Tag:Mack Brown
Posted on: June 6, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 2:38 pm
 

Texas keeps big offensive lineman in-state

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Texas
has assembled another very good class loaded with plenty of early commitments and they added their biggest - literally - recruiting target left on their board in Pearland (Texas) offensive lineman Kennedy Estelle at the Longhorns football camp Sunday.

"Being with all the players and around the coaches and the running backs - we have two of the best running backs in the country - and a good quarterback coming," Estelle told Orangebloods.com when asked what made him commit. "We're going to be a championship team."

The big tackle held offers from just about every major program in the country and had considered going out-of-state before pledging to the Longhorns. In addition to keeping another top player close to home, the Longhorns get an offensive lineman to build around in the future.

"In my experience in watching so much football, you don't have many 6-7, 300-pound kids that can bend and move like him. He's an explosive player off the ball. His ability to run, whether he's getting downfield or pulling on counter plays, he runs like a linebacker," Estelle's head coach, Eric Wells, told the site. "He'll be in college when he turns 18. He's a very intense player, always trying to ask about ways he can get better. As a coach, you love those types of kids."

Estelle is the 17th player and third offensive lineman to commit to Texas for the class of 2012, another solid start for Mack Brown and company. The program already has four commitments in the MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012, including Estelle's future offensive line teammate Curtis Riser.
Posted on: March 15, 2011 9:03 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2011 9:06 pm
 

Florida State picks up legacy defensive end

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's rare for Texas kids to leave the state, especially when Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns come to recruit you. It's hard to blink an eye however, when Denton (Texas) defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. committed to Florida State Tuesday evening.

After all, his father was a starting cornerback for the Seminoles in the 90's and in the younger Edwards' recruitment, it appears blood is thicker than water.

“He committed today,” said Mario Edwards Sr. told Noles247.com. “It was a family vibe and when he got here, he said it felt like a family for him. When he walked into the (Coyle E.) Moore Center, he realized the tradition that FSU has with top defensive ends and wanted to be a part of it.”

The 6-foot-4, 270 pound Edwards Jr. is yet another big defensive end to head to Tallahassee. He took an unofficial visit this past weekend but even his father was caught off guard by the decision to commit so early in the process.

"To be honest with you, I didn’t know he was going to commit when he came,” Edwards Sr. told the website. “I had no idea. He actually wasn’t planning on committing to anybody until after his senior year but things change. Plans change. Lawrence Dawsey did a great job of recruiting him and making him feel at home. He’s not the number one recruiter in the ACC for nothing.”

MaxPreps' Senior Writer Stephen Spiewak says Edwards Jr. displays supreme athleticism and quickness on the outside pass rush but was also strong enough to shed blocks and make tackles. He held offers from Auburn, Baylor, Georgia, Notre Dame, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M.

In addition to giving Jimbo Fisher one of the top defensive players in the country, Edwards becomes the seventh commitment for the Seminoles class of 2012.

Posted on: March 7, 2011 2:10 pm
 

All about the running backs

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The class of 2012 has several talented running back prospects but there are two from the middle of the country that might receive the lion's share of attention - and for good reason.

Aledo (Texas) running back Johnathan Gray recently narrowed down his list of colleges to Texas, Texas A&M and TCU but it was the Longhorns who were recently given the chance to shine. Gray took an unofficial visit to Austin on Saturday to see Texas go through a spring practice and came away impressed.

“Extremely physical on both sides of the ball. It was great to see everyone fighting for a job,” Gray told VypeDFW. “When you practice like that it makes everyone better.

“I’m glad I had a chance to come down. The offense they’re installing will give them a chance to be physical.”

The MaxPreps 2012 Watch List member rushed for over 3,000 yards and 59 touchdowns as a junior. Texas already landed top running back Malcolm Brown as part of their 2011 class but head coach Mack Brown has put on a full court press (it is March after all) for the speedy running back as of late.

Even Gray's father, former Texas Tech running back James Gray, was impressed on the visit, particularly by the new coaching staff.

“Having a chance to meet the new staff was important because it gave us an idea of which direction they’re going,” the elder Gray said. “Offensively, they’re trying to get back to running the football and that is impressive. Coach Harsin and Coach Applewhite seem to have a good relationship. We also had a chance to meet and talk to returning players. They were excited about the challenge ahead of them.”

A few hundred miles north of Aledo, big name Oklahoma City (Okla.) running back Barry Sanders Jr. is starting to focus on several out-of-state schools with Alabama and Florida State standing out from the pack.

“I went to Alabama’s junior day, enjoyed myself. I haven’t gone to any other schools besides FSU and 'Bama,” Sanders told Noles247.com. “The schools that standout to me are the two that I’ve visited and been on their campus, Florida State and Alabama.

