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Texas Recruiting Notes 2023: Strippers, Monkeys, and 5-Stars


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2 minutes ago, golfclap said:

Yes. He's from DeSoto and Mathis is not only back but his sons are on the team and at least one is being "recruited" by aggy. You can go ahead and assume Cook, Milliner-Jones, and Buford are going to be in CStat every weekend. 

https://247sports.com/Player/Caimon-Mathis-46086826/

https://247sports.com/Player/Jaden-Milliner-Jones-46097278/

https://247sports.com/Player/Mario-Buford-46102686/

What's Mathis' deal beyond his kids being on the team?

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1 minute ago, golfclap said:

Yes. He's from DeSoto and Mathis is not only back but his sons are on the team and at least one is being "recruited" by aggy. You can go ahead and assume Cook, Milliner-Jones, and Buford are going to be in CStat every weekend. 

https://247sports.com/Player/Caimon-Mathis-46086826/

https://247sports.com/Player/Jaden-Milliner-Jones-46097278/

https://247sports.com/Player/Mario-Buford-46102686/

I realize that Desoto has produced some ballers over the years, but has Mathis ever had a player sign with Texas that was ever actually worth a fuck? I feel like he's going to funnel guys that can compete at the next level to whoever is "working with him" the best and then will play a joke on a Texas staff that isn't paying attention. 

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NLI and bags aside, the big issue for ‘23 is the lack of team identify. Ewers, X and Bijan are all names that resonate with the ‘23s, so it’s imperative an identity around them is manufactured until we see the product on the field this fall. While it’s early with winter conditioning, we should be seeing content from at least their individual social media accounts (combined 250k+ followers) showing the work. 

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10 minutes ago, McRib said:

NLI and bags aside, the big issue for ‘23 is the lack of team identify. Ewers, X and Bijan are all names that resonate with the ‘23s, so it’s imperative an identity around them is manufactured until we see the product on the field this fall. While it’s early with winter conditioning, we should be seeing content from at least their individual social media accounts (combined 250k+ followers) showing the work. 

i'm guessing that the media department will be doing hype videos around Quinn throwing darts to Xavier over and over soon enough.

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(FWIW - he did say this: “I know for sure Texas A&M, Texas and Alabama are going to get official visits,” Cook said. “The other two I still don't know yet. But those three schools will for sure get official visits.”  The rest ... man.)

Elite WR Johntay Cook gains clarity about A&M offensive philosophy on trip to Aggieland

Andrew Hattersley

 

Spoiler

Elite WR Johntay Cook gains clarity about A&M offensive philosophy on trip to Aggieland

Andrew Hattersley

While Texas A&M’s main junior day will be this upcoming weekend, the Aggies had several key targets on campus as well on Saturday including 2023 DeSoto standout Johntay Cook.

The day’s activities a included a tour of campus, academic and nutrition presentations, and the chance for players to spend time with the coaches and members of the 2022 class.

“The staff just wanted me to come down, chill with some more of like other recruits and come be with the 2022s that are already enrolled there,” Cook said. “Just get the vibe of it, meet with Jimbo [Fisher], Coach [Dameyune] Craig and all of that.”

The national top-50 prospect also had some important discussions with Fisher and Craig about the offense and where it could be heading in the next few years. The tight ends have been the focal point of the offense for Fisher since he arrived in Aggieland, which created some questions for Cook about the role of the receiver position. The talk with Fisher though helped Cook gain much more clarity.  

“That actually opened my eyes because I was like man he's right,” Cook said. “His tight ends were probably his best downfield playmakers. So that's why they went 13 personnel. Coach Craig was just telling me how much he needs me, how much he wants me, how much he wants to have me and Evan in the same room and how great that'll be.”

With Texas A&M signing a pair of five-star receivers in Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall in the 2022 cycle along with Noah Thomas, the Aggies are adding more perimeter weapons which could allow Fisher to open the offense more down the road.

“That's exactly what he's telling me,” Cook said. “He was basically telling me like, he feels like he hadn't had the weapons and you know, he's getting them and once he gets all the weapons that he feels like he needs to finally open up the playbook we'll see a change.”

