Wide receiver [tag]Brandon Collins[/tag] is done as a Texas Longhorn. After missing the 2009 season due to academic troubles, Collins was arrested on felony assault charges Saturday and then immediately dismissed from the team Sunday when Mack Brown learned of the news. Collins’ career at Texas was already on thin ice due to various academic and character problems.

More information on Collins’ arrest from KVUE.com:

Collins was arrested after an alleged aggravated assault at a Pflugerville Mcdonald’s. Dispatchers got a call at 2:36 p.m. Saturday from a man who said he had been robbed at gunpoint in the McDonald’s parking lot. He said he had been waiting there to meet an old friend, Marcus Caruth, 19. The victim told police a black male ran up to him with a gun and demanded money from him. He identified the man as Caruth.

The victim says Caruth ran back to a silver Chrysler Sebring convertible with a black top and Texas license plates and it drove off.

Officers later spotted a vehicle matching the victim’s description, stopped the car in the 1800 block of W. Pecan St. and detained the occupants.

The back right passenger was identified as Caruth, the front passenger as Ashton Collins, 25, and the driver as Brandon Collins, 20. Officers found a loaded pistol under the front right seat and a small amount of marijuana and a substance believed to be hashish in the car.

Caruth and Brandon Collins told police they had arranged the meeting with the victim to buy marijuana. Although the victim stated that Caruth was the man who had attacked him and with a gun, both Caruth and Brandon Collins said it was Collins who approached the victim and he, at no time, had a gun. They both said Ashton Collins was the only person who had a gun.

Expected to be the number two guy behind [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] this year, I was hoping Collins could get his head on straight and be a reliable veteran option for new QB [tag]Garrett Gilbert[/tag] in 2010. Fortunately the Horns have seen flashes from returning wide receivers [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag], [tag]Marquise Goodwin[/tag], and [tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag]. The fact that the Texas coaches are bringing six high school commits at the position, including the state’s number one wideout Darius White who committed yesterday.

Collins may no longer be a Longhorn, but let’s hope the young man realizes his potential and can get his life together before it’s too late.

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Posted September 19th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

So much for Internet rumors. Reportedly (by several sources) considered the biggest longshot of the three Longhorns in academic limbo to regain his eligibility, senior cornerback [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] has been cleared to play by the NCAA. He is eligible to play this weekend against [tag]Texas Tech[/tag].

From the official university press release:

The NCAA academic eligibility issues for University of Texas senior cornerback Deon Beasley have been resolved. Beasley will be eligible to play immediately, beginning with tomorrow’s Texas Tech game. There is no update on the two other players with unresolved NCAA academic eligibility issues.

Before his status came into question Beasley was working as the team’s fourth corner. No official information

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Posted September 12th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Football

It was already pretty much assured but the Statesman has confirmed that the three Texas players in academic trouble did not make the trip to [tag]Wyoming[/tag] for the game.

Cornerback Deon Beasley, receiver Brandon Collins and safety Christian Scott, who were ineligible for the Longhorns’ season-opening game against Louisiana-Monroe, also won’t play against Wyoming, a school spokesman said Friday.

Spokesman John Bianco said the three Longhorns did not travel to Laramie, Wyo., with the team.

Lots of rumors are swirling about all three players. A student-athlete’s academics are a sensitive subject so I don’t want to spread unconfirmed information (though it does come from good Orangebloods sources) but one of the three players is likely to be back, one is 50-50, and one has little chance of being eligible this season. No word on when official news will come from the NCAA.

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Posted September 5th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football, Live

Follow along below or with @40AcresSports on Twitter for live updates on the Texas vs. Louisiana-Monroe game tonight at 6pm…

(continue to read full live blog …)

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Not the news you want to hear three hours before the opening kickoff, but three important Longhorn contributors will miss at least today’s game due to academic issues. Wide receiver [tag]Brandon Collins[/tag], safety [tag]Christian Scott[/tag], and cornerback [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] are out against Louisiana-Monroe today because of “unresolved academic issues”. All three players would have seen significant playing time today, particularly Collins and Scott. Fortunately receiver and secondary are two of the Horns’ deepest spots.

The academic issues appear to be with the NCAA requirement of progress towards a degree, and the reason the news is coming so late is that the players are likely appealing grade decisions to the university. This could be a one game issue or these guys could miss the entire season.

There were rumors about Collins and Beasley, but Scott surprising. He was getting a lot of love from the UT coaches and I find it hard to believe [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] gives him so many first team snaps at safety if they expect him out long.

We’ll keep you updated.

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Posted August 29th, 2009 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Brandon Collins is expected to step up and give Colt McCoy plenty of WR options.

