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2 hours ago, Had Enough said:
2 hours ago, LTtxfan said:
 

That would seem to indicate he had a pretty good season.

He's smart enough to get a PI instead of getting beat. Crazy he was played at WR at all, he's the best CB we had at the time, and ever since they moved him to his natural position.

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Thanks for this @Machinator

What do those who were on the inside think? The Athletic spoke to four members of Texas’ 2020 staff who were granted anonymity in return for offering a clear picture of what Sarkisian inherits on the Longhorns’ roster.

A successful position switch
Another bright spot was the emergence of DeMarvion Overshown (60 tackles, 8 TFLs), a converted safety who began to blossom after shifting to linebacker as a junior in 2020. “He bought in, and kept getting better and better,” said Coach Four. “He is a guy they can build around.”

“He is a really smart kid,” said Coach Three. “I think he has the talent to be a top-30 pick. He can run and can cover. He is a freak athlete with a lot of length, and with all of the RPO stuff people are doing, his ability to run and change direction, he’s poised for a breakout season. He started understanding that position late last season.”

Coach One praised Overshown’s grit. “He’s tough as shit, but he’s undersized for linebacker. He played at about 215 to 218. He learned the position with no spring ball, and he needs to get a lot stronger. If he’s gonna play in there and try and take on O-linemen, he’s gotta get bigger and stronger.”

The last line of defense
The secondary was where Texas had supposedly recruited the best under Herman, but that hasn’t kept it from becoming an area of concern. In 2018, Texas brought in six players ranked among the nation’s top 64 recruits, five of whom were listed as defensive backs. (Overshown was one of them and has proven to be a good linebacker instead.) Two of those highest-rated defensive backs, five-star Caden Sterns and cornerback Jalen Green (who transferred to Mississippi State in January) haven’t met that kind of hype.

“I don’t think Caden runs well enough to be a corner, but he could be a good safety,” said Coach One.

Another five-star from the 2018 class, safety B.J. Foster, has had his career derailed by injury: He had shoulder surgery last offseason and then broke his hand. “I think he’s a pretty good player and has an NFL future,” said Coach One.

Anthony Cook, the No. 64 overall recruit from that class, also may have been misidentified as a cornerback. “He’s long and has decent change of direction, but he’s probably more of a 4.7 (40) guy,” said Coach One. “If you want to press at cornerback, he can’t do it. He is tough. I think he should be a safety.”

D’Shawn Jamison, who began his career on offense, proved to be the Longhorns’ best corner in 2020. “He’s raw and light and small, but he was the best we had,” said Coach Three.

There are three freshman DBs to keep an eye on, starting with cornerback Kitan Crawford. “He’s the most talented guy there,” said Coach One. “He’s very raw but he’s tough, can run and has good size.”

“He’s a violent and physical guy out there,” said Coach Three. “He doesn’t say a lot. He will bust his ass on special teams. I think he will be the best cornerback there.”

Cornerback Jahdae Barron saw action in five games his first year. “He isn’t afraid to get up in a guy’s face and play man-to-man,” Coach Three said.

Safety Jerrin Thompson made two starts and finished his first season with 14 tackles. “He is a competitive prick,” Coach One said. “He’s not gonna light up the 40. He probably can’t crack a 4.6, but he does have pretty good change-of-direction and good feet.”

There also is good buzz around Darion Dunn, a 6-1 FCS transfer from McNeese who starred on the track team there.

Sophomore Chris Adimora, who was listed this fall at 6-1, 214 pounds, started 10 games at the Spur position with mixed results. “He really struggled,” said Coach One. “We didn’t have a true nickel, and he’s more of a tweener.”

“I think he’s a good player,” said Coach Three. “He runs pretty well, but he played out of position.”

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Thx for this @Machinator 

(Scipio Tex) 2021 Recruiting Class Final Thoughts: The Underestimated

But this group (2021 Class) has a potentially better collective floor than conventional wisdom holds and there are some individuals who can play much better football than their rankings suggest. Don't let the Herman hangover poison your mind or attitude.

