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2020 OT Andrej Karic

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Any chance Lindberg is still a take if he wants in?  I know 2021 is supposed to have a lot of talent so maybe the number are just no longer there for him.  Too bad.  I wanted him but sounds like he wants interested enough.  This guy looks like he could put on the needed pounds and still remain very quick for his size.  

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Yeah I still want Lindberg, I just wanted Karic over Lindberg. But if we somehow also get Lindberg, that would be awesome sauce 

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1 minute ago, CHEF RIBS W/ THE HAMM YALL said:

Not really a need for that. 

You're right, of course.  But he had the chance to not only commit, but also be a leader of the recruiting class, and for some reason, he had different priorities. 

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3 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

You're right, of course.  But he had the chance to not only commit, but also be a leader of the recruiting class, and for some reason, he had different priorities. 

He may still have a chance but he is for sure on the clock.  

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I don’t have any ill will against Lindberg, but I think Karic is a much better prospect and would rather we save the scholarship for 2021.  

I know Lindberg is visiting all the blue bloods and apparently has offers from them, but I just can’t see him ultimately ending up at a place like Texas or Georgia.  He seems like the type of prospect that gets talked up early, and then he steadily drops in the rankings and ends up signing with a mid tier school like Baylor, Arkansas or A&M.

Edited by longhornmatt

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36 minutes ago, Lhorn said:

Any chance Lindberg is still a take if he wants in?  I know 2021 is supposed to have a lot of talent so maybe the number are just no longer there for him.  Too bad.  I wanted him but sounds like he wants interested enough.  This guy looks like he could put on the needed pounds and still remain very quick for his size.  

I heard one of the 247 995ers say they'd still take Lindberg if he wanted in. However the offer may not stay available depending on how the rest of the class is proceeding.  

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2 minutes ago, longhornmatt said:

I don’t have any ill will against Lindberg, but I think Karic is a much better prospect and would rather we save the scholarship for 2021.  

I know Lindberg is visiting all the blue bloods and apparently has offers from them, but I just can’t see him ultimately ending up at a place like Texas or Georgia.  He seems like the type of prospect that gets talked up early, and then he steadily drops in the rankings and ends up signing with a mid tier school like Baylor, Arkansas or A&M.

He seems to like school. Wouldn't be surprised if he ends up at one of the LA schools or like UNC or something (he did burn his OVs on schools that probably don't have slots for him anymore, unfortunately).

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1 hour ago, Beau Vine said:

I'm in full-on Fuck Lindberg mode.  He had plenty of time to commit if he wanted, but he chose to dick around.  See ya, fat boy!

that’s a bit strong.  but yeah I’d rather karic put on good weight to get to 305 rather than lindberg have to lose bad weight to get to wherever he’d end up. 

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I don't have any personal animosity towards Lindberg, but I do have doubts about whether he's actually a culture fit with this particular squad of mean and nasties, or if instead he is more like a good kid who would graduate.

Chris-Hall.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Walden Ponderer said:

I don't have any personal animosity towards Lindberg, but I do have doubts about whether he's actually a culture fit with this particular squad of mean and nasties, or if instead he is more like a good kid who would graduate.

Why not both?

dycrosebowlteam7abjpg.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Walden Ponderer said:

Chris-Hall.jpg

I'd like to point out that this is much meaner than what I posted.   

In fact, I can't think of anything that could be meaner.

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18 hours ago, Johnny Sack said:

No SEC texum aggy good, as they need to be at least 340 by the time they are 17.

Just like their running backs.

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I like the Karic take. If Lindberg projects to "serviceable swing guy in year 3," I think a good case can be made that we are better off not devoting a scholarship to him. That seems like a need that a GT could fill without eating the anticipatory years (and, if not needed, the later ones) of 1/85 of our stipend roster. Add in the phenomenal talent we appear to be in good shape to land in 21, and saving a slot for targets of opportunity is wiser.

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22 hours ago, Pato del Muerto said:

I believe your exchange rate for 9.95 USD is way off. Get back to the salt mine. 

damn, math again . . .

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Today's example of don't fuck with Bosnians - the attempted robbers had knives and Kolasinac didn't give a single fuck:

 

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11 minutes ago, NorLa Horns said:

track suit sighting! Eastern European verification!

D8AgHkHXsAUpZSj?format=jpg&name=4096x409

 

Kind of a combination of....

giphy.gif

                           PLUS

giphy.gif

Edited by LTtxfan

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2 hours ago, ImissWallyPryor said:

Paywall

I got you.

Spoiler

COLLEYVILLE, Texas — Between drills, Andrej Karic nodded his head. Between breaths, he mumbled along with the rap songs blaring through the speakers from trainer Donald Hawkins’ cell phone inside of D1 Training, a training facility in Colleyville, outside of Dallas.

