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Happy Junior Day, everyone! This will be our running thread for all things Junior Day related over the weekend. Kids have already arrived in Austin, but won’t be accessible to media until later on today once it wraps up.
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS PRO DAY & SPRING-GAME ACTIVITIES UT's Pro Day has been scheduled for March 26th. The Spring game is scheduled for April 19th at 1:00 Stay tuned for Tailgate Information related to the Spring game! MAX WITTEK UPDATE Former USC QB Max Wittek visited Hawaii last weekend and is said to have enjoyed the visit. Wittek is not close to a decision and he may still take visits to Louisville and TCU. We assume Virginia Tech is no longer an option since former Lake Travis and Texas Tech QB Michael Brewer announced he will transferring to VT. MARCH 1st JUNIOR DAY VISITORS Offensive QB Quinten Dormady, Boerne High (Boerne, TX) QB Jaylon Henderson, Kingwood Park (Humble, TX) QB/ATH, JW Ketchum, Fort Bend Marshall (Missouri City, TX) RB Kirk Johnson, Valley Christian (San Jose, CA) Has Texas offer RB DeUnte Chatman, Summer Creek (Humble, TX) RB Jatory Sparks-Brown, DeSoto (DeSoto, TX) WR/ATH Billy McCrary, Rouse (Leander, TX) WR Jaelan Austin, South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, TX) WR Jalen Guyton, Allen (Allen, TX) WR James Proche, Prime Prep (Dallas, TX) OL Conner Dyer, Horn (Mesquite, TX) OL Isaiah Edwards, Cinco Ranch (Katy, TX) OL Tyler Higby, The Kincaid School (Houston, TX) Defensive LB Diamon Cannon, Shoemaker (Killeen, TX) LB Riley Garner, A&M Consolidated (College Station, TX DE Breylin Mitchell, Round Rock High (Round Rock, TX) DE Tyrell Thompson, Copperas Cove, TX DT Derek Brown, Katy High (Katy, TX) DT Darrion Daniels, Bishop Dunne (Dallas, TX) DT Bryce English, DeSoto (DeSoto, TX) DT/DE Kingsley KeKe, George Ranch (Rosenberg, TX) S Kahlil Haughton, Midway (Waco, TX) 2016 Class QB Brennan Wooten, Marble Falls (Marble Falls, TX) WR Collin Johnson, Valley Christian (San Jose, CA) Texas Has Offered DT Kendell Jones, Shoemaker (Killeen, TX) Texas Has Offered CB Malik Antoine, University Lab (Baton Rouge, LA) CB Jared Mayden, Sachse (Sachse, TX) Texas Has Offered ****Junior Day Offers**** Kendell Jones - Defensive Tackle - Shoemaker HS in Killeen, Texas Jared Mayden â€“ Defensive Back â€“ Sachse, Texas Kirk Johnson - - Running Back - San Jose Valley Christian. Colin Johnson â€“ Wide Receiver - San Jose Valley Christian. ************************** CROSSFIRE Q&A Q) Who do you see as our starting tight end this fall & how will they be used in our passing offense? A) Louisville ran a double tight end set and I believe we will see it at Texas too. Louisvilleâ€™s 1st string tight end caught 36 passes last year and the 2nd teamer caught 18 passes, so the you can bet we are going to see more use from the tight end position. Other TE tidbits: Greg Daniles will be primarily a blocking tight end and has shown decent receiving skills Geoff Swaim will used in multiple sets as a blocker and receiver. Blake Whiteley will be used as a receiving tight end until he can add some seize. MJ McFarland is probably the most intimidating tight end but, has not shown the consistency in the blocking game to stay on the field. McFarland is a transfer candidate. Q) First, who thinks it is a priority to recover our relationship with MBTF (I never had any problem with Mrs. Brown)? A) I donâ€™t anyone is thinking itâ€™s a priority. It was just a question. Second, why would they not be ready? A) They were removed from office and they were not ready to leave. They both believe they were done wrong by Texas because they did not get to leave on their own terms. Sally has given all of her Texas clothing a way to a former staff member. There are hurt feelings that only time can heal. Q) Third, why the sudden concerns about how people feel toward MBTF? People have their opinions about how things went down. If you want to change those opinions then give us substantive evidence as to why anybody that is not supportive of how MBTF conducted himself should reconsider. I am not asking for a recap of his accomplishments at Texas. I know them already. A) I honestly have no concern on how people feel towards Mack Brown. You canâ€™t change anyoneâ€™s opinion on Mack Brown. There are reasons why people like Mack Brown and there are reasons others dislike him. It is futile trying to convert either side. Both sides have their reasoning. Q) Why should I give MBTF a