Here are some 2021 signees you shouldn't sleep on...

LB Morice Blackwell - low 4 star, #49 in Texas

He barely slid under the 4 star concertina wire, so I'm including him. #49 player in Texas is not a ringing analyst endorsement. I also see their point about his potential limitations a level up. However, he's one of my class favorites as a pure football player. He's just that guy. That dude who keeps making critical plays that change a game while also making the routine plays reliably. He's narrow and lithe, but he moves really well and diagnoses like a freaking scientist. Watching him play makes me happy. I honestly think he could play safety in some schemes. If he can carry 215-225 well, he's a greyhound LB in the best of the TCU mold who will fill up the entire box score like a young Magic Johnson: 9 tackles, 1 PBU, a QB hit, forced fumble, a pick. You know the guy.

Size and frame are legitimate knocks, but if Texas can't retain his quickness and fluidity while adding 25 good pounds, go to the weight room and start handing out pink slips.

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Thx @Machinator 

IT Team Notes...   LB's and DB's

*With Juwan Mitchell focusing on academics, his ILB job is even more open than it would have been otherwise. DeMarvion Overshown, Jaylan Ford, and David Gbenda are all rotating with the ones. Gbenda and Ford are frequently out there together flip-flopping between Mike and Will. Overshown mainly sticks to his Will position.

*Corners are Josh Thompson and D’shawn Jamison, with Darion Dunn rotating. It’s possible one of these guys becomes the nickel, but...

*Chris Adimora is still the nickel. He’s moving really well for his size.

*Safeties are rotating so much we’re not sure what’s what.

 

Early Enrollees

- Derrick Harris Jr moved to X-backer. They had him at Mike but that obviously was never going to work. With Bimage leaving it just expedited the inevitable move to his proper position. He’s still rehabbing his knee but also putting on muscle.
- Terrence Cooks is mature beyond his years, looks like a future Mike.
- Jamier Johnson arrived a little out of shape. He didn't get a senior season so it's been over a year since he's seen action. Being an early enrollee was big for him
- JD Coffey is active, energetic, and eager to work and learn.

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Thx for this TARS...   (Eric Nahlin) Spring Roster Audit: Defense

Linebacker

DeMarvion Overshown: He’ll miss spring ball after having surgery to repair a torn labrum. There’s no substitute for ‘doing’ but the staff will have all of August to dedicate to getting him ready for the season opener.

Juwan Mitchell: We’re not expecting Mitchell to participate while he focuses on academics.

David Gbenda: This is a big spring for Gbenda as he‘s first man up in Overshown’s absence at Mike. The light has seemed to be slowly coming on for him, but now in his third year, it’s time to think less and play fast. Gbenda has the speed and athleticism to become a quality Big 12 defender.

Jaylan Ford: Ford would make for a quality breakout candidate this spring. He could grab hold of the ‘Dime’ ILB position and never look back. He understands the game well and shows good downhill quickness. His ability dropping into coverage is a question. Skill-set wise, Chris Ash Will LB = PK Mike LB, Chris Ash Mike LB = PK Dime LB.

Jett Bush: Bush was moved back to linebacker and is now the functional #2 behind Ford with Gbenda replacing Overshown for the time being. Depth is pretty thin at Jack/X-backer so we’ll see if that holds.

Jaden Hullaby: Hullaby should be a big beneficiary of Overshown and Mitchell missing spring. He doesn’t diagnose as well as Ford, but Hullaby is a better overall athlete than his classmate and he could become a long-term solution at Mike.

Marcus Tillman: Info has been in short supply on Tillman. We’d love to hear of him pushing Ford at Dime but things have probably been quiet for a reason.

Terrence Cooks: The talented early enrollee has been slotted for Mike but he could end up at either ILB position over the course of his career. He has a bit of a learning curve ahead of him so it’s good he’s getting an early start.