Cook also spent some time with Stewart, who arrived in Aggieland earlier this month and has started going through workouts.

“Evan is my friend. That's my boy,” Cook said. “So, we were just kicking it, you know. He was just telling me like the workouts are a little hard, but it isn’t anything he never did before. So, you know, I'm definitely going to go back plenty more before my recruitment is over.”

Next up for Cook is a trip to Louisville after the Cardinals extended an offer last month. 

“I want to go learn about them,” Cook said. “Like they're a big Adidas school and I like Adidas. I'm going to see what it's about, you know, you only get to be a big-time recruit once, so I'm just going to live it out to the fullest.”

While Cook still has plenty of time to go in his recruitment, he has begun to think about official visits and has three in mind already he plans to take.

“I know for sure Texas A&M, Texas and Alabama are going to get official visits,” Cook said. “The other two I still don't know yet. But those three schools will for sure get official visits.”

In addition to the two in-state programs, the Crimson Tide have made a strong impression on Cook. 

"Me and Coach [Holmon] Wiggins, the receiver coach we've been pretty tight for a little minute now," Cook said. "Like ever since I got the offer. He came to the school last week. We just stay in touch every week. Bama is Bama, regardless of what happened as long as Nick Saan is there, Bama will be Bama. In my mind I feel like you can never go wrong going to Bama they're going to develop you, you're going to be on the best nutrition program, you're gonna have like the best everything, it's the best facilities. It's like if you can play and you go to Bama, you're gonna go to the league."

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Getafix said:

(FWIW - he did say this: “I know for sure Texas A&M, Texas and Alabama are going to get official visits,” Cook said. “The other two I still don't know yet. But those three schools will for sure get official visits.”  The rest ... man.)

Elite WR Johntay Cook gains clarity about A&M offensive philosophy on trip to Aggieland

Andrew Hattersley

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Elite WR Johntay Cook gains clarity about A&M offensive philosophy on trip to Aggieland

Andrew Hattersley

While Texas A&M’s main junior day will be this upcoming weekend, the Aggies had several key targets on campus as well on Saturday including 2023 DeSoto standout Johntay Cook.

The day’s activities a included a tour of campus, academic and nutrition presentations, and the chance for players to spend time with the coaches and members of the 2022 class.

“The staff just wanted me to come down, chill with some more of like other recruits and come be with the 2022s that are already enrolled there,” Cook said. “Just get the vibe of it, meet with Jimbo [Fisher], Coach [Dameyune] Craig and all of that.”

The national top-50 prospect also had some important discussions with Fisher and Craig about the offense and where it could be heading in the next few years. The tight ends have been the focal point of the offense for Fisher since he arrived in Aggieland, which created some questions for Cook about the role of the receiver position. The talk with Fisher though helped Cook gain much more clarity.  

“That actually opened my eyes because I was like man he's right,” Cook said. “His tight ends were probably his best downfield playmakers. So that's why they went 13 personnel. Coach Craig was just telling me how much he needs me, how much he wants me, how much he wants to have me and Evan in the same room and how great that'll be.”

With Texas A&M signing a pair of five-star receivers in Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall in the 2022 cycle along with Noah Thomas, the Aggies are adding more perimeter weapons which could allow Fisher to open the offense more down the road.

“That's exactly what he's telling me,” Cook said. “He was basically telling me like, he feels like he hadn't had the weapons and you know, he's getting them and once he gets all the weapons that he feels like he needs to finally open up the playbook we'll see a change.”

Cook also spent some time with Stewart, who arrived in Aggieland earlier this month and has started going through workouts.

“Evan is my friend. That's my boy,” Cook said. “So, we were just kicking it, you know. He was just telling me like the workouts are a little hard, but it isn’t anything he never did before. So, you know, I'm definitely going to go back plenty more before my recruitment is over.”

Next up for Cook is a trip to Louisville after the Cardinals extended an offer last month. 

“I want to go learn about them,” Cook said. “Like they're a big Adidas school and I like Adidas. I'm going to see what it's about, you know, you only get to be a big-time recruit once, so I'm just going to live it out to the fullest.”

While Cook still has plenty of time to go in his recruitment, he has begun to think about official visits and has three in mind already he plans to take.

