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  1. It's Game Day in April which means we get to watch an early dose of Texas football! Time: 1:00 PM CST Gates to DKR-TMS open at 11:00 am Television: Longhorn Network Pregame Show begins at 12:00 noon on LHN Radio: 104.9 FM The Horn and SiriusXM Ch. 81 Streaming Audio: http://www.texassports.com/sports/2014/11/19/GEN_1119144623.aspx Mobile Phone Audio: http://texas.leanplayer.com/ Admission: FREE Related Items: 5 Things to look for in Saturday's Orange and White Scrimmage 4th and 5 Podcast: Spring Game binoculars
  2. Article by Mike Roach, HornSports The annual Orange and White game is usually a dull affair that loses luster sometime after the second series. While the whole affair is usually vanilla, the 2016 spring game will actually hold some intrigue. Sure, you can’t take too much from one scrimmage, but you will be able to get a peek under the hood of the 2016 Texas Longhorns. Here are five things to look for this Saturday. 1. The Quarterback Battle Let’s just be clear, this will always be the number one item in any story until the problems at the position are solved. Aside from a few David Ash performances during his sophomore season, the position has been a barren wasteland since Colt McCoy left the field during the 2010 Rose Bowl. This year we have another battle on our hands, and sources behind the scenes indicate it is really heating up. The dynamics of the battle pit senior Tyrone Swoopes against true freshman Shane Buechele. Swoopes is well known for his quarterback play during his time in Austin, but perhaps infamous is a better descriptor. While Swoopes has struggled during his time under center in Austin, his experience and arm strength give him a leg up in the competition. Buechele on the other hand is a ray of hope for the position. The former Elite 11 passer possesses both the mental and physical capabilities to finally give Texas fans a drink of water as they wander through the desert. The problem is Buechele is a true freshman still adjusting to the speed of the game. As a spring enrollee, Buechele got a head start on learning the new offense. If he can show a mastery of it between now and the opening game of the season, he might be able to steal this job from Swoopes. Whatever the case, Buechele will probably be called upon at some point next season. All eyes will be on these two players this Saturday to see which one looks more capable of leading this team to wins in the fall. 2. Sterlin Gilbert’s Offense With so much on the line this year, a large part of the hopes for this team will rest on new Offensive Coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and his high octane offense. The early reports of install have been encouraging, and the topic most discussed during spring practice is the incredible tempo the Longhorns are running with. Quick tempo can often be an equalizer on the field, and Gilbert will want to show off his offense on the first big stage. It will also be interesting to see how much the quarterback running game comes into play. While the spring game isn’t the best forum for that due to the quarterback no contact policy, we can at least tell a little from play design and frequency. One final thought on the new offense concerns the players with explosive ability. With Daje Johnson and Marcus Johnson moving on, the proverbial “score from anywhere” players have yet to reveal themselves. Armanti Foreman showed signs of such ability in the past, but he will need to put together more consistency this season. Roderick Bernard is now full time at running back, and though he won’t be depended on for 20 carries per game, his speed adds a new dimension to the backfield. Sophomore receiver Ryan Newsome was a track standout in high school, and the new spacing and passing concepts should give him some room to operate and make big plays. 3. The Freshmen For the second year in a row, there has been a substantial amount of hype surrounding the incoming class. The 2016 class included four early enrollees, and each of them have been talked about so far this spring. We’ve already discussed Shane Buechele, but Collin Johnson is the player receiving the most attention. The monstrous receiver is putting on a show this spring, flashing the immense physical talent he was blessed with. Johnson has seemingly locked down a starting spot at receiver, and his ability gives Texas a player with NFL talent on offense. Texas fans will want to see if the hype is real for Johnson, and at this rate he’s going to have a lot to live up to. Zack Shackelford is another freshman thrust into a starting position. Shack has taken the reigns at the center position, and he will have a lot on his shoulders going into the season. For Shackelford (as well as the rest of the offensive line), there needs to be cohesion and consistency. Shackelford held his own during spring workouts, but we will need to see how he performs when the pressure kicks up a notch. Perhaps the forgotten player in this group isDemarco Boyd. The younger brother of Kris made some highlight films in the spring with his physical brand of play. While it’s unclear what his future position is, he will get a chance to start off at linebacker. The linebacker group is pretty crowded, but Boyd has spent some time with the second unit this spring. A couple of touchdown passes from Buechele to Collin Johnsonshould make a successful day for the class of 2016. 4. Position battles in the secondary While “DBU” waits for a new infusion of talent, there are new positions to be won among the younger players in the group. The obvious battles are at safety, where the much maligned duo of Dylan Haines and Jason Hall are trying to hold off young players like DeShon Elliott and PJ Locke. Elliott should get a lot of looks in this scrimmage, and his athletic playmaking ability is apparent every time he steps on the field. Most fans hope he can use that to springboard his performance into a successful summer and fall. While Davante Davis and Holton Hill have a firm grip on the starting corner positions, there will be a need to see who can step up at the nickel position. PJ Locke is the standout so far, but Kris Boyd and John Bonney can still make an impact in that race. Without a doubt, the best thing we will see Saturday is a healthy Sheroid Evans. His perseverance through several injuries is inspiring for his teammates to see, and his wealth of talent and experience should help his teammates tremendously. The secondary looks like it could be a position of strength this year, and Texas fans will want to see a good performance from the defensive backs under Clay Jennings. 5. Key replacements Last year’s team was heavily influenced by the underclassmen, but there was some influence by players that have now moved on. With Hassan Ridgeway, Duke Johnson, and Peter Jinkens no longer on the team, Texas will need to find players that can step up and fill their roles. The competition to replace Thomas at the nickel is filled with a few potentially good players, but none of them have proven they are ready to be relied upon. Hassan Ridgeway’s spot might not really be filled until the fall, but Paul Boyette and Poona Ford get the first shot starting Saturday. The defensive tackle position will be incredibly thin during the scrimmage, so look for walk on players to get their shot and put in quite a few reps. While Ridgeway is an NFL talent, Peter Jinkens was the most productive player on defense last season and the heart of that unit. Replacing him will be no easy process, but Malik Jefferson looks poised to fill in from both a production and leadership standpoint. Charlie Strong programs typically have a “next man up” philosophy with talented depth ready to step in when their time comes. This Saturday we will see if Texas can take those steps with little drop off. There are many more storylines to watch on Saturday. What about the offensive line? Who’s going to provide a pass rush? Is there a player on this team that can kick field goals? While we definitely could delve into all of those issues, we selected these five items as our most important stories that will play out on the field. Whatever the case, this is only the beginning for this team as the hard work will begin in the summer and into fall camp. Try not to take too much from a bland scrimmage, but remember that sometimes what you see is what you get.
  3. 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. +++++ Let’s start the week with an update on South Grand Prairie athlete Jeff Okudah. We caught up with the five star prospect this weekend at a skills clinic put on by his trainer Clay Mack in conjunction with Margin Hooks at Sky’s The Limit. This event brought together two star-studded prospect groups, and Okudah looked great as expected. Okudah has been training with Clay Mack for the last few years, and he told us he’s seen a huge improvement in his own game. “My game has improved tremendously”, said Okudah. “I went from a rover (safety/outside linebacker role) to being a cornerback by some schools, it’s really taken my game up.” Okudah possesses a rare blend of skills that is not often seen in high school defensive backs. He can play just about any position in the secondary, and he wants to use that as a weapon at the next level. “I want to do a little bit of everything, from corner to safety to nickel. Wherever I’m needed.” When we put together our 2017 rankings last year, we thought Okudah was the best athlete in the state regardless of class. After spending time as an early favorite, Texas fell out of Okudah’s list as a number of out of state options started to pull ahead. Okudah took a junior day visit to Austin this year, and he enjoyed his time so much that Texas made their way back into the mix for the talented defender. With a versatile role in mind for himself, Okudah plans to make his future position a key point in his recruitment. “I’ll probably go there (Austin) sometime in the next month, and I plan to sit down and talk with the coaching staff about where I fit in to their scheme.” Texas defensive back coach Clay Jennings is a big reason why Texas was able to gain some ground in this recruitment. Okudah wasn’t very familiar with Jennings when he was at Arkansas, but he really enjoyed his time with him during his visit to Austin. “Just talking to him at the junior day, you could tell he’s a straight forward guy who’s really honest.” Not only does Okudah value that approach from Jennings, he said it extends to the entire coaching staff at Texas. “Coach Strong is great, he’s a real honest guy up front kind of like Coach Jennings. The whole staff is that way really.” Okudah plans to graduate early and enroll at his school of choice during the spring season next year. He told us he plans to sit down with his family and coaches to discuss a possible decision. While it’s good news that Texas is back in the picture, they still have ground to make up before they’d be considered the outright leader. What can the Longhorns do to gain that ground? Just win, baby. “Now that they have two classes, I’d like to see some improvement, but at the same time I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Okudah will be one of the most heavily recruited players in the entire class, and while the Horns still have some work to do, they have an opportunity to land the high impact defender. +++++ Cedar Hill (TX) wide receiver Camron Buckley was offered by Texas last year during the Under the Lights camp. “Buck” spoke with us today, and it sounds like he’s nearing a possible commitment date. He told us he’d like to make a spring decision so that he could go into the season with the weight off of his shoulders. Texas is in the mix, along with schools like Miami and Houston. Buckley is a physical receiver with great work ethic and polished route running ability. Buckley is part of an explosive Cedar Hill offense slated to take on Las Vegas Bishop Gorman this season. Stay tuned for his commitment, as the Longhorns sit in a strong position here. Kobe Boyce did make his planned trip to the A&M spring game, and while the Lake Dallas corner had a good time, it sounds like there is nothing to worry about on this front. We were able to connect with Boyce on Sunday, and he’s still firm in his commitment. Boyce will be in Austin for the spring game this weekend. +++++ We will have a full list of spring game attendees out this week, but we do have a preliminary list of visitors this week. Walker Little/Marvin Wilson – The Bellaire Episcopal duo plan to make a trip to Austin on Tuesday. It’s obviously big news for Texas to get two of their primary targets on campus for some close up time. Langston Frederick – The Clear Springs DB was impressive at the Houston Regional, and he’s on the radar for Texas. He will be in attendance for the Texas spring game. Myles Jones – Magnolia West’s gigantic defensive back committed to Texas A&M last week. He already had this visit on the books, but it wouldn’t be a total shock to see him cancel following his commitment. Parker Eichenberger – The Katy tight end is really starting to pick up steam. He could be an offer target if Texas feels they are losing their grip on Major Tennison, and a spring game visit could go a long way to positioning the Longhorns in the right spot. Baron Browning – The top player in the state loves Charlie Strong, and he’s making his second visit to Austin this spring. While Texas sits in a strong position, they will have a fight on their hands. The more Browning makes it to Austin, the better. Sam Ehlinger – The captain will be on hand to press the flesh and spread the Longhorn message. There are no worries on the recruiting front, and Ehlinger is going to be a great recruiter for the Longhorns. Damion Miller – John Tyler’s star receiver has been taking his visits, but getting him back on campus is a win. Miller has been to College Station a few times this spring, but he truly does love Texas. The Longhorns needs to do all they can to secure his pledge. Josh Thompson – The Nacogdoches corner is another prospect on the Texas radar, and he will be on campus with Brandon Jones. Thompson is starting to see some more attention, and he could be a target at corner for Texas. Isaiah Humphries – The 2018 Sachse safety is tentatively scheduled to be in Austin with his dad. Humphries is a highly rated junior to be, and while Texas has yet to offer, they’ve stayed in close contact. Lagaryonn Carson – If the massive defender can find a ride to Austin, he will be there to help Sam Ehlinger recruit for the 'Horns. Taquon Graham – If I had to put out a commitment watch, Graham might be the guy I’d circle. Graham has Texas in the lead, and right now it seems like a matter of when rather than if. Anthony Hines – The most heavily recruited prospect in the history of recruiting will be making yet another visit to Austin. While Oklahoma sits in a strong position, Texas is set up to make a strong run here.
