Vikings waive Marcus Griffin. It’s early enough that hopefully he gets a chance with another team. (via)

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Posted April 29th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Draft, Football

Five Longhorns were selected this weekend in the 2008 NFL Draft this weekend but several eligible players went unselected. Players like [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag] might have been disappointed Sunday, but being signed as a free agent by the best team who made the best offer is often a better situation than being a 6th or 7th round pick. Last year Selvin Young sign with perfect team (Denver) and ended up rushing for 729 yards on the season.

On Monday four players were quickly snatched up by NFL teams. Griffin and wide receiver [tag]Nate Jones[/tag] were both signed by the Minnesota Vikings. If those two can earn a roster spot they’ll join Cedric Griffin and Brian Robison and definitely make the Vikings a team for Texas fans to keep an eye on.

Defensive tackle [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, one of several teams that he had to choose from. “Evaluating it all, Kansas City was the best option for me and I jumped on it. I’m really excited about the opportunity. They were one of the teams that showed a lot of interest in me throughout the process,” Lokey said. Lokey well join Derrick Johnson and fellow rookie Jamaal Charles in KC.

[tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] agreed to a deal with the Indianapolis Colts. If any team can look past Foster’s height it would be the Colts, starting Pro Bowl safety Bob Sanders is only 5-foot-8. Foster is the only cornerback the Colts are bringing in.

On Tuesday receiver [tag]Billy Pittman[/tag] became the fifth Horn to sign a free agent deal when he agreed to terms with the San Diego Chargers.

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Posted April 24th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Draft, Football

Most NFL mock drafts only include a round or maybe two, but just like last year ESPN’s Todd McShay has released his seven-round mock draft for your perusal (if you’re an ESPN Insider.) Getting one round is tough enough, but McShay actually did a decent job last year and even nailed Justin Blalock to Atlanta and Brian Robison to Minnesota last year.

Below is where McShay believes the Longhorns in the draft will go followed by my my thoughts on the picks:

Round 1

24. Tennessee Titans – [tag]Limas Sweed[/tag]
This is best possible scenario for Texas fans. Titans need wide receiver help desperately and Sweed may be the best one in the draft. Getting him at #24 would be great for the Titans VY.

Round 2

43. Carolina Panthers – [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag]
Charles is the first running back taken in the second round. He’d actually have a chance to start for Carolina to, only has to beat out DeAngelo Williams.

Round 3

115. Philadelphia Eagles – [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag]
Nice spot for Marcus, interesting to see him going so high. I’ll be surprised if Griffin goes before Finley and Hills, simply because I believe those two have much higher ceilings. Great to see a former walk-on work his way into a mid-round NFL Draft pick.

127. Indianapolis Colts – [tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag]
Jermichael might be a little disappointed by how far he falls but he’d be ecstatic to be picked up by the Colts. Pretty much the perfect situation for him. They use their tight end a lot, Peyton Manning to throw him the ball, they split the tight end out wide frequently, and most importantly the Colts throw work out of the shotgun a ton and Finley wouldn’t be asked to be down on the line run blocking much.

129. New England Patriots – [tag]Tony Hills[/tag]
Another good situation. Hills would be given time with New England to develop and wouldn’t be asked to start right away. At the same time, there’s no young, highly regarded tackles on their roster so he’s got a chance to compete by year two.

Round 5

154. Washington Redskins – [tag]Frank Okam[/tag]
Much lower slot than people expected out of Okam a few years ago but McShay may actually have him higher than the current opinion. I’m not sure what I think, I have a feeling he might go as early the fourth round if a team makes a pick based on potential but then I wouldn’t be shocked to see him go undrafted either.

Round 7

215. Baltimore Ravens – [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag]
Imagine if Lokey had Okam’s build, the kid would be a first round pick. But he’s 6-foot-1 and a light 290 pounds which is considered very undersized for an NFL defensive tackle. I’d love to see Derek go to a team and be utilized as a goal line fullback and deep snapper as well as a defensive tackle who can give 15 – 20 snaps a game.