Brandon Collins is expected to step up and give Colt McCoy plenty of WR options.

Maybe for the first time since 2005, the University of Texas has a legit shot at a national championship heading into the season. Sure last year was special, but at this time in 2008 the Longhorn fan base was not thinking championship rings.

It is all different one year later. In this two part series we look at the five things we know and the five things we don’t about this year’s team.

1. Colt McCoy is a bad ass.

There is no way around it. If McCoy leads this team to the national championship, and maybe picks up a Heisman trophy along the way, he will go down as the best, and most loved, quarterback in the history of the program.

McCoy has done everything a coach could want from a leader. And all reports have him playing at an elite level after a dedicated summer. Vince Young rallied Texas’ last national championship team with summer 7-on-7, McCoy did the same. Now it is time to prove it on the field. And there is little doubt that will happen as long as Colt stays healthy.

2. McCoy has targets to throw the ball to.

Sure, Quan Cosby is gone, but Malcolm Williams, James Kirkendoll and Brandon Collins may be better than the “Big 3” of Roy Williams, Sloan Thomas and BJ Johnson. And we haven’t even mentioned Jordan Shipley.

Kirkendoll is going off this year. He will replace Cosby as the safety valve on third down situations when Shipley is demanding double teams. Williams showed his big play ability against Missouri and Texas Tech last year. The knock on the sophomore is his consistency, but when the lights come on, he has done nothing but impress. He looks the part on the field, and defensive coordinators have to account for his speed on the outside. Cosby was great, but he didn’t demand a safety to play over the top. Williams can force defenses to keep a man deep to protect against the fly pattern. That will open more holes for the running game, and open up more room for Shipley,

3. Texas will pressure the quarterback.

Apparently, Will Muschamp has taken off the gloves. In year two under the feisty defensive coordinator all bets are off. Muschamp has his players flying around the ball and blitzing on every down. Gone is Brian Orakpo, but Sergio Kindle is now a defensive end/linebacker/freak of nature. Add an underrated Sam Acho, a seemingly healthy Eddie Jones and an emerging superstar in true freshman Alex Okafor and talent on the edge is not a problem.

Also, Texas has linebackers and secondary personnel to blitz. Emmanuel Acho, Keenan Robinson and Jared Norton have received rave reviews for the blitzing ability. And last year, we saw the ability of Earl Thomas and Aaron Williams coming off the edge.

4. The secondary has transformed from the biggest question mark in 2008 to the strength of the defense in 2009.

The combination of Thomas, Williams, Chykie Brown, Curtis Brown, Deon Beasley, Blake Gideon and Christian Scott is almost laughable. For the first time in the Mack Brown era, a defensive unit has a chance to be dominating. Sure, Texas has had dominate players, and even dominate units, but with Muschamp leading the way, the Longhorns may field their best defense sine the 1980’s.

Texas has all but abandoned the 4-3 as its base defense. Texas runs the nickel because of the offenses in the Big 12. Thomas’ ability in coverage allows Muschamp to bring in Scott to play safety when Thomas lines up against the slot. The depth at cornerback allows Muschamp to bring in Brown or Beasley to keep Thomas at safety if the defense needs more speed on the field.

Bottom line – this group is nasty, fast and experienced. Muschamp can do whatever he wants with the front seven, I mean six, because he knows he has a safety net in the back. Not good for the rest of the conference.

5. Texas will have the advantage on special teams in virtually every game.

I know, I know, it is just special teams and that isn’t as sexy of a topic as scoring touchdowns or creating snot bubbles. But the third aspect of football should not be overlooked. Where would the program have gone if Dusty Mangum misses the field goal against Michigan in the first Rose Bowl? Do we win a championship the next year? Who knows? Do we beat OU last year if Shipley doesn’t take a kick to the house?

Texas has two reliable field goal kickers, a two legged punter and return guys growing out of their ears. Add to that the most prolific punt block team in the last decade and opponents have no time to relax.

At least one game a year comes down to special teams play. In 2009, that is to Texas’ advantage.

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Watch practice highlights from yesterday’s second practice courtesy of MBTF at CBS College Sports.

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Posted May 6th, 2009 by BT
Filed under: Feature, Football

Do the Longhorns need Vondrell McGee and the rest of the running backs to step up?

Do the Longhorns need Vondrell McGee and the rest of the running backs to step up?

Not that I’m breaking any news when I say this, but it bears repeating: this could be a special year for our Longhorns. A majority of our starters return, our coaching staff is arguably the strongest in Mack’s tenure and they have an understandably large chip on their shoulders after getting rooked out of the National Championship last year to a team they beat. Coming out of the spring game, here is #1 concern I’ve heard/read from Horn fans: what about the running game? Who’s the go-to running back? WHAT ABOUT THE RUN GAME??!?!??!

