Tarell Brown is making a strong first impression in San Francisco. Couple of mistakes, but always seemed like a good kid. (via)

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After the first day of the draft saw four Longhorns find NFL homes, three former Horns were drafted in rounds 4 through 7 Sunday. The seven total Texas players drafted were the most for the school since the draft was scaled back to seven rounds in 1994.

Defensive end [tag]Brian Robison[/tag] was taken by the Minnesota Vikings with the third pick of the 4th round. Teams get to contemplate the the first picks of the 4th round for about twelve hours so they’re some of the most thought out picks of the entire draft. There was a lot of talk about Robison being selected as a possible outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but the Vikings run the more traditional 4-3 so Robison will stay at end.

Corner [tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] was selected in the 5th round by San Francisco. If not for his off field issues, Brown would have likely gone in the 2nd or 3rd round. He’ll probably be the nickel corner for the 49ers his rookie year and should have a chance to compete for one of the starting spots.

The Houston Texans picked up offensive guard [tag]Kasey Studdard[/tag] in the sixth round. Studdard was one of my favorite Horns during his time at Texas, just a mean SOB that had fun and played hard every down. It might not be as a rookie, but he’ll have a chance to play for the Texans because as their offensive line is terrible.

Second day picks are pretty much a crapshoot and a lot of them don’t make the final roster cuts, but I think all three of the Horns should have a good shot. Robison and Brown could see some good playing time this year for their teams and Studdard adds much needed depth. Or maybe they’ll all get cut and end up on the Titans, that would be okay too.

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ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay doesn’t just predict the first round, or even the second round, he’s got a full seven-round mock draft up and available for ESPN Insiders. McShay has a lot of love for former Longhorns, with cornerback Aaron Ross and safety Mike Griffin going in the first round. Guard Justin Blalock and defensive end Tim Crowder then go in the early second round in his prediction.

Those aren’t the only Horns he’s high on, here’s how all the Longhorns faired in McShay’s draft:

Round 1

24. New England – [tag]Aaron Ross[/tag]
The Patriots never act as if they’re handcuffed by needs during draft weekend, but the Asante Samuel situation should increase their interest in this year’s cornerback crop. Ross lacks ideal man-to-man cover skills, but he has the size, instincts and playmaking ability to emerge as a difference-maker in the type of zone-heavy defensive scheme the Patriots run. Ross also can help in the return game, which adds to his value.

26. Philadelphia – [tag]Michael Griffin[/tag]
Although the Eagles certainly could use depth at several different positions, it’s hard to find a glaring weakness at any starting spot on their depth chart. One thing is certain: Philly will not be handcuffed by positions of need in this year’s draft. With that in mind, Griffin is a good value because he brings experience and versatility to the table after notching 250 tackles in his last two seasons at Texas.

Round 2

39. Atlanta – [tag]Justin Blalock[/tag]
42. San Francisco – [tag]Tim Crowder[/tag]

Round 3

92. Buffalo – [tag]Tarell Brown[/tag]

Round 4

106. Minnesota – [tag]Brian Robison[/tag]

Round 7

251. Jacksonville – [tag]Ramonce Taylor[/tag]

Update: Todd McShay’s 2008 mock draft is available here.
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The NFL Draft is flooded with talented college tandems, including three pairs of Longhorns.

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Tarell Brown works out for the Dallas Cowboys, he’d be an ideal pick for them on the second day.

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Posted September 5th, 2006 by Matt
Filed under: Football

Tarell BrownESPN.com is reporting that [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] has decided to sit out both [tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] and [tag]Tyrell Gatewood[/tag] for Saturday’s matchup against Ohio State. As devastating as this news is, it is probably the right thing for Mack Brown to do. With all the looking-the-other-way that goes on in college football these days, I applaud Mack for making the tough decision. Even though legally Brown may have been able to play, there is just too much uncertainty around the whole situation.

“As a head coach, No. 1 you have to look at the legal system and cooperate with the authorities completely,” Brown said. “No. 2, you must go through the university because that’s who we work for. No. 3, you are concerned about distractions for your football team. We want to move forward because it’s No. 1 playing No. 2 and it’s such an exciting game for all of us.

“No. 4, you care about the three young men involved and their families. We will try to help the families individually and move forward with our team for the ballgame on Saturday.”