“I know for sure Texas A&M, Texas and Alabama are going to get official visits,” Cook said. “The other two I still don't know yet. But those three schools will for sure get official visits.”

In addition to the two in-state programs, the Crimson Tide have made a strong impression on Cook. 

"Me and Coach [Holmon] Wiggins, the receiver coach we've been pretty tight for a little minute now," Cook said. "Like ever since I got the offer. He came to the school last week. We just stay in touch every week. Bama is Bama, regardless of what happened as long as Nick Saan is there, Bama will be Bama. In my mind I feel like you can never go wrong going to Bama they're going to develop you, you're going to be on the best nutrition program, you're gonna have like the best everything, it's the best facilities. It's like if you can play and you go to Bama, you're gonna go to the league."

 

 

Guess it's taken Jimbo a decade to get WR's and open up the offense.  

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5 minutes ago, Getafix said:

(FWIW - he did say this: “I know for sure Texas A&M, Texas and Alabama are going to get official visits,” Cook said. “The other two I still don't know yet. But those three schools will for sure get official visits.”  The rest ... man.)

Elite WR Johntay Cook gains clarity about A&M offensive philosophy on trip to Aggieland

Andrew Hattersley

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Elite WR Johntay Cook gains clarity about A&M offensive philosophy on trip to Aggieland

Andrew Hattersley

While Texas A&M’s main junior day will be this upcoming weekend, the Aggies had several key targets on campus as well on Saturday including 2023 DeSoto standout Johntay Cook.

The day’s activities a included a tour of campus, academic and nutrition presentations, and the chance for players to spend time with the coaches and members of the 2022 class.

“The staff just wanted me to come down, chill with some more of like other recruits and come be with the 2022s that are already enrolled there,” Cook said. “Just get the vibe of it, meet with Jimbo [Fisher], Coach [Dameyune] Craig and all of that.”

The national top-50 prospect also had some important discussions with Fisher and Craig about the offense and where it could be heading in the next few years. The tight ends have been the focal point of the offense for Fisher since he arrived in Aggieland, which created some questions for Cook about the role of the receiver position. The talk with Fisher though helped Cook gain much more clarity.  

“That actually opened my eyes because I was like man he's right,” Cook said. “His tight ends were probably his best downfield playmakers. So that's why they went 13 personnel. Coach Craig was just telling me how much he needs me, how much he wants me, how much he wants to have me and Evan in the same room and how great that'll be.”

With Texas A&M signing a pair of five-star receivers in Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall in the 2022 cycle along with Noah Thomas, the Aggies are adding more perimeter weapons which could allow Fisher to open the offense more down the road.

“That's exactly what he's telling me,” Cook said. “He was basically telling me like, he feels like he hadn't had the weapons and you know, he's getting them and once he gets all the weapons that he feels like he needs to finally open up the playbook we'll see a change.”

Cook also spent some time with Stewart, who arrived in Aggieland earlier this month and has started going through workouts.

“Evan is my friend. That's my boy,” Cook said. “So, we were just kicking it, you know. He was just telling me like the workouts are a little hard, but it isn’t anything he never did before. So, you know, I'm definitely going to go back plenty more before my recruitment is over.”

Next up for Cook is a trip to Louisville after the Cardinals extended an offer last month. 

“I want to go learn about them,” Cook said. “Like they're a big Adidas school and I like Adidas. I'm going to see what it's about, you know, you only get to be a big-time recruit once, so I'm just going to live it out to the fullest.”

While Cook still has plenty of time to go in his recruitment, he has begun to think about official visits and has three in mind already he plans to take.

“I know for sure Texas A&M, Texas and Alabama are going to get official visits,” Cook said. “The other two I still don't know yet. But those three schools will for sure get official visits.”

In addition to the two in-state programs, the Crimson Tide have made a strong impression on Cook. 

"Me and Coach [Holmon] Wiggins, the receiver coach we've been pretty tight for a little minute now," Cook said. "Like ever since I got the offer. He came to the school last week. We just stay in touch every week. Bama is Bama, regardless of what happened as long as Nick Saan is there, Bama will be Bama. In my mind I feel like you can never go wrong going to Bama they're going to develop you, you're going to be on the best nutrition program, you're gonna have like the best everything, it's the best facilities. It's like if you can play and you go to Bama, you're gonna go to the league."

