Tag Archives: Mike Davis

Week 7 Game Preview: Texas Longhorns v. Nebraska Cornhuskers

There are positives and negatives to having a bye week. On the plus side, when you win going into a bye week, as a player you can go through the motions on the practice field while relishing a few more days rest to recover from lingering or annoying minor injuries. Be assured, Texas has had no such break these past two weeks. If EyesOfTX (and the rest of Longhorn nation) had no break from the mental anguish of the past two losses, then the ‘Horns better not have either. Here’s hoping Texas head coach Mack Brown ripped on both his players and staff behind closed doors for the past 13 days. Two losses? Back-to-back? Think the stuff of “Top Gun” lore: “Two of your snot-nosed jockeys did a fly-by on my tower at over 400 knots. I want some butts! … Dammit, that’s twice!”

Luckily for the ‘Horns, the bye week means they’ve some extra time to try and right the ship. Level their wings. Put their heads on straight. To remember they are football players for one of the most elite college programs in the game. The I-35 bubble in Austin should have a lot of blood, sweat, and even some tears after practice this week. The film room should have cots spread out across the room because players have been spending every waking hour glued to the early-season game tape to find and correct their on-field mistakes.

But, it’s deeper than that. So far this season, the seniors are showing how much they feel entitled. On the field, that’s translating to Maverick’s “crashed and burned on the first one, it wasn’t pretty” lingo. The younger guys can’t buy in to that – there is too much talent and potential among the depth chart. For the ‘Horns, it’s time to step up or turn in their pads because they’ve “lost the edge.” Just because it says “Texas” on the front of your jersey doesn’t mean you deserve to win.

Texas Longhorns v. #5 Nebraska Cornhuskers
2:30 p.m. CT (ABC/ESPN)

Prediction:
Texas 13, Nebraska 45

There is one thing on Nebraska’s mind this week – redemption. December 5, 2009. Just like Texas needed one second back in the upset in Lubbock in 2008, the ‘Huskers want one second back from last year’s Big 12 Championship game. December 5, 2009. There will be no mercy rule, Nebraska is squarely set on putting the wood to Texas on Saturday in Lincoln, the teams’ final Big 12 regular season match-up. December 5, 2009. Make no mistake, this game has been circled on head coach Bo Pelini’s calendar since … December 5, 2009.

Even Nebraska’s marketing department was behind an off-season shot at the Texas game (and later changed) to get Husker fans excited for the upcoming season – called “Red Out Around The World.” Their mantra (and doesn’t this sound kind of familiar): “Come early. Be Loud. Wear Red. (Beat Texas).” They’ve sold out of t-shirts at the bookstore bearing the saying: “All my ex’s live in Texas: Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri.” The date “10-16-2010” is plastered all over campus. Don’t become ou fans, Huskers…it’s not a good look for you.

Nebraska’s Keys To The Game:
His name is Taylor Martinez. His name is Taylor Martinez. His name is Taylor Martinez. Seriously, Tyler Durden probably knows this kid by now. The barely-past-puberty Martinez leads Nebraska at QB in 2010, and brings the word “amazing” to an offense that was anything but in 2009. With the same basic role players on offense, the infusion of Martinez has helped transform what was a horrific scoring attack last year to one of the best in all of college football this year. Jake Locker, eat your heart out. As a redshirt freshman, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. might have just moved Martinez past Locker on his draft board.

Everyone knows Pelini is a defensive-minded coach, and since his return to Nebraska, he’s shown his ability to craft a defensive juggernaut – even giving the “Blackshirts” nickname back to this year’s squad. But, Martinez is the knight in shining armor for the ‘Huskers 2010 BCS run, running the zone read to perfection. He’s mobile. He’s fast. REALLY fast. Think Looney Tunes’ roadrunner. Get this: the kid is five games in to the season, and he’s already accumulated 737 yards rushing, on 10.8 yards per carry, for 12 TDs. Those are RB stats, folks. A really, really good RB. Passing? Only three TDs. You get the idea. Let’s hope Martinez doesn’t leave Will Muschamp’s Texas defense looking like Wile E. Coyote.

Unfortunately, Martinez isn’t the only rushing threat. RBs Roy Helu, Jr. and Rex Burkhead flank Martinez in the backfield, and are more than capable of providing the power running attack as opposed to Martinez’s sideline-to-sideline flair. Is this bringing back UCLA nightmares yet? It should. On the outside, Martinez has the option to throw to several talented and big wide receivers – namely Niles Paul, Mike McNeill and Brandon Kinnie – but quite honestly, he just doesn’t need to. He’s only thrown for 660 yards on the season with three TDs and three INTs. Will they pass? Yes. Do they think they need to? Probably not. Most impressive is that Nebraska’s offense is built around a very inexperienced offensive line, with three new starters in 2010. Maybe Texas’ Mac McWhorter could take some lessons on how to transform on-paper talent to on-field production? The line has given up seven sacks on the season, and with Texas’ stacked defensive line, the Big Red will have their hands full maintaining their gaps and creating running lanes for Martinez, Helu, Jr. and Burkhead.