Karic, a four-star offensive line Texas signee, worked alongside his Southlake Carroll High teammate Addison Penn, a 2020 center signed to play at Duke. The two sweated through agility drills, practicing their pass-blocking steps, charging through sprints, leaping up on mats for an hour on a miniature indoor turf field. And while Karic appeared comfortable in this setting, pushing himself to get better, he wasn’t fully in his element.

He’s over offseason training. He’s ready for the real thing.

“Personally, I’d rather be hitting,” Karic said. “Me and Addison were talking about it the other day. Hitting people and putting on pads is just a different feeling that you don’t get every day, and once it’s gone, you miss it.”

Karic is one of four offensive linemen that signed to the Longhorns’ 2020 class during December’s early signing period, along with Port Neches-Groves’ Jaylen Garth, Prosper’s Jake Majors and O’Connor’s Logan Parr. Texas will wrap up the class during the February signing period that begins Wednesday. On the field, Karic, a participant in the 2020 All-American Bowl in San Antonio, boasts arguably the most unfriendly reputation of the bunch. But he’ll have to wait until the preseason to go back to punishing defenders. Away from the gridiron, he’s not as brash.

“I get to see a different side of Andrej more than other people see,” said Hawkins, a former Longhorns starting offensive tackle from 2012-13 who played three seasons in the NFL. Hawkins first began training Karic last summer. In the months since, he’s come around to the consensus on Karic: he’s a determined-yet-gentle giant.

“On the field, he has that, what they call, nastiness,” said Zlatan, Karic’s father. “He becomes angry, I don’t know. It goes in favor for him. But off the field he’s different. He’s really sensitive, really competitive — a highly competitive person.”

 

Karic stands out. At 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds, maybe it’s hard not to. Regardless, he’s typically reserved, although he insists that doesn’t mean he’s unapproachable.

“Some people might not think I’m easy to talk to because of my size,” Karic said, “but once you get to know me, I feel like I am.”

He’s opened up enough to confirm both his love for hip-hop and Mediterranean food. He’s also self-described as determined and a hard worker. One could argue those characteristics were always ingrained in him.

Karic’s parents, Zlatan and Gorjana, are originally from Bosnia. From 1992 through 1995, the Bosnian War ravaged their country.

Zlatan fled between 1994 and ’95 — “if I can remember, correctly,” he said. First, he moved to Serbia, then Hungary. He was on track to join his sister living in Sweden, but he ended up moving to the United States in 1997 as part of a refugee program. He was 23 when he settled in a southwest Fort Worth community near a few Bosnian and other Eastern European families.

He later met Gorjana stateside during a visit; she had still been living in Bosnia. They talked on the phone frequently and visited one another before deciding to get married in 2001, when Gorjana joined him in Texas. In March 2002, Andrej was born. They later had a daughter, Doris, in March 2006.

Zlatan first worked as a mechanic for a year, then began delivering pizzas for Domino’s. Eventually, he managed stores for the pizza chain. But he desired more. He and Gorjana even considered moving the family back to Bosnia.

“I was just not happy working in the restaurant, period,” Zlatan said. “They offered me a franchise because I was one of the top managers in the DFW. But I didn’t want that. I just wanted to move completely from the food industry.”

So he did. In 2007, Zlatan and Gorjana opened Balkan Express, an 18-wheeler trucking company. “A bunch of Eastern Europeans are in this business,” Zlatan said. “I saw the opportunity to do something.”

It started with one truck. It has since grown to include 150 18-wheelers and 250 trucks. The family benefitted from the success, and moved to Southlake in 2012, seeking a better school for the kids. Zlatan and Gorjana separated in 2016.

Karic said his childhood was “pretty normal, other than watching every show in Bosnian and speaking Bosnian in my household.” He emitted a sense of honor in discussing his background.

“I take pride in it,” Karic said. “People around me and my family are the most important thing. I wasn’t really born over there. I can’t hang my hat on being 100 percent. It’s my upbringing, so I’m definitely going to represent.”

Karic still speaks Bosnian at home. He didn’t comfortably grasp English until he was 6. And that was a process.

“I’d be crying coming home,” Karic said. “I couldn’t understand the other kids. I didn’t really make that many friends at first, but I mean, I learned.”

Growing up, Andrej was always on the taller side, which makes sense, considering Zlatan is 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. Nonetheless, Andrej didn’t noticeably stand out until around middle school.

Andrej grew up a soccer player, serving as a towering, powerful center back. He also snowboarded, wakeboarded, skied and skateboarded. But in sixth grade, he played football for the first time. “I didn’t have a position or anything,” he said. “They just put me at O-line and I fell in love.” He played a little bit of defensive line, too. But in high school, he settled in along the offensive line. Zlatan, who’d grown up playing handball back in Bosnia, learned to appreciate and understand his son’s new passion.

