You get inside by mid morning during the dog days—18 holes wrapped by 10 am or so and away you go. Always reminds me of the song “what a day for a daydream”. Once the adult beverages rinse the dust out of my throat I enjoy visiting with my make believe brother Darrell and my other brother Darrell concerning the outlook for Tom’s gridiron bunch this year, including recruiting the lifeblood of the program.
As usual, my stuff is for entertainment value only and usually very little of that. I’ve spent more time looking at highlights this year and that’s probably not such a good thing. Knowledge is power but my problem is I can’t remember (one day to the next) who I have seen and even worse why I liked or disliked said performer. My hat’s off to the guys in the trenches here—I like them doing the gut work for me.
I coached one year with Jack Murphy at Gladewater HS in the early 70’s. It was the year Earl Campbell (and a TE named Ronny Lee) won the state under Corky Nelson. I saw enough (and drank a few with Corky) that I determined Earl Campbell was a program changer regardless of where he decided to win—he was going to win period. He was the best high school football player I have ever seen and remains that today in my eyes.
Every decade has a program changer (maybe not a Earl) that is going to enable a school/team to win way more than it’s share. After perusing more than my share of hudls this summer I truly believe that Mr. Evans (North Shore Mustangs) is the next program changer in Texas. I know he’s only a junior. I also know that he will take the best 5 or 6 OL’s with him according to how many his future school decides it needs.
If Evans commits early and announces he’s enrolling early he will start the wheels rolling for a banner offensive unit coming with him. How does “do you want to block for Zach?” sound for a recruiting pitch. What QB doesn’t want a weapon like Evans at RB? You are guaranteed single coverage with Zach Evans in the backfield is the WR pitch. We must get Zach Evans. That’s just a fact, Jack.
While I’m on the OL I love reading the various opinions this board provides. I have only one comment to make. I hope our OL (6-10) are much closer in performance to the five starters than we have seen in the past few years. We need the top ten OL’s to be extremely competitive so that the size of a Wal-Mart parking lot isn’t the difference in the starter/backup consistent play. Razor-thin differential. That makes you compete every single day. That’s my hope.
It’s fun to see the opinions for the QB’s. I’m convinced coach Tom has the old baseball adage for shortstops in his QB traits to look for—you know, make the routine play consistently. Protect the damn ball and get the out at first type thinking. Don’t force a throw into a crowd. Don’t you wish you could take the best of Sam and mix it with the best of Shane? Might have a dang good’un on your hands then. I hope one of the young guys makes a huge move this season—maybe not receive game snaps (unless red shirt rule works) but puts himself into the conversation.
Last thought must be a defensive thought—I’ve gone stale with all this offensive jibber-jabber. As always it’s my opinion we still need another inside backer that can run. I’m convinced we won a ton of battles last year because GJ/MJ beat the opponent to the spot and jacked unbalanced jaws. Both of those guys were hair-trigger decision makers that only needed the drop of a hat to explode toward the ball.
I predict we will miss not having a speed combo at LB in certain groupings. I honestly believe having Chris Nelson back will make a pleasant difference (love TQG also) but I definitely believe we will miss having a second LB that can outrun the blocking scheme. I hope I’m wrong big time.
7 weeks left. 14 weekend days. 35 rounds of golf. hell, it ain’t all bad.