“With both FSU and Alabama, they are both prestigious programs. Alabama is coming off a recent national title win and Florida State has a lot of tradition behind them as well.”

In addition to scholarship offers from the two schools, the 5-foot-10, 190 pound Sanders holds offers from just about every program in the country, including his father's alma matter of Oklahoma State. Not expected to make a decision before the season, Sanders will closely watch what the Crimson Tide and Seminoles do on the field this year before narrowing things down.

“For me, seeing what kind of offense each team runs is just as important as the relationships I have with the coaching staffs," he told the website. "I want to see how Bama looks with the loss of Mark Ingram and Julio Jones. Then with (Christian) Ponder leaving FSU, that will be interesting. It’s something I definitely want to look at with those two teams.”

Expect to hear more from both running backs as the summer camp schedule heats up and they take other unofficial visits.

Posted on: February 25, 2011 11:42 pm
 

Longhorns grab number eight

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Slowly - for once - but surely, the Longhorns are creeping toward a double-digit number of commitments before the end of February. Friday night was DeSoto (Texas) defensive back Bryson Echols' turn to add to the number, verbally committing to Texas and becoming pledge number eight for the class of 2012.

"I just committed to Texas," Echols told Orangebloods.com. ""Education is big in my family, real big, so when they said 80-percent of their players graduate I said yeah I like that. That really stood out to me and I really liked that."

The 5-foot-10, 175 pound defensive back is the second player from DeSoto to commit to Mack Brown's latest recruiting class, joining teammate and MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 watch list member Curtis Riser. Echols also held verbal scholarship offers from Arizona, Kansas and North Texas.

Echols was recruited by Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina, who briefly left for the same position at Arizona before returning to Austin. Having Akina at Texas seemed to be a key factor in pulling the trigger on a commitment. 

"That was the first person I met with. We met with him for a good 45-50 minutes when I first got there," Echols told Orangebloods. "It really seemed like all the coaches cared about me."

Echols is the only defensive back committed to Texas for the class of 2012 at the moment.

Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 12:52 pm
 

Texas grabs star wide receiver for commit #7

Posted by Bryan Fischer

One of the top receivers in the state of Texas decided to end the recruiting process early and was able to do so by flashing the "Hook'em Horns" sign. Skyline (Texas) wide receiver Thomas Johnson was the latest commit to join Texas' 2012 recruiting class, informing Mack Brown and the coaching staff late Monday night according to several recruiting websites.


"It just felt right for me. Overall, it's a great school," Johnson told Orangebloods.com. "It's the school I wanted to go to. If you know where you want to go, why not go ahead and do it now?" 

Johnson picked up a scholarship offer from the Longhorns at the recent Junior Day in Austin and pulled the trigger about a week later. He held upwards of 20 verbal offers from programs such as Auburn, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, TCU and USC

"It's a big monkey off my back," he added. "I'm just glad to be committed to a place I really want to go to. Now I don't really have to worry about having to do anything with any other colleges. I'm just relieved and excited." 

The 6-foot, 185 pound receiver was hampered by injuries his junior year but had over 2,000 multi-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns as a sophomore. Johnson is the second Skyline receiver to sign with Texas after freshman starter Mike Davis did last year. 

Johnson is the only wide out committed to the Longhorns for the class of 2012 and should team up with current quarterback commit Connor Brewer in a few years.
Posted on: February 20, 2011 9:47 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2011 9:48 pm
 

Aggies sweep up on Junior Day

Posted by Bryan Fischer

As much as you hear about Mack Brown being known as Mr. February (as good and bad as that connotation is) for his recruiting prowess this month, Mike Sherman would like to remind everybody he's not to shabby as a recruiter either. You can see why after Texas A&M had one of its most successful Junior Days in recent memory, grabbing four commitments according to multiple recruiting sites.

Denton (Texas) outside linebacker Jordan Richmond was the first to pull the trigger, showing up to campus decked out in Aggie gear according to GigEm247.com. The 6-foot-3, 220 pound Richmond is one of the top linebackers in the state and a great fit in defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter's 3-4 defense. He had 138 tackles last season as his Denton Ryan team fell just short of a state championship.

Commitment number nine for the class of 2012 came in the form of Aledo (Texas) offensive tackle Michael Wilson. 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, Wilson had offers from TCU, Texas Tech and Kansas. Hurst (Texas) offensive lineman Kimo Tipoti also committed, an impressive haul for A&M offensive line coach Jim Turner. The Aggies have three offensive line commitments in the class overall.

Tyler (Texas) defensive lineman Eric Davis was the 11th overall and fourth and final Junior Day commit. A 6-foot-3, 230 pound end had 12 sacks as a junior.

All in all, a great haul headed for College Station, as the Aggies look to build on the momentum from their great season last year.