“Every time he’d go on the field, I was like, ‘Man, you suck, you don’t know how to play,'” Zlatan joked. “He was like, ‘Dad, you don’t understand! I was supposed to do that!'”

At Southlake Carroll, an established football powerhouse, Karic blossomed. Initially, he earned a three-star rating from 247Sports. But he started as a sophomore and then began receiving offers, his first from Baylor.

Zac Bryant is Karic’s former offensive line coach and currently the Corsicana High offensive coordinator. He said Karic stood out “like a sore thumb” when he first moved up to the varsity, adding that Karic doesn’t have any athletic or physical limitations.

“Immediately,” Bryant said, “it wasn’t very difficult to see that he had a tremendous upside. … You could tell that he was very determined to be who he wanted to, and you could tell he wanted to be really good.”

As a sophomore, Karic visited Texas for the first time. He said he felt an immediate connection with offensive line coach Herb Hand, who reminded him of Bryant, a tough-nosed assistant. “Kind of what I like,” Karic said. “A he-won’t-take-crap-from-anyone type.”

The admiration was mutual. Hand likes Karic’s playing style and his tenacity out on the edge.

“That dude,” Hand said in December, “he’s fun to watch, just from a finishing standpoint.”

The bond was established. By the second time Karic visited UT, he knew that he was intent on attending. He committed to the Longhorns ahead of his senior year, on July 24, 2019. On Dec. 18, head coach Tom Herman announced him as one of 16 initial signees. The first word he used to describe Karic: Toughness.

“A guy with a motor,” Herman said. “A guy that likes to finish plays, finish blocks. When we recruit the positions along the offensive line, the tackles, you want them to be a little bit longer. You’ll sacrifice a little bit of girth, if you will, at that stage, as long as they have length, athleticism and toughness.”

The Longhorns think they have something special in Karic, ranked the No. 17 offensive tackle in the 2020 class by 247Sports. He’s drawn comparisons to UT starting left tackle Samuel Cosmi, a second-team All-Big 12 selection last season who is considered one of the top NFL prospects at his position.

“The comparisons to Sam Cosmi are pretty spot-on,” Herman said. “Andrej is actually bigger now than Sam was at this time in his career.”

Karic is welcoming of the comparison. When Karic visited UT, he was paired with Cosmi, whose family has Romanian roots. “We’re so similar in the way that we came up,” Karic said. “We just really connected and our families are literally almost the same.”

Karic talks to Cosmi often. “He’s kind of the guy I look up to,” he said. But Cosmi’s value is not limited to mentoring Karic, his likely successor in the lineup.

Cosmi’s decision to return for his redshirt junior season saved Hand a potential headache. UT already is tasked with reconfiguring its starting offensive line following the departures of starting center Zach Shackelford and starting left guard Parker Braun. Had Cosmi — who started all 13 games at left tackle for the Longhorns last year — chosen to leave for the draft, Hand could have had to consider playing newcomers.

During the Alamo Bowl, Hand pointed to Cosmi as being an example of the value of redshirting offensive linemen.

“I think if you talked to Sam Cosmi right now and asked, ‘Hey, what do you think about your redshirt year now as compared to when it was going on?’ When it was going on and he was redshirting, he probably wasn’t real happy about it,” Hand said. “But now that he can look back on it, he’s probably like, ‘That’s the greatest thing to ever happen for me.'”

Karic represents a collection of linemen that Hand is confident in. Across recent years, the Longhorns haven’t produced much high-end NFL-caliber talent. Dallas Cowboys guard Connor Williams, Cincinnati Bengals center Trey Hopkins and Hawkins, who played on four NFL teams, are among the most prominent UT products to reach the pro level across the past decade. Hand suggested that future Longhorn lines could produce more.

“To get those guys in the fold, we’re starting to develop our unit to where we want our unit to look like,” Hand said.

Karic could one day help prove the notion true. He is excited to get on campus and get to work in the summer. He’s not concerned about not enrolling early.

“I don’t think it’ll be that much of a setback,” Karic said. “I’ll catch up.”

“He wants to be challenged,” Bryant said. “That’s why he’s at Texas. There’s nothing missing in his game, and there’s nothing missing in his approach.”

Hawkins said Karic’s speed and athleticism at his size is something Hawkins wished he possessed as a player. When Karic first began training with him he was further along than most high schoolers Hawkins works with. And there’s a clear desire to be better.

“He’s a guy that works his ass off,” Hawkins said. “The guy that kind of has a standard about how he takes his craft. He’s always looking to be perfect. Perfection, perfection, perfection. He wants to dominate. He wants to inflict pain, which are the traits you need to be a successful lineman.”

“His commitment is crazy,” Zlatan said. “It was his idea to play, he fell in love with the sport. He would spend the time all summer going to the gym and practicing. It’s pretty phenomenal. I guess when you have the love for sport, that’s motivated him to where he is now.”

 

(Photo: Kaelen Jones / The Athletic)

 

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