To that I say… play it cool Superman, play it cool.

Look I know that a run game is important, but is it vital? Ehhhh… not sure. The run game last year was subpar (by Texas standards) and it would be nice to be able to just run, run, run on anyone we damn well please because, in all honesty, nothing emasculates your opponent more than just cramming the ball down their collective throat. I get it, what I don’t get is the panic-stricken nature that us fans are treating this.

Conventional wisdom says you need to be able to run the ball to win championships; however, conventional wisdom also said that a team couldn’t win a National Title either running the spread (until we did) or if your leading rusher was a quarterback (again, until we did). The point is, teams that obey “conventional wisdom” rarely make history.

Looking at it, what makes our offense more imposing; forcing one of our unproven tight ends out on the field and lining up out of the I, or getting [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag], [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag], [tag]Brandon Collins[/tag], and [tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag] out on the field at the same time? In my view, that’s the difference between asking someone which they would rather juggle, water balloons or grenades. A mistake with one leaves you mildly inconvenienced, while the other leaves you totally destroyed.

Let’s be honest, it’s not like any of the guys in the backfield are [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] quality; they each have their strengths and weaknesses, and none of them are a complete back. On the other hand, our receiving core is the deepest and most talented group of the [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] era. Jordan Shipley is nails, Brandon Collins is smooth route runner and great after the catch, Kirkendoll seems to be scratching the surface and the ceiling for Malcolm Williams seems to be Limas Sweed at worst! Not trying to be dramatic, but this set of receivers is a gift, we should use them as much as we can.

Most importantly, we have (by the numbers) the most accurate quarterback in the history of college football back for his senior year. Is our offense better served forcing the ball to our stable of good not nearly great running backs, or letting the most precise passer we’ve ever had in burnt orange throw darts to our studs out wide?? Our run game last year worked this way: run a little in the first half to keep the defense honest, but most of the damage was done with quick passes to the wideouts, which not only gained us yards but also served to sap the strength out of the opposing defenses legs. In the second half, the creases became bigger and the holes came more frequently (see the [tag]Oklahoma[/tag] game for a perfect illustration).

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Aaron Williams was great on defense and electric with the ball in his hands. (Photo: MB-TF)

Aaron Williams was great on defense and electric with the ball in his hands. (Photo: MB-TF)

The Texas Longhorns gave us the first real look at what next year’s team is going to look like on Sunday for the Spring Game. Of course these games need to be taken with a grain of salt because both sides bring vanilla game plans. [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] didn’t play very much, but the defense dominated for most of the scrimmage. Here are five things we learned from the game.

1. The secondary has grown up.

A few months removed from being the perceived weak link of the defense the Longhorn secondary dominated the offense the whole game. The defense played predominately out of the 4-2-5 and showed very little blitzes but they made plays. Last year the group had troubles creating turnovers but the safeties intercepted two passes, the first by [tag]Nolan Brewster[/tag] against the second team offense. The second interception was the play of day, a pick six by [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] off of [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag]. Thomas was far and away the best player on the field on Sunday. The sophomore was everywhere, he showed off his coverage ability, he was a sure tackler, and show off his speed by running down a kick returner. Texas has four safeties that could start and all of them have at least three years of eligibility left. The corners looked good too. [tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] and [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] have an opportunity to leave campus as the best duo Texas has had at cornerback. Add [tag]Curtis Brown[/tag] and [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] and this group is deep and athletic. [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] couldn’t blitz as much as he might have liked last year because of the inexperience in the secondary, but the training wheels will come off this season. And it may just be scary good.

2. The tight end position is on life support.

It is true that this program has been spoiled at the tight end position in recent memory. It didn’t look like that was going to change with the emergence of [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag]. A horrific injury to Irby, a few injuries to the back ups, and a few misses in recruiting later and we’re left with the current situation. [tag]Ian Harris[/tag] bobbled a ball to cause the first interception of the game and [tag]Greg Smith[/tag] almost did the same later on. Right now it looks like Texas may have to use the four or five receiver set as their base offense this year when they really want to move the ball. Mack Brown is hesitant to abandon the run, but having a tight end on the field is becoming a liability. Irby is nowhere close to be being back, and there is no guarantee he will ever be the same if or when does get back. Maybe if [tag]DJ Grant[/tag] gets healthy or one of the two incoming freshman come in ready to contribute the position has a chance. But as we stand right now Greg Davis really needs to think about using the offense he used in the second half against Oklahoma for the majority of the snaps. Luckily Texas has the receivers to play that set with no problem. In fact keeping one of them on the sideline in favor of the current tight end on the roster is a form of football dyslexia.