Jack/X-backer

Jacoby Jones: Jones is presented with a golden opportunity at Jack. PK’s reputation for teaching and developing the position is a much-deserved break for the former Juco product. He should be the best pass rusher Texas has at the position, but it’s still unknown how good he’ll be. This is a big spring for him from a developmental standpoint.

Ray Thornton: Thornton will likely bounce between X-backer, which is the smaller OLB, and Jack, the more traditional defensive end. He doesn’t carry a ton of weight but he’s a very strong 6-foot-3.5 and 240+ pounds. He wasn’t overly productive at LSU, but he had NFL guys ahead of him and he did play.

Prince Dorbah: At a minimum, Dorbah needs to prove himself as a pass rusher to give the defense some burst off the edge. He’ll have plenty of opportunity, but will he be prepared?

Derrick Harris Jr: He’s still not 100% healthy after season-ending knee surgery last fall but he’s getting close.

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Thx for this TARS...   (Eric Nahlin) Spring Roster Audit: Defense

Defensive Back

BJ Foster: Foster is the starting boundary safety and that is very unlikely to change. He’ll be good playing cleanup in Cover 3 or providing run support. He hasn’t had the college career he’d like, but he’s still an NFL athlete with NFL tools and mentality.

Jerrin Thompson: His instincts and ability to get his hands on the ball started to turn heads last year. That late finish put him in a strong position to contend at field safety. What happens at corner could have downstream effects on field safety, if one is moved to nickel, thus moving Adimora.

Chris Adimora: Adimora played the SPUR linebacker position last year but that will be a nickel role this year and it might require more coverage. Nickel will be one of the main things we’re asking about this spring. Adimora’s best position could be boundary safety or perhaps Mike linebacker after Overshown departs. We have one source saying he can play anything in the back end if they tailor his body for it.

Anthony Cook: He was recently named academic player of the month or some such. That caught my eye. He has the coverage skills to play a more traditional nickel role. His story at Texas might not be finished being written.

Tyler Owens: Boundary safety is his only fit in the secondary. We wonder if the new staff prefers him at linebacker like the old staff. And if they do and he doesn’t want to move, then what? Would Taylor Mays be a three-time All American in this era of football?

Brenden Schooler: He was recently moved to safety, which makes sense given his freshman year at Oregon where he had four picks was the best season he’s had as a collegian. Brenden meet Blake, Blake meet Brenden.

Marques Caldwell: He’s still at nickel as far as we know.

JD Coffey: Coffey is much like Jerrin Thompson, which is mostly good. They do lack top-end speed but can make up for that somewhat with their ability to see the field and watch plays develop. Coffey has good ball skills and generates serious pop as a tackler. It wouldn’t be surprising if he was Je. Thompson’s primary backup this season.

Cornerback

Josh Thompson: I‘m with those who think he ends up being the nickel. That would likely be his home in the NFL so he might as well get a head start on it.

D’Shawn Jamison: If he cleans up his technique and plays more consistent he’s going to be drafted in the first three rounds. He’ll be a good case study for Terry Joseph as a teacher.

Darion Dunn: It would be surprising if he didn’t put a firm grasp on a corner position this spring. He’s the closest thing to a corner template on the roster.

Kitan Crawford: Texas has four players capable of starting at corner. Crawford could also conceivably be looked at for nickel. That was part of the high school evaluation, and also what we’ve heard recently.

Jahdae Barron: Barron has solid technique already. It won’t be easy to find playing time this year, but if he competes like there is, he’ll be more than ready next year.

Jamier Johnson: After missing his senior year due to the unique potency of Covid-19 to California teenagers, he’s behind the ball from a physical readiness standpoint. Being an early enrollee was a good way to get back on track. Probably a safety long-term but time spent at corner will be a tremendous help.

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Thx for this TARS...

LINEBACKER/END TRANSFER HELP ON THE WAY

By FUCK CHIP BROWN.          6 hours ago

Here's a little bit of what I've heard from team sources on the potential impact of adding New Mexico State's Devin Richardson (6-3, 233) and Alabama's Ben Davis (6-4, 250) to Texas' defense as transfers:

Davis was described to me as "a solid edge guy - not a dynamic pass rusher, but will be fine as an edge setter on run downs."