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Posted April 23rd, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Draft, Football

Marcus GriffinPosition: Safety
Height: 5-10
Weight: 201 pounds
Hometown: Austin, TX

Strengths: Strength and aggressiveness make him good against the run. Good tackler who led the Longhorns in tackles in 2007 from his free safety position. Not blazing fast but ran a solid 4.55 forty at the Texas pro timing day. Fantastic special teams player who will find a way to contribute to your team.

Weaknesses: Not great quickness or recovery speed. Hasn’t shown good ball skills, doesn’t make plays even when good coverage has him in position. At 5-foot-10 lacks ideal height if matched up with a tight end. Needs to take better angles in pursuit of ball carriers.

Projection: 5th or 6th round

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Posted March 20th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Draft, Football

Brandon Foster runs the 40 at Texas pro dayPro day, or pro timing day, is an NFL Draft prospect’s chance to show scouts what he’s got in a comfortable environment. They’re on their own campus, in their own gym, working out with their teammates and coaches. It also is a chance for the guys who weren’t invited to the NFL Combine to show their stuff. At Texas’ pro day Wednesday, sixteen players were weighed, measured, timed, and did position drills for 75 NFL personnel people.

Most of this information is cribbed from NFL.com, Orangebloods, and the Austin-American Statesman blog post on UT’s pro day. The numbers are inconsistent because they always are, everybody gets their times from a different source. Here’s how some of the Horns performed:

  • Cornerback [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] – 5-7 5/8, 185, 10-8 broadjump. Ran a blazing 4.28 time in the 40-yard dash. He also showed athleticism with a 38-inch vertical jump. His performance might offset the fact that Foster was measured at 5-7.
  • Running back [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] – 5-11, 199 pounds. Elected not to run, allowing his 4.38 time that he posted at the combine to stand. Ran position workouts and looked good catching the football.
  • Receiver [tag]Limas Sweed[/tag] – 6-4 1/8, 210, 37 vertical. Ran a 4.40, shaving nearly a tenth of a second off of the time he ran at the NFL combine last month. 4.33 short shuttle, 7.14 cone drill. Ran position drills and looked good catching the ball.
  • Tight end [tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] – 6-4 3/4, 240 pounds. Ran a 4.62, dropping his time from the combine by .24. His time is now the second fastest run by a tight end in workouts leading up to next month’s draft.
  • Backup safety [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] – 6-0 1/2, 216, 10-9 broad jump. Posted a 41.5-inch vertical jump and ran a 4.45. We’re checking to see if any other player in the country has jumped higher in draft workouts.
  • Defensive tackle [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] – 6-1 3/8, 293, 33.5 vert. Did 38 reps on the 225-pound bench press. He also worked out at fullback and deep snapper. 9-foot, 4-inch long jump, 4.37 short shuttle, 7.57 cone drill, 38 reps in the bench press, and ran position drills.
  • Linebacker [tag]Scott Derry[/tag] – 6-2 1/2, 221
  • Tackle [tag]Tony Hills[/tag] – 6-5, 307 lbs. 24 reps in the bench press, but could not run or do other drills due to an injury.
  • Defensive tackle [tag]Frank Okam[/tag] – 6-4 7/8, 27.5 vertical. Dropped 12 pounds since his weigh-in at the combine. He is weighing 335 right now.
  • Safety [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag] – 5-10, 196, 37.5 vert. Ran a 4.5 40.
  • Wide receiver [tag]Billy Pittman[/tag] – 5-11, 195. Ran a 4.56.
  • Also participated: safety [tag]Erick Jackson[/tag], wide receiver [tag]Nate Jones[/tag], linebacker [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag], defensive tackle [tag]Thomas Marshall[/tag], punter [tag]Justin Moore[/tag], and former Longhorn safety [tag]Lee Jackson[/tag].
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Derry, Marcus Griffin, Killebrew, Okam and Sweed will participate in various post-season All-Star games. First one is the Hula Bowl on January 12th.