3. [tag]Cody Johnson[/tag] needs to be in shape

Both [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] and [tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag] found the endzone on Sunday, and each showed a few flashes of their potential with the ball in their hands. But Texas averaged less than 3.0 yards per carry. Before his hamstring injury in the second half of the spring coaches and insiders had been raving about Johnson’s progress both running the ball and dedicating himself to being in shape. The knock on Johnson has always been his weight, but right now the coaching staff has decided to worry more about his body fat. Johnson is going to be counted on as the every down back if he can prove he can handle it. Right now Whittaker offers the team the skills needed in a third down back as long as he can prove he’ll block blitzing linebackers. Where that leads McGee is anybody’s guess, but with a good summer and fall practice it couldn’t be a total shock to see him get the opening day start. The variable in the whole situation is incoming freshman [tag]Chris Whaley[/tag]. The big back from Madisonville just participated in the 100M at the Texas Relays and by all accounts the young man is an athletic specimen. The staff was so high on him as a running back, many experts project him to outgrow the position that they chose not to recruit another one. If he reports in shape and ready to take the punishment he will be given every opportunity to win the job. If all else fails the Texas offense may look like something from Lubbock. Is that a bad thing? I can’t decide.

4. Colt McCoy will have plenty of targets.

Texas’ leading returning receiver, and Colt McCoy’s roommate and fishing buddy if you haven’t heard, [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] didn’t participate in spring practices to recover from injury the Longhorns fielded maybe the best trio of receivers ever at Texas. None of the wide outs are on the level of Roy Williams, but collectively this group may be better than the BJ Johnson and Sloan Thomas group. They weren’t as highly recruited but [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag], [tag]Brandon Collins[/tag], and [tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag] all bring something different to the field and they work great in this offense. The quarterbacks struggled with the wind, and the secondary had seen all the patterns every day in practice, but it was obvious how much big play potential will be on the field at all times. Kirkendoll showed off his speed on a reverse, Collins works the middle beautifully and led the team in yards, and Williams can get deep whenever he wants. McCoy’s bugaboo has been the deep ball and twice he nearly missed huge plays on the outside deep down the field with Williams. One was completed but the ball was too far outside to be kept in bounds and the other was thrown a little too far in front of the streaking Williams. The sophomore just looks the part out there in his number 9 uniform. Williams, fellow receiver [tag]Dan Buckner[/tag], and Aaron Williams just jump out at you from a pure athletic stand point when you look at their physique. Watching this group work has to put a smile on the Longhorn nation’s faces because they will be on campus for a few more years. That’s not even taking into account Buckner, [tag]John Chiles[/tag], and the red-shirt freshman on campus. With the questions at tight end and in the running game the receiver becomes the most important position besides quarterback for this offense.

5. Texas football is in good hands.

Mack Brown has been the best thing that has happened to this program, and maybe to the University as a whole from an athletic standpoint, than anybody since Darrell K. Royal. With as good as Brown has been, head coach to be Will Muschamp has injected an energy into this program that needed a little jumpstart following the departure of Vince Young and the rest of the 2002 recruiting class. With one hire, and Brown deserves credit for making it and then realizing he couldn’t lose his personal energizer bunny on Red Bull, the stigma of Texas being soft or unmotivated was erased for the present future. Just a few years ago these Spring Jamborees were offensive exhibitions. Remember when the opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown every year? That won’t happen anymore. Muschamp has made everything competitive. He has given the defense pride, and more importantly, thanks to Brown he has given them stability. A stability that the offense has had the luxury of since Brown and Greg Davis arrived on campus. For the first time in a decade the defense is going to have a steady hand leading the way. With Muschamp the hand might not be steady, it may be pumping up and down, but I’ll take it.