"He's an example setter who Sark (Steve Sarkisian) can establish culture with," a source told Horns247.

Davis is the son of Alabama's all-time leading tackler Wayne Davis and was considered the nation's top inside linebacker coming out of Gordo (Ala.) High School in 2016.

But just when Davis was poised to move into the lineup at Alabama in 2019, he missed time in the spring due to a shin injury — initially believed to be shin splints — but it ended up being a stress fracture that required surgery. As a result, Alabama reloaded with Will Anderson and Drew Sanders, and Davis missed his window.

Thus, Davis, who will be a sixth-year “super” senior at Texas, had only seven tackles in 24 games played (primarily on special teams) for the Crimson Tide.

"The way Alabama recruits, you can miss your window there," the source said. "But Davis has excellent physical tools, is disciplined and a team guy - and has been coached at Alabama. If he’s hungry, he’ll come in and make some noise.”

Richardson, who has three years of eligibility, has the physical tools at 6-foot-3 and 233 pounds to develop into an asset at outside linebacker or even inside linebacker.

A three-star recruit out of Klein when he signed with New Mexico State, Richardson played in four games (while redshirting) as a freshman in 2018.

In 2019, Richardson started all 10 games he played in and was named to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America team after recording 69 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, and three forced fumbles.

New Mexico State didn't play football in the fall of 2020 due to COVID-19.

Davis and Richardson will arrive in June - the same time as Notre Dame transfer end/outside linebacker Ovie Oghoufu (2.5 career sacks, 10 QB pressures for the Irish), who also has three years of eligibility remaining.

All three will have ground to make up to catch LSU graduate transfer Ray Thornton, who impressed coaches this spring and appears to have the inside track as the likely starter replacing Joseph Ossai as a pass-rushing, stand-up end for the Longhorns.

Texas lacks proven experience behind end Jacoby Jones, so depth is needed.

And continue to keep an eye on inside linebacker Palaie Gaoteote of USC as a Texas transfer candidate to compete at middle linebacker.

Gaoteote (6-2, 250), who played in two seasons at USC — as a freshman in 2018 and while fighting through ankle injuries as a sophomore in 2019 — posted 105 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss, including two sacks in 20 games (14 starts) with the Trojans.

Known for his love of contact and high-impact hits, Gaoteote suffered a concussion two games into the 2020 season and missed the rest of the year. He entered the transfer portal in December.

Steve Sarkisian said Tuesday David Gbenda, Jaylan Ford and Luke Brockermeyer are the leading candidates to replace last year's leading tackler Juwan Mitchell at middle linebacker right now — three players with upside but exactly zero college starts.

Gaoteote would have at least two years of eligibility remaining considering he redshirted as a junior in 2020.

 

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Thx to TARS for this...

IT:  More from online coaching clinics

By: Eric, Gerry, and Justin

Terry Joseph had a strong presentation. He went over his teaching process with his defensive backs, particularly corners, focusing mostly on some of the drills he relies on for developing the cornerbacks.

Like the other coaches on this staff, he put a big emphasis on teaching players the overall concept they were playing to make sure players understand why they're doing what they're doing. Joseph said they don't want or need to teach the players all of the checks to a defense if they can teach them the concept well enough for the players to be able to figure things out on their own when the offense adjusts.

Joseph also talked a lot about helping each player develop his own game, giving them options and tools to use and determine for themselves what's most comfortable and effective.

For most everything in his drills and teachings he'd have about three points. "That way I can remember myself and if you have more than three they'll start to tune you out anyways."

In choosing cornerbacks, Joseph had three traits he likes to look for: "can he play man coverage? Can he tackle?" And, "can he play the ball?"

