Open Post | Tuesday, July 20th

Talk of the Town | Name, Image, Likeness
– CJ Vogel

As you know, there is a new era of collegiate sports upon us heading into the 2021 season. Players will be able to profit off of their name, image and likeness through endorsement deals, sponsorships and autograph signings. As the Head Coaches of Big 12 teams migrated to Cowboys Stadium for the annual Big 12 Media Days, there was not a topic more talked about than the new bill.

A good majority of the coaches and players in attendance over the last two days was asked their thoughts on the NIL and what it could mean for the future of the sport.

Texas HC Steve Sarkisian

Sark has been pretty consistent with his thoughts on name, image and likeness since the rule was enacted. Thursday afternoon, Sarkisian shared with us some thoughts about the how players should be educated about the new future.

Sark voiced concerns over the new adult age players would be facing with legit business opportunities at hand. Making sure kids were well versed in business literacy and taxes was a thought that came to mind. You will see below in Bijan’s quote what he means.

Regardless, Sark said he is excited for it. On top of the city of Austin, stadium renovations, facility facelifts and pride and tradition at The University of Texas, Sark believes it will go a long way in helping the team recruit down the road.

Texas RB Bijan Robinson

The star Texas running back spoke with media in his breakout session and you bet there were some questions regarding the NIL. Robinson said he has already inked deals with Raising Canes and C4 Energy, s

“I’ve never had to file taxes before, so that’s what I’m going to have to learn a lot.

“We can’t make that stuff (NIL) the main focus,” Robinson said. “We can never let the NIL stuff get in the way, because it can become a distraction or possibly divide the team. I think everyone on our team knows, we need to be professional about it and keep it away from the locker room.”

Robinson also said he met with Earl Campbell last week to discuss business opportunities as a star running back. Basically a passing down of knowledge from one legend to the face of the program today.

Texas DT Keondre Coburn

One of the livelier characters to take the podium this week was Keondre Coburn. On top of being hilarious, Coburn is set up for a big season this fall, something potential marketing partners should take note of. Coburn was asked a few times about the potentials of the NIL and what he believes it could bring to the table.

While Coburn was not as excited about the NIL compared to other athletes asked this weekend, he did say he will give it some thought. Coburn mentioned the offensive line having a group brand call “Brunch with the Bigs” and while he is supportive of the OL’s dedication to getting into the fun of NIL festivities, Coburn said he will take care of his football dreams first.Oklahoma FB Jeremiah Hall“I’ve been around for a while, so I didn’t initially come into college for the NIL. To me it’s just like a bonus… It’s not why I came here…It’s nice to have, but it’s not my main thing.”Hall mentioned a number of Sooners having looked into profiting off of their name, image and likeness, but the fifth year senior did not seem too interested.If you remember, Spencer Rattler launched a clothing brand earlier this summer.

West Virginia HC Neal Brown

The head coach of the Mountaineers fell more on the hesitant side of things compared to the rest of the conference’s head men. Brown expressed the importance of keeping focus on the football side of things. He said coaches, especially on

“They can maintain those priorities and still profit off name, image and likeness. They can still do things socially. I think those are all possible. As coaches, the important piece with the players is relationships. None of those changes. Name, Image and Likeness, that doesn’t change. You have to focus on relationships, and I think for our staff’s perspective, that’s what our focus is. And then everybody on our staff was hired because they are experts in football.

Oklahoma State HC Mike Gundy

Gundy had a pretty laid back approach to the new Name, Image and Likeness situation. He said he is going to have a pretty hands off approach to the situation and how his players handle things. Gundy said he and Oklahoma State will have a staff in place to teach necessary lessons regarding money management, taxes and building a brand.

With that said, Gundy believes the coming months will be paramount for the future of NIL. “I think we’ll all know a lot more about it a year from now.”

Gundy said back in his quarterbacking days, he probably would have signed for “25 bucks and a pack of Topps trading cards or something. That would’ve about wrapped it up… There wasn’t much demand for a 5’11.75″ and 185 pound quarterback.”

Kansas State HC Chris Klieman“I’m all for kids being able to profit off their Name, Image and Likeness,” said Klieman.  “If they can make some money doing something, I’m all for it. They deserve it. Second part of it is I think Manhattan is a home run for Name, Image and Likeness.”

“We are the main story in town. Kansas State University and our athletic department and our kids are out in the community in all of our sports. So, if a kid comes to Manhattan, everybody is going to know him in that community and he’s going to have a lot of opportunities. So, for kids that think that you have to go to the big market areas, I disagree. I think Manhattan is a gold mine for NIL.”

TCU HC Gary Patterson

Patterson was more of the belief that NIL changes could help balance the playing field. Instead of focusing on attracting and luring big time recruits to campus, Patterson says he thinks it could help retain talent already on campus from dipping to the pros early just to get some money in their pocket.

