Defensive tackle Derek Johnson is a big dude. Can he play? (Image: MBTF)

Defensive tackle Derek Johnson is a big dude. Can he play as good as he looks? (Image: MBTF)

After nearly two whole months without Texas football, Friday was finally the first day of Spring practice. No tidbits yet (practices are closed to the public) but the official site does have a short video to watch and a nice photo gallery as well.

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Posted September 26th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football, Live

Follow along live with 40 Acres Sports on Twitter and below for our thoughts and analysis during today’s game versus [tag]UTEP[/tag] on FSN. We’ll be live right around kickoff so join us to discuss the game right around 2:30pm this afternoon.

Feel free to leave comments and questions using the live tool, but not all comments will be published. Read below for more notes on comments and how the live blog will work. Hook ’em!

(continue to read full live blog …)

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Posted November 15th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Bad news on the injury front this week for the [tag]Kansas[/tag] game. We knew starting center [tag]Chris Hall[/tag] would be out with a knee injury but cornerback [tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] and tight end [tag]Ian Harris[/tag] are also out. The true freshman Williams has been big for the secondary filling in and playing well while starting corner [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] was out, fortunately Brown is not on this week’s injury report.

Listed as questionable are two key members of the defensive line in end [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] and tackle [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag]. Both players could play and rumors are both should be on the field today in Lawrence. Safety [tag]Ben Wells[/tag] is also questionable.

With the offensive line injury, off field, and performance issues the last few weeks it is very good news that left tackle [tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] is probable.

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Posted August 28th, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Football

Position Rating: C-
Starters: Earl Thomas, Blake Gideon
Reserves: Christian Scott, Nolan Brewster, Ben Wells

The Texas secondary has come under a lot of scrutiny after allowing a school record 3,306 yards passing (109th in the nation) last year. And if things weren’t already bad enough, junior [tag]Ishie Oduegwu[/tag] is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury forcing the Longhorns to start two freshman at the safety position, redshirt freshman [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] and true freshman [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag].

So far this training camp, new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has been impressed with Earl Thomas’ athleticism and explosiveness. When asked to name the most productive safeties of the spring, Will Muschamp said, “Earl Thomas — and then really it’s a toss-up after that.” So for now Blake Gideon has won out, but it looks like redshirt freshmen [tag]Christian Scott[/tag] and [tag]Ben Wells[/tag], along with true freshman [tag]Nolan Brewster[/tag] will be competing for that starting spot. Scott, Wells, and Brewster were all high-school all americans, but competing against the offenses of Oklahoma and Texas Tech is a whole other story.

One of the scariest things about starting such inexperienced players is summed up quite well by head coach Mack Brown. Brown said the terms “strong” and “free” have been dropped from the safety position, instead they have been replaced by the terms “right” and “left” so the players know what area of the field to cover. Brown is obviously trying to make things simple back there, but it sounds scary when the players need that much simplification.

Hopefully Muschamp can work his magic back there. At least so far he seems pretty pleased with the progress they are making. “We’ve got guys who can run vertically and judge the ball downfield, which is key. I think we’ve got guys who can tackle in space. I like our speed. We’ve got the tools. I’d rather be working with this than a bunch of experienced guys who can’t play,” said Muschamp.

Obviously this group has a lot of potential to become quite solid over the next few years, but for now I had to grade them on where they are at now.

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Earl Thomas and Ben Wells make CFN All-Redshirt Freshman Team. Texas is going to be incredibly young at safety but the talent is exciting.

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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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Posted February 7th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Recruiting

We’ll be updating this list as we get news (mostly from Rivals) of which players have officially signed their letters of intent and if everything goes as planned will be the newest Texas Longhorns in August. The first two players to become Longhorns were Ian Harris out of San Antonio and Cody Johnson from Waller. Keep checking back here because we’ll update this list as we hear more names.

Confirmed Signings
Early Enrollees

Update: Just added Blaine Irby and Earl Thomas to the list which leaves only Christian Scott remaining. The stud safety just was the last player to commit to the Horns (just this weekend) and it looks like he’ll be the last one to fax in his letter of intent as well. Hopefully he’s not having any second thoughts. (10:38 am)

Update: Christian Scott’s letter is in and confirmed by both Rivals and Inside Texas (thanks Eric!). That means all 24 recruits, 18 today plus the 6 already on campus, are signed and will officially be Longhorns either this summer or in the fall if their grades are in order. Congrats to the class of 2007 and welcome to the family. (11:58 am)

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I’ve been busy and haven’t had time to post about this weekend’s invitation-only junior day and the successful recruiting flurry that Mack Brown and the Longhorns had. The Horns picked up eight commits from some of the best athletes in the state. While I was putting off this post, three more commits rolled in today including a couple of big ones to bring the total to eleven. These early offers are only handed out to the players Brown and staff feel are true standouts. Other recruits will be evaluated more and decisions on them will be made later, so we know how highly they think of the group they offered.

Gilmer wide receiver Curtis Brown is probably the biggest star of the group so far. Big, fast, and physical he could see either side of the ball at Texas. The Horns are really assembling a monster class of offensive linemen, with five commits already onboard including future 4-stars Kyle Hix, Aundre McGaskey, and Matt Nader. They’ll probably hold a scholarship for blue chipper Tray Allen, but otherwise they’re probably done at the position for the year already.

With three of four members of next season’s secondary set to graduate, defensive back is a big need in the 2007 recruiting class and it’s already been addressed. Brown could end up at corner and athlete Earl Thomas is headed for that position as well. Ben Wells has the size to play either CB or safety. Highly rated Lennon Creer is also rumored to be a big Texas lean as well and could join the growing list of future Longhorns soon.

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to call this the best weekend ever in Texas recruiting, and possibly the biggest and best group of kids pulled in by any school in such a short time span.

Check out the full haul from the weekend below…

Name Pos Rating* Hometown
Curtis Brown WR **** Gilmer, TX
Jerrod Gooch OL *** Vidor, TX
Kyle Hix OL **** Aledo, TX
Michael Huey OL *** Kilgore, TX
Andre Jones DT **** El Paso, TX
Aundre McGaskey OL **** La Marque, TX
Matt Nader OL **** Austin, TX
Keenan Robinson LB **** Plano, TX
Earl Thomas ATH **** Orange, TX
Ben Wells DB *** Beaumont, TX
Foswhitt Whittaker RB *** Pearland, TX

*Note: The star ratings are just my best guesses based on the little bit of video I’ve seen of the recruits and Orangeblood.com’s Lone Star Top 100.

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