They teach guys in man coverage not to play the ball but to play the man first, "if you're watching the quarterback throw it you'll be watching them catch it" and was honest about telling players if they're badly beat on a pass to tackle the receiver or at least grab a hand and take the defensive pass interference penalty.

Joseph went over a lot of drills with different backpedals, showing D'Shawn Jamison struggling to turn upfield in an early scrimmage and slipping, leading to a big run after the catch, then later getting it right on the pick-6 in the spring game.

Jamison came up regularly as a positive example, getting off blocks and demonstrating good form attacking a receiver's hands after the catch.

Joseph's tackling drills focused on teaching guys how to adjust live and see "yellow light" tackles where the offensive player has a two-way go and the tackler needs to tamper down vs "green light" tackles where the offensive player has a one way go and the tackler should run through him.

Like in the instance of being beat in coverage, Joseph went over the gator roll tackle as a way to get an offensive player down when there aren't better options.

Another interesting tool Joseph went over is a peer evaluation form he'll give his players asking them to tell him how they'd rank their teammates in the unit based on a few factors (and you can't rank yourself). "They'll tell you who they think the most talented and trustworthy teammates are." 

 

Everyone on the staff is big on teaching team concepts and drilling them carefully, it was an impressive series of clinics.

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Thanks to TARS for this... Does a decent job explaining why more LB transfers were necessary

 

(Eric Nahlin) Transfer-palooza reshapes the depth chart at linebacker

Quote

It seems like we get asked about fits on a daily basis.

We’ll offer a quick explainer for linebacker and the defensive line, especially in light of UT adding so many new players within a new scheme.

Jack: Stand-up outside linebacker/edge aligned to the field (wide side). More DE than X. Pass rush, play the run, some zone drops. Can also play d-end in three-man front if that’s the call

SR Jacoby Jones
Commentary: Will likely play the most snaps at Jack this season. Solid in all regards. Not a spectacular athlete but gets the job done.

JR Jett Bush
Commentary: Energetic player still learning to play the position. Should see snaps this year. As a spin down, he’s athletic for the role.
Secondary position: Has bounced between J and Mike. Will probably stay at J given roster needs.

True FR Jordon Thomas
Commentary: Not on campus yet. Will likely outgrow the position over time with 3-tech being the natural spin destination. If they keep him lean, he could offer a ton of power playing the run and bull rushing.

True FR David Abiara
Commentary: Not on campus yet. A huge need to finish the 2022 class. Natural pass rusher with mature understanding of using his advantages.

X: Stand-up outside linebacker/edge aligned to the boundary (short side). More LB than Jack. Pass rush, play the run, a lot of zone drops.

SR Ray Thornton
Commentary: Physically and mentally mature player who is nearly a lock to start. Will be solid at a minimum. Versatile player. Shows ability to get deep drops.
Secondary position: Will likely play both X and J this season. There isn’t much depth at J and Thornton was strong enough to survive playing snaps at 3-tech at LSU.

SO Prince Dorbah
Commentary: Athletic tools are in place to get after the quarterback and get deep drops in coverage. Needs to continue to mature as a player.

SR Ben Davis
Commentary: Former five-star who was miscast as an ILB. Large framed with defensive end length. Should be okay in drops but offers real upside playing the edge. He’s in his perfect fit with some untapped upside remaining.

JR Ovie Oghoufo
Commentary: Similar to Dorbah with the athletic tools being in place. He just needs reps and coaching. This is a great fit for him.

True FR Derrick Harris
Commentary: Fits the X specs wonderfully. Still not 100% after injuring his knee his senior year. Will redshirt but will be ready to play real snaps in 2022. Coachable with tons of frame potential.

Tackle/3-tech: Alignment depends on game plan; could be in an under or over front

JR Moro Ojomo
Commentary: Had a huge spring. Versatile and fundamentally sound player beginning to come into his own. Has taken well to new coaching. Will play a ton regardless of whether or not he starts.
Secondary position: Could play defensive end in a three-man front. Could also play J if they wanted to go heavy in goal line/short yardage.