  4. Texas quarterback Jerrod Heard’s recent shoulder injury has him sidelined for the remainder of the spring, head coach Charlie Strong announced at Tuesday’s post-practice media availability. Heard, a sophomore, sprained his shoulder last week in practice but is expected to recover in time for fall camp. With Heard rehabbing the shoulder, the spring quarterback competition appears to be heating up between senior Tyrone Swoopes and true freshman Shane Buechele. Swoopes started last season’s opener in South Bend against Notre Dame, a contest the Longhorns lost 38-3, but was forced to relinquish the job to Jerrod Heard prior to the next game against Rice. The senior is no stranger to competing for the starting role, and he is focused on finishing his career at Texas in control of the offense as the Texas quarterback. Swoopes brings playing time and experience to the table in his effort to regain the starting job for the Longhorns when the season opens on September 3rd. Charlie Strong, now headed into his 3rd year as head coach, says he has seen progress in Swoopes. “He's mature and much better now. He's going to get better. As you get older you have to get better. There's no need, you should. What we're asking him to do on offense, he's doing those things, so he'll get better and improve. It just comes with age.” But don’t expect Swoopes to be handed the job simply because of his status as an upperclassman or game experience. True freshman gunslinger Shane Buechele appears to be ahead of schedule, absorbing the playbook and making a legitimate push to start for the Longhorns when the 2016 campaign kicks off against Notre Dame. Strong says the freshman’s abilities and persistence essentially make the others more focused and better. “The knowledge of the offense. He is doing a really good job of it, just learning and picking it up. Shane is like a gym rat. He is always around, he is always learning, and is always willing to learn. When you get a player like that, it is only going to make the other two guys better because they see how hard he works. It drives them to work even harder. We would not be afraid to start him at all because I know that he would go out there and compete and do what we ask him to do.” Redshirt freshman Kai Locksley hasn’t received the reps Swoopes, Heard and Buechele have received this spring. Charlie Strong would only comment that Locksley is “doing a good job, but he is just working through some things right now. “ While no clear candidate has risen above the other this spring, Strong sees no reason right now to name a starting quarterback. “You have to allow them to compete and let it play its way out. If it takes that we have to go into the fall camp and then pick a guy, then that's what we will do.” Fans will get a glimpse of the quarterbacks at the annual Orange-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 6th at 1:00 PM.
  5. Article via Taylor Smith, HornSports Contributor The Texas women’s basketball team ended its 2015-16 campaign a week ago Monday in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament. The Longhorns lost to the University of Connecticut, 65-86, holding the Huskies to their lowest offensive scoring night in the tournament through their first four games. Before the game, UCONN scored an average of 98.7 points a contest. It was unfortunate that Texas drew a No. 2 seed in UCONN’s region as the Huskies are aiming for their fourth consecutive national title, but the Longhorns never gave up. “I think everyone could see that our team was exhausting themselves trying to compete,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said in the postgame conference. Freshman guard Lashann Higgs and sophomore guard Ariel Atkins each scored 19 points, tying for the team high in points. Higgs came off the bench and utilized her 19 minutes wisely; the 19 points she scored created a new career high for her. Atkins played nearly the entire game, totaling 33 minutes of work. She hit three-of-four from 3-point range and swiped three steals. Higgs and Atkins both earned Bridgeport All-Regional Team honors, giving Texas its first spots on an NCAA All-Regional team since 2003. They accompanied three other UCONN players on the list. Atkins averaged 18 points and 2.8 steals a game through four tournament games, leading the Longhorns in both categories. Higgs recorded double figures in scoring for three games, giving herself an average of 11.5 points a game for the tournament. The 2015-16 season for the Longhorns ended up being one of their best seasons in recent years. Texas finished with 31 overall wins, marking a first in program history since the 1987-88 season. The Longhorns started the season undefeated, winning their first 16 games before losing to Baylor and finished with a 15-3 conference record. The team won its way to the Big 12 Championship game for the second consecutive year but came up short to Baylor. The No. 2 seed the Longhorns earned for the NCAA tournament marked their best seeding since 2004 when the team received a No. 1 seed. “I think we are a phenomenal basketball team,” said Aston. “I didn’t say that last year. We weren’t. But I think we are a really good. And very easily could have been in the Final Four had we gone in a different region.” The 2016-17 Texas women’s basketball team will have some big shoes to fill. Seniors Imani Boyette, Brady Sanders, Celina Rodrigo and Empress Davenport are all graduating and leaving the forty acres. Boyette ended her career as the only Longhorn to record more than 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career blocks. Rodrigo leaves the program as the active leader in career assists. She recorded 140 assists this past season, which was 51 more than second place. Davenport played in every Longhorn matchup this season, starting in 34 of the 36 games. Sanders, recovering from her offseason surgery, struggled to see much of the court this past season, but she entered her last year co-leading the team in career games played. Sanders played in 29 of the games this past season. Texas’ underclassmen have already been stepping up as seen through Higgs and Atkins performances during the NCAA tournament. Coming into the tournament, Atkins averaged 10 points a game. The 15 points she scored against Alabama State during the first round marked her lowest offensive showing during the tournament – She scored 22 against Missouri, 16 against UCLA and 19 against UCONN. During Big 12 conference play, Higgs only recorded minutes in 16 of the 18 games, averaging 4.1 points. Higgs ended the Longhorns’ NCAA tournament run with the third highest average in points on the team – Atkins and sophomore guard Brooke McCarty were the two teammates ahead of her. Texas had a good run this season, finishing with more than 30 wins, but Aston is ready for a championship, and reaching the Elite Eight this season should encourage the team to push for more next season, according to Aston. “As much as 31-5 sounds unbelievable, and I do think that we were an unbelievable team and had an unbelievable year, we still don’t have a ring,” said Aston. “We are still chasing championships. So, we should be highly motivated.”