This year’s “Suh” in Lincoln is none other than Suh’s cohort in the trenches last year, defensive tackle Jared Crick. He has 23 tackles and 2.5 sacks on the season, and with opponents focused on protecting against Crick, the rest of the defensive line has opportunities to shine in opponent’s backfields. Ironically, the line isn’t their strength – the ‘Huskers bring the #1 pass defense in the country. You’d have to utilize your abacus to add up the number of interceptions they have on the year. With Texas’ lack of a running game, expect Pelini to pressure and contain any semblance of a running game with his front four and have his secondary focus on dropping back in to coverage to track down balls a la Willie Mays.

Texas’ Keys To The Game:
Good news. Texas got their butts chewed during the bye week. Bad news. Offensive coordinator Greg Davis is probably sitting up in the press box drawing up a “revised” version of the bubble screen to a different running back or wide receiver. Good news. RB DJ Monroe has used the bye week to “learn the playbook.” OK, maybe not, but he’s getting the call to start in the backfield again this week. Bad news. No matter how well the offense plays on Saturday in Lincoln, Texas won’t win Saturday without a big performance by the defense.

Offensively, this game lies in the hands of the Texas offensive line. Nebraska is prone to giving up rushing yards (well, at least more than they do through the air). If the o-line can give QB Garrett Gilbert time in the pocket, provide running lanes for the speedy Monroe, and the wide receivers can run routes beyond the first down markers, Texas does indeed have a shot. It hasn’t happened yet this season, but they’ve had their poor performances to-date rubbed in their face for too many weeks now. It’s time to change. It’s time to define the offense…on the field…on a Saturday. With freshman WR Mike Davis back in the line-up, Texas can take some shots down the field and change the dynamic of the game with big plays and open up the field for the…gasp…running game.

Defensively, Muschamps’ boys have their hands full with Nebraska’s three-pronged running attack. But, like any good football coach will tell you, even “Coach’s” Hayden Fox, beating a running team is all about playing assignment football. It’s about maintaing your gaps in the trenches, and utilizing your linebackers and secondary to clean up the mess. It’s about not making mistakes. It’s about making sure tackles. It’s beating Martinez to the corner with the right angles. It’s about stripping the ball and winning the turnover battle, and the ‘Huskers have put the ball on the ground 18 this year, so it’s possible. Nebraska will get their yards on the ground, but this defense has shown glimpses of being an elite unit. They’ll need every piece of that talent and pride to win in Lincoln.

Texas will also have to overcome a strong Nebraska kicking game, as the ‘Huskers will use every opportunity to pin Texas deep with punter Alex Henery and make Gilbert and company drive the length of the field, which has been a consistent problem this season. The ‘Horns have to eliminate the mistakes in special teams. Expect to see new kick and punt returners, and with a swift kick in the pants, a different attitude to bring some momentum to the Texas sidelines. It’s going to be chaotic and red in Lincoln, but Texas has a long-shot chance at avoiding a .500 start to the 2010 season and redeeming themselves in the eyes of college football’s elite.

Hook ‘em!

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Filed under Big 12, Cornhuskers, Longhorns, NCAA Football

Texas’ Football Recruiting: Meet The Men of 2010

After Eyes Of TX gave you all a quick look at the 2010 Texas football recruiting class on Thursday, this post will delve in to some of the details on the 25 commitments that will be the the future of Longhorn football.

Of the 25, three players – quarterbacks Connor Wood and Case McCoy, as well as defensive back A.J.White – are already enrolled in school and will be able to participate in spring drills later this month, while the others will begin to battle it out for starting positions come August.

A few early observations, based on their pre-Texas media relations mugs, just for fun:

  • How do Taylor Bible and Gregory Daniels make any tackles with their eyes closed? “Hey man, we’re over here!”
  • Is Carrington Byndom old enough for college? He looks about as old as the 13-year-old quarterback commitment USC’s Lane Kiffin just got.
  • Demarco Cobbs should sign a deal for the the sequel to “Passenger 57” playing Wesley Snipes character, John Cutter.
  • Ashton Dorsey looks, well, mean. If there is anything Eyes Of TX learned from high school football, anything from Tyler John Tyler comes with a chip on its shoulder and an axe to grind. Watch out for Dorsey come fall.
  • Ditto for Tevin Jackson and Jackson Jeffcoat.
  • Is it just me, or could John Harris and Texas basketball’s Avery Bradley be twins?
  • God forbid (and he might, in the McCoy family) Case McCoy decide to grow a porn-stache like his brother. Honestly, Case is working uphill already.
  • Snoop Dogg must have had a child we didn’t know about. If Adrian Phillips starts rapping, and has a natural knack for it, all signs point to yes.