Mack did not say whether or not the suspensions would last past Saturday’s game, but if they are going to miss one game we can probably stand for them to miss a few more.

Hopefully now we can all put this situation behind us and start focusing on the game.

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Posted September 4th, 2006 by Matt
Filed under: Football

Tarell Brown, Tyrell Gatewood, and Aaron Harris mugshots

Apparently attending the Ramonce Taylor School of Idiocy, initial reports coming out of Austin are saying [tag]Tarell Brown[/tag], starting cornerback for the Texas Longhorns, has been arrested along with former Longhorn [tag]Aaron Harris[/tag] on charges of possession of marijuana and unlawfully carrying a gun. Could the timing be anyway worse for the Longhorns? Probably not.

Brown and former teammate Aaron Harris, a linebacker on last year’s national championship team, were booked into Travis County Central Booking Facility at 4:55 a.m. Monday.

Brown was charged with a Class A misdemeanor of unlawfully carrying a weapon. He and Harris were both charged with Class B misdemeanors of possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana.

Longhorn football coach Mack Brown has been informed of the situation but has not yet spoken to Brown, a team official said.

This is about the worst thing that could happen to the Longhorns right now. Not only is Tarell expected to cover Ohio State’s deep threat Ted Ginn, Jr., but now the Longhorns have to deal with all of the distractions that are sure to come about from this. It is just a matter of time before the national media pick up on this story and ESPN will be blasting this all over their air waves. Hopefully the coaching staff can keep the players under control this week and maybe even move everybody into a controlled hotel environment.

Update: More details coming out show that three players are involved. Aaron Harris, Tarell Brown, and [tag]Tyrell Gatewood[/tag]. Aaron Harris was driving when they were pulled over and Tarell and Tyrell were asleep in the back. Hopefully Harris can take the fall for this and Tarell can play this weekend.

Update #2: The gun is reported to belong to Tyrell Gatewood. The story is that the gun was used earlier in the day at a shooting range. Then later while driving around the gun came out from under the front seat and Tarell grabbed it, put it in his lap and fell asleep. The cops came up to the car when Aaron Harris was pulled over and saw the gun in Tarell’s lap. According to Tarell’s lawyer, Tarell will be able to play in this weekend’s game against OSU. Thank goodness.

Update #3: It looks like Mack Brown is sitting out both Tarell Brown and Tyrell Gatewood for Saturday’s game against Ohio State.

Update #4: Now Brown and Gatewood’s attorney Jamie Balagio is saying that the two players were unnecessarily TASERED during their arrest. Man, this situation is getting weirder and weirder.

Update #5: The drug charges on both Tarell Brown and Tyrell Gatewood have been dropped. The gun charges still remain on Brown.

Read more to check out the arrest affidavit from Travis County.

(more …)

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Posted January 4th, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Football, Live

Let’s see how this goes. I’ll post as often as I can stand to. Horns and Trojans are about to get underway.

BIG FREAKING GAME!

Did we win the coin toss, defer, and USC chose to kick? Will we receive to start both halves? Nevermind, the official said it wrong.

