Open Post | Weekend, January 8th – 10th

2022 Commit Jaylon Guilbeau Talks Head Coaching Change
– CJ Vogel

2022 Port Arthur Memorial cornerback Jaylon Guilbeau is the lone commit in the Longhorns’ class currently, but he is there. Through the decommitments of Quinn Ewers and Phaizon Wilson, and the change in coaching staffs, Guilbeau has remained locked into his Texas pledge.

At Fast 7v7 tryouts in Houston, Guilbeau proved why the old staff made a push for him so hard early on and why the next staff must establish contact with him as soon as possible.

I caught up with him to talk the change in coaching staffs and who he is hearing from in his recruitment.

“It was crazy,” Guilbeau said when he first had heard of the decision to part ways with Tom Herman. “Coach Herman and I had a good relationship. I have to build a new relationship with the new coach. I know he came from Alabama as the OC, so he is going to have the Texas offense rolling so everything should be good there.”

Guilbeau mentioned it would be pretty big for his commitment if Jay Valai was retained, though if he wasn’t, that would not be a reason for him to decommit from the Longhorns.

“Staying with the program, I am still here,” Guilbeau said. “My options are still open and everything, but it’s just part of life.”

Though Guilbeau said he is locked in to the Longhorns for now, the biggest competition still comes from Texas A&M. Guilbeau mentioned the Aggies are the only other school he is consistently hearing from at the moment.

Once COVID-19 clears up, Guilbeau said he hopes to get to campus as soon as he can. He cited the new facility and stadium upgrades as something that has really piqued his interest to get back to Austin.

Should Guilbeau stick with the Longhorns all the way through the next year, he said he will sign early and enroll in January.

“I plan on going to college early to get ahead of the program. When you are ahead of the program, everything is on point real quick for you.”

Update | LJ Johnson & Camar Wheaton
– Super K

***I chatted with LJ Johnson a bit and it sounds like coach Sarkisian has already been in touch with him. In terms of his decision LJ tells me, “I’m still deciding. I still won’t have a decision probably until February”.

He did fill out his school application at Texas and sources on the OU side tell me he did the application for OU. I would assume he did the same for TAMU. That’s no small thing – those applications are long, so typically if a kid goes through that it means they are either very serious about going to that school or are committed.

We do believe OU has decided to not take a high school back. So, for now, I believe they are out.

***I checked with a source close to Camar Wheaton and am told that Sark has not yet reached out to Camar. I don’t know how that will work with Sark coming from Alabama and Camar being committed to Alabama. Sometimes there are gentlemen’s agreements. I know Locksly and Saban had one for a player or two who were committed that were from the DMV area.

However, I do get the sense that if Sark and co were to make a move on Camar that it could interesting. I still stand by my reporting in the summer that Texas was very close to landing Camar before things went south.

A Word on the Sarkisian Hire
– Super K

I’m sure we will be discussing the Sarkisian hire quite a bit in the coming weeks but in the midst of the chaos I noted that we have yet to really offer some initial thoughts.

This search started by targeting Urban Meyer. So, unless the ultimate hire ended up being Dabo Swinney or Nick Saban, the ultimate hire was likely to feel like a let down.

And, I’ll admit when I first heard the name back in December, I didn’t love it.

Since then, I’ve had people around me ask me if I think it’s a good hire.  My answer to them has been…

***A change had to be made and…

***All things considered, this was probably the right hire.

Herman was beginning to lose recruiting battles to Baylor. The 2022 class was going to be bad. Herman was putting himself in a position where the talent wasn’t going to be good enough to even maintain eight or nine win seasons. And with the recruiting trajectory the lack of incoming talent, especially on the line of scrimmage, would have made things even more difficult on whoever would have inevitably been brought in to replace Herman.

CDC wanted an offensive guy and rightfully so given the need to score points in the Big 12 and the high school recruiting landscape in TX leans offensive.

Given the past two hires were from mid-major programs (Louisville has since moved to the P5 ranks), it was important to Texas that they get a guy who had P5 coaching experience.

Also, seeing someone turn a program around (Washington was horrible before Sark got there) would have been a plus.

Texas was also looking for someone who had been to the college football playoffs. They would have preferred to have had a head coach in those ranks but Saban, Dabo, etc. weren’t coming.

So as you explore the landscape, who else was there but Sarkisian?

Sark gives you a guy who has developed multiple quarterbacks.

Sark gives you an offensive minded head coach and attracts the kind of staff needed to give Texas a chance to build an elite and balanced offense.

Sark has been at Alabama and USC so he’s accustomed to recruiting the best players in the country.