Jokes aside, if their high school rapport is any indication, this 2010 class will be incredible to watch. Let’s take a look:

Aaron Benson
Linebacker 
6-2 • 225
Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill)

The cousin of former Longhorn running back Cedric Benson, Aaron Benson projects as a linebacker at the collegiate level. A prep-All-American and all-district performer, he ranks as the ninth-best outside linebacker by ESPNU and 13th-best outside linebacker by Rivals. Scout ranks him as the nation’s No. 21 outside linebacker.

By The Numbers: Benson posted 295 tackles, 12 sacks, 22 TFL, three INTs, eight forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and two touchdowns during his final three seasons while helping Cedar Hill post a 32-7 record during that span.

He was named to the second-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after recording 70 tackles, five sacks, five TFL, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as a senior despite missing five games due to injury.

Brown On Benson: “Cedar Hill had an outstanding team this year as they always do. Aaron is very active. All three of the linebackers that we signed are linebackers that can play all three positions, and that is something with all of the spread offenses that we see that we thought was very important.”

Taylor Bible
Defensive Line 
6-3 • 300
Denton, Texas (Guyer)

As a prep standout at Guyer, Bible was a two-time all-state, two-time first-team all-area and three-time first-team all-district performer at defensive tackle. The Parade Magazine High School all-American is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle according to ESPN. Rivals and Scout each rank him among the 25 best defensive tackles in the country at No. 12 and No. 19, respectively.

By The Numbers: Bible tallied 219 tackles, 11 sacks, 70 TFL, 52 pressures, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries over his final three seasons while helping Guyer to a 25-5 record and two 4A state semi-final appearances.

He earned first-team all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior after recording 107 tackles, five sacks, 23 TFL, 24 pressures, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries while helping Guyer reach the 4A Div. I state semifinals.

Brown On Bible: “Taylor is big, strong, and quick. We have a need for some help in the defensive line, and we think that we have signed some guys that can play for us next year. We are trying to find guys that can stop the run, but definitely that can rush the passer because we are in a league where the pass is very important. See the athletic ability [on film] of Taylor jumping over the offensive lineman and making a play. He has a lot of ability with the line twist [on film] to still get to the quarterback.”

Carrington Byndom
Defensive Back 
6-0 • 175
Lufkin, Texas (Lufkin)

At Lufkin, Byndom was a three-time first-team all-district selection and three-year starter at defensive back. He ranks as the 10th-best cornerback by ESPNU and 12th-best cornerback by Rivals. Scout ranks him as the nation’s 15th-best safety.

By The Numbers: Byndom posted 210 tackles, six INTs, five TFL and a fumble recovery over his final three seasons, helping Lufkin post a 24-10 record.

He was named to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team second team as a senior as well as the district 14-5A co-defensive player of the year after recording 53 tackles, five TFL and an INT in 2009.

Brown On Byndom: “Carrington can play corner or safety. He is a young man that can come in and play all four spots. We were trying to find defensive backs that could play all four spots because now your defensive backs need to be able to man up on inside receivers with the spread, so a player has to be able to play all over the field. Carrington is very physical. He also has good hands, which is obvious by his ability to play baseball.”

Demarco Cobbs
Athlete 
6-2 • 212
Tulsa, Okla. (Tulsa Central)

Cobb is a versatile athlete who was an all-state, all-metro and all-district selection on offense and defense in 2009. The Parade Magazine and USA Today all-American ranks as the third-best athlete by ESPNU and the ninth-best athlete by Rivals. Scout ranks him as the nation’s No. 3 safety.

By The Numbers: Cobb tallied 2,556 rushing yards and 41 TDs, 1,673 passing yards and 17 TDs, 213 receiving yards and two TDs, 68 tackles, two INTs and four kickoff return TDs over his final two seasons.

He was named Gatorade’s Oklahoma high school football player of the year as senior and was a first-team all-state selection on defense after he rushed for 1,404 yards and 17 touchdowns while passing for 642 yards and seven more scores on offense with 62 tackles, a sack, eight TFL, an INT and a fumble recovery that was returned for a TD on defense. He also returned four kickoffs for touchdowns.

