier to recruit the top-talent in the state to the 40 Acres. But adding some top recruits from outside of the state isn’t certain death for Texas… Ricky Williams says hey… More importantly, though, to use these specific 5 players as evidence for the argument that “[strong’s] gamble to recruit heavily out of TX [is] backfiring†is weak evidence and paints the wrong picture as to the real reasons of why 3, and possibly 4, of the “Florida 5†are not on the 40 Acres right now for fall practices. - Some chump with a perspective, Wes Crochet

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