“To be honest with you, I’m a little bit different on the NIL,” Patterson said. “I think it evened the playing field. I think it gave every kid an opportunity to — again, our job is going to be as coaches, even though universities stay out of it. The really good players are going to have to have their own deals. People are going to find them.

Patterson mentioned former Horned Frog safety Ar’Darius Washington who was drafted this past spring as a guy who potentially could have stayed one more year in school had the NIL rulings been in place.

“Probably if he could have some endorsement deals where he could have made some money that he could have given to his family, he might have stayed another year and then played at TCU right now.

Texas Tech HC Matt Wells

Interesting view from Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells this week. I mentioned in the live thread that Wells views the Red Raiders having a 65% high school and 35% transfer portal roster for the next couple of seasons. He said he views Lubbock as a destination for potential transfers to really benefit from the NIL.

“I think it’s awesome, and our guys at Tech have handled it very, vey well… Some guys will get more than others. That’s life. We all understand that. I think the biggest thing is that our leaders and our players handle that within the locker room and their support of each other.”Texas Tech will have 18 new transfers entering into the program that was not on the roster last season. Wells mentioned  building a roster around transfers is unique compared to the traditional recruiting approach. “It’s a hard job. I mean, whether you’re recruiting high school players – I’ll tell you what, it is different recruiting transfers. It’s different. I mean, it’s a whole lot more – a little bit more business-oriented, and in some ways transactional.”

Derrick Brown | My Take
– Super K

Last week, I noted that I was a little more concerned than I once was on the Jeremy Patton front. I feel like Baylor made things much tighter.

With 2022 OLB/DE Derrick Brown (Texas High) I’m feeling much more confident. I do think Baylor did a very good job on his visit and gave him something to think about.

But, I don’t think it will be enough to keep him from Texas. So my take and trending remains pretty solidly in Texas’ direction on this one.

Team | Summer Quick-Hitters | Sourced
– Super K

A few quick sourced summer team notes here…

***Biggest thing for me is hearing multiple sources rave about freshman WR Xavier Worthy. People spoke highly of him at the Big 12 media days but folks I’ve spoken to add that he’s different and at some point will end being the best wide receiver on Texas’ current roster.

***I asked if he would likely start and was told it’s too early to say but “he will play a lot”.

***Also, told that Kelvontay Dixon is a guy who has made some big strides. He and Worthy were the names I heard most as guys to watch for break out years.

***Omeire is receiving praise as well but that was happening last year. I did ask if Omeire will be better than Worthy and at least one person I spoke to still things Worthy will end up being better.

***I wasn’t feeling great about the wide receiver room as it is unproven but I do like what I’m hearing about the potential that is there.

***Having said that, source told me that they still believe the defense could carry the team early on. I’m told they really like the defense though I don’t get the sense they were very happy with LB room when they got there – hence all the portal shopping. Still with the defensive front and a talented back end married with PK’s scheme, it should be a good unit.

***Lastly, while I think Sark may not have any choice but to start Casey Thompson, come game one, as I’ve said before, there won’t be much room for error. I get the sense the staff likes Card and even if Casey starts, I won’t be surprised if Card is the guy later in the season.

Xavier Worthy | Instant Impact
– CJ Vogel

It is no secret that incoming wide receiver Xavier Worthy is expected to have a big role in the Texas offense this fall. The former Michigan signee made the decision to flip to Texas this summer.

Worthy is expected to add an element to Texas that has been absent over the last several seasons – a reliable threat that can really take the top off of defenses. Yes, you can argue Devin Duvernay fit that description, but rarely was Duvernay used over the course of the season to really bust the top off of defenses. Texas fans should expect that from Worthy this fall.

Early into his days with the Longhorns, Worthy has been receiving tremendous reviews from sources, teammates and coaches. That praise was on full display at Big 12 Media Days when teammates Bijan Robinson and Keondre Coburn took turns giving the new receivers high remarks.

“He’s a great player,” Robinson said. “That is a good athlete. I know he’s probably being compared to Jerry Jeudy, but I see a little uniqueness from him in running routes, exploding after the catch, creating space when he does catch the ball.”

Of course Jeudy was a star for Steve Sarkisian and worked his way into the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft following 145 catches, 2478 yards and 24 touchdowns over his final two seasons with the Crimson Tide. It is a tall comparison off the jump, but gives an idea of the talent worthy possesses.

Keondre Coburn followed up the Jeudy comparison from Bijan, with a comparison of his own. This time, it was All Pro WR Tyreek Hill.

“That dude right there is another Tyreek Hill,” Coburn said. “I’ve never seen a guy go get in another gear to go get the ball like him.”

To give an idea of the speed Worthy can bring to the offense, he clocked a 10.55 100m time in high school. Yes, Duvernay brought speed that even topped that of Worthy, but the twitchiness is something that always lacked in Duverney’s game. Worthy has that.

While we have received good intel on Worthy so far this summer, it’s time to really buy stock on the true freshman for the fall.