  6. Article via Mike Roach In the early part of the century, Texas earned the reputation of “DBU” for its development of highly skilled corners and safeties. Names like Nathan Vasher, Quentin Jammer, Michael Huff, Michael Griffin, Cedric Griffin, Aaron Ross, Earl Thomas, Aaron Williams, and countless others turned the defensive backfield into a no fly zone. While the Longhorns have been able to find some players since those days to keep the tradition alive, their reputation is being challenged by programs such as Florida, LSU, Alabama, and Ohio State. The Texas defense struggled last season but we were given a glimpse of a possible return to form for “DBU.” With the Longhorns in sore need of help in the secondary, Charlie Strong and Vance Bedford turned the reins over to a group of highly talented freshmen. While those players took their lumps on the field, the early playing experience combined with their natural talent has Texas back on the fast-track to cementing their claim as “Defensive Back University.” Sophomore corner Holton Hill made his mark on the field in 2015 with 49 tackles, 3 interceptions, and one touchdown. Hill is a prototypical corner with great size and speed, but his smooth hips and technical ability separate him from the rest of the group. Following a slow start to the season due to an injury in fall camp, Hill took hold of a starting position and never looked back. He embraced the challenge of covering the opposition’s best receivers each week, and he more than held his own to earn honorable mention all-conference honors. He enters the 2016 season deeply entrenched in the starting role, and is quickly becoming one of the best players on the Texas defense. Hill’s counterpart, Davante Davis, showed his own set of skills in his freshman season. The Miami native also earned honorable mention all-conference honors after leading the team with seven pass breakups. Davis is a bit rawer than Hill, but he used his superior size and physicality against receivers with regularity. Davis wasn’t talked about as much last season but fans should be excited to see what an off-season of development in the weight and film rooms will do for his game. He doesn’t have quite the same stranglehold on the starting job as Holton Hill, but Davis is expected to enter the season as a starter with some distance between him and his closest competition. As the NFL looks to acquire bigger cornerbacks moving forward, Hill and Davis are poised to turn into high draft picks if they continue along their expected trajectory. It’s been a long time since the name Sheroid Evans was mentioned as a significant contributor for this team. The Sugar Land native has been plagued by knee injuries since the 2013 season, but he’s finally recovered and healthy. The NCAA granted Evans a 6th year of eligibility due to injuries, and Evans intends to take full advantage of it. He has all the tools coaches want in a cornerback, including good size and track speed. Evans is a lottery ticket entering the season, but the potential payoff is huge. Antwuan Davis and John Bonney will provide depth at the cornerback position in the spring before freshman reinforcements arrive. Both players had forgettable moments during the 2015 season, but both are now upperclassmen. Davis always had special ability in the speed department but he lacked some of the more natural instincts required at the corner position. Bonney looked like he was out of his comfort zone when he was out on an island, but he should figure into the nickel competition this season. Sophomore Kris Boyd started the season off with a bang thanks to some big special teams plays against Notre Dame. Unfortunately he will be remembered most for some unfortunate retweets during halftime of the TCU game. Boyd will also provide depth at corner while challenging for the starting role at nickel. His all-around skillset allows him to feature at multiple positions, and the talent is there to be developed. The most interesting position battle on defense is at the safety position. Dylan Haines and Jason Hall return as starters, but both players drew the ire of fans and analysts alike last season. Haines led the team in interceptions, but countless blown coverages did not endear him to the Longhorn faithful. Jason Hall had a sophomore slump after a big freshman season and it looked like he was never really healthy. Both players will be pushed at their respective positions by DeShon Elliott and PJ Locke. Elliott was injured to start the season, but once he got a chance to play he made things happen on the field. Locke received plenty of playing time last season, and he showed he could man multiple positions including the nickel. Locke will most likely enter the season as the favorite to win that battle, while Elliott will push hard for starting time during the spring and fall. The position battle will really heat up in the fall when Brandon Jones arrives on campus. Jones was among the top high school safeties in the nation last season, and the star from Nacogdoches should be able to play early and often. The Longhorns have the makings of a star-studded secondary that could signal the return of DBU to Austin. As always, health and continued development will play a big role in writing that story, but Longhorn fans can expect the secondary to be improved in 2016.
  7. [Tweet = https://twitter.com/max_olson/status/675779481429127168]
  8. so for everyone that was concerned about how Charlie Strong could recruit the state of Texas. Chris Daniels decommits from ou days after official visit to Texas.
  9. Article via Mike Roach Sterlin Gilbert’s offense is often thought of as a high flying pass attack, but one look at the many names it goes by tells you how important the run game is. Whether you refer to it as the power spread, the inverted veer or the run and shoot, the run game element is what makes it a complete offense. Don’t forget that Sterlin Gilbert learned his craft from Art Briles, and the Baylor offense averaged 5.9 yards per carry and 326 yards per game last season. Those totals were good for third in the nation last season in total yards, and second in average yards per game. Fortunately for the Longhorns, the running back position is as talented as it is deep. While the run game can be schemed against if the pass isn’t effective, the strength of the Texas offense will be the strong stable of running backs on campus. The Texas rushing attack will be led by D’Onta Foreman. The junior from Texas City turned into an absolute star last season before an injury derailed his progress. Foreman averaged 7.1 yards per carry and racked up 672 total yards on less than 100 carries. Foreman’s size and impressive speed coupled with his tenacious running style have him primed for a huge year. The new offense will undoubtedly suit his abilities, as Foreman will now have the opportunity to get up field quicker and explode through the gaps in a power run scheme. With Johnathan Gray lost to graduation, Foreman has the spotlight now. Reports from spring practice have Foreman performing on another level, and if he can stay healthy he might have a chance to topple the thousand yard mark. In D’Onta Foreman, Texas has a player with big-play ability and the size to get the tough yards. Foreman will be joined by sophomore runner Chris Warren, who had some breakout games following Foreman’s injury. Warren gained 470 yards on 71 carries in his debut season including a 276 yard rushing performance against Texas Tech. He followed that up with an impressive game against Baylor in which he tallied 106 yards on the ground. Warren entered spring practice around 245 pounds, and his bruising running style should make for a nice combination with Foreman. Like Foreman, Warren will benefit from the new offense and downhill running scheme. Warren showed great tackle breaking ability in the open field last season, but he struggled to reach the edge when he was moving laterally in the zone run look. Warren enters this season hoping to prove that the end of 2015 wasn’t just a fluke. Lost in all the hype around Foreman and Warren were the flashes of greatness Kirk Johnson showed in his limited action. Johnson was able to slash defenses and create big gains before he was lost to a leg injury during the Texas Tech game. Snaps will be difficult to come by, but Johnson provides Texas with a change of pace type that they otherwise don’t have on the roster. Johnson will have to fend off incoming freshman Kyle Porter for third team snaps. Porter is more of an all-around back, and the Army All-American was prolific in his time at Katy high school. Porter is more like Foreman and Warren in that he excels at running downhill and using his power and quickness. The Texas staff made Porter a priority throughout last season because they think he can contribute early. Porter is also a weapon in the passing game, so he can be deployed in a multitude of packages. Roderick Bernard and Tristian Houston are hoping to find a role for themselves in a crowded backfield. Bernard is a converted receiver with big time speed. His scat back build makes him a bit of a specialist for use in the slot or on returns. Tristian Houston redshirted last season, and it’s unclear what skillset he brings to the table to set himself apart. His high school film showed a guy that could do a little bit of everything, but he will have tough sledding to make his way up the depth chart. Texas fans haven't had many positives to talk about for the past few seasons, but the running back position is a tremendous plus for this Texas team. The current group ranks in the top half in the nation as far as depth and talent go, and the Longhorns will need to lean on that ability to get the most out of their offense. A successful run game opens up more looks in the passing game, and this crew can definitely do their part to speed along the quarterback progression in Austin.
  10. Article by Taylor Smith, HornSports Contributor The Texas women’s basketball team returns to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season. The Longhorns beat Alabama State in the first round and former Big 12 foe Missouri in the second round to advance to the round of 16. Texas’ next opponent is No. 3 seed UCLA in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Bruins hosted the first two rounds of the tournament, beating Hawai’i and South Florida to move to third round. UCLA has won 10 of its last 12 games. Both losses in that stretch came against Oregon State, a team who earned a No. 2 seed in Baylor’s region. Texas is seeing a new offensive spark through its first two games of the tournament. Sophomore guard Ariel Atkins led the team in scoring both games with 15 against Alabama State and 22 against Missouri. The 22 points against the Tigers tied Atkins career high. Atkins entered the tournament averaging 10 points a game. Freshman guard Lashann Higgs is also making good use of her playing time with scoring 10 points in the first game and 11 points in the second game. Higgs is averaging 15 minutes a game. The Longhorns, as a team, are averaging 79.5 points a game during the tournament. Against Alabama State, they scored 86 points. Previously, Texas only recorded 80-plus points twice during Big 12 play and a total of six times over the whole season. The Bruins enter the match up averaging 69 points a game during the tournament. UCLA has numerous scoring options with senior guard Nirra Fields leading the way in the tournament by averaging 15 points a game. Sophomore guard Jordin Canada comes in second with 14.5 points. UCLA led its second round game against South Florida 40-24 at halftime before letting the Bulls back into the game. The Bruins allowed South Florida to come within one point in the second half but held on to win 72-67. The Texas defense is allowing an average of 48.5 points a game. The Longhorns held Alabama State to a 22.2 shooting percentage and Missouri to a 31.4 shooting percentage. Texas has also outrebounded both of its opponents so far in the tournament, something the Longhorns did often during their regular season. This is the Bruins first time in the regional semifinals since 1999. The Longhorns are seeking their first Elite Eight appearance since the 2002-03 season when they lost in the Final Four to UCONN. A win over the Bruins this Saturday could set up a match up against the Huskies with a trip to the Final Four on the line. The Bruins and Longhorns tip off at 1:00 CT on Saturday and will be broadcasted on ESPN.
  11. In this edition of the 4th and 5 Podcast, HornSports' Mike Roach and Will Baizer discuss Charlie Strong's approach to early recruiting and address Mike Gundy's comments regarding the Longhorn Network. Is it really the Longhorn Network that is at the root of the Big XII's instability, mistrust in the conference, unequal revenue distribution and negligence in the past?
