Posted September 21st, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Blaine IrbyIt was immediately obvious after watching the first replay of Blaine Irby’s gruesome knee injury but it is now official that the sophomore tight end will miss the remainder of the 2008 season. According to a press release from the university Sunday evening Blaine suffered a dislocated right knee and will undergo season ending surgery. He’ll be able to seek a medical redshirt and should have a full three years of eligibility remaining when he (hopefully) returns to the field in 2009.

Read the full press release including quotes from Irby and [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] below:

Longhorn sophomore starting tight end Blaine Irby sustained a dislocated right knee in Texas’ 52-10 victory over [tag]Rice[/tag] on Saturday, will undergo surgery and is out for the rest of the season, UT Head Athletic Trainer for Football Kenny Boyd confirmed on Monday.

“It’s going to be a long journey, and I just have to take it one step at a time,” Irby said. “I know the tight end spot and the offense won’t lose a beat because Peter (Ullman) and Greg (Smith) are there to lead the way. I’m going to be there too, helping out Coach Chambers. I’ll be there as a coach and a teammate and ready to help anybody in any way that they need me. Coach Brown told me that I could use a medical redshirt since this happened so early in the season, which would give me three more years, but that’s down the road. Right now, I just need to focus on being patient, taking it one day at a time, getting healthy and coming back stronger than ever.”

The 6-3, 235-pound Irby started all three games and had 10 catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns on the year. He led the Horns with seven catches for 62 yards and a TD in their 52-10 season-opening victory over Florida Atlantic. Irby also posted nine knockdown blocks in that game. He had a 23-yard catch at UTEP and registered two catches for 10 yards before sustaining the knee injury against Rice. He played in 11 games and registered two catches for 29 yards as a true freshman in 2007.

“We have a great history of tight ends and Blaine was quickly developing into the type of player to follow in those footsteps,” said head coach Mack Brown. “He was getting better every week and making a big impact in our offense. Blaine was very productive for us at a key time since we lost Jermichael (Finley) early to the NFL. As much as we’ll miss him this season, thank goodness he’ll get a redshirt year and have three seasons left when he gets back.”

In addition to Finley leaving school early, Texas also lost sophomore [tag]Josh Marshall[/tag] during preseason drills. He sustained a left scapula injury and remains out indefinitely. Senior [tag]Peter Ullman[/tag] and sophomore [tag]Greg Smith[/tag] both have played this season and will compete for the starting tight end job.

Redshirt freshman Ahmard Howard will move up the depth chart and compete for action after playing primarily on special teams this season. Fellow redshirt freshman [tag]Ian Harris[/tag], who sustained a neck sprain in August, is expected to be cleared to return to practice soon. Offensive tackle [tag]Britt Mitchell[/tag] has been playing tight end in short-yardage and goal-line situations as well.

We wish Blaine good health and determination through his rehab and can’t wait to see him back catching passes again as soon as possible.

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Posted August 22nd, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Position Rating: C-
Starter: Blaine Irby
Reserves: Peter Ullman, Ian Harris, Greg Smith

Blaine IrbyTight end was a position of concern headed into fall practice and Josh Marshall’s injury only makes things worse. When [tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] bolted early for the NFL it left the Longhorns without any proven pass catching threat at the position.

The top returning receiver and most important tight end this season is sophomore [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag]. Last season as a true freshman Irby caught only two passes for 29 yards but Texas fans should be expecting better total numbers by week one this year. With no proven third wide receiver, quarterback Colt McCoy will need Irby to step up to provide him another option or the offense will struggle against better defenses.

Behind Irby the Longhorns have veteran blocker [tag]Peter Ullman[/tag]. Ullman is expected to be the team’s second tight end in two tight end sets. He may accidentally find himself open and catch an important touchdown pass but mainly will be relied on as a sixth blocker on the line.

There’s not much behind the top two with Marshall out. [tag]Greg Smith[/tag] was moved back to tight end last week but as a current/former tackle you know what to expect out of him. Redshirt freshman [tag]Ian Harris[/tag] will be the first guy off the bench if the team needs a TE who can stretch the field a little. He’s 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds so he’s got prototypical size to play the position and block as well as catch the football. I don’t think you can expect much out of him this year but he’s a player to look out for in 2009.

Not much production from the starting slot and little depth make tight end one of the biggest holes going into the 2008 season. If Irby doesn’t show flashes of being the next David Thomas you’ll likely see a lot of four wide receiver and two back formations than in recent years.

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Josh MarshallJust a few days after I hear that he’s one of the pleasant surprises from the open practices, redshirt sophomore tight end [tag]Josh Marshall[/tag] fractured his shoulder today. Josh came in as a wide receiver but was transitioning nicely to tight end and would have provided some solid pass catching ability to the position’s depth chart.

It is officially a left scapula injury and there is no timetable for his return to the field. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, scapular fractures usually don’t require surgery. Most injuries heal fully in six weeks but full functionality will not return for several months. I’m not a doctor but this likely means Marshall is done for the season.

His absence means Blaine Irby and Peter Ullman are pretty much the only players at the position expected to contribute this season. Orangebloods is reporting former tight end and current center Greg Smith will return to the position in at least a part time role.

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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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