 

 

LOL at Jimbo selling the "we didn't have playmakers at WR, that's why we threw to the TEs!" Apparently none of his 4/5 star WRs have been good over the last 15 years.

Also - visiting Louisville bc he likes Adidas? Huh?

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This time they will open the offense up to get the ball to playmakers at WR.  Good call Cook.  

It is what it is. I'm not going to hate on a kid for taking the money in hand, I guess, but it will be nice if that $100k + per FB player from Clark Field gets set up this year.  If everyone has proof of concept of at least 100k coming in, and gamebreakers get 7 figures then that, you would hope, would destroy the bag game for all but the biggest of dipshits out there.  Let those guys go to aggy I guess. 

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1 minute ago, Tex-19 said:

LOL at Jimbo selling the "we didn't have playmakers at WR, that's why we threw to the TEs!" Apparently none of his 4/5 star WRs have been good over the last 15 years.

Also - visiting Louisville bc he likes Adidas? Huh?

It was awful watching 4/5 star WRs come here and die, but hot damn is it fun to watch the same thing at aggy

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2 minutes ago, Tex-19 said:

LOL at Jimbo selling the "we didn't have playmakers at WR, that's why we threw to the TEs!" Apparently none of his 4/5 star WRs have been good over the last 15 years.

Also - visiting Louisville bc he likes Adidas? Huh?

image.png.de0ba672d8f75b054414dd04e52c0ca8.png

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Cliff notes from Johntay Cook's interview with Mike Roach

  • Jimbo told him they are going to open up the playbook once they get more dynamic receivers. Johntay said "If Evan (Stewart) balls, then I know he was telling the truth"
  • Originally wanted to commit this summer, now is wanting to push it back
  • Will be at the Texas spring game and wants to use his OV for the Bama game. 
  • He said he had a solid relationship with Coleman (lol) but is connecting well with Marion
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22 minutes ago, Hookem2147 said:

Cliff notes from Johntay Cook's interview with Mike Roach

  • Jimbo told him they are going to open up the playbook once they get more dynamic receivers. Johntay said "If Evan (Stewart) balls, then I know he was telling the truth"
  • Originally wanted to commit this summer, now is wanting to push it back
  • Will be at the Texas spring game and wants to use his OV for the Bama game. 
  • He said he had a solid relationship with Coleman (lol) but is connecting well with Marion

Gonna remember this quote when Stewart has 12 catches this season and Cook still signs with aggy next year. 

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26 minutes ago, Hookem2147 said:

Cliff notes from Johntay Cook's interview with Mike Roach

  • Jimbo told him they are going to open up the playbook once they get more dynamic receivers. Johntay said "If Evan (Stewart) balls, then I know he was telling the truth"
  • Originally wanted to commit this summer, now is wanting to push it back
  • Will be at the Texas spring game and wants to use his OV for the Bama game. 
  • He said he had a solid relationship with Coleman (lol) but is connecting well with Marion

In case anyone else wants to doomscroll, Hamilton pretty much said it's over if Cook visits again this upcoming weekend

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1 minute ago, Chuckie Finster said:

Gonna remember this quote when Stewart has 12 catches this season and Cook still signs with aggy next year. 

Just win football games, develop talent, continue developing NIL and we’ll be fine. Let aggy play car salesman with 17-18 year old kids until their game doesn’t work anymore. 

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27 minutes ago, Hookem2147 said:

Cliff notes from Johntay Cook's interview with Mike Roach

  • Jimbo told him they are going to open up the playbook once they get more dynamic receivers. Johntay said "If Evan (Stewart) balls, then I know he was telling the truth"

 

3 minutes ago, Chuckie Finster said:

Gonna remember this quote when Stewart has 12 catches this season and Cook still signs with aggy next year. 

Demas: 3athg7.jpg

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Just now, Theo Aquacates said:

Just win football games, develop talent, continue developing NIL and we’ll be fine. Let aggy play car salesman with 17-18 year old kids until their game doesn’t work anymore. 