Posted on: February 19, 2011 4:42 pm
 

Class comparison: Texas vs. Texas A&M

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're still digesting the class of 2011 and what better way to look at it than through the lens of two rivals. Texas and Texas A&M have been going at each other on the recruiting trail for decades and the regular season each team had in 2010 certainly added a bit of intrigue to each class. Despite the down year for the Longhorns, Mack Brown still managed to bring a lot of talent to Austin for next season.

Texas vs. Texas A&M
Quarterback

Johnny Manziel vs. David Ash. Both schools didn’t pick up a five-star quarterback but both of these QB's could be a factor in the Big 12 before too long. Ash is an accurate, pro-style quarterback who can also buy some time with his legs if needed. That said, Manziel is a little bit more electric and has a higher upside if the Aggie offense can be tailored to his strengths.

Running Back
 

Malcolm Brown vs. Will Randolph. No surprise here as Brown was one of the top running backs in the nation. He should see early playing time and it would shock no one if he became the big time running back that Texas has lacked for several years. Randolph is a nice prospect and should benefit from a redshirt year.

Wide Receiver
 

Miles Onyegbule and Jaxon Shipley vs. Chance Nelson and Mike Evans. Texas grabs a pair of wide outs who could contribute early in new offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin’s offense. Shipley is a very good route runner with nice speed and is very similar to his older brother, Jordan, who also donned the Orange and White. Evans is a bit of a project but he’s got tremendous upside with his size.

Offensive Line
 

Josh Cochran, Taylor Doyle, Sedrick Flowers, Garrett Greenlea and Marcus Hutchins vs. Joseph Cheek, Ben Compton, Nathan Gutekunst, and Shayvion Hatten. A very good class in the trenches could have been even better had Texas been able to hang on to Christian Westerman’s commitment. Greenlea and Flowers in particular were two of the top linemen in the country and should be able to compete to be on the two-deep as freshmen. The Aggies have had several freshmen offensive linemen play regularly from the past two classes but they might not have one in this one.

Defensive Line
 

Cedric Reed, Desmond Jackson and Quincy Russell vs. Brandon Alexander and LeMarc Strahan. A&M beat out Texas for the signature of Alexander but at the end of the day, the Longhorns bring in a more talented group. Neither adds a tremendous amount of depth but there’s several contributors among the names mentioned.

Linebacker

 

Donnie Baggs, Steven Jenkins, Tyrell Taylor, Darzil Washington and Shaun Ward vs. Steve Edmond, Chet Moss and Kendall Thompson. At first glance, this matchup clearly favors Texas but digging a little deeper, the Aggies brought in quantity and quality. Edmond and Moss are two of the best linebackers in Texas but the Aggies fill their need for linebackers with a few that can compete right away. Grabbing Ward out of Florida was particularly impressive.

Secondary

Quandre Diggs, Sheroid Evans, Leroy Scott, Josh Turner and Mykkele Thompson vs. Devonta Burns, Deshazor Everett, Johntel Franklin, Howard Matthews and Floyd Raven. If this were about drama, the Aggies would win in a landslide after signing Raven. Talent-wise though, Diggs and Evans should be able to contribute early in nickel packages and the rest of the group can develop into solid players. Considering the revolving door at defensive backs coach, Mack Brown did a great job grabbing this secondary class, just slightly edging A&M.

Special Teams
 

Texas didn’t sign any kickers though much of their freshman class could see time on special teams. Mike Sherman grabbed the top kicker in the country in Taylor Bertolet and Drew Kaser is a strong-legged kid out of Ohio.

Overall
 

It’s no surprise to see Texas win the recruiting matchup against their rival as the Longhorns have always had a class in the top 10 in the country the past decade or so. Given the results of the season however, grabbing the crown in February doesn’t necessarily translate into winning the big game on Thanksgiving. While A&M didn’t bring in the most talented class, they did address needs and there are several players who will have to play right away. All in all, just another year deep in the heart of Texas.

Posted on: February 17, 2011 9:56 am
 

2/17 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

CBSSports.com has learned that Albert Pujols has rejected the Cardinals contract offer and will instead sign with Alabama. Great bit of recruiting by Nick Saban.

- Recent Texas commit Hassan Ridgeway said he felt real comfortable at the school and his coach thinks the Longhorns are getting a great defensive end. We’re not the only one to notice that Mr. February (Mack Brown) has slowed down this month compared to previous years.

- Armwood (Fla.) running back Matt Jones says he’s a “Gator for life,” a few days after committing to Florida.

- One player to keep an eye out for is Georgia tailback Mike Davis, who is drawing a lot of attention.

- A class of 2011 commit to USC still hasn’t signed and the reason looks to be academics.

- West Virginia has sent out an offer to Ohio lineman Caleb Stacey.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com