Anytime there's a rule change of significance in any sport (the 3 point line and defensive rules in basketball, pro-offense rules in football and the NHL), you learn to quickly distinguish which coaching staffs play checkers, which play chess and which struggle with rock-paper-scissors.
In the mid-19th century, "Go West, Young Man" was advice popularized by Horace Greeley that urged enterprising youth to seek their fortunes by taking a left and building a country along the way. In 2018, "Go West, For Young Athletes" is my advice for an ambitious Texas staff rebuilding a proud program.
The Evaluating Football Athletes series illustrates the physical attributes competent evaluators should be looking to feed into their development process. It's also a caution to focus on what players CAN BE. Film can be self-evident - it doesn't take many clips of Adrian Peterson or Shaun Rogers in high school to understand what you're seeing - but they're exceptional athletes with floors already higher at age 18 than most athlete's ceilings at age 25. That's why you recruit them.
There a number of physical, mental and skill-based traits that go into evaluating athletes. The art is far from exact. If you're a recruitnik, this discussion is the red pill that will enrich your understanding in assessing high school prospects.
Appalachian rain couldn't stop Longhorn reign. Texas finally got a break - of Will Grier's finger - in a season that had featured precious few. Grier's middle finger was the best six-Point Break since Patrick Swayze was robbing banks and Johnny Utah wasn't having it. The Texas-West Virginia Postmortem: Offense and Defense.
Much of our consternation about defensive recruiting has been focused on the Defensive Line. For good reason. It's always crucial to get yours there every year. But even after Herman's purging and our inability to secure 2018 DEs, the youth on our roster is more promising than the conventional wisdom holds. Holdovers like Nelson, Roach and Omenihu are proven assets. And I can make a pretty compelling argument that we'll have good depth behind them (barring multiple injuries and bad luck) with players like Cummins, Fitzgerald, Wilbon and Graham on developmental schedule. Holes start to show up in 2019 (which is why the 2018 DL matter), but we have to trust the development process.
The Longhorns dominated a respectable Bear offense and held Baylor to their season lows in points (7) and yardage (249). The defense continues to excel on 3rd and 4th down holding the Bears to 1/9 conversions in the first half and 5/23 total for the game. It's hard to win with a 21.7% conversion rate if you're not hitting big plays.
The 0-7 Bears have had a dubious start under new head coach Matt Rhule. Early season non-conference losses to Liberty, UTSA and Duke suggested Bear football the likes of which we hadn't seen since Kevin Steele and Dirty Dave Roberts, but the Bears have slowly turned the corner from laughing stock to scrappers in the space of a few weeks.