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Posted December 27th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Football, Live

I’ll be posting periodic updates, comments, and vulgarity as the game goes on. It’s kickoff time and I’m as fired up as I’ve been since early on in the season. Let’s see how the Horns respond to a little adversity.

First Quarter
  • 2 seconds in to the game and it’s clear Brent Musberger didn’t do any preparation. Brutally mispronounces [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag]’s name and then calls [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] the name of some random walk on. Houston takes the very short pooch kick off and the Horns start the game off with the ball out at the 50.
  • Looked like a bad read by [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] on the zone read. Picks up close to 10 yards though and the Horns have a 3rd and 3. Big play as the team really needs to get going early.
  • 3rd and short run that the line did a terrible job blocking on but [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] breaks it for a 15 yard game.
  • [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] is right. Charles was hit out of bounds down low and that should have been a penalty.
  • Bad awareness by [tag]Nate Jones[/tag]. He was wide open but let himself drift out of the back of the end zone. Announcers have good comment though about how the design of the end zone in the stadium could be confusing.
  • [tag]Greg Davis[/tag] is a gosh damn genius!!!!!!! WoooOoo! Touchdown [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] for the touchdown!!! That a boy! Bill Belichick would be proud.
Arizona State 0, Texas 7
  • The team really looks fired up. Let’s hope that results in some inspired play, and no let down once that energy wears off.
  • [tag]Jared Norton[/tag], [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag], and [tag]Scott Derry[/tag] are the starters at linebacker. That might shut some Internet coaches up (for a few minutes.)
  • And Norton is already hurt. Damnit.
  • Defensive package on 3rd and long includes only 3 down lineman, [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] and [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] in there as extra pass defenders. Nice new look.
  • Designed QB draw play. I don’t mind McCoy scrambling (in fact he’s been darn good at it this season) but not sure we should be calling too many first quarter QB runs in the huddle.
  • As Musberger talks about [tag]Chris Hall[/tag] I just noticed that freshman [tag]Kyle Hix[/tag] is getting the start at right tackle and they’ve moved [tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] to the left side.
  • [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] on the reverse pass. Not really anybody open and Cosby does the smart thing and just throws it away. Or maybe it twas just a terrible throw. The play wasn’t blocked well and the receivers were all covered as well.
  • [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] in there on this series. Norton back in there as well.
  • Fumble! Maybe. They called it a fumble on the field at least as corner [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] appears to rip the ball out as the ASU running back falls to the ground. Looks like he had it out before his knee was down and doesn’t look like there’s 100% evidence of the contrary. Replay confirms, Texas ball!
  • Hot damn! Hey there [tag]John Chiles[/tag], I vaguely remember you buddy. The young dual threat QB is in there and on the first play Charles takes the zone read hand off close to 50 yards. On the very Next play Chiles keeps it on the same play off the left end for the touchdown! (Psst… where has this been all year?)
Arizona State 0, Texas 14

  • In case you hadn’t noticed, yes I’m about 5 minutes behind live on the DVR. I’ll be caught up after one or two commercial breaks.
  • Wonder what the wind situation is like. [tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag]’s kickoffs have all been pretty short.
  • Has Roger Clemens hired investigator to “discredit Brian McNamee” or two prove that he didn’t take steroids? Those are two very different things.
  • Not only did senior [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] not get the start at linebacker but I haven’t seen him in on defense at all yet tonight. Two series in a row where it’s nothing but the young guys and Derry is off the field as well.
  • [tag]Erick Jackson[/tag] got really burned on a deep pass but gets back just in time because of the underthrown ball (and maybe a little early) and the ball is tipped up and safety [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag] has the ball come right to him for the interception.
  • I like the fair catch trash talk by the ASU punt returner. “Did you see the way I waved my arm and caught the ball. You can’t handle this!”
  • Killebrew, Derry, and [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] in there for this series.
  • Can Musberger get anyone’s name right? It’s Dick Tomey, not Toomey. Dufus.
  • Finally. McCoy scrambles and throws deep on the run and get its to his open receiver Cosby for a huge 55 yard gain. That a boy Colt.
  • And Charles runs tough and right through the Sun Devils’ defense for the 15-yard TD run. Heck of a run and refusal to get tackled by one guy. The Horns are now up 3 scores and it’s still the first quarter. Come on guys keep this up, don’t let an ASU score or anything swing this momentum.
Arizona State 0, Texas 21
  • Veteran linebackers in for second series in a row. [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] getting some early playing time at defensive end.
  • Bobino shaken up. Now both middle linebackers have needed to be helped up by the medical staff but both were able to walk off on their own power.
  • We’re bring multiple linebackers on every play and if we don’t start getting to Carpenter a step quicker we could be in trouble.

