Positional Report Card | Texas vs. Louisiana 2021
– CJ Vogel
Overall, it is hard to find an area to be upset with from the 20-point victory to start the 2021 campaign. But, let’s dive into the report card.
Hudson Card received his first career start and performed pretty well. His stat line won’t blow you out of the water, but it will give you a good amount of confidence in the redshirt freshman moving forward. Card made some very impressive throws while moving around in the pocket. I included it in By The Numbers, but I will throw it in here again, Card was 13-13 on passes inside 20 yards, not including throw-aways or batted passes. Meaning, when the ball got to the intended spot, it was caught. My biggest gripe with Card was on a 4th and six in the first quarter where Card took off to get the first down, but made it significantly closer than it should have when he detoured to the sideline instead of taking the contact up the middle. I am glad he is self-aware of the contact coming his way, but have to know the situation and take hit there.
As for his competition, Casey Thompson. Thompson did not receive many opportunities to air it out, but did finish 4-5 for 41 yards and a touchdown on a bubble. Like Card, Thompson was able to move around in the pocket and extend plays when pressure hit. It was a good showing, and while I would have liked to have seen more throws, I saw enough to be confident in Thompson should he need to take over the reigns.
RUNNING BACKS: B
RB Bijan Robinson did what we expected from Bijan Robinson in the season opener. A total of 24 touches went for 176 yards and two touchdowns, it was awesome to see some creativity from Sarkisian with Robinson in different roles. The skippy-route where Robinson took a defenders’ ankles and went 28-yards was exactly what Texas fans were waiting to see with the addition of Sarkisian.
Keilen Robinson and Roschon Johnson each received eight carries on the afternoon. Robinson broke free for a 25-yard scamper and finished the afternoon with 47 yards. Roschon made more impact in the receiving game with two receptions for 22 yards to go with 27 yards on the ground.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT END: B
It was a sigh of relief only having to write up four receivers for the most part. Nice for fans and myself that the best of the best were on the field for the entirety of the game.
How about that Jordan Whittington! For all of my reporting about Joshua Moore being the dude to see a lot of targets, it sure did not turn out that way. Whittington caught all seven of his targets for 113 yards and a touchdown. Whit displayed as good of hands I have seen in years from a Texas WR. The 41-yard reception on 3rd and 11 was tremendous catch and run stuff.
Xavier Worthy made his Texas debut and hauled in one reception for 34 yards. It was a very nice adjustment on a go-route for Worthy who took a pretty good lick on the catch. Worthy had some massive blocks too. One on a RoJo catch and run on 3rd and five, and the other on a crack to the safety on Bijan’s rushing TD by the goal line.
Joshua Moore was targeted seven times, though only came away with three receptions for 17 yards. The volume was there, the production was not. Moore was targeted often down the field, but was not able to connect with Card.
Good for Cade Brewer to find himself a touchdown reception. The spot route combined with a contested catch was a good sign for what Brewer may be able to bring to this offense this year.
Jared Wiley, who I don’t believe is healthy, played nine snaps and did not have a good performance. Wiley was spotted in a sling prior to the game on social media and it was clear he was not healthy.
As for the freshmen, Ja’Tavion Sanders and Gunnar Helm got their feet wet a little bit. Sanders was called for a holding penalty and needs to improve in the blocking game. Helm looked good, though someone needs to get him the heaviest Whey Protein they can find.
I am sure Marcus Washington received some praise in the film room for his blocking on the edge during Whittington’s TD. Impressive stuff to drive a defender out of bounds.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C-
It wasn’t a disaster of a performance from the offensive line, though there was plenty of room for necessary improvement heading into week two. The pocket was dirty often and the amount of holding penalties called simply cannot happen moving forward.
Christian Jones still didn’t look too comfortable in the game-situation. He graded as the worst OL in pass-pro per Pro Football Focus.
The injury to Junior Angilau did not look good, though Sark said he was able to return to practice Monday. I thought he played alright. I did not notice Angilau got some reps at both left and right guard during the day.
Believe it or not, Denzel Okafor graded out as the best offensive linemen in the run game per PFF. Though he had two bad penalties, there was some reason to think he may not be a total liability on the line this year. Still must improve on the pass pro.