Brown On Cobbs: “We signed Demarco as an athlete. He can play safety, outside linebacker, running back, or wide receiver. I think that he would probably rather play on offense, but he does not care, and he just says that he would like to play. He will not play quarterback, though. His family grew up in Corsicana, Texas. His family is now in Oklahoma, but his grandfather lives in Louisville, Texas. Like Lamarr Houston, Demarco grew up as a Longhorn fan. He watched us on TV and decided that this is what he wanted to do a long time ago.”

De’Aires Cotton
Defensive Line 
6-4 • 286
Alief, Texas (Alief Taylor)

A two-time first-team all-district selection and three-year starter at defensive tackle, Cotton ranks as the nation’s No. 27 defensive tackles by ESPNU. Rivals ranks him as the No. 72 defensive tackle while Scout lists him at No. 38.

By The Numbers: He was named to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team second team as a senior after recording 36 tackles, seven sacks, 16 TFL, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Brown On Cotton: “De’Aires is a big guy up front that is a force. It is hard to find the big guys up front that can move their feet, can stop the run, and have the ability to play the pass. You can never have enough of them. You play a team like Texas Tech who throws as much as they do, your big guys are the ones that wear out. De’Aires is really strong and really powerful and is a guy who can be impactful up front. He will definitely be an inside player.”

Gregory Daniels
Defensive Line 
6-5 • 250
Houston, Texas (St. Pius X)

A two-time all-state and two-time first-team all-district selection at defensive end, Daniels ranks as the 25th-best defensive end by ESPNU and the 17th-best strong side defensive end according to Rivals. Scout ranks him at No. 40 among the nation’s defensive ends.

By The Numbers: Daniels recorded 150 tackles, 20 sacks, 58 pressures, two INTs and three touchdowns over his final three seasons and helped St. Pius X to a 27-8 record, a state championship and two district titles during that span.

He was named to the third-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team as a senior and earned TAPPS Division I first-team all-state honors after posting 65 tackles, 10 sacks, 33 pressures, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, nine PBU, two INTs and two touchdowns while leading the Panthers to a 9-3 record and a district championship.

Brown On Daniels: “Greg is from a private school in Houston. He can run. He has great feet. He has the ability to be a really great pass rusher. He is another very smart young man. Greg has long arms and is very tall.”

Mike Davis
Wide Receiver 
6-2 • 183
Dallas, Texas (Skyline)

A prep All-American, two-time all-state, two-time first-team all-area and all-district performer at wide receiver, Davis is regarded as one of the premier prospects at his position, ranking in the top 5 among the nation’s wide receivers according to ESPNU, Rivals and Scout. Rivals ranks him as the No. 4 wide receiver, Scout had him at No. 3 and ESPNU at No. 2.

By The Numbers: Davis recorded 129 catches for 2,764 yards and 39 TDs over his final three seasons, helping Skyline to a 37-4 record. He earned first-team all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior as well as a spot on the first-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after he caught 48 passes for 1,157 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Brown On Davis: “Mike is an outstanding basketball player. He is a very good guard on [Skyline’s] basketball team.  We feel like he has the height at receiver and the burst. He can make the big plays, and we have to continue to get big plays out of our wide receivers. Mike has a lot of ability. He has the hands to catch it and the speed to run away.”

Ashton Dorsey
Defensive Line 
6-2 • 290
Tyler, Texas (John Tyler)

A prep All-American, two-time all-state and two-time first-team all-district selection at defensive tackle, Dorsey ranks as the No. 4 defensive tackle by ESPNU and 14th-best defensive tackle by Rivals. Scout lists him as the No. 12 defensive tackle in the 2010 class.

By The Numbers: Dorsey recorded 126 tackles, nine sacks and 20 TFL over his final two seasons while helping John Tyler post a 18-8 record. He earned honorable mention all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior as well as a third-team selection to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after totaling 63 tackles, six sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries last fall.

Brown On Dorsey: “Ashton is another inside player. He is a real strong and powerful player. He is also very quick inside. We were impressed with his quickness the first day we saw him play. He has great instincts.”

Dominic Espinosa
Offensive Line 
6-4 • 295
Cedar Park, Texas (Cedar Park)

A prep All-American, all-state and two-time first-team all-district selection on the offensive, Espinosa ranks as the top center by Rivals and the third-best center by ESPNU. Scout ranks him just outside the top 5 at No. 6.

By The Numbers: Espinosa started all 32 games over his final three seasons for a Cedar Park team that posted a 19-13 record in that span. He earned first-team all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior and was also named to the Austin American-Statesman’s All-Decade team, earning second-team honors.

In addition, he was named to the second-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after he graded out at 89 percent while recording 173 knockdowns, helping Cedar Park to a 7-4 record, a share of the district title and an appearance in the first round of the 5A Div. II state playoffs.

