Open Post | Wednesday, August 8th

A Couple Georgia Running Backs To Visit Texas
– Andrew King

Texas is still looking to land a 2019 running back. For the 2019 and 2020 class, running back is a position of need.

In both 2019 and 2020 classes, there are the known targets: Sanders, Cain, Evans (20) and McClellan (20).

Texas has extended some offers to a few running backs from Georgia in the 2019 and 2020 class. A couple of those guys are set to visit Texas.

– TFB was first to report that Buford (GA) RB Derrian Brown would be visiting.

As we previously noted, Brown was hoping to make the visit to Texas for the USC come down. He reconfirmed that visit scheduled for September 17th. He tells me that coach Drayton and coach Jason Washington have been in regular communication.

As K noted in his “insider take” on Brown, Auburn was apparently the biggest threat to Texas for Brown. But talking to someone on the Auburn side, I’m told that they too are pushing for Noah Cain and may have slowed things down a bit for Brown.

Texas can take two backs. So, they’re likely in a better spot to take Brown and still wait on Cain’s December commitment date than Auburn.

 

– 2020 Carver (GA) RB Jo’Quavious Marks picked up a Texas offer last week and Marks told me that the offer caught him by surprise. He said up until the offer, he hadn’t heard much from the Longhorns. The Texas staff let his high school coach know he had an offer.

Marks is a 2020 prospect but has already stacked offers from the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and others.

It seems the Texas offer has Marks attention. He let me know that he plans to take an unofficial visit to Texas on September 7th with the Horns host Tulsa.

 


 

Two Standing out for Jacoby Jones
– Super K

It wasn’t a huge surprise when JUCO defensive end, Jermaine Johnson, committed to Georgia, yesterday.

Texas had already made a move on another JUCO defensive end, Jacoby Jones (Butler CC). The Horns offered Jones back in May when he made an unofficial visit down to Austin.

Jones was planning on making a return unofficial visit to Texas a couple weeks ago for the Friday night recruiting event but decided instead to take in the OU BBQ the following Saturday. The Sooners offered Jones after the visit.

I spoke with Jones immediately after that visit.

Jones is a December grad and says he will make a decision following his official visits. So far he’s only taken one official visit which was to North Carolina State. But he says he will likely take at least three of his four remaining official visits this fall. He plans to visit Texas, OU and possibly Texas Tech or Oregon.

Jones is in camp and is limiting his contact with media.

But, immediately after the visit, I did ask him if there were any schools standing out and he said, Texas and Oklahoma

So, as of now, this appears to be another Red River battle.

I can tell you, having seen Jones in person, he’s well put together. Every bit of 6’3 and a muscular 250 lbs. He certainly looks the part and after a few months in a college S&C program, he’ll definitely look like an NFL defensive end.

 


 

Quick-Hitters | Jalen Green, Mookie Cooper, Tufono & More
– Super K

***TEAM NOTE: Am told Jalen Green has been repping some in 1s and 2s group and then spending time in the 3s and 4s group. Green was talented in high school but my concern with as a guy who appeared to play primarily on athletic ability was how quickly he’d pick things up.

I’m told that the learning curve is certainly there but there is a lot of optimism about what they’re seeing from him and what they think he will become once he does learn the defense.

Once source said, point blank period, “Green will be better than Cook”. Keep in mind, Cook is definitively ahead of Jalen Green and will likely remain so this season. You’ll see Cook on the field. The source is saying that down the road, Green will eventually surpass Cook.

Though

source said, “But what difference does it make if one is the 1st and one is the 4th corner taken in the draft. Who cares?”

 

***2019 LB Maninoa Tufono announced his commitment, on Monday. Leading up to the commitment we noted that Tufono would not be selecting Texas.

As expected he committed to USC…

Texas is looking to take two to three more linebackers. They’re sitting in a good spot at the moment for David Gbenda. I did speak to someone on the TAMU side and was told that TAMU will not have a place for Gbenda. Though I don’t think that would’ve mattered.

 

***I recently had a conversation with 2020 ultra-athletic WR/RB, Mookie Cooper (St. Louis). I’ll have a full update on him shortly but wanted to pass along an exciting note.

Cooper tells me he will take a return visit to Texas for the USC game.

And he will be with his teammate and friend, 2019 WR, Marcus Washington (did I not tell y’all Texas was going to get a crack at this one?).

Cooper is an unbelievable talent. Texas needs weapons like Cooper to take the championship step on offense.

 


 

Eyes of Texas on a new JUCO Linebacker
– Super K

I know everyone is curious about the linebacker recruiting. As I mentioned in the comments section, in a previous post, JUCO LB and Tennessee commit Lakia Henry is a guy Texas continues to recruit.

Another guy worth keeping an eye on is Caleb Johnson (Fullerton College).

Johnson doesn’t yet hold a Texas offer but has begun to have some initial communication with Texas, “I talked to the director of recruiting, Bryan Carrington and then coach Orlando”.

While Johnson is currently committed to Iowa State, he said if Texas wants to bring him down on a visit this season, he’ll “definitely” make the trip.

Johnson is another run and hit guy who looks like he can play multiple positions in a 34 defense.

 


 

Dylan Wright Commits To Texas A&M
– Charlie S

– 2019 West Mesquite wide receiver Dylan Wright has announced he has committed to Texas A&M.

While we know the Wright’s are a “Texas family”, we had been lead to believe it was trending in A&M’s direction for a little while now, and the family had been having less communication with Texas recently.

However, we thought they would wait a while before committing to either school to see how the teams performed in the early part of the season.

