Antwan Cobb was a lead blocker on many of Texas' 2009 short yardage touchdowns. (Image: Zimbio)

Antwan Cobb was a lead blocker on many of Texas' 2009 short yardage touchdowns. (Image: Zimbio)

With National Signing Day and the important junior days, February is usually a time when Texas football fans can focus on recruiting and the beginnings of future Longhorn football careers. This weekend, however, the University announced that two current Longhorns were giving up the football careers and focusing on their academics. Wide receiver [tag]Philip Payne[/tag] and running back [tag]Antwan Cobb[/tag] have both decided to forgo their final year of eligibility and will focus on getting healthy and getting their UT degrees.

WR Philip Payne out of Garland will spend this semester working towards his communications degree:

“It was a very tough decision, but after discussing things with my family, we decided that I’m going to focus all my energy on my school work so I can finish my degree this spring. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time with the football program and I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life. I’ll miss being around the guys and I can’t say enough about everyone in the program and how much I appreciate everything they did for me. I’m so happy to have been a part of the program, from the football family, to The University and our fans and supporters, it has been the experience of a lifetime. I’ll always be a Longhorn and I’ll be pulling for the team to have another great year in 2010.”

Fullback and special teams standout Cobb’s knee injuries had added up:

“Since my knee injury a couple of years ago, I’ve had a series of injuries and just haven’t been able to get well enough to compete at the level I know I’m capable of. I talked to my family and the coaches and think it’s in my best interest to move on and focus on finishing my degree and getting ready for life after football. It was a tough decision and I’m very appreciative of everything the coaches and staff did to help me through the process. I’ve had a great experience here and learned so many valuable lessons on and off the field that will help me for the rest of my life. I’ll miss not being out there with my teammates every day but will be around and helping any way I can. I’ll always be a part of this family and pulling for my Longhorns.”

Good luck to both young men as they pursue their degrees and finish out their careers as Texas Longhorns.

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Posted April 3rd, 2009 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football, Spring Football

Receiver Malcolm Williams may be the most important offensive player in 2009. (MB-TF.com)

Receiver Malcolm Williams may be the most important offensive player in 2009. (MB-TF.com)

The spring game comes around Sunday just in time to help with detoxing off of football season. After Sunday football junkies only have the draft and Mel Kiper’s hair to look forward to. We all know the familiar faces: [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag], [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag], [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag], etc. But what about the guys who didn’t play as much last year but will be counted on in 2009? Here is a list of guys you need to watch in the spring game.