(more …)

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Posted December 27th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Football

2007 Holiday Bowl
Arizona State #11 Arizona State (10-2)
vs. #19 Texas (9-3)
Dec. 27, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Texas

One of the biggest games of the 2007-08 bowl season, the [tag]Holiday Bowl[/tag] features the 19th ranked Texas Longhorns facing off against the 11th ranked [tag]Arizona State[/tag] Sun Devils. Each of the two teams are capable of putting up big time points and neither defense may be able to say anything about it. Like Holiday Bowls in years past, this game has all the makings of a high scoring, close game that will come down to a wild finish.

When Texas is on offense things will fall on [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag]’s still young shoulders. The team can still win when the sophomore quarterback doesn’t play his best, but it will be up to McCoy to manage the game, protect the football, and convert a few big third downs if the Horns are going to come out on top. Running back [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] may be the Horns biggest weapon, but has disappeared at times this season due to scheme and playcalling. Get Charles rolling early and the Horns could roll as well.

Arizona State’s offense is equally potent and QB Rudy Carpenter is one of the nation’s most skilled passers. If the offensive line can give him time to throw the Texas secondary can be exploited. The Longhorns will need defensive tackle [tag]Frank Okam[/tag] and his line mates to get pressure on the QB without help from the linebackers. If the linebackers can help out with pass coverage then cornerback [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] and the rest of the secondary might stand a chance.

Players to Watch: ASU QB Rudy Carpenter, ASU LB Robert James, ASU S Troy Nolan, UT QB Colt McCoy, UT RB Jamaal Charles, UT DT Frank Okam, UT CB Deon Beasley

Prediction: Arizona State 31, Texas 41

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Ivan Maisel puts Marcus Griffin on the 2007 ESPN.com All-America team. Led the team in tackles but possibly missed tackles as well.

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Posted December 9th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Greg Davis, Colt McCoy, Jamaal Charles, and Ken RuckerThe Texas Longhorns held their annual football banquet Friday night (photos) where they honored team members for their accomplishments on and off the field. Though fans and recruits do attend, the event is definitely a night for the players to look back on the season and to honor the careers of the outgoing seniors.

Quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and running back [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] were deservedly named the team MVPs. McCoy didn’t have as good of a season as he did his freshman year but he definitely is the player that made this team go (when it went anywhere). Charles was also named Darrell K. Royal Most Valuable Offensive Player while the Mike Campbell Most Valuable Defensive Players were [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] and [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag].

In a team vote [tag]Dallas Griffin[/tag], [tag]Tony Hills[/tag], and [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] were honored with the D. Harold Byrd Leadership Award. Also, in a shocking development quarterback McCoy was given the Outstanding Quarterback Award.

In a move that infuriated Internet Coaching and Motivational Experts [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag], [tag]Scott Derry[/tag], and [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] shared the honor of being the team’s Outstanding Linebackers. I’m not sure what else you can really do though as no linebacker really deserved the honor and it would be pretty embarrassing to not hand out an award for the position.

A list of all the award winners is after the jump.

(more …)

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