  12. 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. +++++ Texas already holds a commitment from defensive end Lagaryonn Carson, but the need to pick up an athletic pass rusher to play the “fox” position is still there. The top target on that list is Temple (TX) defensive end Taquon Graham. Graham attended a Texas junior day in February, and we were able to catch up with a source close to his recruitment for some information. From what we were told, Texas is in a very strong position to land the local product. TCU is also in the mix, but there is some thought Texas is pulling away. Graham loves the idea of playing close to home, and he wants to go to a school where he can contribute early. He’s very close with Texas signee Davion Curtis, and his mother is on-board with Texas for their academic prowess and strong discipline. We were told Graham plans to make a decision before his senior season, and our source told us that if this race ended now it would be Texas. +++++ Lake Dallas (TX) defensive back Kobe Boyce is one of the hottest players in the state right now. After emerging this spring, Boyce grabbed several offers, including Arkansas and Houston. He’s also on the cusp of receiving more from some big time schools. Will the Longhorns be one of them? Vance Bedford and Clay Jennings have told Boyce they really like his game, and an offer could be coming his way after the spring evaluation period. We were told that Boyce speaks with Bedford just about every day, so the interest from the Longhorns is there. If he were to receive an offer, Texas would jump right to the top of his list, though I’m not sure he’d pull the trigger immediately. Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, and TCU are also showing a ton of interest in Boyce, so this looks like it could be a regional battle for one of the top corners in the state. +++++ We are still in the first stages of recruiting for the 2017 class. The Longhorns have been a bit more deliberate in doling those offers out, but we expect to see a flurry of offers after the spring evaluation period in April and May. Once that period comes and goes, we will offer you a large recruiting primer going into the summer. For now, we will give you a smaller version of the "state of Texas recruiting on offense" to look at. QB – Sam Ehlinger – Austin Westlake (Committed to Texas) This one needs no explanation. Ehlinger is deeply committed to Texas, and he’s the unquestioned leader of this class. RB – JK Dobbins – La Grange (Committed to Ohio State) Dobbins was thought to be an early lean to Texas, but he surprised everyone when he committed to Ohio State seemingly out of nowhere. We expect Texas to fight this one until the end, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see Dobbins on campus a few times before the season begins. RB – Eno Benjamin – Wylie East Texas is slow playing Benjamin on an offer for some reason, and Eno did not include them in his recently released top 10. If Texas were to offer they would be in that mix, but they are losing ground every day on this battle. RB – Toneil Carter – Langham Creek Carter holds a Texas offer, but the Longhorns aren’t in the mix here. Carter is a Louisiana native, and he loves LSU. Texas A&M is also in play for the talented runner. RB – Najee Harris – Antioch (CA) – (Committed to Alabama) It was good to see Texas get in on perhaps the best player in the nation, but Harris seems pretty locked in to his Bama commitment. Don’t expect any fireworks here. WR – Damion Miller – John Tyler – (Committed to Texas) Miller is saying some things that have people worried, but if Texas can show that the offense is headed in the right direction, they should be able to hold on to the east Texas star. Texas A&M will try to dig in here, but Texas still holds a comfortable lead. WR – Camron Buckley – Cedar Hill Buck is taking his time with the process, but he really enjoyed his Texas visit on junior day. If the Longhorns really wanted to go after him hard they could possibly get this done, but that’s just not Charlie Strong’s style. WR – Mannie Netherly – Crosby – (Committed to Texas A&M) Netherly called Texas his dream school when they offered, but we’ve been told this will be a tough battle to win his services. WR – Omar Manning – Lancaster Texas got in very late on Manning, but now that they have offered they are coming after him hard. Manning is cutting his list to 10 very soon, and Texas should make it, but they will have a dog fight on their hands. TE – Major Tennison – Bullard – (Committed to Texas) Tennison is also making some Texas fans nervous with his comments about looking around, and the recent visit to Alabama. To his credit, he’s been incredibly honest throughout the process, and no one can blame a kid for wanting to take those visits. In the end I believe that if Texas can sell him on his role in the offense they should be able to hang on to him. TE – Brock Wright – Cy-Fair – (Committed to Notre Dame) Texas will continue to show interest here, but Wright has been committed to Notre Dame for a while, and he will be very tough pry from his commitment. OL – Grayson Reed – Cy-Creek Reed is talking to everyone about Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M. From what we’ve heard, Texas is leading the race for the athletic cousin of former Horn Cedric Reed. OL – Walker Little – Bellaire Episcopal Little and Texas are starting to establish a better relationship after it dropped off following Joe Wickline’s dismissal. Little does have strong ties to Ole Miss, so that is definitely something to keep an eye on. The Longhorns will probably be selective when it comes to offensive line targets this year. OL – Adrian Ealy – Baton Rouge (LA) University Lab Ealy likes Texas and Strong a lot, but pulling a U-Lab guy away from LSU only happens once in a while. I expect Texas to get a visit, but they are going to have to do a masterful job to close. OL – Edward Ingram – Desoto Ingram hasn’t shown much interest in Texas following their offer last month. This one feels like an out of state commitment, probably to Alabama if I had to guess. OL – Will Farrar – Richmond Travis – (Committed to UCLA) Farrar is committed to the west coast, and he never showed a lot of interest in Texas before he made that pledge. +++++ #HookEm
  13. Full story can be found here but in the March Madness of Academics, Texas wins.
  14. 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. +++++ Nike’s “The Opening” came to Dallas this past weekend to host a regional event. Prospects compete in a camp setting for the honor of attending The Opening finals in Oregon during the summer. As always, Texas regionals are heavily covered because of the amount of talent collected there. This year was no different, and HornSports was on the case to bring you all the action. John Tyler receiver Damion Miller committed to Texas last summer, and as one of the top receivers in the state he’s a highly coveted prospect for the Longhorns. We caught up with Miller to find out where everything was with the east Texas playmaker. Miller measured in at 6’1, 193 lbs., and timed at 4.4 in the 40 yard dash. Miller told us he was most excited about competing against all of the talent on hand. “I feel like I can compete against anyone out here,” said Miller. Miller attended the Texas junior day in February, and while the visit went a long way to ease his comfort with Texas, he is still keeping some options open. “It did and it didn’t,” said Miller when asked if the visit firmed up his commitment. “There are other schools out there that I don’t know about, that I’d like to know about.” While he is still looking around, Miller sees himself fitting into the Texas offense very easily. “I see me being a big part of the Texas offense. I think I can do real good with their new offensive coordinator.” Miller has the positional versatility to play inside or outside at wide receiver, he has no preference about where he wants to play at the next level. “I can fit anywhere really.” We talked to some people around his recruitment, and while he is still evaluating other schools Texas is firmly in the lead. If the Longhorns can put some wins together this year while showing off an explosive offense they should be able to close the deal. +++++ 2017 Lancaster (TX) wide receiver Omar Manning drew some reactions when he walked onto the field at the regional camp. Manning measured in at 6’3, 208 lbs., and his body looks college ready right now. He recently received an offer from Texas, and we spoke with him about his recruitment. “I should be down there some time in April,” said Manning when asked when he might visit. With offers coming in from all over the country, Manning has some big decisions to make. He told us he didn’t know when a final decision would come, but he is planning on releasing a top ten list in a few weeks. Who will be on that list? Manning didn’t divulge it all, but he did tell us that Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Alabama, and TCU would be included. Manning is being recruited by Clay Jennings at Texas. The Longhorns are new to the game, but they have a chance to land the talented pass catcher if they can check all the boxes on his list of needs from his future school. What does that list entail? Manning told us a few things about what he’s looking for. “I’d like to fit in their system and be able to come in and make an early impact. I also want a good relationship with the coaches.” With his size and strength, Manning excels at bullying defenders and overwhelming them with physicality. Currently he’s focused on improving some aspects of his game. “I’d like to become more explosive in and out of my breaks and run after the catch.” The Longhorns are playing from behind, but there is still plenty of time to woo the impressive receiver. +++++ Not many people knew the name Tyrell Shavers when he showed up in Coppell to compete. By the end of the testing session, every member of the media was buzzing about the Lewisville receiver. That’s because Shavers showed up at 6’5 and ran a 4.38 laser timed 40. Immediately following the event he received offers from Texas A&M, Georgia, and Miami. Shavers also earned himself an invitation to Oregon this summer to compete in the finals. In the mean time he plans to work to improve his game before making the trip to the Pacific Northwest. “I’m just going to keep working on my route running and try to perfect my craft to get ready for it.” Shavers is on the Texas radar, and he was invited to Austin last season to catch a game. Since then, contact with him and Texas has dwindled which is likely due to the staff changes the Longhorns went through. “We kind of fell off, we used to be in contact but I haven’t talked to them in a while.” Since then, Shavers saw his profile increase. He’s hearing from Alabama and Oklahoma currently, and they could be next to offer the skyscraping receiver. Shavers doesn’t have any spring visits planned due to a busy baseball schedule. Along with football, Shavers pitches and plays outfield for his high school. The lefty is also an accomplished baseball prospect, and he tells us he plans to play both sports at the next level. Are the Longhorns out of contention? Shavers told us if the Longhorns were to re-ignite his recruitment they would be right in the hunt. Learn the name, because it’s about to become one that is very well known in recruiting circles. +++++ Baron Browning is hard to miss when he walks on the field. At 6’4 230 lbs., he cuts quite an intimidating figure. Behind that façade, Browning is one of the nicest kids we’ve met in our time covering recruiting. The Kennedale prospect has the perfect mix of humility and swagger to go along with a million dollar smile and a violent game. Browning earned an invitation to Oregon for the finals of the Opening, and he spoke with us afterwards. “It was good to hear my name get called first. When I heard it I looked around thinking there must be another Baron in the building. I felt like I could have done better today, but it’s an honor I’m grateful to receive.” As expected, Browning excelled at the regional camp, but he does still see room for improvement. “The only thing I had a tough time with the pass rush. I had them beat every time, but I didn’t realize I was slowing down. They talked to me about finishing. It was the first time I ever did it, so it was a good learning experience.” Browning told us he’s working on getting more violent with his hands and at the point of attack over the summer, which is a scary thought if you see his film because he’s already pretty violent. Browning attended the Texas junior day in February, and the Longhorns are in a strong position for his recruitment if not the outright leader at this point. What is it that draws him to Texas? “I like how coach Strong has a real tight program. It impressed my mom, and it’s hard to impress my mom and dad, especially my mom, because she’s real picky. She was really impressed with the academic side and all of the support they have for the players during the season. They give you plenty of resources to succeed.” Texas is loaded on the linebacker front, but they are in strong positions to land the top two linebackers in the state in Baron Browning and Anthony Hines. The depth chart intimidates neither player, and both carry the same attitude about it. Browning summed that attitude up perfectly when he told us, “I’m going there to take someone’s spot.” Keep an eye out here, because things between Texas and Browning are definitely heating up.