I can only feel confident in 1 of those 3 things happening, and none of them are certain. 

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19 minutes ago, Chuckie Finster said:

Gonna remember this quote when Stewart has 12 catches this season and Cook still signs with aggy next year. 

              Yards TDS
2021 Shadrach Banks 4 star 0.95   0 0
2020 D Demas   5 star 0.99   235 1
2020 M Muhammed 4 star 0.93   153 0
2019 D Wright   4 star 0.97   0 0
2019 K Brown   4 Star 0.92   5 0
2018 J Preston   4 star 0.96   365 2
2018 C Chapman 4 star 0.89   407 3
*2017 J Ausbon   4 star 0.96   1247 5
*2017 H jones   4 star 0.92   134 0

 

Not sure on the last 2, but those are the 4 star and better WRs Jimbo has recruited and their career yards and TDs, starting in 2018. It was a quick look but outside of Ausbon getting 872 yards, nobody else has surpassed 255 yards in a season. Probably could add Anais Smith and his career 1073 yards and 12 TDs, with a season high of 564 and 6 tds. That said the question is why havent guys like Demas, Wright, and PReston  well (All .96 rated or higher)?

Edited by Codaxx
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17 minutes ago, SydneyCarton said:

I can only feel confident in 1 of those 3 things happening, and none of them are certain. 

I’m usually a giant pessimist when it comes to Texas football  but I feel confident in Sark. I think one of the biggest reasons I feel confident is timing, which can be viewed as luck in this instance. I don’t think the Big 12 will be a strong conference this year. I think OU, Baylor, ISU, okie lite all struggle this year, leaving a wide open opportunity for us to compete for a conference championship. This will impress many recruits, maybe even one with the last name Manning. I think we continue the momentum that was built during NSD1 and start to be viewed as a team that competes on the larger stage. Ok, enough kool aid for today🤘🏼

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5 minutes ago, Theo Aquacates said:

I’m usually a giant pessimist when it comes to Texas football  but I feel confident in Sark. I think one of the biggest reasons I feel confident is timing, which can be viewed as luck in this instance. I don’t think the Big 12 will be a strong conference this year. I think OU, Baylor, ISU, okie lite all struggle this year, leaving a wide open opportunity for us to compete for a conference championship. This will impress many recruits, maybe even one with the last name Manning. I think we continue the momentum that was built during NSD1 and start to be viewed as a team that competes on the larger stage. Ok, enough kool aid for today🤘🏼

I was under the impression we didn't go full koolaid until after the Spring game. Did we change our schedule and I didn't get the memo?

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1 hour ago, Hookem2147 said:

Cliff notes from Johntay Cook's interview with Mike Roach

  • Jimbo told him they are going to open up the playbook once they get more dynamic receivers. Johntay said "If Evan (Stewart) balls, then I know he was telling the truth"
  • Originally wanted to commit this summer, now is wanting to push it back
  • Will be at the Texas spring game and wants to use his OV for the Bama game
  • He said he had a solid relationship with Coleman (lol) but is connecting well with Marion

Tracee Ellis Ross Ooo GIF by ABC Network

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1 minute ago, Viper said:

Tracee Ellis Ross Ooo GIF by ABC Network

Remember last year when the hobbit scheduled their big recruiting weekend for bama game. We all knew it's was going to be a shitshow because they would get raped. And they actually fucking won and all the recruits forgot about every other game or how mediocre aggy was/is. Is Sark that stupid/brave to do the same with our game? 

Is BoB still the Bama OC? I know we have PK as DC but I would think BoB gives us a sliver of a chance. It's a mental midget fight off.

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14 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

Remember last year when the hobbit scheduled their big recruiting weekend for bama game. We all knew it's was going to be a shitshow because they would get raped. And they actually fucking won and all the recruits forgot about every other game or how mediocre aggy was/is. Is Sark that stupid/brave to do the same with our game? 

Is BoB still the Bama OC? I know we have PK as DC but I would think BoB gives us a sliver of a chance. It's a mental midget fight off.