  1. [tag]Christian Scott[/tag] – The Longhorn defense played the majority of the snaps last year with five defensive backs on the field. Last year, Will Muschamp used two safeties and three cornerbacks in the nickel defense. This year Muschamp is trying to use Earl Thomas’ cover skills to get three safeties on the field in the 4-2-5. Having three safeties on the field will help in run support and with blitzes. Most feel Scott is just too good to not have on the field, but if mental mistakes and inconsistency rear their ugly head Muschamp will have no choice but to bring a Curtis Brown or Deon Beasley off the bench. I think it is safe to assume Thomas can handle the slot, so it will be up to Scott to make the formation work.
  2. [tag]Ben Alexander[/tag] – The defensive line was hit hard in departures this offseason. Guys like Brian Orakpo, Roy Miller, and Aaron Lewis are working out for pro scouts. The only guy up front with significant experience on the defensive line is Lamarr Houston. Alexander is entering his senior season and he knows it is his time to shine. If not now, when? By all accounts the big guy has lost some weight and added some quickness. The coaches had moved Houston, a former defensive end, to the nose tackle position to start the spring, but with the emergence of Alexander, who is a more natural one technique, Houston can move back to his more familiar three technique.
  3. [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] – Call me a hopeless romantic, but I’m holding out hope McGee lives up to the hype he had coming in. People forget McGee had a great freshman year as the short yardage and goal line guy. He showed great explosion in the Tech game that year when he was in for a hobbled Jamaal Charles. Flash forward to now and the Longview native is entering his junior year after not even getting a snap in the bowl game. This spring is huge for McGee. Cody Johnson had been emerging as the starter before he went down with a hamstring injury and Foswhitt Whittaker is injured again. That leaves McGee and two second year guys who haven’t been counted on yet. McGee was hurt at the beginning of the season, but he had begun to emerge before the Fiesta Bowl fiasco. If he can get his burst back, he may get his job back.
  4. [tag]Sam Acho[/tag] – Quietly Acho has cemented himself as the starter at the strong end position this spring. The junior has a nose for the ball and has shown he can get to the quarterback as well. Eddie Jones may get a look on that side when he recovers from his injury, but he’ll likely play at the quick end when Kindle is playing outside linebacker. Acho is a smart and hard working player who wasn’t overly hyped coming into the program, but has made plays ever since he showed up. The concern with Acho is at the point of attack. Texas received great play from Henry Melton at the power end last year, and Acho going to have to step up to prevent any drop off.
  5. [tag]Keenan Robinson[/tag] – I love me some Keenan Robinson. His skill set is perfect for Muschamp’s defense and the type of offenses used in the Big 12. Robinson can play all three downs as an outside linebacker in the 4-3 and as a middle guy in Texas’4-2-5. With his speed the sophomore would appear to be a great blitzer as well. Kindle will play some outside linebacker so in certain formations Robinson will likely be on the bench, but he is setting himself up to be an impact player for this defense. We will begin to see how he is used Sunday.
  6. [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag] – The only thing missing in Texas’ aerial attack last year was the deep threat. Quarterback Colt McCoy’s strength is the intermediate passes and for the most part that is where Texas will concentrate, but a guy like Williams has to be given at least two opportunities a game to make a big play down the field whether he is covered or not. The sophomore has proven he can beat people deep, just look at the offense when Williams replaced Quan Cosby in the Texas Tech game. Greg Davis dialed up one fly pattern for Williams in the Fiesta Bowl and he beat Thorpe Award winner Malcolm Jenkins. Colt McCoy didn’t get the ball out there, but hopefully it had to do with not having the timing McCoy has with Jordan Shipley or Cosby. With an offseason without Cosby or Shipley Williams and McCoy should be on the verge of building a great report. Williams can get deep on anybody and a few shots down the field in the spring game would be a good sign.
  7. [tag]Ahmard Howard[/tag] – Someone needs to step up at tight end, and Howard needs to be that guy. Blaine Irby most likely needs another offseason to get ready and DJ Grant hurt his ankle. That leaves Ian Harris who has a history of stingers, Greg Smith who is a converted offensive lineman, and Howard. Neither Smith nor Howard is going to strike fear in defenses as a receiver but Howard at least gives Greg Davis that option. With Smith on the field last year Texas declare they were running the ball or using max protection. Howard will allow Texas to be more flexible. With the talent at the wide receiver position Texas will go to a four or five wide if no one will step up. Mack Brown wants to focus on running the ball, but he may have to abandon it all together if no one steps up at tight end.
  8. [tag]Britt Mitchell[/tag] – Starting right tackle Kyle Hix is missing the second half of spring to get healthy. In his place Mitchell has been impressive. Tray Allen has been Texas’ third tackle, but he is being cross trained at guard this spring. That leaves Mitchell in line to be the third tackle and the possible starter at right tackle when Adam Ulatoski leaves (Hix will likely move to the left side). Mitchell has been playing with the ones and will do so on Sunday. He faces some of the best past rushers in the nation every day in practice and has held his own. The junior has flown under the radar in terms of hype, but if he can have a solid spring game he’ll set himself up to contribute next year to a possible national championship team.
  9. [tag]Alex Okafor[/tag] – Mack Brown hasn’t always been eager to give true freshman real playing time, but nobody can stop talking about the talent of the Pflugerville native. The guy is tearing up practice at a time he should be worrying about Prom. His first step is probably faster than everyone on the roster not named Sergio Kindle. A defense can never have too many pass rushers, especially in the Big 12. It is unlikely Okafor will redshirt so expect a good number of snaps if he keeps this up.
  10. [tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] – Chykie Brown is a near lock to man one corner back position. The other spot will be manned by Aaron Williams, Deon Beasley, or Curtis Brown. Right now it looks like Williams is in line to be the starter. He is the youngest of the group, but the sophomore probably has the most physical upside. The former McNeil star is also a solid tackler and a smart football player. If the Earl Thomas in the slot experiment doesn’t work, Williams will likely move to the slot. That would leave Beasley or Brown to battle it out for the other corner spot. My money is on Curtis Brown in that one. Where Aaron Williams plays seems to be more of an appropriate question than if Aaron Williams plays so watch out for him on the slot or on the edge. A secondary of Thomas, Blake Gideon, Scott, Chykie Brown, and Williams would be mighty salty to say the least.
  11. [tag]Antwan Cobb[/tag] – The fullback position has been practically erased from Davis’ offense in the last few years. And while some see it as scheme it really has to do with not having any bodies for the position. People are quick to forget what Ahmad Hall did for this offense in 2005. Many of the Longhorns running woes can be attributed to not having a dependable lead blocker at full back. Cobb’s strength is probably catching the ball out of the back field, but when he is healthy he is more than a capable and willing lead blocker. Texas has said they want to take more snaps under center, and with a fullback who can catch out of the backfield on the field Texas would have options they haven’t had in a few years. It will be telling how many snaps Cobb gets in the spring game.
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Posted June 25th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Update: Download named rosters for NCAA Football 10. (7/23/2009)