  15. In this week's episode of the 4th and 5 Podcast Will Baizer and Mike Roach discuss Texas football spring practices which began earlier this week. Next, Will is joined by HornSports' Chris Flanagan to talk about the Longhorns basketball season, the recent early exit from the Big 12 tournament, how they project to do in the "Big Dance," and where the program is headed in the future.
  16. 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. +++++ Plano (TX) East linebacker Anthony Hines is the most decorated high school player in the nation. Hines boasts offers from 81 different schools including Texas, Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Penn State, USC, UCLA, and Texas A&M. Hines is a big-time prospect on the Texas board, and Charlie Strong is personally handling his recruitment. We spoke with Hines at a skills clinic this past weekend to get an update on his recruitment. Hines worked with the defensive back group at the clinic, and he took on every challenge that came his way. He jumped in on every rep he could, and he even lined up against receivers on the outside when he could have only taken reps against running backs. As he explained it, working with defensive backs helps to make him a complete player. “It always helps to have that DB footwork to go along with a linebacker mentality when you go out to these camps to compete and be the best.” Hines is no stranger to the camp circuit; in fact he dominated at The Opening regional in Dallas last year. Hines was named the MVP among linebackers as a sophomore, so he has several different goals for himself when he attends this year. “I gotta punch that ticket to Oregon this time, but I’m also looking to outdo my boy Baron (Browning), you know they’re all going to be out there, but I’ve got to prove that I’m the best”. Hines is very close with the other linebackers in the class, and they’ve created an environment of healthy competition. As his recruitment pertains to the Longhorns, Hines attended the Texas junior day in February, and really enjoyed his time on campus. “It was awesome. Always good to visit the facilities and visit with the head man. Coach Strong is an awesome dude, he has a really great presence, and he’s just a guy you want to play for,” Hines told us. With so many offers on his plate, Hines recently cut his list down to a top 20. Texas did make the cut, and the Longhorns are strongly in the mix to land the talented defender. So what is it about Texas that appeals to Hines? It turns out that early opportunity is a big recruiting tool. “I think they played something like fifteen true freshmen last year”, said Hines. “If you go there, you have a lot of early opportunity. He’s bringing that winning culture there, and I look for them to do very well this year.” Texas also has some help from a current player and an incoming player. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, Malik Jefferson might be a factor in this recruitment. Jefferson and Hines are known to one another, and they talk regularly. Hines told us that Jefferson is recruiting him to Austin, but so is Texas signee Jeff McCulloch. With so many great players already on campus at linebacker, you’d think it might scare off some players. As with anything in his life, Hines embraces the challenge. “They have a really good system of rotating in and out, and I really believe I can compete with those guys.” Hines will compete this coming weekend at The Opening Dallas Regional where he’s almost sure to land a spot in the finals. He’s visited Austin multiple times in the last year, but look for him to get to campus for unofficial visits in the spring and summer. One final note of interest. Not that it means anything huge, but it couldn’t hurt that Hines was wearing Longhorn gloves during the skills challenge yesterday. Stay tuned for one of the most anticipated recruitments of the 2017 class. +++++ When you play in the secondary with Brandon Jones, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Nacogdoches cornerback Josh Thompson has emerged from that shadow, and now he looks to lead the Dragon defense next season. We spoke to the east Texas corner during the skills clinic yesterday to get an update on how things were going in his recruitment. This was the first time Thompson was able to train with this talented group, and he really enjoyed the competition. “It was great just being able to see where I was at,” said Thompson. “It’s good going up against some of the best in this area and just getting some work in.” Thompson has his sights set on The Opening regional in Dallas this coming weekend. A great performance could put him on the map in the recruiting world. As things currently stand, Thompson is hearing from many schools, and he seems to be on the cusp of emerging as a known recruit. “Recruiting is going good,” said Thompson. “I’m hearing from more schools. I’ll be visiting La Tech on the 12th and I’m going back to Baylor on the 18th." Thompson was scheduled to be at the Texas junior day in February, but a last second transportation issue caused him to miss. Thompson stayed in contact with the Texas coaches, and he’s currently figuring out a way to get back to campus. “I’ll be going down soon, I’ve got to talk to Coach Jennings. You know he’s new there so he’s still figuring things out, but I’ll be going down soon." Thompson talked to Charlie Strong on junior day even though he couldn’t make it, and he was disappointed Thompson wasn’t going to be able to make it. “He just told me to keep grinding, and he was kind of sad I didn’t make it because he wanted to see me.” Thompson is close friends with Texas signee Brandon Jones, and if a Texas offer comes his way you can expect Texas will have a leg up. Look for Thompson to make his way to Austin during spring practice. +++++ Here are some quick recruiting tidbits we picked up throughout the week. Crosby WR Mannie Netherly picked up a junior day offer. We spoke to a source close to his recruitment, and we were told that the offer definitely grabbed his attention. The source told us specifically that “Texas is going to have to recruit their asses off.” Simply put, Netherly is very comfortable with the coaching staff at A&M, and he will be tough to pry away. We were told Netherly really likes the new offense, so that could be something in the Longhorns’ favor. Crosby 2018 RB Craig “Sqwirl” Williams made the trip to Austin with Netherly, and Texas made a big impression on him according to the same source. “He enjoyed it, but he didn’t get a chance to speak with Charlie. He likes UT.” It looks like this is lining up to be another Texas and A&M battle. The Aggies have been hard after Williams, and they’ve recruited him more early on in the process. La Grange RB JK Dobbins pulled off a surprise commitment to Ohio State over the weekend. In talking to a couple of different sources, it’s tough to get a good read on this one. One still felt strongly that Texas would be the team to beat on signing day, while another told us he didn’t expect Dobbins to be a guy that makes multiple commitments. I don’t think Charlie Strong is worried with the way he recruits, and if Texas can find some success on offense this year it gives him momentum to close. It also opens up the door for other options like Eno Benjamin or Kennedy Brooks. Obviously having one of your top guys commit to another school isn’t idea, but it’s still very early in this one. Lancaster WR Omar Manning is one of the hottest prospects out there. He’s gone from a relative unknown, to one of the most coveted players in the nation over the last few months. Manning first emerged when he dominated in the Texas high school playoffs last season, but schools started to take notice of him in February. Texas was a bit late to the party, but they finally came through with an offer last week. We were able to catch up with Manning briefly to get some thoughts from him. On what the Texas offer means to him: “It means a lot. It’s the state team, it has a lot of tradition. It’s awesome, I talked to Coach Strong himself”. On Texas waiting to offer hurt them in his recruitment: “Well the old staff didn’t really recruit me, so at first yes. As soon as the new staff got there they jumped right on me.” Our conversation with Manning got cut short, but we hope to speak with him again next week at the Opening regional in Dallas. He did tell us he plans to make it to Austin for a spring practice. This post has been promoted to an article
  17. A motion has been filed to subpoena former University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong in the divorce case of U of L Board of Trustees member Jonathan Blue. The motion seeks for Strong to testify and present evidence about his relationship with Tracy Blue. Jonathan Blue’s attorneys filed the motion Friday in Oldham County Family Court seeking to compel an oral deposition from Strong, who left U of L to coach at the University of Texas in early 2014. The motion also seeks the following evidence from Strong: Texts from Strong’s cell phone Strong telephone and cell phone bills from 2012 to present All gifts from Tracy Blue to Strong All correspondence of Strong with and about Tracy Blue A Movado watch, jewelry, shoes and other clothing given to Strong by Tracy Blue Strong’s calendar and travel records from 2012 to present All records of communication with Tracy Blue by associates of Strong Jonathan Blue’s attorney Ann Oldfather told Insider Louisville that they had no further comment about the case or the motion to subpoena Strong. Two weeks ago, Tracy Blue’s tenure as publisher of The Voice-Tribune abruptly ended; Jonathan Blue owns The Voice-Tribune. http://teamstre.am/1TxiQfh
