June 13, 2008

This week's Inside the Locker Room Report

Q: (Old Tascosa) - OK so as I understand it we stand at 19 with an estimate of a class of 22 for 2009. We just received a track commitment from possible WR (NR, LSR Top 100) Marquise Goodwin, whose scholly won't count against football until he enters in a game, or never if he waits 2 years while competing in track, and WR Emory Blake has been offered a "gray shirt" for 2010

We now have priority offers out to
5* DT Jamarcus McFarland
5* CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Some don't see this as a need position)
5* DE Devon Kennard

Additional probable offer given
4* (6.0) LB Jarvis Jones

Possible options but probably doubtful due to tight numbers
4* (5.9) WR Kendall Kelly
4* (5.8) WR Uzoma Nwachukwu

Is this summary correct as you see it? Which 3 will we probably get? Given the quality of the 2010 class, and the number of candidates we are showing interest in and are showing interest in us, how large of a class will we sign, and what or who will be the priorities in state?

A: That's probably about as good of a breakdown as I could give out. Keep in mind that Darrell Scott was a prospect that mentioned Texas quite a bit over the summer last year, but the Longhorns really didn't start recruiting him until October, so it's very possible that one or two national prospects could pop up before it's all said and done, and I think the same could be true of a few in-state kids. We've seen Mack Brown take a few late flyers in the past and a lot of times it's necessitated by personnel issues that develop in the fall or after the season. Grade casualties, injuries and other unanticipated events can also spark the coaches to go in a direction in January that was not anticipated in June.

Of the prospects listed above, I think McFarland is the most likely and the rest are probably longer shots. That's not to say that they can't get a kid like Kirkpatrick or Kennard, but Texas has its work cut out for them. Unless the staff decides to offer Nwachukwu or decides to offer someone off the radar, I'd put Texas at 20 or 21, with McFarland being the most likely addition.

Q: (Texaspride0929) - Alright this rumor has been going around along time with the Bama fans, they are saying that Kirkpatrick already has a silent commitment to Bama and has picked a roommate. Can you verify this? And what do you think our chances could be with him?

A: In talking with Alabama guys this week in Nashville, I haven't gotten a sense that there's any silent commitment, but I would imagine that the Crimson Tide faithful are convinced that he'll stay home, much like Texas fans realize they usually get 95% of the in-state targets they want and offer. Pulling Kirkpatrick out of Alabama will be one of the toughest recruiting chores that Mack Brown has ever tried to pull off. I'd consider it a long-shot myself.

Q: (A-10HORN) - If Derek Johnson was in Texas, where would he rank on the LSR 100?

A: I think he'd probably rank somewhere between No.14-20. I like him as a 5.9 prospect on the Rivals scale.

Q: (Eric_mattson2000) -A couple of questions Can you tell us why you think the staff didn't pick Christine Michaels up this year? Why is he rated higher than Chris Whaley? What does Whaley bring to the table that Michaels doesn't

Do you see Mike Sherman doing a better job at A&M in recruiting and as a coach? It seems they are working hard on recruiting for 2010.

A: The biggest reason the Longhorns didn't go after Michaels is that they decided that they were going to take only one running back this year and they told Whaley, who the staff reportedly had as the No.1 prospect in the state on their board one time, that he would be that guy.

As for why he's rated slightly higher than Whaley on the national level, it probably has more to do with the fact that he's probably more a home-run threat and fits into the mold of the type of running back that can thrive at the college level. I really believe that there are a lot of people that aren't quite sure how to treat Whaley and in my opinion, I think he should be listed as an athlete. The one thing that Whaley has is incredible athleticism for a kid that's currently listed at 6-3, 220 pounds. It's not hard to see that he might eventually play any number of other positions on either side of the ball. His combination of size, athleticism and versatility is why he's a national top 50 kid in my mind.

Finally, I think it's too early to know how Sherman will do as a recruiter at A&M, but right now the early showings are not strong. The Aggies have been an afterthought for most of the top prospects in 2009 and I can't think of a single 2010 kid outside of Adrian White that has listed the Aggies really high on their early lists. As a coach, he's a clear upgrade over Dennis Franchione, but he's fighting with a short stick right now.

Q: (chote) - In talking to some people I have heard that Dan Buckner is really having a hard time getting off in press coverage at this stage in his development and really the thing that is keeping him from a big time role in this offense, is this a valid observation? In talking to a starting QB from one of our rivals, he says that WR defeating the press is probably the hardest thing for young guys to come in and do, is this true and what other things really hamper WR in the transition from high school to college?

A: Yes, there's no question that Buckner struggled with getting off the ball in his first semester, but let's cut him some slack because he's a true freshman. He has some real work to do before he'll be a strong contributor this season, but it's not a remote possibility. He simply needs to make a lot of improvement in the small details of the position. Getting off the press and running good, true routes are the toughest adjustment for receivers to make and some never make that adjustment. Buckner simply needs more time, although I've already heard whispers that a move to tight end down the road isn't out of the question.

Q: (orangezest) - With the advance work being done for the 2010 class, do you think offers could go out earlier than the Junior Days in Feb? Even if maybe unofficially?

Have the coaches indicated to the 2010 players when offers would go out?

A: Offers can be made at the beginning of September, but I really believe that Texas is going to do the same thing they did last year, which is make promises to a few of the top guys like Lache Seastrunk that they'll be offered at the first Junior Day. Not offering early last year really hasn't had any negative impact on the Longhorns recruiting this year because they were much stronger in their communicating than they probably were the previous year.

Q: (40acrefanatic) - With the drop of Tariq Allen out of the Rivals250 due to a poor showing at the Nike camp, how much are we placing on these camps? Sure it's a good way to see speed, technique, athleticism, but I think with players like Allen they are better with the pads on. Is it more beneficial if you are that kind of player to not attend a camp for fear of that and stand on your original evaluation? I also realize he may not care and rankings don't matter and he may just want to compete and get coaching at these camps which I think is more beneficial. Thoughts?

A: Some guys look good in camps, some guys look good in games and some look good in both. Allen fits the profile of the second category at this stage because he's the kind of kid that's better off when the fear of him being able to put his helmet on you is in play. Allen has a lot of work to do before he's college ready, but right now he's a very strong, downhill middle linebacker prospect. Is he ever going to be three-down player? That remains to be seen because like almost every linebacker I've seen in the state this year, he needs to work on his play in space and against the pass. Those kinds of camps just aren't structured in a way that he could have a lot of success at the moment. Had there been pads on and they were doing a middle drill, he would have been more impressive.

Q: (M K) - 1. Predict our last 3 commitments and what is your confidence level?

2. What odds would you give on whether or not BigDD hooked up with a porn star?

A: I'll predict JaMarkus McFarland and that's it right now because I'm not sure that they are going to get any of the other out of state prospects. If some of the young receivers struggle to develop in the fall, I could see the staff offering another prospect, but it really is time to start thinking 2010.

As for your final question, I've learned to never doubt the Minnesota male model. Orangebloods' very own Zoolander is capable of anything.

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