We will be reaching out to gather some additional information, but should Texas continue to recruit Dylan, and we have no reason at this time to believe they won’t, Texas could still have a shot here should things go off the rails for Texas A&M in the early part of the season.

 


 

Rodas Johnson Focused on Texas
– Super K

Recent 2019 Texas DT offer, Rodas Johnson (Columbus, OH by way of TX) dropped his top six, earlier this evening.

Schools that made the cut along with Texas are OU, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Notre Dame.

I spoke with Rodas after he dropped the list. He said he does plan on taking an official visit to Texas and added he will speak with Coach Giles later this week to get that visit set up.

I asked Johnson, who has so far used one of his official visits in Wisconsin, which other visits he plans on taking, “Ive been to a school like Penn State a lot so really I’m focused on Texas because that’s the one school my parents haven’t seen yet”.

OU is not a real player in Rodas’ recruitment.

 


 

Quick-Hitters from Open Practice | August 7th, 2018
– Alex Briseno

We are pleased to have Alex Briseno contributing to TFB. Alex is the sports editor for The Daily Texan.


After taking its NCAA-mandated day off on Monday, Texas relocated to Whitaker Fields for day four of preseason camp.

Here are notes and observations from Tuesday’s practice:

***At left tackle Okafor ran with the first group. Calvin Anderson ran with the second group. Watched some of the offensive vs defensive line reps and Charles Omenihu was doing what he wanted. Coach Hand was visibly upset. Coach Yancy McKnight, however, seemed to be enjoying the show.

Sourced Note via Super K: I continue to ask about Anderson and how he’s doing and I continue to be told that before it’s all said and done, he will be the starter. In fact one source said, “he stoned Hager three out of four times, today”. I’m told the staff is impressed with him.

***Texas has been careful in its handling of graduate transfer running back Tre Watson’s return from injury. The transfer from California was limited in the first two days of practice, only participating in non-contact drills. Herman said he was limited on Sunday as well when the team put on pads, but cranked his involvement up for Tuesday’s practice. Watson is expected to be ready to go on Wednesday or Thursday for the first two days of full-padded practice, allowing him to take the the starting job — if he wants it.

***It’s obvious Texas won’t rely on any of the current backs like it did with D’Onta Foreman. That was clear last year, and that mentality hasn’t changed. Aside from Watson, sophomore Danny Young flashed glimpses at several points during his freshman year and should also be considered a front-runner to get a hefty chunk of playing time. With Texas willing to give multiple backs time, keep an eye on these two as fall camp unfolds.

***Offensive line coach Herb Hand on the running backs at Thursday’s press conference: “You like to have someone step up and say, ‘I’m going to be the one that wants to be the feature back.’ But it’s going to take the whole stable, just like every other position. You’ve got to have quality depth to be able to play the type of schedule we play. In college football nowadays, you’ve got to have two or three guys you can really count on.”

***Cameron Rising continues to get reps with the ones…

***But, the primary quarterback battle still appears to be between Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele. In a press conference Thursday, Herman said Ehlinger would take the first snap, stating, “He’s earned it.”

***Sourced Note via Alex: It’s worth noting that last week I did speak speak to a source close to the program after the first practice who said there was “nothing special” from any of the quarterbacks after day one. In other words, no one separated themselves on the field but that Herman has been “obsessed” with Ehlinger. I’ll reach out to my source later today to see how things have progressed. Most of what we saw today were short passes. So, there wasn’t much to take away.

***Herman said he’ll announce a starter, “When it becomes obvious.” Last season, that wasn’t until the day of the season-opener, so don’t expect an announcement for at least another couple of weeks.

***With 6-foot-6-inch junior Collin Johnson hungry for a breakout season along with the athletic freak in 6-foot-4-inch Lil’ Jordan Humphrey, Texas knew it could have a star-studded wide receiver unit. This isn’t even taking into consideration freshman Brennan Eagles, who officially gives Herman and Texas a good problem: too many receivers and not enough footballs.

***When we first got out there the first the three receivers running with the first team were, not surprisingly, Collin Johnson, Lil Jordan and Duvernay. I did not notice Beck or Brewer on the field. I’m checking with a source on that to find out why.

***Collin Johnson’s expectations are as high as they’ve ever been, and he’s aware of it. After what appeared to be his breakout performance against USC, it seemed safe to expect similar performances for the rest of the year. A USC-like performance never returned and Johnson was even demoted ahead of the Oklahoma State last season. With another year of development under the same coaching staff, expectations are high yet again after he was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list. He will likely go viral for another one-handed catch before preseason camp is said and done.

His ball-catching skills aren’t the thing being questioned. Once the pads are on, it’ll be his physicality with the biggest question mark behind it.

***Tight ends haven’t exactly made a name for themselves in the burnt orange for a decade. That should finally change this season. It should’ve changed last season, but Andrew Beck’s season ended before it even started after suffering from a fractured foot. That all but destroyed any confidence Herman had in having a strong tight end presence. Now, with a healthy Beck, Lake Travis alumnus Cade Brewer returning from injury and redshirt freshman Reese Leitao available, it should be safe to say Texas will finally have a strong tight end presence.

***Again, didn’t notice Beck or Brewer out there. Interestingly, RS freshman TE, Rob Cummins was out there. Again, checking on the TE situation.

The Longhorns will be practicing at Whitaker Fields for the next two weeks before returning back to Frank Denius Fields in preparation for their season-opener with Maryland. Herman did not hold a post-practice media availability as he has done after the first three practices but is expected to talk after Texas’ first practice in full pads on Wednesday.