SO Alfred Collins
Commentary: With length and quickness he owns a short path to the back-field. Perhaps highest NFL draft upside of any player in the program.
Secondary position: Could just as easily play nose tackle as 3-tech.

RS FR Sawyer Goram-Welch
Commentary: He’ll be ready to play this year, but that doesn’t mean he’ll play a lot simply because of the NFL players ahead of him.

True FR Barryn Sorrell: Could also play J, but he has a thicker build more suited for the interior.

Nose: Shaded across from guard usually; sometimes across from center; plays 0-tech (head up on center) in odd front

JR Keondre Coburn
Commentary: He’ll play more snaps than anyone at nose but thanks to depth he’ll rotate out and be kept more fresh.

JR T’Vondre Sweat
Commentary: Will have a timeshare with Coburn.

RS FR Vernon Broughton
Commentary: Is viewed as having perhaps the best athletic ability to rush the passer from the interior but he’s still learning how to play the game.
Secondary position: He could easily play 3-tech or defensive end in a three-man front.

SO Myron Warren
Commentary: There is a lot of talent ahead of him.

True FR Byron Murphy
Commentary: His only issue is he lacks length, but he’s quick, powerful, and has great lateral ability. Not the best two-gapper but will be hell attacking half a man.

Dime: Inside linebacker aligned to the boundary. Tends to play in the box more than Mike.

JR Luke Brockermeyer
Commentary: Great spring for the former walk-on. If Texas played tomorrow, he’d start. However, new competition is on its way, and so too is old competition if the staff has David Gbenda playing both linebacker positions.

SO Jaylan Ford
Commentary: Still a year away from being ready.

True FR Terrence Cooks
Commentary: Huge upside. Has also played Sam when the nickel is replaced in a 3-4 look.
Secondary position: He’s not ready yet, but fits the profile to play any off-the-ball linebacker position. It won’t happen, but he could also play X eventually. Versatile, athletic, future star if he develops the cerebral/technical aspects.

SO Marcus Tillman
Commentary: Just hasn’t regained the athleticism he had pre-injury.

SO Devin Richardson
Commentary: Transfer from New Mexico State. Mentally and physically mature. Moves well for his size. Three years remaining, so the staff made a real investment in Richardson.
Secondary position: If the movement skills don’t translate to Will, he could eventually grow into an above average X as depth thins there.

JR Palai Gaoteote (not official yet)
Commentary: Former five-star. At USC, he’s viewed as still having a lot of upside. Plays with pop and range versus the run game.
Secondary position: There are clips of him coming off the edge with his hair on fire where he looks like a bigger Troy Polamalu. X could be a fail safe if Will doesn’t work out. Again, he’s not officially a Longhorn yet but he is expected to be.

Mike: Inside linebacker aligned to the field. Tends to play in space more than Will.

SO David Gbenda
Commentary: Gbenda had a huge spring from a developmental standpoint. He’s not a finished product but the game has slowed down for him. Excellent range and speed for the position.
Secondary position: He still needs to add some size but he could play Will as well.

SR DeMarvion Overshown
Commentary: He missed spring but was engaged in the learning aspects throughout. He’ll need a crash course this August to commit what he knows on the chalkboard to knowing on the field at full speed.

RS FR Jaden Hullaby: Like his classmate Jaylan Ford, he’s probably a year away. He has also played some Sam.

True Freshman Morice Blackwell
Commentary: Blackwell was a huge winner of the Pete Kwiatkowski hire. He’s best suited to playing cleanly in space. He’ll need time to develop, but not as much as he would for schemes that asked him to bang with bigs more often.

Here’s a basic visual for your viewing pleasure.

image.png

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thx to TARS for this.

 

Surprise, Surprise... thanks for the shitty job orlando

(Super K) Trying to win Right Away

It goes without saying that coach Sark and company want to win and they want to win right away. The likely reality is the past few recruiting rankings are not reflective of Texas’ actual talent and I don’t mean the players were underrated. The previous staff was very good at using their connections to help themselves in the recruit ranking world.