  18. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-dambrosio/earl-campbells-enduring-appeal_b_4894209.html Earl Campbell's Enduring Appeal Sometimes it feels as if our heroes are all that are worth remembering in life. In today's sports world, faces and names come and go quicker than you can say brittle material. In football, the hero and legend status are doled out far too easily. Despite an exit from football more than 30 years ago, Earl Campbell's name still packs the same heroic wallop. His memory in the hearts of the public deservedly legendary. It's been more than three decades since the 5'11", 232-pound ball-carrying bull from the University of Texas, joined the Houston Oilers as the first player taken in the 1978 National Football League Draft. One year earlier, Campbell was a consensus All-American and the Heisman Trophy winner. His painstaking style of running earned him induction in the NFL Hall of Fame, in 1991. Campbell's game revealed itself in a character of black and blue shades. His type of sport was more about combat and collective risk -- to himself and to the opposition. When he joined the NFL he was adequately humble and adequately in touch with the reality of the sport and position he played. "I think that a lot of guys, they get out of football and they are lost," says Campbell, 58. Guys have been instructed on what to do from seven to five every day, and told what to do and not to do, and that's a hard switch. I tell guys at the university level to try everything they can to be a student-athlete, but to really learn how to be a student, and to get a degree. Football will outlast you, and that's what coach Bum Phillips always said. I always listened to what it was that he was saying. Eight years went by so fast, it was unbelievable. I made preparation, and I was always thinking about life after football, even after 1978 when I was drafted. I got a Bachelor's degree. I was always thinking about life after football. Part of his life after football is Earl Campbell Meat Products, which has manufactured sausage products for retail and food service sectors. Campbell's popular hot links deliver a unique Texas flavor that harkens back to his childhood. Says Campbell: I used to barbecue a lot when I was in pro football. I had the guys coming over every now and then. At the University of Texas, even back then, there were two guys who wanted to meet me and talk about a business, and that started the ball rolling. I was fortunate enough to have an accountant, a banker and a financial advisor, meeting once a month, starting my rookie season. Fortunately, I found a company, and the good Lord has blessed me. Business wasn't a smooth ride for Campbell. In fact, when big Earl spoke, at first, some were not too keen on responding to his questions or suggestions. Early on, it was hard to get people to respect my ideas. I was told a bunch of no's. But persistence, it's all persistence. At the beginning, people didn't want to listen to Magic Johnson about business. They didn't want to listen to him, but they wanted his autograph before the meeting. When you sit in the office, you have to know what you are talking about. Sometimes your friends would say, 'are you serious?' You start asking yourself if you are serious. It don't hurt to have those personal accolades behind your business. I realized it was a good idea to get good people around me. I was thinking, 'hey, you as an individual, you don't know everything, you don't know all of the responsibilities.' It was better to take heed of what they are saying. It's been a great ride. When people hear about the success, they don't know what you went through. Tyler, Texas Product Born March 29, 1955, in Tyler, Texas, Campbell grew up with 10 brothers and sisters. His mother worked in the rose fields. Dad died when he was in the fifth grade. Around that time, he started playing flag football. Tackle football followed in the eighth grade. His earliest memories revolved around football, and, well, barbecue. In Texas, everyone thinks that they can do their own barbecue, and every man thinks he's the best at it. My dad was gone, but there was always a brother, or a neighbor, thinking that they could cook. There was always someone out there doing a brisket. Campbell's Tyler High School won the state football championship in 1973, at a time when the city of Tyler was deeply split racially, and integration was still a freshly introduced concept. "That was the thing that brought the whole city together," says Campbell. "We've got a long way to go, but, boy, we have come a long ways." In 1978, he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player, All-Pro and Rookie of the Year. His running was never to be confused with high-brow artistry or classical ballet. The field was a battleground and he was at war. On a Monday night game (November 20, 1978) against the Miami Dolphins he rushed for 199 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Oilers to a 35-30 victory. Campbell played football with his whole body, his hands, head, face, and shoulders. Who can forget him spearing his head unforgivably into the guts of the opposition? Testament to Earl's structural endurance, he missed only six games out of 115 because of injuries. He was never fearful of shifting his weight and starting another aggressive push into a defender; he moved as if inspired by some stronger form of gravity. His finest year statistically came in 1980, when he rushed for 1,934 yards, at the time the second-highest single season total. In his eight-season career, Campbell rushed 2,187 times for 9,407 yards, and 74 touchdowns. Says Christian Campbell, one of Earl's two sons: It's amazing that even though he hasn't played ball since 1985, people are just as happy to see him as if it were yesterday. When people see him in the airport, they freak out. He is always doing something or going somewhere. There are a lot of things that may surprise people about Earl. Like the fact that he and Willie Nelson have been friends for more than 30 years. Physical Game Pure and simple, America is obsessed with football. We're obsessed with a sport in which men tolerate pain and gnarl their bodies, obsessed with the twisted wreckage, and the high-velocity reality of bravado. Campbell understands this obsession, and he doesn't see the need to modify the game or attempt to make it gentler. He doesn't need to engage in any highfalutin intellectual debate about it. Figure skating it isn't. Period. "It's not supposed to be elementary school flag football," says Campbell, "with no bumping or hitting. That isn't football." Earl Campbell was a glorified superhero of brute professionalism -- and his body has paid the price of that violent absorption. In 2009, Campbell was recovering from his fifth back operation after being diagnosed with a genetic condition called spinal stenosis -- in other words, his spinal cord canal narrowed to the point that it compressed his nerves. To mute the incessant pain, his doctor prescribed high-potency pain medication. Soon, he began mixing the Vicodin and Oxycontin with Budweiser. Nothing about addiction is ever prettily orchestrated. Pain eases. Pain is tamed. But then the substances overwhelm. Campbell began fumbling his words, alienating family, struggling to remember formerly familiar things, and squandering important business opportunities. His two sons, Tyler and Christian, told their father one morning that they worried about his health, and that they would be admitting him to a rehabilitation center. That, he says, was without question "the lowest point in my life." He went along with the scenario. But at first, he was incredulous about his needing clinical help. "I didn't believe I belonged with people hooked on heroin, cocaine. But I began to see myself in all of their stories and realized that we were all fighting the same fight." The date of November 16, 2013, marked Campbell's four-year anniversary of being clean of alcohol and painkillers. "I am incredibly fortunate to have my family's support and access to medical care and addiction treatment care. Other individuals and families who battle addiction aren't so lucky." Campbell believes that God rescued him from the destructive throes of addiction. "I thank God for the support of my family and fans," says Campbell. Back to the Basics Earl Campbell has a deep connection with God -- and his abiding sense of gratitude underscores the closeness of that relationship. I got away from the basics, and now I'm getting back to the basics. I tried all of the weak, fast stuff. I can say that if you don't have God in your life, it won't last. If you tell Him thank you for what He has done in your life, he will do more for you. Man wakes up in a different world all the time, the only thing consistent, and that doesn't change, is God. You can dial him up anytime. Nobody can stop you from talking to the good man, and to express, and to holler. My mother raised us in that Baptist church. I go there now, and even though she is not here right now, I go there and I thank her for what she taught us. Earl Campbell helped pave the path of modern football as the primal thrill of violent sports entertainment. There was a time when he was blessed with the power of a locomotive and he could demolish a defender with a single spear of the helmet. But that was then, and he is a different man now. Crippled by the game that he loved, he leads a life of wheelchairs, walkers and canes. Despite the physical setbacks, that misery that had once bowed him over is all gone. When he talks about gratitude, he is just as captivating as he was when he once walked down the runway, ready to engage in battle on the football field. He is wiser, more learned, a bit more pious, and he has no reason to ever hang his head down. He's Earl Campbell -- and we still love him. "I've learned in life that we all go through things," says Campbell. "But you don't get there all by yourself. That somebody, and that something, that is with you all of the way, that is Him." Brian D'Ambrosio is the author of 10 books, including a recently released book about the lives of former NHL tough guys, "Warriors on the Ice: Hockey's Toughest Talk."
  19. In this week's episode of the 4th and 5 podcast, Will Baizer and Mike Roach discuss Charlie Strong's offseason hires, starting with OC Sterlin Gilbert, Matt Mattox and ending with the last three hires. But first they touch on the implications of Charlie Strong's subpoena, what the new High School Relations hire can do for Strong and the Program, and Sam Ehlinger's bump in the 2017 recruiting rankings.