Well scheduling the visits for Kansas didn't exactly work out for us, so I guess might as well shoot for the moon 

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5 minutes ago, Viper said:

Well scheduling the visits for Kansas didn't exactly work out for us, so I guess might as well shoot for the moon 

Actually it did. Neto, Banks and Campbell were all there for the Kansas game.

So I guess what I’m saying is we should lose to Kansas more often!

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Was looking back through the 2022 class to see if I could get an idea about timelines for commitments in 2023 and what not, and I found something interesting. Obviously the 2022 class was slightly different considering visits had just opened back up so quite a few kids delayed decisions, but only 5 guys we signed were committed before June (Murphy, Blue, Ross, BJ Allen and Swanson)

We probably aren’t signing 27+ HS kids in 2023 either so will be interesting how everything falls with timelines this cycle.

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52 minutes ago, Hookem2147 said:

We probably aren’t signing 27+ HS kids in 2023 either so will be interesting how everything falls with timelines this cycle.

It's not yet 2022 NSD2, and we're already worried about the numbers for 2023.

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7 hours ago, Hookem2147 said:

Actually it did. Neto, Banks and Campbell were all there for the Kansas game.

So I guess what I’m saying is we should lose to Kansas more often!

it's still fucking unfathomable that we hired 3 head coaches in the last 8 years and 2 head coaches lost to Kansas and the 3rd one needed a game winning field goal not to lose to them.  What in the actual fuck?

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8 hours ago, dcar00 said:

it's still fucking unfathomable that we hired 3 head coaches in the last 8 years and 2 head coaches lost to Kansas and the 3rd one needed a game winning field goal not to lose to them.  What in the actual fuck?

The coach before them needed a few miracles against Kansas as well his last few years.

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18 hours ago, Big Woodrows said:

In case anyone else wants to doomscroll, Hamilton pretty much said it's over if Cook visits again this upcoming weekend

Yeah sending Marion to his high school the day after he gets back from aggy paints the picture. That's absolutely a "hey dude please don't commit to aggy yet" visit.

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18 hours ago, Theo Aquacates said:

I’m usually a giant pessimist when it comes to Texas football  but I feel confident in Sark. I think one of the biggest reasons I feel confident is timing, which can be viewed as luck in this instance. I don’t think the Big 12 will be a strong conference this year. I think OU, Baylor, ISU, okie lite all struggle this year, leaving a wide open opportunity for us to compete for a conference championship. This will impress many recruits, maybe even one with the last name Manning. I think we continue the momentum that was built during NSD1 and start to be viewed as a team that competes on the larger stage. Ok, enough kool aid for today🤘🏼

It's not koolaid, it's dogwater. You're one of the few enjoying drinking it. The rest of us watched Seven Loss Steve and his gang of bloody mummers run amok with incompetence and fuckuppery across the entire landscape of the Big 12 and Fayetteville, AR.

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IT: Two Part 2023 Recruiting Landscape 

 

Quote

Today at 10:51 AM

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#1

By: Gerry and Eric

What, if anything, did we learn about the staff from the 2022 cycle that will carry over to 2023?

GH: The main thing is that Steve Sarkisian and staff are going to recruit the top targets through the whistle. They proved that they will stay in the fight, and are focused on signing the players they view as the best high school prospects. The Texas staff may be forced to take that strategy outside the state lines more in the 2023 cycle as the in-state crop isn’t quite to the level of the special 2022 cycle and tremendous 2021 cycle.

EN: That’s my main takeaway, too. The resolve to not reach, even as the class labored at times, pairs well in the portal climate where you can address class deficiencies. We saw this specifically at quarterback, where they initially signed Maalik Murphy, a player who will need time to develop; at tight end where they didn’t sign a high schooler; and at wide receiver.

I think we also learned, or confirmed some individual thoughts about the coaches as recruiters. Bo Davis still has the Midas touch and connections in the South. Kyle Flood had some struggles, and required some luck, but when it counted he showed he had good relationships in place to take advantage of that luck. Terry Joseph showed perhaps the most resolve by staying on Terrance Brooks until the very end. Jeff Banks probably didn’t get the credit he deserved on a number of “assists.” He held up his end of the bargain.