Brown On Espinosa: “[Espinosa] is another very good student. We feel like he can play center or both guards. He is another young man that we will look at playing early because he is very strong. It is hard to find centers, and we are a little bit thin in the offensive line, especially two years from now, so we might look at playing Dominic and Trey Hopkins this year to build back the depth in our offensive line.”

John Harris
Wide Receiver 
6-3 • 200
Garland, Texas (Naaman Forest)

A two-time first-team all-district selection and three-year starter at quarterback and wide receiver Harris ranks as the nation’s 29th-best wide receiver by Rivals. ESPNU ranks him as the No. 86 wide receiver while Scout ranks him at No. 64.

By The Numbers: Harris posted 90 catches for 1,431 yards and 16 touchdowns, 1,115 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns and 517 passing yards and three touchdowns over his final three seasons while leading Naaman Forest to a 24-10 record.

He was named to the third-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team as a senior while playing mainly at quarterback, though rushed for 1,115 yards and 13 touchdowns with just 517 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air.

Brown On Harris: “[Naaman Forest] changed coaches last year, and John was moved from wide receiver to quarterback after we committed him. He will play wide receiver for us. He had a great year for them at quarterback. It just shows you how versatile he is and how smart he is. He is tall, but has great speed and long arms. He is a guy that with some of the other receivers, John has not been talked about a lot, but is a very smart and very talented young man. We like his height and his ability to block. He is a very strong competitor.”

Jordan Hicks
Linebacker 
6-2 • 220
West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West)

A prep all-American, two-time first-team all-state, all-county and all-district selection at linebacker, Hicks was a three-year starter who finished his high school career as a Parade Magazine All-American and was also named as the publication’s top linebacker in the nation. Also a USA Today first-team all-American in 2009, Hicks ranks as the nation’s top linebacker prospect by Rivals and ESPNU. Scout ranks him at No. 2.

By The Numbers: The 2009 Gatorade’s Ohio high school football player of the year and high school Butkus Award – given to the nation’s top high school linebacker – posted 216 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 36 TFL, three forced fumbles, four INTs, 10 PBU and a TD over his final three seasons.

He was selected as the All-Ohio defensive co-player of the year and was a division I first-team all-state by The Associated Press as a senior after he recorded 95 tackles (65 solo), three sacks, 13 TFL, two INTs, two PBU and a TD.

Brown On Hicks: “Jordan is another great student. He is a young man that came to camp two years ago, and we fell in love with him and have really been recruiting him for two-and-a-half years. He can do it all. He has the ability to rush the passer.”

Trey Hopkins
Offensive Line 
6-4 • 280
Galena Park, Texas (North Shore)

A prep All-American, all-state, all-area and two-time first-team all-district performer on the offensive line, Hopkins ranks as the best guard by Rivals and the sixth-best guard by ESPNU while Scout lists him at No. 12.

By The Numbers: Hopkins helped North Shore post a 31-6 record over his final three seasons and was named as the Offensive Player of the Year by the Houston Touchdown Club as a senior. He was also an all-greater Houston first-team selection by the Houston Chronicle and was named to the third-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after helping clear the way for 361 total yards per game, including 232 yards on the ground while recording 48 pancakes and 36 knockdowns.

Brown On Hopkins: “Trey is sixth in his class academically of 1,000 (students) at North Shore High School. He has great feet. He has the ability to play all five spots up front, so he could play either tackle as well as the inside positions. He has not played center, but he has the hand-eye coordination to play the position. He is really athletic. He can pull. He can get on the corner. Needless to say, he is smart. We are really excited about both he and Dominic in the offensive line. Trey was our first commitment last year.”

Bryant Jackson
Defensive Back 
6-2 • 186
Sulphur Springs, Texas (Sulphur Springs)

A two-time all-district selection and three-year starter at defensive back, Jackson ranks as the 21st-best safety by ESPNU and 14th-best safety by Rivals. Scout favored him most, listing him as the No. 11 safety in the country.

By The Numbers: Jackson helped Sulphur Springs post a 33-8 record over his final three seasons while tallying 165 tackles, 23 PBU, 10 INTs, a fumble recovery on defense to go with 58 catches for 768 yards and eight touchdowns and 95 rushing yards on offense.

Jackson was recognized as a second-team performer on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team as a senior after he recorded 33 tackles, three PBU and a fumble recovery on defense while rushing for 95 yards with 54 receptions for 748 yards and eight touchdowns on offense.

Brown On Jackson: “Bryant played wide receiver this year, but he will play safety or corner for us. He is tall. After all of the interceptions this year, we are trying to find defensive backs that can catch because it changes games. The old adage used to be that if you cannot catch the ball, go to defensive back, but that is not the case anymore. You need turnovers to win like we are trying to win. Bryant is another great student from Sulphur Springs. They won the state championship last year.”