Good to see Hayden Conner get some snaps following the Angilau injury. Conner received eight snaps, seven of which were run calls and it was telling the lack of strength is hurting him now.
DEFENSIVE LINE: C
It was par for the course for Keondre Coburn. Louisiana had a tough time establishing much of a run game up the middle. I would have liked to have seen more from T’Vondre Sweat, but it was a good first game of the season.
We told y’all Byron Murphy was going to be a contributor! He ended up being the highest graded defensive player according to PFF. In Murphy spent 13 of his 22 snaps in a B-gap alignment and was very impressive in his gap assignment and pressures.
Jett Bush got washed on Louisiana’s long touchdown run in the third quarter. He played significantly more than I anticipated.
Moro Ojomo missed a tackle, but ended up grading out very well. He was superb with effort and putting him next to Coburn is going to be a handful for any team on the schedule.
Former five stars Alfred Collins and Ben Davis only received two snaps.
LINE BACKERS: B+
Notre Dame transfer Ovie Oghoufo was everywhere in a good way. He finished with seven tackles, 1.5 for loss and an impressive sack
The duo of Demarvion Overshown and Luke Brockermeyer was superb in my opinion. A combined 23 tackles between the two and sack where the duo blitzed and both found the quarterback in the first quarter showed the speed and discipline that Texas needs from the position in 2021.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: B
The starting CB duo of Thompson and Jamison each allowed two receptions, though neither was for much of a gain. They weren’t test too often and each showed good run support. I liked what I saw for the most part.
I was really impressed with Darion Dunn and his physicality. The forced fumble is what screams off the page, but he had a number of impressive hits and tackles that will likely get him on the field later in the year.
Chris Adimora did not record a snap.
Impressive stuff from Jahdae Barron who stepped in for Jamison after his injury. Barron was targeted four times and only allowed one reception. He also blanketed a WR on Louisiana’s two-point attempt which fell incomplete.
I don’t recall seeing much of Brenden Schooler and the rewatch confirmed he simply was not on the field too much in the opener. Just 25 snaps and 0.5 tackles for Schooler.
Really good stuff for Anthony Cook who is having a revitalization under the new staff. Cook finished with four tackles and a QB pressure. Big year ahead.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-
Cameron Dicker missed a gimme. Again, as likable as he is, Texas needs more from him.
The penalty on the D’Shawn Jamison opening punt return for a touchdown was unfortunate. Everyone knows what he can do with the ball in his hands and a revamped special teams group under Jeff Banks is encouraging.
2022 Atascocita WR Chase Sowell Talks Visit
– CJ Vogel
If you were on the board Friday you are aware of the performance from 2022 Atascocita WR Chase Sowell against Allen. The senior recorded four touchdowns in Atascocita’s 41-20 blowout upset win over Allen.
Sowell was in attendance for Texas’ season opener against Louisiana.
He told me the atmosphere of the game was tremendous and that he was able to meet several coaches on the trip before the game. It was Sowell’s first time down to Austin and also his first time meeting the coaching staff.
While the WR recruiting has not looked too pretty over the last few months, Sowell could certainly be a guy to watch moving forward. No offer was extended this weekend, but Sowell told me the staff will be keeping him on their radar as the season progresses. Should Sowell continue to perform as he did against Allen, it would be surprising to not see Texas put an offer on the table.
The 6’3” wideout will visit Indiana on the 18th. Keep an eye on this one.
Commitment Analysis | 22 EDGE J’Mond Tapp
Early last week, Texas went deep into Louisiana and pulled the top Defensive Line prospect out of the entire state when 4-Star (Donaldsonville, LA) EDGE J’Mond Tapp announced his decision via Twitter. He became the 6th DL commitment in the class and 20th commitment overall in the class.
What’s Texas getting in Tapp?