  20. 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. +++++ This week's edition will provide an updated list of upcoming Junior day attendees and a short synopsis on where things stand with those particular recruits and the Longhorns. Let's get started. QB – Sam Ehlinger – Austin Westlake The leader of the 2017 class will be in Austin to do some recruiting. Ehlinger is one of the recruits in this class leading the charge to land other players to the cause. Ehlinger is well liked and other players believe in him after a monster junior season. QB – Jalen Mayden – Sachse (2018 class) Mayden will be one of the top targets for the 2018 class, and an offer to him this weekend could go a long way to sending the message about his importance to Texas. If Texas offers it could put them in a strong position with one of the top passers in the 2018 class. RB – Eno Benjamin – Wylie East Benjamin is one of the top options on the Texas board at running back, but Texas has yet to extend an offer to the Wylie East back. Benjamin recently named Michigan and Iowa as two schools standing out to him, and he might want to make a decision soon. If Texas wants to get involved, they will need to come with an offer soon. WR – Camron Buckley – Cedar Hill Buckley is one of the top targets at wide receiver for the Longhorns, but the Cedar Hill pass catcher named Houston as his leader when we spoke to him last month. Texas definitely has a chance here, and they can pick up some ground if Buck likes what he sees. WR – Damion Miller – John Tyler The lone Texas wide receiver commit is still open to other schools, so this weekend is a good opportunity to draw him in. Miller is part of an east Texas trio of recruits, and this is the first chance for the entire recruiting class to really spend some time together. Miller is an important piece of the class so far, and this weekend is an important step in this recruitment. WR – Drue Jackson – Sachse (2018 class) Jackson is close with Mayden, and he’s been to Texas multiple times. It’s difficult to tell if he’s a priority for Texas for right now, but It’s a good chance for Texas to establish some early ground in this recruitment. OL – Tyrese Robinson – McKinney Boyd Robinson is committed to Oklahoma, but he’s still choosing to make a trip to Austin this weekend. While our sources indicate his Oklahoma pledge is firm, but anything can happen when you get a player on campus. OL – Grayson Reed – Cy Creek Reed is one of the top Texas offensive line targets, and he’s recently started to blow up from a recruiting standpoint. Reed is a Texas legacy, and he told us at the Army All-American combine that Texas was standing out for him. Reed has a great relationship with Matt Mattox, and Texas could come out of this weekend with a strong lead for the Cy-Creek lineman. OL – Walker Little – Bellaire Episcopal The state’s top tackle is a maybe to attend, and while whispers behind the scenes point to a SEC recruitment, Texas put themselves in a good position by offering Little first. Little making it to Austin would be big for Texas in this recruitment. ATH – Montrell Estell – Hooks If I had to pick a candidate I felt most strongly about getting a Texas offer this weekend, Estell would be high on my list. The big east Texas athlete has yet to be noticed on the national scene, but a look at his film will show you some of what made former Texas receiver Malcolm Williams such a coveted prospect. TE – Major Tennison – Bullard Much like Damion Miller, Texas needs to do some work in this recruitment. Tennison is committed to Texas, but he has some concerns about the new Texas offense and his role as a tight end. Sterlin Gilbert and Jeff Traylor will need to sell Tennison on his role in Austin. DE – Taquon Graham – Temple Graham likes Texas, but they haven’t been showing him the love the Temple defender would like to see. That lack of attention has TCU on top for Graham, but things can definitely change this weekend if Texas goes all in for Graham. DE – LaGaryonn Carson – Liberty Eylau The most vocal recruiter in the Texas class has a chance to make an impact this weekend and get some folks on board. Carson is a strong commit, and should be quite a tool for the Texas class going forward. DE – Alex Duke – Bellaire The Houston commit has yet to be offered by Texas, but if the Longhorns get involved they could make some noise with the Houston area defender. LB/DE – Kenneth Murray – Elkins Murray is one of the most versatile defenders in the state, and Texas has kept in steady contact with him. He’s another dark horse to receive an offer this weekend, and if that were to happen I’d say there’s a good chance he commits. LB – Levi Jones – Austin Westlake Jones will be one of the current Texas offers on campus this weekend. While interest is piquing from all over the nation, Jones is close with his teammate Sam Ehlinger, and the tealeaves say Texas sits in the lead. LB – Baron Browning – Kennedale Browning recently de-committed from Baylor, and he’s always had a love for Charlie strong and Texas. There is a lot of positive vibes floating for Texas and Browning, but this will probably be a long recruitment. Texas has a chance to put their best foot forward this weekend. LB – Anthony Hines – Plano East Hines has offers from over 80 schools, but he’s fond of Texas and is the top inside linebacker target for Texas. The Longhorns are trying to put together a third straight stellar linebacking class, and Hines is an essential piece to that. LB – Loren Mondy – Mansfield Lake Ridge The Arizona State commit has been to Austin a few times, and an offer from Texas could cause him to open up his recruitment. Mondy can play inside at backer or on the edge as a pass rusher. DB – Darrion Green – Woodrow Wilson “Speedy” Green has been on the Texas radar since last spring, and he’ll be making another trip to Austin for junior day. He can play on either side of the ball, but probably projects as a corner at the next level. He’s high on Texas and Oklahoma at this point. DB – Josh Thompson – Nacogdoches Thompson is a teammate of Brandon Jones, and he’s starting to stand out as one of the top corners in the 2017 class. Contact between Texas and Thompson picked up recently, and he could be in line for an offer at junior day. If Texas does offer it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Thompson jump all over it. DB – Kobe Boyce – Lake Dallas Boyce is starting to pick up steam as one of the top corners in the state. He’s had a string of recent offers and has been in contact with Texas coaches. There’s some thought Boyce could be in line for an offer this week, and if that happens he’s almost a slam dunk to commit. OL – Matthew Huhn – San Antonio Jay Huhn is a massive OL prospect flying under the radar right now. Texas has a few other targets in front of him, but keep an eye on Huhn as a prospect for down the line. DE - Bryan Jones – Madison Prep (Louisiana) Jones is a teammate of Texas signee Malcolm Roach, and his film looks good enough to justify an offer. With Roach already on board, look for Texas to lead if that happens, but never count out LSU for a Louisiana kid. DE – Earnest Brown – Denton Ryan The newest Texas offer doesn’t know much about the program or college football in general. Texas is one of his biggest offers, so they have a chance to create some distance this weekend. LB - Mohamed Sanogo – Plano West Sanogo might be a victim of crowded numbers at the linebacker position, but the Plano West prospect can flat out play. If Texas does offer they should sit pretty high for Sanogo. DB – Derrick Tucker – Manvel Tucker has been close to committing a few times, and Texas is among his top schools along with Houston. Reggie Hemphill will be working on Tucker in his remaining months at Manvel, and Texas could get him locked down this week. Tucker has a good relationship with Clay Jennings who was recruiting him at Arkansas. +++++ We had a chance to talk with a couple of sources about Hardee McCrary, who was announced as the new High School Relations Director. The early returns were positive from the older coaches in the state who knew McCrary first as a Texas player and then as a coach under Mack Brown’s staff. In short, the coaches who know him love him and think he was the perfect choice for the position. He’s more popular with older high school coaches in the state, but they told us his ability to relate with people shouldn’t make it hard for him to establish strong relationships with coaches who don’t know who he is. Those we spoke to thought this was a big step for Texas going forward.
  21. UPDATE (01/30/16, 9:23 pm): The HornSports Pre-NSD Happy Hour will take place at The Gingerman, 5607 Morningside Dr, Houston TX 77005 at 5:30 pm. The Gingerman is in Rice Village just a couple of blocks from the Rice Campus. We will have reserved tables in the back and we expect to see ALL of you there! For parking, your best bet is to find a spot on the street or park in the garage across the street in the shopping center (paid parking). #HookEm Gingerman website - http://thegingerman.com/houston/ ---------------------------------- We're considering a Tuesday, February 2nd Happy Hour to get together and talk recruiting, give away some HornSports gear and wait for National Signing Day to ring in. Who's potentially in for this? Let us know with a dab or a reply here.
  22. 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. +++++ News and information on recruiting is challenging to come by at this point in the process, so while Burnt Ends will be a bit skinny this week, we are still going to give you a few choice morsels. Let’s start with what we know about the new coaching hires made by the Texas staff. Anthony Johnson – The new Texas running back coach is returning to Austin after a playing career in the early part of the century. Johnson has since bounced around a couple of lower level schools, but he learned his craft under some great head coaches. His time under Willie Fritz at Sam Houston State is big time, and gives him the Texas ties fans desire so much. He also learned under Matt Campbell, a fast rising name in the coaching community who was just hired at Iowa State. Johnson is an east Texas native which also makes him a very attractive option. We spoke to a few sources in east Texas familiar with Johnson, and they had nothing but good things to say. “Anthony is as legit as they come”, said one source. “He’s not going to be out-worked on the recruiting trail, and he has such a gift for reaching young men”. Another source told us that his east Texas roots give him a codified status that many cannot attain. “Being from Jefferson, he’s one of us”, said another source. “That kind of thing carries a lot of weight when you go into these schools”. Johnson also has experience as an offensive coordinator in a run heavy spread attack, so he seems to be a great fit for the direction of the new offense. Charles Williams – The former Indianapolis Colts assistant is a bit more of an unknown at this point. We have yet to connect with any sources that can tell us much about Williams, but what looks evident is that his resume stands up strongly against anyone else’s. Williams has been in the game for more than 30 years, including stops collegiately at TCU, Minnesota, Miami, South Carolina and North Carolina. Williams also has an extensive professional resume including positions with the Buccaneers (1996-2001) and Colts (2012-2015). While it’s unclear how effective of a recruiter Williams will be, we can see where Charlie Strong is going with this hire. Sterlin Gilbert’s offensive staff is fairly young, and Williams can provide the veteran mentor role to the position. If the other members of the staff are recruiting at a high level, it won’t matter if Williams is an ace or not. His ability to coach the position and provide guidance for the youthful staff could prove to be invaluable. It won’t hurt on the recruiting trail to tell players he’s coached Keyshawn Johnson, TY Hilton, Reggie Wayne, and Andre Johnson. +++++ 2017 Kennedale (TX) linebacker Baron Browning is a freak of nature. He possesses linebacker size with safety like speed and movement ability. One look at his film shows skills that are among the elite of the elite in the nation. On Valentine ’s Day, Browning broke Art Briles’ heart when he dropped his commitment to Baylor in favor of opening up his recruitment. Following his de-commitment, Browning requested no press contact him for new interviews. We, of course, respected those wishes, but we can tell you this is a move we’ve been expecting for a long time. We spoke to Baron a week or so ago, and he did confirm he will be at the Texas junior day on February 27. So who is in the running for Browning’s services? The answer is just about everyone. Browning has offers from the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, and UCLA. While that type of national profile affords him many options to explore, the early race is between Texas and TCU from what we are hearing. Stanford is also looming in that race, and the Cardinal prove to be a pesky foe for recruiting in-state. Since Browning isn’t giving new interviews, let’s look back to what he said to us about Texas after his visit last summer. “The best part was talking to coach Strong. People don’t know the real coach Strong looking from the outside in. You’ll think man he’s crazy doing this or doing that, but everything he does is for the sake of his players. He really does care about his team.” If that sentiment seems familiar, it’s because it was quite prevalent with many of the 2016 top prospects. Browning will probably take his recruitment a long way, but Texas has a chance to jump in and create some room starting this month. +++++ Texas extended an offer today to 2017 Denton (TX) Ryan defensive end Earnest Brown. We caught up with Brown afterward to get his thoughts on the offer from Strong and the Longhorns. “It feels great”, Brown told us. “That is a big time program”. Brown told us that he definitely has an interest in Texas but he doesn’t know much about the program. In fact, Brown doesn’t know much about any programs as this is just his second year following college football. Brown told us he grew up a basketball fan, but started following football when he realized his future was on the defensive line. He has yet to receive a junior day invite, but if one does arrive he plans on making it to Austin. +++++ Timarcus Davis isn’t a big name in recruiting circles, but the College Station (TX) prospect most likely will be soon. Davis doesn’t have overwhelming size (5’11 170 lbs), but his long frame should allow him to add weight that couples with his explosive athleticism. Davis has offers from Texas State and Cincinnati, and while he’s hearing from a number of other schools none of them have made an offer yet. Baylor, Arizona, TCU, Houston, and Missouri are also in the picture. If Texas were to get involved here it sounds like they could be near the front of the pack. “Growing up, everyone around me liked Texas. In my eyes I can see myself in any jersey, as long as I’m given a chance on the field”, Davis told us. Davis was recently named Second Team All-State, and plans to run track in the offseason. We’ll keep you updated on this recruitment as it progresses. +++++ We are still in the process of compiling a junior day list for you, and we’ll have a complete one out as the date draws closer. For now this is who we have confirmed to be attending the Texas junior day on February 27. (Commits noted in bold) QB – Sam Ehlinger – Austin Westlake QB – Jalen Mayden – Sachse (2018 class) RB – Eno Benjamin – Wylie East WR – Camron Buckley – Cedar Hill WR – Damion Miller – John Tyler WR – Drue Jackson – Sachse (2018 class) OL – Tyrese Robinson – McKinney Boyd OL – Grayson Reed – Cy Creek ATH – Montrell Estell – Hooks TE – Major Tennison - Bullard DE – Taquon Graham - Temple DE – LaGaryonn Carson – Liberty Eylau DE – Alex Duke – Bellaire LB – Kenneth Murray – Elkins LB – Levi Jones – Austin Westlake LB – Baron Browning – Kennedale LB – Anthony Hines – Plano East LB – Loren Mondy – Mansfield Lake Ridge DB – Darrion Green – Woodrow Wilson DB – Josh Thompson – Nacogdoches Maybe Attending RB – JK Dobbins – La Grange WR – Mannie Netherly - Crosby DB – Derrick Tucker – Manvel Not Attending WR – Tylan Wallace – Fort Worth South Hills DT – Marvin Wilson – Bellaire Episcopal #HookEm
  23. The Longhorns cracked the Top 25 in both polls (#24 - Associate Press, #25 - USA Today Coaches Poll) and will face #3 Oklahoma tonight in Norman at 8:00 PM. The game will be televised on ESPN. Texas has won four in a row and look to notch another big road win tonight against the Sooners.