Sark limits your downside. Herman has been an eight or nine win guy at Texas. Sark was hitting about that many wins towards the end of his first run as a head coach while struggling with some serious off the field issues and before he’d been mentored by Saban.

In other words, with the staff upgrades alone you figure at worst Sark gives you a similar result as Herman but gives Texas a recruiting bump.

But we’d probably seen Herman’s upside in this current position right now in his coaching career. While Sark limits your downside, he gives Texas the hope of a high upside.

To me the worst case scenario is that you get a similar result to what Herman was giving you but you reload the talent in the program and are looking for another coach in a few years. Texas was probably going to have to do that with Herman anyway but without the talent bump.

At least now there is hope of a brighter day and given the initial offensive hires, there is more reason for optimism than there has been for a while.

Notes | Chris Marshall, Jaidan Scott, Eric Hemphill, Scott Koumado
– CJ Vogel

Finishing up with some notes from the Fast 7v7 tryouts from this past weekend, I have a few more interviews of current and potential Texas targets to dump on y’all.

2022 Fort Bend Marshall WR Chris Marshall

At the current moment, Chris Marshall is a consensus three-star across the ranking services, however that will absolutely not be where he finishes this cycle ranked. Marshall played his first season of competitive football last year as a junior at Fort Bend Marshall where he racked up 45 receptions for 1,009 yards and 18 touchdowns.

At 6-foot-3-inches, Marshall is an exceptional athlete with a superb basketball background. His football days are just beginning and division one programs are already taking notice as he has 11 offers already.

“I am really just taking it day by day, the recruiting process is going crazy right now,” Marshall said. “I’m really just going with the process.”

Marshall said he is mostly hearing from Texas A&M, USC and Baylor at the moment. Texas offered on December 11 under the previous staff, so Sarkisian’s staff will have some ground to make up whenever the coaching hires are announced.

On the bright side, Marshall said he had interest in the Longhorns prior to Tom Herman’s departure and it remains with the ongoing changes. He added he is excited to build a relationship with Sarkisian and whomever the WR coach may be.

“I feel like I can fit in anywhere I go,” Marshall said after I asked if he could see himself thriving in an offense like Sarkisian’s. “I feel like I can go in there and play my freshman year. And I am going to be ready and working.”

Distance won’t be an issue for Marshall who said he is willing to play wherever he finds his “second family” at the next level. For the moment, it is hard to ignore the impact Texas A&M has made on Marshall, especially considering their recent success at Fort Bend Marshall HS.

2022 Shadow Creek S Jaidan Scott

Shadow Creek had been a friendly spot under Tom Herman and his staff and there remains no shortage of talent. 2022 safety Jaidan Scott stood out a bit at the tryout so I caught up with him to see where he recruitment currently stands at the moment.

“It had been going a little slow, but it is starting to speed up right now,” Scott said about his recruitment. The 5-foot-11-inch defensive back currently holds offers from Cincinnati, Memphis, Texas Tech and Kansas State.

Scott was in communication quite often with the Longhorns up until Craig Naiver’s departure, since then the line of communication has been cut off quite a bit. Should the new staff coming knocking on his door, the interest should be easy to rekindle.

Scott said he has been familiar with the campus having been up there with former high school teammates Xavion Alford and Terrence Cooks.

2022 Brenham DB Eric Hemphill

Another defensive back that Texas may be targeting down the road is Brenham’s Eric Hemphill. Currently Hemphill holds offers from just Kansas, Memphis and Illinois State, but playing with Fast will certainly help get more eyes on him.

Outside of his current offers, Hemphill said he is hearing quite often from TCU and SMU as well. With TCU’s recent success of putting defensive backs in the NFL, the development part of things is standing out early for him.

“It tells me (TCU’s coaches) know what they are doing,” Hemphill said in regards to DB’s from TCU being drafted recently.

Hemphill told me “Texas is a great program” and that if the new staff came knocking he would absolutely be interested.

On the field, Hemphill is a prototypical slot corner at 5-foot-10-inches. The Brenham product recorded a sub-50 second 400m dash during his freshman track season and showed great hip flexibility on the field as well. Speed will never be an issue for him.

2023 Shadow Creek LB/S Scott Koumado

Off the bat, the size and athleticism of Scott Koumado intrigued me. The sophomore currently is being coached to play outside linebacker at Shadow Creek, however he was taking part in a number of safety drills during the workouts on Sunday at Fast 7v7.

Right now Koumado is in what I like to call the prepubescent stage of recruiting where he has yet to see offers come in, but coaches are beginning to reach out to him and establish some sort of relationship. With that said, Koumado’s time to pop onto the scene will be here before you know it.

Right now, this name is one to put a pin in, but Koumado will certainly have his pickings of places to attend college when it is all said and done.