Ranking: Consensus 4-Star, National Top 150 prospect
Size: 6’3 240lbs
Offers: Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, USC, South Carolina, Arizona State
Projected Position at Texas: BUCK
Player Comparison: Noah Spence (Ohio State 2012-14, Eastern Kentucky 2015)
Analysis: Tapp is a tweener by definition, currently being somewhere between 6’2-6’3 and weighing between 230-240lbs. He has a long frame despite not having prototypical height which means that he still has room to add weight in the future without sacrificing too much of his athleticism.
Tapp isn’t what I would call a natural bender, he wins more with his hand and functional strength (which stand out on tape) and his speed to pursue from sideline to sideline. That tool bag is very similar to the guy I compared him to, Noah Spence, who ended up being a 2nd Round draft pick. He has equal value as a run-game player and as a pass-rusher, which isn’t common in most DE Hybrid recruits.
I see an unfinished product in Tapp that has the natural talent to be a very disruptive player at the next level and beyond. How much work he is willing to put into it in the weight room and flexibility wise will determine how close he gets to reaching his considerable ceiling. This is a huge pickup for Texas that could pay dividends in the future by opening up more of a pipeline in the coming cycles if he finds early success.
Instant Impact Rating (1-10): 6. I expect to see Tapp on the field as a true freshman.
Long-term Impact (1-10): 7. Tapp has All-Conference upside if he is able to reach it during his time on campus.
One on Ones | Texas vs. Arkansas 2021
– CJ Vogel
Welcome back to week two of the One on One series. Before we turn our sights to Arkansas and the matchups they will bring to the table, let’s take a look back at the opening game of the year and how those 1v1’s looked.
One on One number one: Louisiana DT Zi’Yon Hill vs. Texas C Jake Majors
Texas did not have their best day on the ground, though still produced a 4.69 yard per carry average amongst the running backs. Hill recorded six tackles, one tackle for loss and a quarterback pressure. Regardless, he was effective in his role.
One on One number two: Louisiana S Bralen Trahan vs. Texas WR Xavier Worthy
Worthy’s lone reception came on a 34-yard go route that was thrown perfectly between the corner and safety in their zone coverages. Trahan was lined up on the opposite side of the field and had responsibilities on one of the two tight ends in coverage. The matchup never really came to a tipping point as I expected. Trahan did finish tied with the team lead with six tackles.
One on One number one: Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson vs. Texas Linebackers
Taking a different angle on this first One on One but I feel like it is the most important part of the Arkansas offense to keep an eye on. Arkansas’ offense did not look to be on the same page in the opening 2.5 quarters against Rice. The lone touchdown in the first half came on a 34-yard scamper from Jefferson who went untouched to the endzone. Jefferson ended with nine carries for 89 yards, two touchdowns and a long of 38 yards. The 6’5″ quarterback can move and move well.
On the contrary, the duo of Luke Brockermeyer and Demarvion Overshown had a very strong season opener against Louisiana. The two were tasked with keeping another quick, mobile quarterback at ease in Levi Lewis. The Louisiana QB had a long rush of 11 yards, and finished the afternoon with -19 rushing yards when taking into sack yardage into account. Brockermeyer and Overshown finished 1-2 in tackles for Texas, combing for 23. The LB duo was flying around last Saturday and must replicate that to keep Jefferson in check under the lights in Fayetteville.
One on One number two: Arkansas WR Treylon Burks vs. Texas CB Josh Thompson/D’Shawn Jamison
Sticking with another match-up with Texas on the defensive side of the ball. This time, it includes Arkansas WR Treylon Burks and both Texas cornerbacks. Burks led the Razorbacks in receptions and targets, though only totaled 42 total yards. In my preseason Top 10 WRs in CFB, Burks ranked sixth. This is exactly the type of match-up that both Texas cornerbacks need to be able do well against, and it is one that has haunted Texas for the last ten years. A dominant outside WR that can make plays anywhere on the field.
While D’Shawn Jamison went down with an injury last week, it appears that he will be healthy enough to give it a go come Saturday night. Both cornerbacks are looking to improve their draft stock and this is a game that NFL scouts will be watching closely. Both cornerbacks allowed two receptions on two targets a piece last week. While they weren’t tested too often, neither was all that close to making a play on the ball due to designed soft zone coverage, or a well-placed pass they simply could not get to.