On the flip side, we learned Jeff Choate might not be up to the task to recruit the same type of quality of linebacker to Texas we saw in O-line, D-line, and DB recruiting. That’s instructive as Texas prepares to go all out for Denton Ryan linebacker Anthony Hill.

What is UT’s standing in the 2023 cycle as it prepares to officially kick off?

GH: Texas needs to win on the field, period. The staff is liked as personalities and seen in a positive manner. But that doesn’t matter if the wins don’t come this season. Texas is not the “cool school” with the majority of top prospects right now, and there is only one way to change that perception. Texas needs Quinn Ewers to be really good, and the wins to follow.

EN: Fans need to mentally kick the success of 2022 high school and portal recruiting to the curb and buckle up for a roller coaster 2023 cycle. If you don’t believe us, believe Steve Sarkisian who, out of necessity, is already showing much more early aggression this cycle than last.

The costs of 5-7 come due at some point, and that’s going to be this spring and perhaps early summer. That written, the school itself, regardless of coaching staff, sets a high floor. Every cycle UT has natural leans due to academics, location, and tradition. While 5-7 does sting, many coaches do have individual track records they can sell. On top of that, NIL should help medicate some of the aches associated with the disappointing season.

Two new volume recruiters in Brennan Marion and Tashard Choice will also help.

The landscape has changed tremendously in the region in a very short time. Let’s first talk about changes at Texas Tech, TCU, as well as Baylor’s impact after winning the Big 12.

GH: TCU will be the thorn in the side due to its recruiting staff. A lot of recruiting chops on the Horned Frogs staff. TCU will need to have some instant success on the field next season, however. That is because Baylor is established under Dave Aranda, and Joey McGuire will battle hard in the DFW area for the same prospects. Should Texas Tech make a little noise in year-one under McGuire, the job of the TCU staff becomes tougher. Baylor’s Big 12 Championship will certainly help get prospects on campus in the 2023 and 2024 cycles.

EN: New coaches equal new energy, and high school players gravitate to energy (e.g., early returns on Choice and Marion at Texas). Sonny Dykes has a number of young, hungry recruiters, on top of in-state familiarity and a good reputation throughout the state. Dave Aranda has the abrupt turnaround that led to a Big 12 Championship to sell, on top of his own defensive chops and Jeff Grimes’ track record on offense. Joey McGuire has energy, a quality staff by Tech standards, and is incredibly popular in Dallas. He also knows the Baylor sell quite well, having coached there under both Matt Rhule and Aranda.

Both Aranda and McGuire are making a clear push to get in good with the 2023 under-the-radar players, as well as the 2024 class. In particular, Aranda shows a keen, early eye for talent.

Texas shouldn’t be in too many direct battles with these schools, but don’t be surprised when these three schools land their share of players who are good enough to be at UT.

Lincoln Riley departs Oklahoma for USC. In turn, OU hires Brent Venables as head coach and Jeff Lebby as offensive coordinator. How does this new look OU impact UT?

GH: The immediate perception is very tough for the Sooners with the departure of Caleb Williams and offensive friends. With that said, this staff is already doing work in the DFW area with 2023 On3 Consensus four-star QB Jackson Arnold. Oklahoma will compete in Texas, as always, but the meat of the recruiting success will come from Texas and east with the move to the SEC. The big question for the new Oklahoma staff will be replacing the strong state of California recruiting over the last few years. The departure of Riley to USC hurts that quite a bit.

EN: My main takeaway is, with all the losses OU has experienced since Riley departed, their 2023 class is sure to be quite large. This means they can be more aggressive in their willingness to take players UT might like, but not quite love. This could hurt UT, especially if Sark et al don’t gain much traction this spring and summer.

Landing Arnold not only gives Venables a strong foothold in ultra-talented Denton, but also DFW.

OU’s pitch this year, for once, will be style over substance. This isn’t the same team that threatened to make the playoffs every year, but Venables will be able to sell it as such because of how strong that program has been this century. He also retained some members from Riley’s staff.

A similar question regarding LSU. Out goes Ed Orgeron, in comes Brian Kelly and some peculiar staff moves. How do the changes in Baton Rouge affect Texas?