First Quarter
  • Great deep kick and good coverage on Reggie Bush. Great start to the game for the Horns.
  • Bush stopped for a loss on the game’s first play. Now let’s do that 60+ more times.
  • Texas’ defense in the backfield with great penetration on the first 3 plays.
  • Holy crap! [tag]Aaron Ross[/tag] fumbled the punt. Crap crap crap. Come on defense step up. Crap.
  • Reggie Bush has no class. Hand the ball to the ref instead of flicking it up in the air after a 5 yard run. Let’s hope he actually gets ejected if he punches someone again this game.
  • Too bad helmet-to-helmet contact isn’t illegal in college football. Plus [tag]Cedric Griffin[/tag] hit him in the chest.
  • Stupid penalty by [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag]. He seems to get one per game, let’s hope this is it. Come on D!
  • Turnover costs the Horns 7 points. Game started off fantastically and then suddenly went downhill from there.
Texas 0, USC 7
  • Let’s go Vince, get fired up.
  • Looks like no huddle for the offense to start things off again this week. I like it.
  • Poor spot on 2nd down leads to 4th and 1. [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] elects to go for it and Horns get nowhere. Turnover on downs at midfield. All the momentum is going USC’s way now. Defense has to make a big play here and get things back going Texas’ way.
  • Apparently guy in charge of the clock doesn’t realize it should stop after incomplete passes.
  • Freaking Rose Bowl and national championship and the clock breaks?
  • Horns go to 3 down linemen on a 3rd and long. Interesting look.
  • Texas makes the stop but a face mask on Michael Huff gives USC the necessary yards for the first down.
  • [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] in the game early instead of [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] (I think that’s who isn’t in there.) [tag]Gene Chizik[/tag] getting more speed on the field.
  • [tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] has a pick go in and out of his hands.
  • Reggie Bush gets about an extra 2 yards thanks to the generous spot. These simple plays need to be reviewed as much as any others.
  • Another generous spot for Matt Leinart on the 4th down QB sneak but I still think they’re short. Come on!
  • Horns stop them and get the ball back. Let’s go let’s go!
  • Meanwhile ABC is on commercial break #26 after like two minutes of football.
  • Bad play design or something as [tag]Billy Pittman[/tag] and [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] end up next to each other on pass routes. Complete to Pittman for the first though.
  • Another freaking fumble. Charles bumps into David Thomas and just drops it. Crap. Lost 5 yards. Kills the offense’s momentum.
  • Bud Light commercial featuring the “daredevil” are dumb.
  • Lost takes such long hiatuses that they have to have recap shows by the time they come back.
  • Interesting counter play from USC. Kind of a WR and FB counter instead of a GT counter.

(more …)

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Posted September 6th, 2005 by Matt
Filed under: Football

In a nutshell, Texas had their way with Louisiana Lafayette, which is indicated by the 60-3 score. Texas did pretty much anything they wanted to on offense, including rushing for 418 yards. The defense was also stout, and you could tell right from the start that Louisiana Lafayette was going to have trouble doing anything. I guess the only real down spot is Saturday’s game is the special teams, who missed 3 extra points! Now let’s move on to a position-by-position look at how the Longhorns graded out on Saturday.

Quarterback – Overall Grade: A

After [tag]Vince Young[/tag]’s 5 touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl, there is no surprise that he entered this season as one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy. With all of that pressure, I was interested to see how he would perform. I think it is safe to say that Young did not disappoint. Young finished the game with an efficient 13-17 for 173 yards. He looked to be very comfortable throwing the ball and you could tell he has gained a lot of confindence this past off-season. [tag]Matt Nordgren[/tag] played for most of the second half but did not attempt a single pass attempt. He did scramble a few times, showing off an interesting technique of gaining more yards when going out of bounds.

Running Backs – Overall Grade: A+

Texas appears to have a full stable of speedy and powerful tailbacks to compliment quarterback Vince Young this year. Freshman running backs [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] and [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] had a huge impact on the game, with Charles running for 135 yards and 1 score and Melton running for 65 yards and 2 scores. I swear it looked like Melton couldn’t be tackled. A bigger and quicker [tag]Selvin Young[/tag] added 65 yards and speedster [tag]Ramonce Taylor[/tag] also added 65 yards. With a total of 418 yards, I would say things are definitely looking good for the Texas running game.

Receivers / Tight Ends – Overall Grade: B

[tag]David Thomas[/tag] was up to his usual self, making big plays and scored 2 touchdowns on 3 catches. With his 2 touchdowns, David Thomas moved into fifth place all-time at Texas for a tight end with his 51th career reception. Senior [tag]Brian Carter[/tag] also help out by setting a career high with three receptions against the Ragin’ Cajuns for 65 yards, matching his previous career total of three receptions in only the first half. [tag]Nate Jones[/tag], [tag]Limas Sweed[/tag], and [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] also performed well, with Nate Jones scoring his first career touchdown. It was nice to see some consistency in this group and I look forward to seeing them improve this year.

Offensive Line – Overall Grade: A+

Considering that Selvin Young, Jamaal Charles, Henry Melton, Ramonce Taylor and Vince Young averaged 9.5 yards per carry, I would say that the offensive line did pretty well on Saturday. [tag]Justin Blalock[/tag] (fellow Plano East grad) led the offensive line who just totally dominated Louisana Lafayette. Hopefully they keep the same aggressiveness next Saturday against OSU.

