Open Post | Monday, February 22nd (UPDATE: 3 PM)

– Player Note | Tristen Nickelson: The offensive line returns 3 starters from last years team, senior Kent Perkins and sophomores Connor Williams and Patrick Vahe. If Perkins plays his natural position at guard in 2016, a guy who some expect to really challenge for the starting right tackle position is junior Tristen Nickelson. Perkins missed a few games in 2015 and Nickelson started for him in most of those and did a good job. I have been told that Connor Williams has been looking really good at tackle in 1-on-1 drills, but who is really surprised to hear that? What is exciting to hear is that the second name being brought up by folks behind the scenes as an offensive lineman who has looked good this off-season is none other than Tristen Nickelson. Nickelson is also just a huge guy, last I was told he is up to 6’7 320 pounds. If that’s not an intimidater, I don’t know what is. – (Andrew)

Coach Note | Matt Mattox: I also heard that the offensive lineman really like the new OL coach Matt Mattox. I was told he is so much more relatable to his players compared to Joe Wickline. I even had one person say he was the “anti-Wickline”. The workouts for the lineman, and everyone else have been very up-tempo so I think that confirms what we all know which is the new coaches will expect the new offense to move very fast. – (Andrew)

Jeffrey Okudah: This past weekend I caught up with everyone’s top 2017 defensive back target, Jeffrey Okudah (Grand Prairie, TX). Okudah released a top 10 that did not include Texas but in talking to Okudah it’s clear that things continue to move around for him. “That recruiting class that coach Strong brought in really made me rethink things with regard to Texas…it gives you reason to believe that things are moving in the right direction”.

Okudah visited Texas once last spring and tells me that he will make a return trip to Austin this upcoming weekend for the Texas jr day. Okudah tells me he wants to play for a major football program but also said that, “academics are an emphasis for me and my family”. Many may not know this but Okudah isn’t just one of the premier football players in the country, he’s also an excellent student in the classroom. – (Super K)

– Another Visitor | Andre Johnson: Okudah isn’t the only South Grand Prairie visitor expected to make the trip to Austin this weekend. SGP running back, Andre Johnson is also expected to be in attendance for this weekend’s jr day. We will try to have more with him later this week. – (Super K)

– UPDATE (3 PM): Everyone wants to know if Texas HC Charlie Strong will have to testify in a divorce case that involves a top donor at Louisville, it looks like we will find out on Friday.

46 Comments

  • Hook'em ETex says:

    Glad to hear some of the bigger names like Odukah have taken notice of the change brewing down on the 40. Whether or not he ultimately picks Texas, its encoraging to hear quotes like his.

    • Super K says:

      I think Okudah’s decision on Texas will have a lot to do with how well Strong does next season.

    • Super K says:

      I think Okudah’s decision on Texas will have a lot to do with how well Strong does next season.

  • Danny C says:

    Having two above average tackles would make everybody else on this offense better. I REALLY hope Nicholson (or someone else) is ready.

    • Andrew King says:

      One thing about Nickelson is that he isn’t near as nimble as Williams but that’s because he’s so tall. He is a really good run blocking OT.

  • Tom Selleck's Moustache says:

    Normally I get really excited about academics being important but looking at Okudah’s top 10, we don’t stand out like we normally might. I’m getting really excited about spring ball, can’t wait to see what actually comes out when people can see the players play. An OL of Williams-Perkins-?-Vahe-Nickelson with Nickelson playing well would be incredible. That’d be a real beefy line too. I’ll assume Shack starts and the recruiting weight on 247 is accurate, but based on last years numbers that’d make the line 283-325-291-319-320 lbs.

    Woah that’s big.

    • Andrew King says:

      Yeah I’m leaning towards a Williams-Vahe-Shackelford-Perkins-Nickelson OL. We won’t know for sure though until spring and summer.

      • ibLonghornFan says:

        What leads you to flip Perkins and Vahe?

        • Andrew King says:

          I believe Perkins has always played either RT and RG, I could be wrong. They’ll find the best spot for those guys.

        • Andrew King says:

          I believe Perkins has always played either RT and RG, I could be wrong. They’ll find the best spot for those guys.

      • Canadiantx69 says:

        I’m feeling like that will end up being the line as well, and it’s quite exciting. We already know that the left side of that would be incredibly solid, based on their play as freshmen, and then Shack and Nickelson have a lot of upside. Plus, Perkins when he’s at guard is actually solid.