GH: To start, unless it’s Nick Saban the LSU fanbase isn’t going to be completely onboard with a new hire. Brian Kelly will win because he’s a college Hall of Fame level coach. He’s not the best fit personality-wise. He will have a tremendous coaching staff, and win over people over time. With that said, the state is open to more high-level prospects leaving initially. For Texas, the more Kelly struggles early and on the field in year-one, the better. Texas has to have some level of success in the Pelican State with the state of California being tougher with Lincoln Riley at USC.

EN: With the way the staff is structured, I see opportunity for Texas to exploit. Terry Joseph, Bo Davis, and defensive analyst Cordae Hankton have strong relationships throughout the state. In particular, UT should make things interesting with defensive prospects in Louisiana.

The other side of that coin, is, that LSU staff won’t be able to initially poach Texas talent.

Jimbo Fisher was forced to replace defensive coordinator Mike Elko, but curiously losing a successful long-term defensive coordinator didn’t slow down the Aggie recruiting train. Will A&M pick up where they left off and challenge for another No. 1 ranked overall class?

GH: Not sure about No. 1 overall because the state of Texas won’t be littered with 5-stars and top 50 prospects to the level of 2022. With that said, the Aggies are recruiting nationally with tremendous success. The No. 1 class was the latest in five straight top 10 classes. The momentum coming off No. 1 class and beating Alabama with a lot of future NFL Draft selections to come has a “mini cool school” feeling going right now in recruiting. Prospects are more curious than any time in my two decades plus in the business. Texas A&M is extremely serious about doing what Georgia just did, end a drought - and a much longer one.

EN: Credit to the Aggies for their organization and ability to take advantage of the new recruiting climate. They caught a lot of schools napping in their own territory. It’s doubtful they’ll be able to poach the same level of players from hotbeds like Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Sweden again, but they are not going away and will have another top 5 class unless Jimbo Fisher hits the point of recruiting stagflation stagnation in his fifth year.

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Who are the big, early recruiting battles between UT and A&M?

GH: David Hicks was one, but that has turned into Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma. Markis Deal could be another. Johntay Cook is one the Aggies would love to beat Texas on to grab big early momentum. Rueben Owens would be a big beat down of Texas too, especially with Tashard Choice now in Austin. And then there is Anthony Hill. Hill was thought to be a Texas vs. Oklahoma battle in the closer-to-home race, but the Aggies will be right there. If Texas A&M beats Texas out for Dalton Brooks, the Longhorns fanbase will not be happy. Texas A&M fancied beating out Texas for Johnny Bowens, but the Longhorns staff wasn’t all-in on the San Antonio area upside prospect. That is not the case with the others.

EN: Texas is going to be fine on the offensive and defensive lines, and running back as well. Owens will be a big priority, make no mistake, but UT is positioned well to go out of state and capitalize on Bijan Robinson’s success, not unlike when they pulled Robinson out of Arizona despite a strong instate running back class in 2020. I’m watching Anthony Hill with extreme interest. UT hasn’t recruited linebacker well of late, which makes him even more important. For the first time in a long time, I have confidence UT will recruit wide receiver well, but losing Cook to A&M would be a very bad beat. As it stands right now, with all the new data points, I still feel UT is in a good spot for Cook.

What will a successful 2023 class look like for Texas?

GH: A top 10 class with needs met at linebacker, continued quality depth on the offensive line, and more high end talent on the defensive line. Can’t express enough how big it is to keep signing high-end offensive line and defensive line talent. On the defensive line, it needs to be the talent that Texas will face in the SEC conference. That will be something to watch moving forward. It can’t be two steps down in overall athletic ability in big frames on the defensive front.

EN: Landing Arch Manning and letting the skill talent fall into place. They absolutely have to address wide receiver with elite players, not good ones. To build a program, you have to turn your elite talent into positions that recruit themselves. That means taking advantage of having Bijan Robinson at running back and Xavier Worthy at wide receiver. Find a frontline off-the-ball linebacker and two other prospects who can become that. On the lines, I’m more interested in prospects with high ceilings than high floors. The largesse of the previous class, in conjunction with access to the portal, should allow them time to develop upside players rather than finding those who can play immediately. They need clean-fit corners more so than safeties.

 

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