Tag:Malcolm Williams
Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:39 pm
 

Texas loses another WR as Williams leaves

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With Garrett Gilbert's reliability still a matter of debate and Texas's running game a work-in-progress (as always), the last thing Mack Brown needed was for his receiving corps to turn into a question mark, too. But that's just what's happened over the course of the offseason.

That became more true than ever Thursday as Brown announced that senior wide receiver Malcolm Williams would forgo his senior season to focus on "academics and family issues," as reported by CBSSports.com RapidReporter Steve Habel. A former blue-chip recruit, Williams was a projected 2011 starter after appearing in 39 games and collecting 1,188 receiving yards his first three seasons.

Brown admitted that Williams's departure (along with that of reserve receiver Brock Fitzhenry) "puts us in a tough spot with numbers." Williams and Fitzhenry give the Longhorns four departures at receiver this summer alone, with Greg Timmons's transfer and particularly the decision by Marquise Goodwin to skip the season to focus on the track World Championships already depleting the unit.

Result? The Longhorns return just two wideouts who caught more than one pass a year ago: sophomore Mike Davis (47 receptions, 478 yards) and junior DeSean Hales (10, 75). When Brown says freshmen Jaxon Shipley and Miles Onyegblue "will get a quicker look," he's not lying.

If Davis stays healthy, Gilbert cuts down on his interceptions, and five-star freshman Malcolm Brown invigorates the ground game, the Longhorns still might not notice the sudden depth issues at receiver. But that's a lot of "if"s for a 5-7 offense, and it seems increasingly likely that if one of them doesn't work out the way Brown would like, the receiving corps isn't going to be able to come to the rescue.


Posted on: February 22, 2011 5:02 am
Edited on: February 23, 2011 8:54 am
 

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Texas which begins its spring practice on Thursday.

Spring Practice Question: Is Garrett Gilbert really in danger of losing the starting job?

Last month, Texas head coach Mack Brown declared the Texas quarterback position to be wide open. It seems that after a less than stellar performance from Garrett Gilbert in his first season as a starter, along with plenty of coaching turnover in Austin, Brown isn't ready to hand the job over to just anybody.

Of course, whether he truly meant it or not, we'll begin to find out on Thursday when the Longhorns begin spring practice.

If I had to lean in one direction, I'd believe Brown, but only with the understanding that the job is still Gilbert's to lose. Whether or not Gilbert was successful in 2010, he still has more experience than either Connor Wood or Case McCoy. The true wild card in all of this, however, is the addition of Bryan Harsin as Texas' co-offensive coordinator (Major Applewhite being the other co-coordinator, though something tells me Harsin wasn't brought in from Boise to defer to Applewhite).

Harsin comes from Boise State, and has no favorites amongst the quarterback trio. Gilbert may have started all 12 games for Texas last season, but he did so under Greg Davis and with Greg Davis' plays, so in that sense he's on the same ground floor that both Wood and McCoy are.

Still, this spring could be the deciding factor for Gilbert. If he can show a strong grasp of Harsin's offense over the next few weeks, he can begin to put the job on lockdown. If he struggles, then things will be a lot more interesting this fall, as both McCoy or Wood could wrestle the job away from him.

The most important thing that Gilbert will have to do to earn Harsin's trust, and make better decisions in the pocket. While Garrett was able to make enough plays with his arm and legs last season to tally 3,124 yards and 15 touchdowns, it was the 17 turnovers that most people will remember.

17 turnovers that had an awful lot to do with Texas finishing the season 5-7 and missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 1997. That cost John Mackovic his job as head coach in Austin, and though Mack survived, that fate may still befall Gilbert.

There is reason to believe that Gilbert will be able to cut down on the mistakes. First of all, he'll be a junior in 2011, and with a year of experience under his belt, he'll be a smarter player. Plus, there's some history to look at with quarterbacks under Harsin.

In 2008, as a freshman, Kellen Moore started every game for Boise State and threw 10 interceptions. Over the next two seasons, Moore only threw 9. 

Another reason to believe that Gilbert will improve in 2011 is that his receiving corps will get better as well. Mike Davis -- who caught 47 passes as a freshman -- will be another year older, another year better, and his play could go a long way in improving the performance of his quarterback. Whether that quarterback is Gilbert, McCoy or Wood. If Malcolm Williams and Darius White can start to reach their potential, life will be a lot easier as well.

At the end of the day, I think Gilbert will leave spring practice as the team's starter, and he'll be under center when Texas opens its season against Rice on September 3. He may have had a bad season in 2011, but the truth of it is that he's just more talented than both McCoy or Wood. So unless he has a flat-out awful performance this spring, I just don't see him losing the gig.

Of course, I didn't see Texas going 2-6 in the Big 12 last season, either. So who knows what will happen?
 
 
 
 
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