break and why do you care? A) I have never asked you to give Mack a break. I have moved on and have found it liberating to let the past go and concentrate on the new regime. Q) My same question from last week. Give us some info on the possibility of LHN being picked up by Directv or Dish (my only two options) by the time football season rolls around or is that even on Patterson's to-do list right now. A) It is a priority for Patterson, IMG and ESPN to get the LHN on one of your two options. At this time I donâ€™t what the possibilities are. I guess we just found out how high of a priority it was. The LHN has now been inked by Dish Network. I would look for Directv to follow suit. ESPN packaging the LHN with the SEC Network no doubt assisted the LHN in getting this deal done. Q) Who do you anticipate leaving the football program? Word is we need to free up 8 slots to reach scholarship limit of 85. A) The staff has met with those that are better served playing football somewhere else. 8 would be a safe number to assume since some of kids are sitting on the fence. We are already down two with Scott & Moss being dismissed so, 6 more is well within reach. The problem is Texas has some very good talent sitting on the fence. The staff has been very supportive but some kids have not developed the discipline needed in order to play under the new regime. In the next few weeks, we all will have a more lucid picture of who is onboard going into spring ball. Q) I've heard from various mathematical sources that Pie R squared. In my experience, pies are usually round. Can you please clear this conflict up for me? Squared or Round? A) I would let the various mathematical sources that you have heard from clear this up for you & quit picking on me Q) With the SEC Network going live in August, does that help or hurt the LHN chances of being picked up by the various carriers? A) If the carrier is offering the LHN in the same package that carries the SEC Network, then it increases our chances to be picked up or included by various carriers. Q) Why all the love for ex-USC QB Max Wittek? If he couldn't win the job at USC, why does anyone think he has a chance here? A) The out of town girl is always looked upon as glamorous. Iâ€™m going to tell you right now, it is a position of need. If Ash goes down, we could be in a world of hurt. Q) Confirm that the chances that we change the design of our uniforms, even for one game is zip, nunca, nada. A) That is the one question I would have for Patterson. I used to believe that there is no way in the hell that Texas would consider changing the design. Now, with the trend of new designs shown by a majority of programs, Iâ€™m not so sure? Q) A lot has been written recently about the new desire to increase the quality of stadiums versus the quantity of seating. i.e. more luxury boxes, in-stadium experiences, removing nose bleed sections, etc. Any of those discussions being had at UT? Patterson spoke at a sports club I attend and mentioned the enclosing of the south endzone, but nobody talked about anything else. A) Patterson and the hired consultants are still in their assessment phase. There has been a lot of discussion on several projects but, not priority or schedule has been set. Q) How have the beer sales gone, so far? Any problems? Or, are we on the way to $1 million revenues? A) There have not been any problems. Did you notice the venues all the involved agencies are monitoring the alcohol use from? Womens Basketball, Baseball etcâ€¦ Pretty calm crowds in general. The fact is, the venues they are generating their study off of, is in no way going to be the same atmosphere at a football game. However, we had to show we are doing our due diligence by acquiring data from TABC, APD and other agencies. Q) In your last Xfire you and FoB discussed that Aggies are paying for players. I commented that saying the Ags are paying needs to stop unless there's something to back it up and got killed by other commenters. A) No, what was discussed is that FOB had lunch with a former college coach and the subject came up that this is a topic of discussion with the Texas High School coaches. Q) Our basketball entertainment is lame. Any work going on to change it? I would like to see the days most popular songs and the dance team freelancing. Lets try the professional bball entertainment mode just once and gauge the appeal. A) All of the sporting venues are under evaluation. With Pattersonâ€™s history in the NBA, I would expect Texas to adopt some of the