NCAA Football 09 is less than a month away, the demo is up on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, and player ratings are starting to make their way on to the Internet. EA Sports released the team top 25 and player ratings for all those teams.

I went through the list and put the players’ real names in where possible. I had trouble with a lot of the true freshmen in the game so if you know who any of the blank names are or if I made any mistakes please let me know in the comments. It really looks like EA did a poor job this year on the roster and depth chart. Hopefully it’s a little more accurate when the game is released.

You can download Excel files of the player ratings at the bottom of this post or check out the overall ratings for the Texas team below:

Real Name Name Year Position Rating
[tag]Buck Burnette[/tag] C #66 Soph(RS) C 78
C #60 Fresh C 72
 
[tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] CB #7 Junior CB 85
[tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag] CB #13 Senior(RS) CB 84
[tag]Curtis Brown[/tag] CB #3 Soph CB 83
[tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] CB #26 Fresh CB 80
[tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] CB #8 Soph(RS) CB 80
[tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] CB #12 Fresh(RS) CB 78
[tag]DJ Monroe[/tag] CB #27 Fresh CB 76
 
[tag]Roy Miller[/tag] DT #99 Senior DT 90
[tag]Jarvis Humphrey[/tag] DT #96 Fresh DT 80
[tag]Brian Ellis[/tag] DT #90 Soph(RS) DT 78
[tag]Ben Alexander[/tag] DT #92 Junior DT 76
[tag]Kheeston Randall[/tag] DT #88 Fresh DT 76
 
[tag]Chris Ogbonnayya[/tag] FB #3 Senior(RS) FB 93
[tag]Cody Johnson[/tag] FB #31 Fresh(RS) FB 72
 
[tag]Ben Wells[/tag] FS #5 Fresh(RS) FS 84
[tag]Christian Scott[/tag] FS #6 Fresh(RS) FS 77
[tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] FS #21 Fresh FS 77
 
[tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] HB #2 Soph(RS) HB 85
[tag]DeSean Hales[/tag] HB #30 Fresh HB 80
[tag]Antwan Cobb[/tag] HB #24 Soph(RS) HB 79
[tag]Fozzy Whittaker[/tag] HB #22 Fresh(RS) HB 78
[tag]Jeremy Hills[/tag] HB #32 Fresh HB 76
[tag]Tre Newton[/tag] HB #23 Fresh HB 73
 
[tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag] K #15 Junior K 82
[tag]Justin Tucker[/tag] K #9 Fresh K 69
 
[tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] LE #33 Junior LE 91
[tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] LE #95 Senior LE 85
[tag]Henry Melton[/tag] LE #37 Senior LE 80
 
[tag]Charlie Tanner[/tag] LG #52 Junior(RS) LG 86
[tag]Tray Allen[/tag] LG #70 Soph LG 82
[tag]Chris Hall[/tag] LG #71 Junior(RS) LG 81
[tag]Aundre McGaskey[/tag] LG #76 Fresh(RS) LG 74
 
[tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] LOLB #2 Junior LOLB 85
LOLB #16 Fresh LOLB 80
LOLB #57 Fresh LOLB 76
 
[tag]David Snow[/tag] LT #78 Fresh LT 78
[tag]Britt Mitchell[/tag] LT #72 Soph(RS) LT 78
 
[tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] MLB #44 Senior(RS) MLB 90
[tag]Jared Norton[/tag] MLB #11 Junior MLB 85
 
[tag]Trevor Gerland[/tag] P #17 Junior(RS) P 83
 
[tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] QB #12 Junior(RS) QB 89
[tag]Sherrod Harris[/tag] QB #17 Soph(RS) QB 81
[tag]John Chiles[/tag] QB #7 Soph QB 79
 
[tag]Eddie Jones[/tag] RE #32 Soph(RS) RE 92
[tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] RE #98 Senior(RS) RE 90
[tag]Russell Carter[/tag] RE #97 Fresh(RS) RE 77
 
[tag]Cedric Dockery[/tag] RG #55 Senior(RS) RG 89
[tag]Michael Huey[/tag] RG #63 Soph RG 81
 
[tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag] ROLB #38 Junior(RS) ROLB 87
[tag]Keenan Robinson[/tag] ROLB #53 Fresh(RS) ROLB 82
ROLB #4 Fresh ROLB 75
 
[tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] RT #74 Junior(RS) RT 85
[tag]Mark Buchanan[/tag] RT #54 Fresh RT 74
 
[tag]Ishie Oduegwu[/tag] SS #19 Junior(RS) SS 88
[tag]Nolan Brewster[/tag] SS #36 Fresh SS 79
 
[tag]Peter Ullman[/tag] TE #86 Senior(RS) TE 81
[tag]Ahmard Howard[/tag] TE #13 Fresh(RS) TE 74
[tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] TE #19 Soph TE 73
 
[tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] WR #6 Senior WR 89
[tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] WR #8 Senior(RS) WR 84
[tag]Montre Webber[/tag] WR #14 Soph(RS) WR 83
[tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] WR #4 Fresh WR 79
[tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag] WR #9 Fresh(RS) WR 78
[tag]DJ Grant[/tag] WR #80 Fresh WR 75
[tag]Antoine Hicks[/tag] WR #81 Fresh WR 75
[tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag] WR #87 Soph WR 74
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Fullback Antwan Cobb is out for the year with an ACL tear. Chris Ogbonnaya moves back to fullback and Blaine Irby to see snaps there as well.

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Posted October 13th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Live

Today’s matchup for the Longhorns against [tag]Iowa State[/tag] should be a rout, but there’s been lots of games like that this season and Texas only took care of business against Rice. The Horns need to continue the solid play from last week against Oklahoma and if they can they should be able to come home with a comfortable win.

Follow with me and my random thoughts during the game below:

First Quarter
  • I wonder when FSN Southwest will be in high definition on DirecTV? It looks like the game is being shot in HD and if I had FSNMW I could be watching it in HD. Oh well.
  • Ryan Bailey kicking off, is Hunter Lawrence hurt?
  • Same starting lineup on defense that we’ve seen all year.
  • Texas is only 7th in the Big 12 in punt returns? [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] is solid back there so I don’t really blame him for that number. With Limas Sweed out for the year it might be time to protect Cosby and put one of the young WR/DB’s back there.
  • Long bomb from [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] to [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] on Texas’ first offensive play. McCoy does nice job buying time in a collapsing pocket and finds Shipley wide open. 58-yard touchdown for the Horns.
Texas 7, Iowa State 0
  • FSN’s wonderful coverage continues. They take a TV timeout and miss both the kickoff and the first ISU play after it. Sad.
  • FSN announcers are apparently using an OU roster instead of Texas.
  • On third down play it looks like defensive line slants to the field and [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] lets the ISU runner get wide for the first down. Might have been Lamarr Houston’s fault. Terrible defensive fundamentals.
  • I was just going to complain about the lack of pressure from the Texas defense then [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] comes untouched off the end for the sack.
  • Face raped? Yikes. Not sure you should say that on TV. That was a definite face mask but the reason the helmet comes off is that it’s not fitted correctly. Your helmet should never come off that easy. He said face rape again.
  • Is our defense really this poorly coached? We’ve got guys flying inside to avoid blockers on every play. If you’re a defensive end and have a linebacker blitzing to your inside you can’t try to get in the same gap. Ugh.
  • [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] playing defensive end on that play. He got whipped man on man and gave up a big run.
  • Texas holds on third down and forces a field goal. Field goal is wide right. Break for Texas as Iowa State had put together a very solid drive.
  • Mental mistake by wide receiver covered up Jermichael Finley. FSN announcers are morons.
  • Looks like [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag] is seeing increased playing time already over Jamaal Charles. If we’re going with the wide open offense that’s a good idea since he’s a better blocker and pass catcher than Charles.
  • Looks like McCoy is growing a sweet mustache. Couple more weeks and that might be thick enough to show up on camera.
  • Ogbonnaya and [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] get the two Texas redzone rushing attempts. Hope Charles can keep his head up, figure out the issue, and earn these attempts back.
  • Not sure that was a well advised throw by McCoy but man did Cosby get up and get that one. No good camera angle but I think that might have come out a little when he hit the ground. Another good scramble to buy time and find a receiver by Colt.
Texas 14, Iowa State 0
  • Hunter Lawrence kicking off on this one. Wonder why it wasn’t him in there on the first one?
  • Young linebackers in there for this series.