(more …)

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Posted August 28th, 2005 by Brian
Filed under: Football

The 2005 Texas Longhorns will begin their season in less than one week against Louisiana-Lafayette. It won’t be long till we find out how this team compares with the nation’s best, we’ll know a lot about how good this team is the following week against Ohio State. But how does this year’s team compare to the Longhorns who went 11-1 and capped the season with a Rose Bowl victory last year? Here are my thoughts…

Offense

OL – Big improvement over last year. Best tackle tandem in the nation and a ton of attitude from the guards. We lose Jason Glynn but [tag]Lyle Sendlein[/tag] should be a very capable replacement.

QB – [tag]Vince Young[/tag] will be better in every facet, depth is much worse and scary as hell. Young must reduce his mistakes. If he can cut his interceptions in half this year (he had 10 last year), the Longhorns’ offense will be tough to stop.

Ramonce Taylor last year versus ColoradoTB – Pretty big drop off overall but I think statistically they’ll still be pretty good. Will they be able to get the difficult yards against the OSU’s and OU’s of the world? I expect big plays out of [tag]Ramonce Taylor[/tag] and [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] that could really break open some games.

FB – Worse at lead blocking and therefore will be de-emphasized. Still serviceable though. I think the position will be back next year (with Marcus Myers, [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag], and Michael Houston) and will be more versatile than we’ve seen in the past.

TE – Improved in single TE sets with [tag]David Thomas[/tag] having an All-American season, and improved blocking when [tag]Neale Tweedie[/tag] is in there. Pass-catching threat out of 2 TE sets will be down, especially early in the year as true freshman [tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] gets acclimated.

WR – Up a notch from last year’s group, but that isn’t saying all that much. All the young guys have improved (some obviously more than others, especially [tag]Billy Pittman[/tag]) and the more time a QB and his WR’s get together the better. The additions of a hopefully healthy [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] and a quickly improving [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] could be huge.

Defense

Frank Okam hunts down the Baylor QBDL – A lot better if [tag]Larry Dibbles[/tag] is with us (academic eligibility rumors are swarming) but I’m excited by the idea of a healthy [tag]Rod Wright[/tag] and [tag]Frank Okam[/tag] together. Starting ends should be improved and the backups should be able to contribute to the pass rush.

LB – Big improvement at two spots and an even bigger drop off at the other. More blitzing and more sacks, but fewer turnovers forced unless converted safety [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] goes INT crazy. You can’t expect to replace Derrick Johnson but overall I think we’ll all be very happy with the play out of these three spots this season.

DB – Corners are improved and safeties will be by the end of the year. Mike Griffin needs experience but he’s got the potential to be better than Phillip Geiggar was last year. We need sure tackling from the entire secondary and to limit our stupid decisions. More pressure on opposing QB’s from the front seven will make their job much easier. Depth is some of the best in the country.

Special Teams

FG/XP – Yikes, everyone has struggled this fall in practice. Whoever is doing the kicking needs to make a few kicks in the early weeks to build some confidence.

Kickoffs – A healthy [tag]Richmond McGee[/tag] should mean more touchbacks and more kicks into the right zone. Better coverage because the overall depth of team means better athletes on the coverage teams. Hopefully all the talk of more emphasis on this facet from the coaching staff wasn’t just lip-service.

Kick Returns – Every kickoff should be exciting with Taylor back there. How much will [tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] provide if teams kick away from Ramonce? Might see one of the younger guys back there deeper into the year. I expect Cosby to make an appearance at one of the return slots sometime early in the season and it’ll be interesting to see what he’s capable of.

Punting – McGee has gotten better every year and there’s no reason that should change. Hopefully he won’t have to do it very often.

Punt returns – Selvin Young back there should mean fewer fair catches and more big plays, but I’ll be worried about his health everytime too. I don’t want Ramonce back there right now, he scared the crap out of me everytime last year. Get him some returns in mop up time so he’s ready to tear it up next year. Anybody think Pittman deserves a chance to show what he’s got?

Final Thoughts

Almost every spot is either improved or equal to the talent we had on the field last year, so overall we should be a better team. You can’t lose guys like Cedric Benson and DJ and expect to hit the ground running the next season, but that doesn’t mean this team isn’t capable of big things. We’re relying on a lot of young talent and have a huge test early in the year, so the success of this team will hinge a lot on how quickly those guys can become ballplayers.

I’ll post my national and game by game predictions later this week.

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