But for Sark, he’s come into a situation where he certainly has talent but likely not as much as he anticipated. Having less talent than he had at Alabama goes without saying but I surmise he still expected more, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

I’ve been told they were not pleased with the linebacker room and they’ve obviously continued to add players there. I’m told a lot of it was about the attitude in the linebacker room.

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14 hours ago, LTtxfan said:

Thx to TARS for this.

 

Surprise, Surprise... thanks for the shitty job orlando

(Super K) Trying to win Right Away

It goes without saying that coach Sark and company want to win and they want to win right away. The likely reality is the past few recruiting rankings are not reflective of Texas’ actual talent and I don’t mean the players were underrated. The previous staff was very good at using their connections to help themselves in the recruit ranking world.

But for Sark, he’s come into a situation where he certainly has talent but likely not as much as he anticipated. Having less talent than he had at Alabama goes without saying but I surmise he still expected more, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

I’ve been told they were not pleased with the linebacker room and they’ve obviously continued to add players there. I’m told a lot of it was about the attitude in the linebacker room.

The knee-jerk interpretation of this is that Sark & Co. or someone on their behalf is tempering expectations, ("Well, we've inherited some talent but not as much as we thought we were going to, so don't expect so much so soon.") There's another way to look at it, however: It could just be that Herman & Co. didn't develop the talent we recruited, so that yesterday's legitimate 4-star isn't performing like a veteran 4-star should a couple of years into his college career. This scenario is fixable; the first, not so much. 

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Thx to @BurntOrange&White for this Recent info from Inside Texas:

 

LB depth

Joe’s linebacker outlook offered a good opportunity to get sourced material on the position.

How linebacker shakes out will be one of the stories of August camp. “Somebody’s going to be left out,” a source said while discussing all the options.

The most interesting nugget is DeMarvion Overshown is still repping at Sam during player driven practices. Sam is on the field in “base” defense. He is in place of the nickel (Chris Adimora). The Sam is a piece that moves around, typically with getting after the quarterback in mind. He can be off the ball or on the line of scrimmage.

David Gbenda has also repped at Sam, as has Notre Dame transfer Ovie Oghoufo. Sam has some overlap with Oghoufo’s main position of X-backer (OLB).

Gbenda seems assured to start, likely at Will (the in-the-box linebacker). He’s the most trusted to call the defense at this point, plus he’s athletic. “It’s his spot to lose,” IT heard. Jeff Choate had good things to say about the young LB during his on-line coaching clinic so positive sentiment extends beyond sources.

Jaylan Ford and Luke Brockermeyer are both working at Mike but IT sources say they could play either linebacker spot. Both are in contention for real snaps at a minimum.

True freshman Terrence Cooks is already moving up the depth chart. He is also at Mike but repped at Sam during the spring.

Two big variables at the position are Devin Richardson, the New Mexico State transfer, and Dele Adeoye who returned to the program after his extended stay in El Portal Motel.

Re: Richardson: “He’s smart, moves better than expected, plays under control, great work ethic and study habits.”

Re: Dele: “Doesn’t have the body control Richardson does, but he has experience and knows what he’s doing.”  

.
 

Edited by LTtxfan
correction
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Thanks to @BurntOrange&White for IT stuff.  Love the write-up on Kitan below...

Three young players to watch - 
IT asked a source for three young players who could start this year but probably won’t.

SO CB Kitan Crawford: “The only thing keeping him from starting is he has two seniors ahead of him. He looks like a pro; he has the focus of a pro; he moves like a pro. Always in control of his feet — never too wide or too narrow. He’s patient at the line and uses his eyes well. He’s a guy who doesn’t say much. Not scared to hit you, will play the run, and he’s smart. He’s not just a corner in college, he’ll be a corner in the NFL.“

That last sentence was in response to asking if he’d be a nickel in the NFL.   We talk to a lot of people and Crawford is roundly regarded as one of the most talented players in the program.

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