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November 28, 2010

Texas changes, A&M's big '12 RB, SLC update

David McNabb,
Senior Editor, TheOldCoach.com

Email questions or comments to: dmcnabb@theoldcoach.com

Follow David on Twitter and Facebook.

Doing this before Texas does or doesn't beat Texas A&M so the Longhorns either or 5-7 or 6-6. Which is what this all about: There WILL be staff changes at Texas.

It doesn't mean Mack Brown is caving or not loyal. But you don't go 5-7 or 6-6 at Texas. Period. Doesn't matter that you were in national championship game last year.

The long-standing joke _ all the way back to Darrell Royal _ is that there is the Weight Room at Texas and there is the Dead Weight Room (where coaches in transition office at Belmont Hall.)

But like it or not.. .inside info from Texas, Todd Dodge and Texas A&M and Southlake Carroll and Katy are always of huge interest.

The details aren't set _ and don't believe anyone who says they know _ because as my most respected pastor said: "Any time someone tells you they know exactly what the Bible says and what you are supposed to do in a specific situation, you should run immediately in the opposite direction as fast as you can."

With that said, here's What I Hear:

The Texas coaching staff and Todd Dodge part I:

Todd Dodge will start out in the mix of changes at Texas by joining the staff in some capacity. He is exhausted from his tenure trying to turn around North Texas. He may like to sit out a year to rejuvenate but he's too young and driven to not take a great job if one comes along. Dodge may not jump at the first good high school job because there will be one next year too.

But Dodge is good friends with the Applewhite family. There is no Machiavellian, behind-the-scenes discussions. Dodge's wife has worked as a team teacher with Major Applewhite's mom in the Carroll ISD elementary schools. Major and Todd talk in a friends sort of way not in "any kind of back-room plotting" style of friendship. (Note: I go to coaching conventions and see people interacting on a fairly regular basis in non news conference settings.) Applehwite and Dodge have the same passion for coaching. They also have the same passion and desire to have a life.

Todd gets that Major is happy with his life in Austin. High-pressure job, but, really, who doesn't have one of those. It's a place you can win. Pay is pretty good. All the family and traditional Dodge and family ties.

Todd would love to be the Quarterback Guru and Wide Receivers Coach (don't underestimate Todd's development of wide receivers!)… Texas needs some kind of offensive spark…. Know one is sure how this will shake out, but there is some shaking to do. There already are some odd nuances about who is recruiting whom around the Texas landscape. Nothing concrete, but definitely some raised eye-brows around state high school coaches.

Next point .

Texas will take care of Texas coaches in transition. Texas will take care of its older coaches. Whether it is Greg Davis, Mac McWhorter, Mike Tolleson . Any younger guys that get changed like Bobby Kennedy are good coaches who've done well and will find work. It's a tough business. But 5-7 or 6-6 at Texas is 5-7 and 6-6 at Texas and Malcolm Brown or not… you can't be talking about a freshman for 2011 five games into your 2010 season.


Texas A&M info

Aggies are on the rise _ if you haven't noticed. I don't think the Aggies win at Texas on Thursday night. Too much of a jump in one year. And winning on-the-road always is the last hurdle an improving but really unproven team in transition has to make. But I'd be living under the I-35 bridge in Waco eating Thanksgiving Dinner with the Baylor Baptist Student Union if I had to make a living betting on games.

A&M isn't going to steal any of Texas' 2011 prospects_ even if there is a lot of footsies going on with defensive end Cedric Reed of Cleveland, which is being heavily chronicled by Aggieyell.com and orangebloods.com if you're interested. A&M's has it's class for 2011 made with its late offer to get Tivy quarterback Johnny Manziel, who had only gotten an Oregon offer until the Aggies woke up faster than anyone else did with Chase Daniel five years ago and he stayed with his Missouri commitment.

But A&M has another great OL class for 2011 and the BIG get for A&M will come in 2012 with running back Johnathan Gray of Aledo. Texas will have just signed Malcolm Brown who won't be one and done at Texas. He'll stay through junior year.

Gray is the son of former FW Trimble Tech and Texas Tech star James Gray but there's not a big Texas Tech legacy left from the Spike Dykes' days. And the Tech off-field, Leach, family-fighting is making Tech a bad-vibe place. The Aggies are in Gray's top 3.

Former Aledo standout Blaine Cheatham is an Aggies standout. He's a great kid, was and is still an Aledo program leader. Cheatam's dad coaches Aledo's 7-on-7 team. Cheatam's sister is an Aledo cheerleader. A&M is signing tons of OL to block out the sun. You get the picture. Could be a huge Aggies' Bingo and A&M will challenge Texas for more kids than it has in a decade.

Texas' junior day offers in February will no longer be an automatic commit from the state's top players. The Aggies will now factor in there as well.

Southlake Carroll update

Coach Hal Wasson is an excellent coach. Southlake has done well. But he took on the always tough task of following a legend. Wasson is effective. SLC needed to beat Allen last year in the playoffs to hold of the wolves and that was almost ridiculous that it'd come to that.

Partly, it's Wasson's much more tenacious, intense style and practices. He's a Yeller. Nothing to get Channel 8 reporter Brett Shipp out to campus again, but being a Yeller is hard at well-to-do-suburban programs like Southlake Carroll.

If Southlake Carroll beats defending state champ Abilene, there may be no changes but still a shaky environment _ whether fair or unfair. Carroll ISD athletic director Kevin Ozee made some PR faux pas in the whole Daxx Garman ineligibility but, really, if an AD or anyone in an ISD, seeks out lease or homeowner agreements on parents _ how long is that person going to last?

Made for great ratings and story for Channel 8, but it's more the PR that some of the poo-bahs in Southlake are still fuming under the surface. But the community loves what Ozee has done to build other sports especially female athletics… He's made two GREAT hires in girls basketball and volleyball and got almost $2 million during this economic downturn to do some upgrades at Dragon Stadium.

It'd be hard to run off Ozee if some are mad at Wasson.

Southlake is a demanding job and, actually, doesn't pay as well as everyone would assume. The unofficial head coach in waiting is Clayton George. But the importance of the transition is to do it smoothly and that may take a couple years.

Katy update

Only in Texas can a team as good as Katy be flying under the radar. Beating Cinco Ranch, 56-3. Are you kidding? Katy isn't an over-achieving team. There's talent all over the place. Everyone wants to see Euless Trinity vs. Katy at Cowboys Stadium for a potential record-setting crowd of more than 50,000. And I love Trinity. But Katy wins that one.

Trinity is getting too many best-shots through a 6-game playoff jaunt to take an MMA bout against a super-talented Katy, which is getting good but not awesome opposition that Trinity is getting through playoffs. Katy broke program records for a single game with 33 first downs and 614 total yards in a 55-20 playoff win last week. Katy plays a usually strong Northshore this week but Katy beat Northshore 44-6 in their season opening game. Katy running back Donovonn Young is having monster season as a 2011 prospect still not getting the quality of scholarship offers he should.
But after this playoff run, some college is going to get a steal of a player in the powerful and speedy, 6-1, 215-pound Young. A good rule of thumb: Any player who gains more than 2,000 yards in Class 5A can play. Mark it down. No exceptions.











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