What a weekend.
It’s been a pretty intense last 48 hours in Austin, and that’s putting it mildly.
In the 2, 880-minute span, we’ve learned a coach was punished for ‘inappropriate behavior’ with a 23-year old, student-assistant. And we’ve seen an impromptu Board of Regents meeting take place on late Sunday night because of it.
We’ve seen a backup QB get busted for “MIP, Minor in Possession”, and owning a fake ID.
And we’ve seen the top prospect from the Horns’ 2013 recruiting class, de-commit and flip to perennial power Alabama.
So, it’s understandable that Texas fans are inching closer to the edge.
Thankfully success isn’t measured in minutes/hours, rather months and years.
Therein lies the positives from a week full of good fortune in scouting/recruiting.
We’ve seen Texas nab an athlete, with legit 4.3 confirmed speed, that wasn’t on any recruiting radars.
We’ve seen the impact Larry Porter has had, convincing a 5-star commit of an SEC power, to take one final trip to Austin before Signing Day.
And we’ve seen two former Longhorns, Justin Tucker and Chykie Brown, win Super Bowl rings on Sunday night.
So, you always have to remember to not get too ‘high’ or too ‘low’ when it comes to your school’s state of their football program. It’s all about the balance.
Let’s talk a little about each. Major is up first.
Texas issued a statement late Friday night regarding Off-Coordinator Major Applewhite, and a student-assistant at the 2009 Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. Basically, he had a relationship, purely consensual, with a 23-year old assistant. He soon contacted athletic director Deloss Dodds. Then, after they met and Major explained the story, he was given punishment, soon after, started and completed counselling.
It’s been noted that former Track and Field coach Bev Kerney was terminated for an incident similar in to Applewhite’s case, and that a ‘double-standard’ would be grounds for a slew of civil suits. But let’s remember, Kerney was with an actual student-athlete AND attempted to cover it up. Big difference, folks.
Applewhite served his time, had his pay frozen for a year, and has had to reconcile with his wife in the process. After the BOR met, they left with no further comment at this time. I don’t see any further action against Applewhite. But stay tuned…
Now’s Connor’s turn.
Connor Brewer, redshirt freshman from Scottsdale, AZ, was busted early Saturday morning on (MIP) minor-in-possession and possessing a fake-ID charges. Both are misdemeanors and Mack will assuredly handle punishment internally. I have a feeling this may be the domino that sets off a chain-reaction involving the Texas’ QBs. The result has to be one of the many Texas QBs transferring. I wasn’t positive that a QB would actually leave during this offseason, but now I’m starting to think more and more one could. And will.
And the icing on the proverbially recruiting ‘Crap cake” came down Saturday afternoon.
Word leaked that 5-Star defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, from Fort Worth Arlington Heights and highest rated prospect in the Texas’ class of 2013, had indeed confirmed every Texas fans’ worst nightmare. He de-committed from the Longhorns and pledged his next five years to Nick Satan (Thank you, James Franklin) in Tuscaloosa.
It seems with each de-commit in UT’s class this year, the vibe was a feeling of,” we didn’t really need him” or “we were loaded at that position anyway” type statements from the Longhorn faithful. Robinson brings none of those sentiments. The 6-foot-5, 320 lb. giant is a huge loss for a Texas class that has dwindled down to a select few elites, mixed in with a roster of players marked potential. High caliber kids with talent, but more of the potential label.
Not to say this class is bad. It will still rank in the Top 20 overall, and that’s saying something superb, considering the number of pledges is low (17 at the time) because of an abundance of young talent (2/3 team fresh/soph). That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Robinson news came on the heels of a 2014 ‘diamond in the rough’ prospect that Mack and Co. landed late Wednesday afternoon, which leads me to the good stuff.
And we meet, Roderick Bernard, athlete from Sharpstown, TX, and the 7th commit of the 2014 class.
Bernard won the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints at the District 21-4A track meet. As a sophomore.
This stud has NFL-craving speed. Confirmed 4.3 in the 40-yard dash speed. And the Longhorns had to actually dig to find him. That’s good on multiple levels.
First, it means Texas isn’t relying on recruiting services and combine-warriors to fill out their prospective classes. It shows they’re hitting the schools they’ve never hit (South Oak Cliff on Thursday, first time the coach mentioned seeing Mack Brown).
This is what you do to find football players. You meet them in the hallway. You shake their hand. And you continue to change your recruiting style to fit the times and needs of your program. As usual, Mack Brown wins February.
And another example of Â Mack changing his stripes, was the hire of RB coach/hot-shot recruiter Larry Porter. And right off the bat, Porter convinces 5-Star and LSU commit, Frank Herron, a defensive end from Porter’s neck of the woods, Memphis, to take an official visit to Austin four days before signing day. He and Desoto running back (#6 overall on Horn Sports 50 ’13) Dontre Wilson both decided to take late visits despite never showing interest to Texas before.
Late word has it that Herron is a good possibility of flipping to Texas (per Mike Farrell, Rivals) because of a unconfirmed rumor that Herron had informed Bayou Bengal coaches on Sunday morning that he was not attending LSU. Stay tuned for this one…
As for Wilson, he tweeted Sunday afternoon that this was,” the hardest decision of my life”. Wilson is considering Texas along with Ohio State and Oklahoma State. He reopened his recruiting when former Oregon coach, Chip Kelly, accepted the Philadelphia Eagles position. Washington State-commit Montrel Meander was on campus Sunday as well.
These three are hard to get a read on, by my percentages of them coming to Texas; Herron 16%, Wilson 34%, Meander 75%. We’ll know very, very soon. Signing Day is less that 150 hours away. So, hang on, it’s about to get crazy.
UPDATE: Monday in a nutshell; Herron stays with LSU, Wilson chooses Urbanville, and Meander will be wearing the burnt orange next fall. One out of three ain’t bad.
BTW…talking about balance… Texas Men’s hoops were a prime example of good and bad this past week.
Wednesday versus Kansas State, bad. Saturday, at home against TCU, good.
The likely-hood that Texas and Rick Barnes’ boys makes the NCAA tournament is remote in itself. But when they needed a respectable showing on TV in Manhattan, it was no where to be found. I don’t know where to begin with this team. And I’ll leave it at that.
Another note, the Texas baseball team is getting ready to begin their ’13 season and played their annual Alumni game at Disch-Falk on Saturday. Great to see coach Cliff Gustafson and coach Augie Garrido taking pictures together.
That’s 3, 313 wins, 47 conference titles, and five Texas national championships. That’s history, folks.
I hope you have a great Monday morning, and even better week. Hook’Em Horns !!!