NBAs entertainment ideas. Q) What is the status of Leroy Scott, is he on double secret probation or is he gone without comment from the new coaching staff? A) As of right now, Leroy is off the team. Whether or not Coach Strong is going to give him an opportunity for reinstatement is yet to be seen. Q) What is being shared with media and/or interested alumni about The Plan? WTF is Texas going to put on the field. I'm hearing the players playbooks are super secret. Does anyone outside the coaching staff and maybe some players have a clue what kind of O/D the Horns are going to use in 2014? A) The plan is to compete for the B12 title in the first year. The staff believes they have enough talent to win every game they have on their schedule. Look for the defense to run a 3-3-5 stack and the offense to use pro multiple sets. Give the staff the spring to evaluate what talent they have to run a particular offense/defense. Q) 1. mcphaul, are there any updates as per the "disney" contingent? Are there many changes / ideas forthcoming? are the "disney" staffer's touring the mighty confines of belmont hall? are they meeting with football management? what gives, upon this all important "game day" front leading into the next season? A) Like I mentioned previously, all sporting venues are under evaluation. 2. mcphaul, we are all acutely aware that there is indeed a new "sheriff" in town in regards to the "texas" gridiron hierarchy. however my friend, whenever you approach your weekly interview as per "friend of bevo"... this time, dig deep! i mean, for some strange reason, lately i get the feeling that we are "barely scratching the surface of topics" whenever you speak with him. i mean think about it mcphaul.... in the past, "fob" was a "juggernaut" of information. and now a day's, it seems as though he is just "tip toeing through the tulips" or so to speak. "fob" should indeed be a bit more comfortable with the new regime to some degree darryl. tell him that he has us spoiled... and i'm sure that he may really decide to "bring the wood". A) Give everyone time to get to know one another. Relationships on every level take time. The staff has been on the job for a short time but, yes, the FOBâ€™s are making those introductions & building those relationships. Q) Are there plans to rearrange basketball seating next year to get students closer and liven up the crowd at games? A) It is being looked at but, no plans have been finalized, only thoughts and ideas. Q) We've talked a lot about the new coaching staff. I'm interested in how that translates on the field like anyone else, but am curious as to what player on the team is going to benefit the most from some actual coaching and conditioning. I have my own thoughts, but would like to hear FOB's thoughts on this. Who springs forward above where we thought they were due to the improved coaching and conditioning? A) The staff is counting on DT Hassan Ridgeway to step his game up along with DEâ€™s Caleb Bluitt, Shiro Davis and Bryce Cottrel. The offensive line is the other area Texas should see marked improvement. Stacy Searles did a wonderful job of rebuilding the roster with young depth. I know Coach Wickline is pleased with the talent he has to work with. It is crucial that Kenny Estelle dedicates himself to school & football. At this time, the verdict is still out on Estelle. CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO Me: Whatâ€™s going on? FOB: Just got back from watching the baseball team take all three of their games in Houston this weekend. Me: That was a great series for us. Talk about a confidence builder. FOB: Yes, yes it was. Let me commend you on your city. We all have such a great time every time we come down here. Good Lord I must have put on ten pounds this weekend. Picking a place to eat in this town is always such a great treat. Back to baseball, this is a very gritty bunch. The pitching was very good but, the difference between this yearâ€™s club and last year's is: this team is finding a way of winning the close games. We did not win these types of games last year. That Peters kid threw a heck of a game. Me: What has changed? FOB: The boys were challenged this past off-season both mentally and physically on a level they have not been in the past. Me: It seems to have paid off? FOB: Accountability is good thing. Augie will be the first tell you he himself he had to dust up (prepare) differently this year. Me: I have heard this could be Augieâ€™s last year. Any truth to that? FOB: It has definitely