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Our live stream of consciousness posted from @40acressports on Twitter from during the Fiesta Bowl is posted below:

  • It was cool when they let blind guys sing the national anthem, but wasn’t letting a blind man design the Fiesta Bowl trophy enough? #UT 25 minutes ago
  • @springnet 77 is Luke Poehlmann, a very promising true freshman lineman. He deserves to start in 09 just due to his sweet mullet. 31 minutes ago
  • @HookEmSarah as Mack said this week, gatorade baths are for 7-5 coaches. 😉 plus I’m sure there nothing but whining on #UT msg boards. 37 minutes ago
  • What a game. Congrats Horns on the big tough win. Congrats to the seniors. #UT 40 minutes ago
  • I heart Quan and Brian Orakpo. Huge sack (and good job tackling QB too.) #UT 42 minutes ago
  • ANnouncers are acting like this thing is over. #UT 44 minutes ago
  • Unsportsmanlike could be huge. OSU kicker has big leg. Come on kickoff team. #UT 45 minutes ago
  • Tressel’s challenge gives #UT much needed timeout. Horns should actually gain yards with review. 49 minutes ago
  • That was a terrible initial spot. Clearly got first down. Replay will give it to #UT if spot doesn’t. 51 minutes ago
  • #UT needs to be in bigger hurry. 56 minutes ago
  • Not sure who #77 for #UT is but that mullet deserves playing time. 57 minutes ago
  • There’s no such thing as double pass interference, whoevere initiated contact deserves the flag. #UT 58 minutes ago
  • @joneke defense has been fantastic all game long. about an hour ago
  • Absolutely terrible pass interference call. Beasley has right to ball and ball was way short. F***! #UT about an hour ago
  • Well defended? Malcolm Williams was wide open and Colt just put it too wide. #UT about an hour ago
  • 4th quarter! Wrap this thing up boys. #UT about an hour ago
  • Attaboy Colt! You too Coach Davis. All three drives this half have been good ones (sans 20 yd sack.) #UT about an hour ago
  • Matt Hasselback is the NFL qb you reference? Weird. Is Tim announcing the game? #UT about an hour ago
  • When do you think we’ll see screen and go to Shipley? Looks set up well. #UT about an hour ago
  • 4th and 36 and we can’t even punt for first down yardage. Momentum squandered. #UT about an hour ago
  • Terrible play by Colt. Has to expect pressure on RB screen call. Drive killer. #UT about an hour ago
  • Dear Greg Davis, finally a designed run for Colt and you get a beauty of a TD run for #UT. Let’s go defense!! about 2 hours ago
  • #90 for Ohio St is dirty POS. 2nd time he clearly and intentionly went high with his hands on Colt. Hit was fine, hands to helmet isn’t. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Very good effort by R Bobino to get first down when there wasn’t much room on fake punt. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Fiesta Bowl trophy is one of the ugliest things on the planet. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Crap. Holding call turns 2nd and inches into 2nd and long. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Set your feet Colt. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • @kbohls you have to be able to trust you junior QB not to take bad risk. That one is on Colt. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Bad underthrow by Colt costs #UT chance at at least tying FG. Huge mistake and momentum killer into halftime. about 2 hours ago
  • False starts on wide receivers drive me bats***. #UT about 3 hours ago
  • @kbohls blame out of position linebackers (due to play and blitzes) more than D-line for long runs. Agree about QB contain. #UT about 3 hours ago
  • Getting the awful feeling opposing fans felt when VY was at quarterback. Glad Pryor has no clue about watching for 1st down markers. #UT about 3 hours ago
  • 2nd and goal from 17 and we run a draw to Chris O? WTF? #UT about 3 hours ago
  • Speaking of running, where’s Fozzy? #UT about 3 hours ago
  • No attempts to get Colt McCoy running yet. Turn him loose Greg! #UT about 3 hours ago
  • Better drive by #UT offense but inability to get positive yards on 2nd & short is killing us. about 3 hours ago
  • Apparently that was a token holding call earlier, some pretty blatant ones on this series but we get pressure and S Kindle gets sack. #UT about 3 hours ago
  • 1st freshman mistake for Pryor. Good run but stepped out before first down with no one about to hit him. Melton rushing out of control. #UT about 4 hours ago
  • Woot!!!! Apparently holding still exists outside the Big 12! Good sign for Rak! #UT about 4 hours ago
  • Chris Hall is playing. Retweeting @suzhalliburton: @40acressports They used the depth chart from A&M about 4 hours ago
  • Chris Hall wasn’t on official depth chart for the game but #71 is in uniform at least for the Horns. Hope he’s 100% and starting. #UT about 4 hours ago
  • RT @CedGolden: Is it me or is Barry Switzer wearing a burnt orange tie with a matching hanky? #UT about 4 hours ago
  • Score predictions for #UT vs Ohio State: http://is.gd/eEb5 All three of us have the Horns winning a pretty close game. about 4 hours ago
  • RT @bevobeat: Blaine Irby up and about. Horns’ injured tight end was out tossing the ball around in pregame. http://twitpic.com/100fd about 4 hours ago
  • Ah oh: No Chris Hall on the 3 deep at center for Fiesta Bowl depth chart: http://is.gd/eDRj True frosh D Snow gets start. about 5 hours ago

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