May 17, 2007

Are transfers looming?

Q: (Golfpr3145) - What do you see as the biggest change in the defensive scheme for next year under Larry Mac Duff? Do you think our weak linebacker play this last year will hurt in recruiting future linebackers or do you think the reputation that Mac Duff and Duane Akinaave will give us a boost?

A: I think perhaps the biggest and best change that Mac Duff will provide is a new set of eyes. There's no question that the linebacker play was not as good under Gene Chizik as it was under Greg Robinson. While Chizik might have had a few personal favorites that he was going to stick with no matter what, Mac Duff comes in with no loyalties and only wants to get the best players on the field. From my conversations with Mac Duff, it appears that he's not looking for players that simply won't get the defense beat, but he'd much rather have guys that can big plays occur. That's good news for some of the young players like Sergio Kindle, Jared Norton and maybe even a guy like Keenan Robinson.

Although quite a few returning players have better track records than these players, they also have limitations that have been apparent to quite a few people for a long time. I expect the linebacker play to be better this season if for no other reason that Mac Duff is a better teacher of that position than Chizik was. That's not a slap at Chizik as much as it's simply an indication that he's better at mentoring defensive backs than any other position. As for how all of this will impact recruiting, I think recruits are going to be excited about the brand of play they see from the defense in general this season because I would anticipate it to be the most aggressive style of defense we've seen under Mack Brown at Texas.

Q: (Old Tascosa) - OK recruiting Guru, pull out your crystal ball. With all of the remaining elite and near elite prospects on our board, who do you think will actually make it in for visits? QB Pryor, RB Scott, WR Fuller, WR Hales, DL Aghayere, DL Square, LB Kotoa, LB Ibiloye, LB Major? Who will get offers? With all this talent, how many do we have room for, and who are the priorities? Will any be given an unrestricted offer, only until fall or some other deadline to decide, or will it be first-come-first-served? Will/can any shuffling take place to make room for more of these if more want to come? Your best guess on who actually winds up with us.

A: I think the Longhorns currently have room for three more prospects and I think everything else is just nice campfire discussion. DeSean Hales, Chancey Aghayere and another linebacker commit are the priorities for the coaches and everything else just isn't in the picture based on conversations I've had with high-level sources on the subject. Does that mean that a guy like Terrelle Pryor or even Jeff Fuller won't come in for visits at some point? No, they might still come in, but at this point I don't believe there are plans to go beyond 22 and the three players/positions targeted. That could change if Hales drags out his recruitment into the fall or if Aghayere chooses to go somewhere else, but the staff feels comfortable with where they stand with both prospects right now. Therefore, the real issue is who the third linebacker in this class will be and that's a question without an answer at this point.

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