been discussed. Honestly neither party is sure which way it could go right now. Me: Letâ€™s talk about basketball. FOB: What do you have? Me: I heard no matter what happens the rest of the season that a decision has been made to retain Coach Barnes next season. FOB: The Myles Turner camp has asked for assurances that Rick Barns and Jai Lucus will be coaching at Texas next year. Texas has assured them that should not be a concern. Read into that what you will. Me: With the addition of Turner and literally the whole team returning next season gives Texas Hoops fans every reason to believe we can snap Kansasâ€™ stronghold on the B12 title. FOB: If Barnes lands Turner, Texas will undoubtedly have one of the saltiest front courts in college basketball. Me: Not to mention Isaiah & Felix with another year under their belt. FOB: Barnes should be able to make some serious noise this year and next with that roster. Me: Letâ€™s get back to football. FOB: What ya got? Me: Why isnâ€™t Texas getting the top blue-chips to visit for our Junior Days? FOB: There are different reasons for different kids. It is track season so, that has limited some kids from making the trip. Some others canâ€™t find the transportation and some want to be shown more love that includes an offer before they visit. Me: I guess I was of the impression that kids would line up to visit Texas and meet the new staff. FOB: The ones that have, certainly have been impressed. More importantly, the parents are starting to see what Coach Strong is all about. JW Ketchumâ€™s momâ€˜s certainly had a lot of praise for a Coach Strong and the changes as did Darron Daniels' father. Once recruit parents start getting the word out, you are going to see more recruits and their parents making the trip to Austin. Me: Should we be concerned? FOB: Not yet and I will tell you why. Let Strong get a year under his belt, a season he can point to that shows the recruits, parents and Texas HS Football coaches that he and his staff are on the right track. I hate to bring up Coach Brown again but, this program become extremely stale on all fronts. Coach Brown's lack of leadership, the assistant coaches jockeying for position and disagreeing about personnel, no accountability amongst the players, really created a very unhealthy culture at Texas. Coach Strong is not popular enough on the national level or in the state of Texas to overcome the damage that was done in the last four years in a couple of months. Me: So, he has his work cut out for him? FOB: Think about all the different issues Charlie has had to address in the last two months alone: Changing Jobs Hiring a staff Moving his family Retaining the 2014 class Implementing a new culture with rules & accountability Getting to know his players Traveling and introducing he and his staff to all the HS coaches across this big state Evaluating next yearâ€™s recruits and that mean nationwide Getting ready for the his first spring practices Charlie has more on his plate than most but has continued to address each area with the utmost confidence. Me: I have had several people that have recently visited Bellmont tell me that the mood is somber. FOB: I donâ€™t get that feel at all. That sounds like someoneâ€™s personal feelings. Look, there is definitely an "all business" attitude on the Forty now and with evaluations being conducted in just about every area, there is going to be tension in the air. Me: Back to recruiting. We did not have one commitment from last weekendâ€™s Junior Day. FOB: We only offered four kids and two of those are for the 2016 class. One area I am going to point out again is this: the OOS recruiting is not like anything we have ever seen at Texas before. We have 40 plus in state offers out and 20 plus out of state offers out and that out of state offers continue to be extended every week. Me: Do you think that is a good thing? FOB: I think it is a necessary to go out of state at this time. Until Strong and staff have a season to sell and time to build those relationships, Texas is darn lucky this staff has out of state contacts & relationships to draw from. Texas could well indeed end up with 10 out of state commitments in next year' class. Me: Wow that is a lot for Texas. FOB: That number should subside once Coach Strong and staff has a year under their belt or it might not. Charlie may well put Texas on the national map. I do know this, he is not scared to go after ANY kid. Me: Thatâ€™s all I got for now. Appreciate the time as always! FOB: You betcha.