Tevin Jackson
Linebacker 
6-2 • 230
Garland, Texas (Garland)

A prep All-American, all-state, all-area and two-time first-team all-district selection at linebacker, Jackson ranks as the third-best outside linebacker nationally by Rivals and the sixth-best outside linebacker by ESPNU. Scout lists him as the No. 9 outside linebacker in the country.

By The Numbers: Jackson recorded 198 tackles, 19 sacks, 16 TFL, 11 pressures, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, a PBU and a touchdown over his final three seasons while helping the Owls post a 20-5 record over his final two seasons.

He earned honorable mention all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior, and first-team honors on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after he recorded 77 tackles, 12 sacks, eight TFL, 11 pressures, two forced fumbles and a touchdown as he helped lead Garland to a 9-3 record, a district championship and the second round of the 5A Div. I state playoffs.

Brown On Jackson: “Tevin will look a lot like the other two linebackers. He is really fast. Tevin is an outstanding pass rusher. He can play in space. We feel like all three linebackers are special players. He is tough.”

Jackson Jeffcoat
Defensive Line 
6-5 • 235
Plano, Texas (Plano West)

A prep All-American, two-time first-team all-state and all-area and three-time first-team all-district selection at defensive end, Jackson is one of seven 2010 signees that was named to Parade Magazine’s All-America High School Football Team. The USA Today first-team All-American ranks as the best defensive end and second-best overall prospect by ESPNU, and is also recognized as the best strong side defensive end and 12th-best overall prospect by Rivals. Scout lists him as the nation’s second-best defensive end.

By The Numbers: Jackson recorded 259 tackles, 25.5 sacks, 56 TFL, 42 pressures, four PBU, three forced fumbles, two INTs, two blocked kicks and a touchdown over his final three seasons.

He earned first-team all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior, and was honored as a first-team performer on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after he recorded 87 tackles (67 solo), 8.5 sacks, 20 TFL, 22 pressures, two INTs, one of which he returned for a touchdown, three forced fumbles and two blocked kicks while helping Plano West to the first round of the state playoffs.

Brown On Jeffcoat: “Obviously Jackson’s dad was a great player for the Cowboys. Jackson is an outstanding basketball player. He is tough enough to stop the run. He can force plays, but he also has the ability to be a super pass rusher. We feel like he is a guy who can dominate the line of scrimmage, but again, at an early age can put pressure on the passer.  He is very confident and very smart.”

Chris Jones
Wide Receiver 
6-0 • 175
Daingerfield, Texas (Daingerfield)

A two-time all-state and two-time first-team all-district selection at wide receiver, Jones ranks as the 11th-best wide receiver by ESPNU and 10th-best wide receiver by Rivals. Scout lists more modestly at No. 18.

By The Numbers: Jones recorded 64 catches for 1,475 yards and 17 touchdowns to go with 611 rushing yards and nine touchdowns over his final two seasons.

He earned honorable mention all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior after he rushed for 271 yards and three touchdowns while catching 22 passes for 430 yards and five touchdowns as he helped lead Daingerfield to a 15-1 record, a district championship and a state title. He made five catches for 67 yards with two touchdowns in a 64-14 win over Bushland in the state championship game.

Brown On Jones: “Chris is from Daingerfield and won back-to-back state championships. He will be a wide receiver for us. He has tremendous speed in space, and that is what we are trying to do. We are trying to get more explosive plays. Chris can catch, run, and he is a punt and kickoff returner.”

Case McCoy
Quarterback 
6-2 • 175
Graham, Texas (Graham)

The brother of the NCAA’s all-time winningest quarterback Colt McCoy, Case matriculates to Texas as a prep All-American, two-time all-state and three-time first-team all-district performer at quarterback. He ranks as the 35th-best quarterback by ESPNU and 24th-best dual-threat quarterback by Rivals. Scout lists him as the No. 50 quarterback in the country.

By The Numbers: McCoy tallied 10,711 passing yards and 111 touchdowns as a four-year starter while helping Graham post a 34-17 record during that span.

He earned second-team all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior after he passed for 4,276 yards and 46 touchdowns with 538 rushing yards. His efforts helped Graham to a 14-2 record and a trip to the 3A Div. II state finals.

Brown On McCoy: “[McCoy] is very, very similar to his brother. There cannot help but be comparisons while he is here. Case played for the state championship. He is very accurate, has the ability to run, can throw from the pocket, and move around. He is a very good football player. The fact that Colt was here and very successful as his brother really has nothing to do with signing Case. People will fight that because it is natural, but we would have signed him if his brother was not here, or a factor, or known him. We think that Case is really good. There is some chance that he was a better more polished player than Colt at the same age. He has had the comfort and positive experience of having Colt here to help him learn to read defenses better.”