(more …)

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Posted February 1st, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Recruiting

I’ll update this post from time to time today with any news on National Signing Day including who has sent in their letter of intent and any other rumors going around. Most of the guys should be signed by around noon and then we’ll just be waiting around for Jonas Mouton’s decision this evening.

Morgan shocks Aggies and Seminoles

4-star linebacker Michael Morgan was expected to choose between Florida State and Texas A&M last night and surprised everyone when he announced he’d be headed to USC next fall. While the Trojans were in his final three, most experts believed he was headed to FSU or possibly to the Aggies if he decided he wanted to stay closer to home.

The announcement sent the Aggie fans into meltdown mode. He was a critical recruit and one they had been very confident about landing for a while. The Aggies had a down year on the field this season and it’s been reflected in their lack of success in recruiting, Morgan would have been a very nice addition to an otherwise average class.

Latest on Mouton

Seems like most experts are predicting Jonas Mouton will pick Michigan tonight when he announces his decision on Fox Sports West. There’s still people predicting Texas or USC and Mouton has kept things pretty close to the vest, so these are all just guesses and gut feelings. I think in the end Texas just got in too late to have a chance to completely win him over.

Signed letters of intent as of 9 a.m.

According to Geoff Ketchum over at Orangebloods.com, 19 players have already signed their letter of intent to play for the Horns as of about 9 a.m. The following players have been confirmed by the Orangebloods staff:

  • [tag]Ben Alexander[/tag]
  • [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag]
  • [tag]Buck Burnette[/tag]
  • [tag]Antwan Cobb[/tag]
  • [tag]Dustin Earnest[/tag]
  • [tag]Brian Ellis[/tag]
  • [tag]Sherrod Harris[/tag]
  • [tag]Robert Joseph[/tag]
  • [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag]
  • [tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag]
  • [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag]
  • [tag]Steven Moore[/tag]
  • [tag]Jared Norton[/tag]
  • [tag]Phillip Payne[/tag]
  • [tag]Jevan Snead[/tag]
  • [tag]Greg Smith[/tag]
  • [tag]Roy Watts[/tag]
  • [tag]JMarcus Webb[/tag]
  • [tag]Montre Webber[/tag]

Steve Moore was the first one in this morning at around 7:30 and there’s been a steady flow since. I’m glad to see Ben Alexander‘s name already on the list as I had a slightly bad feeling about him. He’s out of state and several schools from the ACC and SEC have still been recruiting him since he committed back in June.

All letters of intent are in (11 a.m.)

The last six of the 25 man class are signed and Orangebloods has confirmation on them. Add the following names to the Class of 2006:

  • [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag]
  • [tag]James Henry[/tag]
  • [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag]
  • [tag]Eddie Jones[/tag]
  • [tag]Josh Marshall[/tag]
  • [tag]Britt Mitchell[/tag]

Now just waiting on Mouton…

Mouton to Michigan (4 p.m.)

His press conference isn’t for several more hours but it appears Jonas Mouton has already made his decision. Lloyd Carr’s official press release on the Wolverines’ signees confirms that Mouton has signed his letter of intent and makes tonight’s press conference just a formality.

That wraps up things for the Longhorns today as everybody we knew about is already in and no one new is really left out there. We’ll have an overview of the entire class soon as well as a position-by-position breakdown of next year including the new guys in the coming days/weeks.

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