  24. Story by Mike Roach, HornSports Senior Recruiting Analyst An eventful National Signing Day wrapped up on the 40 Acres following the conclusion of Charlie Strong’s press conference. It’s fair to say Texas won the day from the way they dominated the national headlines along with Alabama and Florida State. While Charlie Strong and his staff endured doubts and barbs regarding their slow start, Strong and his crew had the last laugh as they closed quickly and decisively on a majority of their top targets. Coming off of a 5-7 season, Texas had a tough job to do in selling a struggling program to recruits. The Texas staff rose to the challenge, and as Charlie Strong has shown in the past, he is never out of the fight. One thing he’s also had a knack for is coming up big when his back is against the wall. The Longhorns filled almost all of their needs, and in a majority of cases they did it with their primary targets. The other important mission was winning back the state of Texas from their primary recruiting rivals. The Longhorns landed decisive blows against Texas A&M in this class, but Baylor and TCU put together very good classes and are right on their heels. For this cycle though, it appears Texas did enough to establish themselves as the big winners in the Lone Star state. How did they do it? Texas put together a coordinated effort which included a heavy dose of social media and support from the program's current commits and players. It cannot be emphasized enough how important the players already on campus were to this effort. The trio of Charles Omenihu, Malik Jefferson, and DeShon Elliott were out in front as the faces of this effort. If Texas can put this type of effort forward each season, there’s no telling what they can accomplish. Let's not fail to mention the effort put forth by the Texas coaching staff. While many have been knocked as recruiters, the staff really got after it. The ace in the hole was Jeff Traylor. In his first year as a Texas coach, Traylor came up huge in several recruitments, including the race for top safety Brandon Jones. With all that said, let’s take a look at how the 2016 Texas signing class breaks down. The Crown Jewels Each class has their headliners, and the Longhorns had many to choose from. Shane Buechele – Quarterback There was no question about it, quarterback was a paramount need in this class. Texas closed down early on with the top passer in the state. Buechele was a leader throughout the cycle doing massive work to bring this class together. Buechele enrolled early, and might have a chance to win the starting position this spring. Brandon Jones – Safety For the second season in a row, Texas landed the top player in the state. Jones is an elite playmaker that can step in and play immediately on the Texas defense. This was a big head to head win over A&M, as Jones was thought to be an Aggie lean for some time. Jeffrey McCulloch – Linebacker Texas was a favorite to land “the shark” for most of the year, and after some shaky moments in the fall, they were able to close the deal. McCulloch was one of the top defenders in the state and another head to head win against A&M. McCulloch joins a crowded young linebacker group, but his talent and versatility can get him on the field early. Erick Fowler – Linebacker Fowler’s talent is immense, and flipping a recruit from LSU is always a big victory, but the Manor product could fill a big hole at the fox position. Texas did not land a dynamic pass rushing defensive end, but Fowler could fill that need. Like McCulloch, he’s also a candidate to play early because of his talent and versatility. Big Numbers For Big Needs Charlie Strong targeted a heavy run along both front lines, and Texas cleaned up with the big guys in 2016. Jean Delance – Offensive line Delance was the top offensive lineman Texas signed, and the North Mesquite product became a vocal recruiter after making his pledge. Delance could probably use a redshirt year to add weight, but his athletic profile is one to be excited about. Tope Imade – Offensive line Texas got some serious beef, and Imade isn’t dwarfed by any of them. The Arlington Bowie prospect has good size and great strength. He’s a raw player who will benefit from college level development, but his size and strength is already exciting. Denzel Okafor – Offensive line Okafor is a mix between Imade and Delance. He’s a big strong player with good athleticism and high upside. Okafor rose in the rankings during the recruiting year, and he’s probably the incoming lineman most likely to play early. Zach Shackelford – Offensive line Shackelford was a late edition, but he was a big need with holes in the interior line. Shack is already on campus, and could compete for the starting center job during the spring. Andrew Fitzgerald – Defensive end Fitz was a guy the staff evaluated and offered late, and that appears to have paid off. He has a prototype build for a strong side defensive end, and his size could make him an early contributor. Malcolm Roach – Defensive end Roach is a jack-of-all-trades that could figure in at multiple positions. Forecasts would put Roach on the strong end as well, but he also shows some ability to feature in the fox position. Roach also has good size and athletic ability, so he might be one to watch next season. Jordan Elliott – Defensive tackle Elliott drove fans and coaches crazy this season with an eventful recruitment, but the Houston defensive tackle has some bona fide ability. Elliott is one of the only true three techniques in the state, and he will be called upon to provide depth immediately. Gerald Wilbon – Defensive tackle Wilbon stayed committed throughout the season, enduring the roughest of times for a recruit to go through. His film greatly improved from his junior to senior season, and Wilbon could play quickly at the nose position. D’Andre Christmas-Giles – Defensive tackle “DCG” burst on the scene pretty late, but he shows some pretty freaky ability for a guy his size. His first step is pretty incredible, and he should be able to make an impact early on. Chris Daniels – Defensive tackle Daniels was a late pull for Charlie Strong and company, but he brings some serious size and speed to the defensive tackle position. He might need to do a bit of re-shaping for his body, but he has the size to figure in at the nose right away. Marcel Southall – Defensive tackle Southall has some position versatility, but he may also need some re-shaping before he’s really ready to go. He could ideally be deployed all along the line and used in multiple ways. Nasty by nature Physicality is always a a priority for Charlie Strong, and Texas made sure to get some players who love doing the dirty work signed. Demarco Boyd – Linebacker/Fullback Gilmer’s most versatile athlete was a leader in this class and is already on campus. Boyd could play on either side of the ball, but he’s a very intriguing option as a fullback/h-back. Peyton Aucoin – Tight end Aucoin is a tight end by name, but he’s here to get his hands dirty. Possibly the best blocking tight end in the nation, Aucoin is a carbon copy of former Texas tight end Geoff Swaim. Aucoin might be headed for the offensive line, but wherever he ends up, he will be an absolute steamroller. Eric Cuffee – Defensive back Cuffee is an aggressive, physical player that loves to bully the opposition. He can fit in at corner, safety, or nickel, and should be an immediate special teams player. Chris Brown – Defensive back Brown is a sledgehammer who loves to headhunt. Like Cuffee, Brown has position versatility to play anywhere in the secondary. \ Skill in all shapes and sizes With a new offense headed to Austin, Texas needed to land a talented group of skill players with different tools. Lil’Jordan Humphrey – Athlete Humphrey is a human mismatch at 6’4 210 lbs. He’s being recruited to play receiver, but he can also line up as a flex tight end or running back. Davion Curtis – Wide receiver Curtis doesn’t have the size that Humphrey does, but he does possess speed that no one else in the class has. He also has a familiarity with this offense, which gives him a leg up on early playing time. Reggie Hemphill-Mapps – Wide receiver Reggie was the key recruiter within the commitment group. His quickness and fluidity will help him find soft spots in defenses to exploit for big gains. Collin Johnson – Wide receiver “Young Megatron” brings an incredible package of size and athleticism to the position. He has star qualities, and if he rehabs from his injury successfully, he could play right away. Kyle Porter – Running Back While many thought Texas would pass on a runner this year, Kyle Porter adds a nice package of well-rounded skill. He won’t beat out the incumbent performers for the job, but he does have a very good chance to win the third string job.
  25. Defensive End San Antonio, TX William J. Brennan High School Ht:6'3" Wt:220 lbs Rivals profile -http://rivals.yahoo.com/texas/football/recruiting/player-Derick-Roberson-137676 247 Profile - Derick Roberson Hudl Page - Derick Roberson - Highlight Videos, Schedule & Roster - Hudl Film from McComas (OB): Committed to Texas on 08/02/2012 LSU was the only other school that offered Roberson prior to him committing to Texas. *Ranked #8 on the HornSports 50 for 2014 - http://www.hornsports.com/horn-sport...r-2014-edition

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