Adrian Phillips
Defensive Back 
5-11 • 199
Garland, Texas (Garland)

An all-state, all-area and two-time first-team all-district selection while playing offense and defense, Phillips ranks as the 14th-best athlete by ESPNU and 25th-best athlete by Rivals. Scout ranks him as the nation’s No. 39 wide receiver.

By The Numbers: Phillips recorded 72 catches for 1,307 yards and 14 touchdowns, 1,111 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns and 949 passing yards and five touchdowns on offense while recording 87 tackles, two TFL, a forced fumble, three INTs and four PBU on defense over his final three seasons.

He earned honorable mention all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior and was named to the second-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after he caught 41 passes for 585 yards with six touchdowns, rushed for 145 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 88 yards and one touchdown on offense with 87 tackles, two TFL, a forced fumble, three INTs and four PBU on defense as he helped lead Garland to a 9-3 record, a district championship and the second round of the 5A Div. I state playoffs.

Brown On Phillips: “Adrian will play defensive back—corner or safety. He has played everywhere at Garland High School. He has been a Texas fan his whole life. He committed to us on Junior Day. He and Tevin (Jackson) were teammates. They played with Malcolm Williams, and it helps us when Malcolm has had a good experience and can talk to these guys about his time here. Adrian can catch, run, and he is really smart. He has played quarterback and wide receiver for Garland. The coaches told me that he is one of the smarter and savvier players they have ever had. He has great instincts, and he is tough. He has a lot of ability on the field and a lot of different things that he can do. He is a very nice young man with a great smile.”

William Russ
Punter/Place-Kicker 
6-4 • 185
Shreveport, La. (Evangel Christian)

An all-state, all-city and all-district performer at place-kicker and punter Russ ranks as the 11th-best and most versatile kicker by Rivals and the 13th-best kicker by ESPNU.

By The Numbers: A four-year starter at kicker and two-year starter at punter, Russ scored 357 points and went 34-of-50 on field goal attempts and averaged 41 yards per punt over his career. He also recorded 122 touchbacks in 160 kickoffs.

He earned first-team all-state honors from the Louisiana Sportswriters Association as a senior after he went 10-of-16 on field goals and contributed to Evangel Christian’s 14-1 record and 2A state championship.

Brown On Russ: “[Russ] is an outstanding punter. He, Justin (Tucker), and John Gold will punt for us next year. He seems to have an uncanny ability to drop the ball within the 10-yard line. That is something that we have not done consistently well. Will has an outstanding leg. Justin Tucker will kick our field goals and extra points next year, and Will will come in and compete with him for that job. The thing that most excited us about Will is he has the ability to kick the ball out of the back of the end zone.”

Traylon Shead
Running Back 
6-2 • 210
Cayuga, Texas (Cayuga)

Shead (pronounced “shed”), a prep All-American, three-time first-team all-state and three-time first-team all-district performer at running back, he is one of seven players in the 2010 class that was named to Parade Magazine’s All-America High School Football Team. He ranks as the 17th-best running back by Rivals while ESPNU ranks him at No. 32 and Scout at No. 18.

By The Numbers: Shead finished his prep career as the state’s all-time leader in career touchdowns (141) and second all-time in rushing yards (10,291 yards) while helping Cayuga post a 35-8 record in his last three seasons.

Shead earned first-team 1A all-state honors and was named the 1A Offensive Player of the Year by The Associated Press and the Texas Sports Writers Association as a senior after he rushed for 2,695 yards and 39 touchdowns while leading Cayuga to a 14-1 record and its first state championship.

Brown On Shead: “Traylon is the second leading rusher in the history of Texas high school football. He scored more touchdowns than anyone else in Texas high school football history. He played in the All-American game. He has a lot of ability. He is a very nice young man. He father is the principal of the school in Cayuga, and mom is in charge of discipline for the county, so he says ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no, ma’am.’ He had a couple of really good plays in the Army All-American Game.”

Darius Terrell
Tight End 
6-3 • 215
DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto)

A prep All-American, all-state, all-area and two-time first-team all-district selection at wide receiver, Terrell is one of seven of the Longhorns’ incoming freshmen that was named to Parade Magazine’s All-America High School Football Team. He ranks as the nation’s 17th-best tight end by Rivals while Scout and ESPNU both rank him as the No. 68 wide receiver in the country.