        It’s gonna be odd having a real OLine again.

    • ChickfilATX says:

      I’m guessing based on frame, pics I’ve seen, and a year in a D1 S&C program Williams is over 3 bills by now…which would put that line into the elite category!

  • ACreativeUsername says:

    Nickelson was one of my favorite OL signees and i’ve been hoping he would emerge. he is absolutely enormous, a certified mountain of a man. having that sort of length at a tackle position coupled with Williams on the other end will be huge both for running and passing

  • ACreativeUsername says:

    on another note – i hate to bring this up, but what is the general feeling around this Louisville suit? i understand there isn’t any allegations or accusations (though he’s already guilty according to a lot of keyboard warriors), but the statements released by Perrin and Strong felt kind of empty. this story doesn’t look good at all and i am really hoping this goes away, or better yet proven to be completely baseless and a fishing expedition. just kind of worried that if this isn’t proven certifiably false, it will just linger and undermine his values image

    • Andrew King says:

      That’s a very weird situation and honestly nobody really knows much or anything about it. So we will just have to see what happens.

      • ETxHookEm says:

        Regardless of the outcome – does this effect recruiting, esp. with a big JR day coming up?

      • ETxHookEm says:

        Regardless of the outcome – does this effect recruiting, esp. with a big JR day coming up?

        • ACreativeUsername says:

          while im more worried about the effect on Strong’s own family (i came from a broken family and it’s not fun), this is a definite concern. negative recruiting is already happening for us (he cant coach, no offense, being in Big XII, etc) but i feel like it would be much easier to negative recruit if you could say his entire core value and “good guy” persona is a total crock and hypocritical. i think that’s why this story is giving me cause to worry

          • Turftoe says:

            His whole thing is recruiting the Mother – selling core values. He needs to remove any doubt from the situation if he didn’t do anything wrong (my presumption is he didn’t).

            If he did something and it comes out his required Wins in 2016 to keep his job just moved up a couple. 9-10 wins would probably balance out the scandel – and maintain momentum for the program. 7-8 + a scandal I think he goes.

        • Andrew King says:

          I don’t think so right now. Schools will try to use it against Texas if things string out with this situation. But schools recruited against Texas so hard last year, like Texas A&M and how did that turn out for them?

    • RalphEmerson says:

      Empty statements are standard in this situation, especially given the lack of actual allegations and executable legal actions (subpoenas). Why would he respond to a nothing story with a “I did not cheat on my wife.” That screams guilt, and makes anyone who wasn’t thinking “affair” start to think “affair.”

      This is standard operating procedure for someone in a high profile job. Also, reading more details about this situation, it screams “smear campaign” against the wife.

      1. 7 total people are having documents and electronics requested, not just Strong.
      2. The requested documents are from a 4 year time span. In a court of law, this will almost entirely be viewed as too invasive of a request (especially for someone not named in the suit). The husband’s lawyers know they won’t get this material, but they also know how the request looks.
      3. The “gifts” in question total a few hundred dollars at best. For anyone who knows anything about boosters, gift-giving is very, very common. I’m not saying Strong did or didn’t do anything, but the wife of a prominent booster giving the coach of the supporting school’s football team some minor gifts isn’t crazy, or indicative of any questionable behavior.
      4. Family Law, especially divorces and custody battles, are some of the messiest legal situations you can be in. The husband took away the wife’s ability to pay for lawyers (he held the purse strings) and it now attempting to imply that she either had numerous affairs, or was at the very least careless with money and her reputation in the community. Again, pretty standard in situations like this, especially when one person has most of the financial control, as the other party has a hard time finding the legal support to refute the claims.

      In cases like these, especially when there isn’t direct evidence of a person having a serious problem that makes them an unfit parents, it nearly always devolves into name calling and mud slinging. It’s sad, and it’s destructive, but nothing has been released that really implicates Strong in anything below board, and his and Perrin’s non-response responses are par for the course in situations like this.