By The Numbers: A three-year starter, Terrell posted 129 catches for 2,001 yards and 21 touchdowns, while helping DeSoto post a 24-12 record over his final three seasons. He earned second-team all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior and was named to the second-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after he caught 78 passes for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Brown On Terrell: “Darius will play tight end and flex tight end for us. He was a starter in the state championship basketball game for DeSoto last year. He plays wide receiver, but he is a big guy with long arms, and we feel like he will be big enough to be a tight end. He can really run and give us the ability to stretch the field. He is starting on their basketball team right now. Darius is a great student.”

A.J. White
Defensive Back 
6-0 • 175
DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto)

A prep All-American, all-state and all-district selection at defensive back, White ranks as the eighth-best cornerback by ESPNU and 27th-best cornerback by Rivals. Scout favors him most, listing him as the No. 4 cornerback.

By The Numbers: White recorded 103 tackles, eight PBU, four INTs and two fumble recoveries over his final two seasons at DeSoto.

He earned honorable mention all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior and was named to the first-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after he recorded 46 tackles (33 solo), three INTs and a fumble recovery and helped DeSoto to a 9-3 record and the second round of the 5A Div. I state playoffs.

Brown On White: “A.J. is in school. He is one of the three that are here. He is a defensive back from DeSoto. He has really good cover skills. DeSoto played man-to-man, so it put him in a really tough spot for a lot of the year and gave him some great experience against some really good receivers. A.J. will be able to compete this spring.”

Darius White
Wide Receiver 
6-3 • 200
Fort Worth, Texas (Dunbar)

A prep All-American, all-state and two-time first-team all-district performer at wide receiver, White is one of the seven Longhorns’ incoming freshmen named to Parade Magazine’s All-America High School Football Team, and was also tabbed as a first-team All-American by USA Today. White ranks as the third-best wide receiver and 20th-best overall prospect by ESPNU and sixth-best wide receiver and 41st-best overall prospect by Rivals. Scout lists him as the nation’s No. 6 wide receiver.

By The Numbers: White posted 93 catches for 2,293 yards and 35 touchdowns over his final three seasons.

White was named as a first-team player on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team as a senior after he caught 24 passes for 491 yards and eight touchdowns.

Brown On White: “Darius is a wide receiver. He looks like some of the No. 4’s [on film] that we have had around here. He is tall, can run, and can make a difference for you. Darius is a great basketball player. He is left handed. I think that he and Mike Davis could both play college basketball. They are not going to, but they could. Darius has the ability to go up high and get the ball over corners.”

Reggie Wilson
Defensive Line 
6-3 • 240
Haltom City, Texas (Haltom)

An all-state, all-area and two-time first-team all-district selection on the defensive line, Wilson capped his prep career by earning second-team All-America honors from USA Today. Wilson ranks as the 8th-best defensive end by ESPNU and fourth-best defensive end and 29th-best overall prospect by Rivals. Scout lists him as the No. 3 defensive end in the country.

By The Numbers: Wilson recorded 233 tackles, 24 sacks, 58 TFL, four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles during his career as a three-year starter and captain.

He earned first-team all-state honors from The Associated Press as a senior and was named to the first-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after he posted 75 tackles, nine sacks, 25 TFL, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries last fall.

Brown On Wilson: “Reggie is an outstanding pass rusher. He can really run. He is athletic. Reggie is from the Ivory Coast. He tells a great story about when came, he thought he was playing soccer when they told him to go out for football, and he did not know how to get dressed and put the pads on backwards. He has a great story. He has a wonderful smile. He is really good and will be a lot of fun to watch.”

Connor Wood
Quarterback 
6-4 • 209
Houston, Texas (Second Baptist)

A prep All-American, three-time all-state and three-time first-team all-district selection at quarterback, Wood ranks as the 14th-best quarterback by ESPNU, the sixth-best pro-style quarterback by Rivals and the ninth-best quarterback by Scout.

By The Numbers: As a four-year starter at Second Baptist, Wood posted 8,417 passing yards and 73 touchdowns along with 1,482 rushing yards and 37 more scores during his career while leading the program to a 29-18 record. He earned TAPPS Division II second-team all-state honors as a senior and was also named to the second-team of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team after he passed for 2,669 yards and 19 touchdowns while rushing for 688 yards and 13 touchdowns last fall.

Brown On Wood: “Connor is in school. He is from Second Baptist in Houston. Like Case, he has the ability to run. He is big and is very accurate. We were not concerned about private school or the level of football. Greg (Davis) and Major (Applewhite) really liked what they saw. We really like both Connor and Case, and they understand that. They are good friends, and they are ready to compete.”

Thanks to John Haynesworth for his contribution on Texas football’s 2010 National Signing Day recap for Eyes Of TX.

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