      • Tom Selleck's Moustache says:

        Dang, great response. Do you know why they’ve asked for Strong’s phone? Wouldn’t any texts between him and the booster’s wife be on her phone? Or is hers MIA? I saw something that both parties requested everything be sealed with the proceedings to protect the kids, so it seems likely that even if CS gives some sort of testimony it won’t get released anyways

        • RalphEmerson says:

          Honestly, I think everything they’re asking for is really just to get people talking about the implied indiscretions. I’d be shocked if an out of state court affirms a request for 4 years of ALL text messages, 4 years of travel records, and 4 years of calendar records from a high profile person like Strong, and even more shocked it Strong couldn’t get it quashed by a Texas judge. In civil cases, jurisdictional issues are super complicated, and the privacy of non-named parties is valued pretty highly. Also, I think they know he probably doesn’t even have the same phone he did in 2012.

          To me, this feels like a hail mary–hoping that they can squeeze the wife through fear of a damaged reputation into giving in, or, in the unlikely event that they get a few of the 7 requested text message histories, they find something actually damaging.

          I think this goes away in a few weeks, and the responses by Perrin and Strong, while unsatisfying, were exactly what needed to be said.

      • ACreativeUsername says:

        well said, thanks for the explanation that makes a lot of sense to me

    • Jake says:

      I don’t see how any of strong’s disposition or records see the light of day. I don’t even think he will have to release anything. He’ll probably just ignore it and it’ll go away. I don’t really think it impacts the program. Like are atm or ou going to say worse things about Strong on forums? They said bad things before and will say things after. Same goes for recruiting.

      • ACreativeUsername says:

        yeah good point, just hate seeing that crap if we start doing well again, ya know those comments “yeah y’all won but YUR COACH IZ A BAD GUY even though i have no evidence of it”

        • Jake says:

          I was looking forward to the claims that red mccombs bought all the good recruits and Charlie still can’t coach.

  • reyj says:

    is dylan moses gonna be at the junior day? I thought I read somewhere he was but that’s a heck of a trip from florida…

  • bah007 says:

    I had always assumed that Nickelson would be the most likely starter at RT. Maybe Major puts up a fight and perhaps Delance gets a crack at it when he gets on campus. But I expect that Nickelson will be the guy so that is very good news.

    As far as Center, do you guys expect that Shack will be the starter against Notre Dame or just the eventual starter? What about a guy like Rodriguez? He played some OT in high school I think. And he’s played some OG here. Could he play C? I like having freshmen that are capable of starting but I prefer that they start because they earn the job, not just because we don’t have anyone else. Then again, maybe our depth quite isn’t to that point yet.

    • Spoetzl says:

      Or Cuney? He’s still an underclassman (RS So) — does he still have potential at center? Under normal circumstances, the 3rd year (w/ redshirt) would be the year for an OL to take the big leap.

    • Andrew King says:

      I think it will be either Shackelford or RS Sophomore Terrell Cuney, but I’ve heard Shackelford has attacked everything since he has arrived at Texas and I think he’s leading heading into Spring for the starting spot

  • JT says:

    Have any other players stood out that they’re talking about as well? What is the atmosphere like in the conditioning phase? Are the qb’s getting with the receivers on their own time?

    • Andrew King says:

      They’re all working hard and getting ready for the new up temp O.

      • Javed Maknojia says:

        It will be great for players to work with actual up temp O coaches, compare to the coaches in the past who did not what actually up temp O was. I think this will also help us on defense. Looking forward to coming season.

  • Bill says:

    An analysis of the request for info from Coach Strong by SI’s legal analyst Michael McCann:

    Legal analysis of Texas coach Charlie Strong’s link to Louisville divorce case
    http://www.si.com/college-football/2016/02/22/charlie-strong-louisville-divorce-case-texas

  • MarkInAustin says:

    Sheroid Evans is back!

    • Andrew King says:

      Yeah Coach Johnson’s comments confirmed it. Just hope he can stay healthy.

      • Curtis says:

        Where do you see him fitting in the defense? I know he hasn’t played in the last two years but could he be used as the nickle or would he just remain at corner and provide experienced depth?

  • James H says:

    Happy for the young man, never giving up on his dream, and could bring some valuable depth and experience if healthy. His speed would be a great to have in the secondary.

  • Spencer Caffrey says:

    New DB coach Clay Jennings – "I have a great group of guys to work with and I'm happy to be getting Sheroid Evans back too." #HookEm #Texas— Sean Adams (@thatsean) February 22, 2016

    • Spencer Caffrey says:

      I’m not sleeping on Sheroid. I wouldn’t be shocked if he saw the field a LOT this fall.

      • Andrew King says:

        He has all the tools and had a great part of the Spring last year, but he has had so many injuries.

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