In partnership with CBSSports.com
Online Now 1256
Online now 1090 Record: 7224 (2/22/2012)
The place to talk about the Texas Longhorns
The place for off topic discussion on Hookem
You have no favorite boards.
The most viewed topics.
The most replied to topics.
The most up-voted topics.
The most down-voted topics.
The most up-voted posters.
The most down-voted posters.
The most followed posters.
Several thoughts are going through my mind right now.
1. Texas needed immediate help on the OL. They got that today with Harrison. He is an upgrade over both Donald Hawkins and Josh Cochran as a true tackle.
Expect Harrison to start at left tackle, and Donald Hawkins to move inside.
2. While most expect Hawkins moving inside to allow Texas to push Trey Hopkins to center, we need to remember that Hopkins is out for the spring with injury.
Texas will tinker with the OL this spring, including Mason Walters seeing some action at center, in order to prepare for the arrival of Harrison. But moving Hopkins to center isn't a foregone conclusion.
3. If you're looking for an odd-man out on the offensive front for the Horns, the popular name has been Dominic Espinosa. Facts are, I could see it being any of Espinosa, Walters or Cochran.
Espinosa has had issues against bigger nose tackles, yes, but Walters has had as many issues against quicker defensive tackles and those who play with great leverage.
With Cochran, he could really use the redshirt year that he never got. I don't see him redshirting but he certainly use extra time to get stronger.
4. This was a big-time line class in the state of Texas both on the OL and the DL. Texas currently has commitments from 3 linemen ranked in the top 50 overall players in the country and the Horns just added the no. 1 overall juco offensive lineman.
The Horns have another linemen ranked in the top 250 committed and are also hoping to land two more in the top 250 (DT Andrew Billings and OG Rami Hammad).
5. How good of a recruiter is Stacy Searels?
He has been absolutely nails on the recruiting trail for OLs the last two years. Estelle, Hawkins and Riser last year. This year, Harrison, James, Perkins, Raulerson and possibly Hammad.
What's more, he's been a breath of fresh air in East Texas recruiting across the board for the Horns.
No question the talent level at OL is improving and that's directly on Searels.
This post was edited by BobbyBurton 15 months ago
Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BobbyBurton247
Great write up, hats off to Coach Searles.
Bobby - do you see Searles giving Hawkins a shot @ C? Leave Hopkins @ G since he can't get much time until the summer anyway & have Hawkins @ C (at least 1 of the options) for the spring?
Does Hawkins have the skill-set for C? Quick enough?
Remember when everyone was underwhelmed by the Searels hire. Might be Macks best hire that year
I remember reading last year that Hawkins was a "true LT" that Texas sorely needed. What is it about his play that makes us want to push him inside even though our RT is suspect at times? Is it me or does it seem like we recruit a bunch of OTs, but over time in the program, they all somehow evolve into guards?
Disciplina praesidium civitatis
I realize that Estelle, Hawkins, Riser, Harrison, James, Perkins Raulerson, and possibly Hammad looks really really really great on paper... but only Hawkins has seen any time at all.
I do recall the class with Tray Allen, Kyle Hix, Michael Huey, and Aundre McGaskey being some really awesome class, but they were underwhelming.
I'm holding back my enthusiasm until they produce on the field.
Bobby can you predict the starting O-Line for next season?
I enjoyed the write-up.
The chasm is too far for me to cross in order to believe that Mason Walters is someone that Mack Brown would bench at this point. I understand the theoretical argument for it, but we have a litany of data points at this time to refute any unproven theories when it comes to Mack Brown's handling of established starters. Espinosa and Cochran are the youngest returning starters and Espinosa is absolutely the weaker performer of the two, so it just makes sense that he'll be the one that has to step aside. Of course, I guess nothing will surprise me at this point, because I am quite sure that potentially having to bench a returning starter scares Mack Brown to death.
I like the idea of Hawkins going to RG and keeping Hopkins at LG. I may be in the minority but I like the idea of Espinosa being much stronger in the fall after being able to lift this spring/summer without regard to his shoulder and now potentially flanked by bigger, stronger, and quicker teammates. His pulling and blocking in space might be in bigger demand than most think.
Amen to that!
Evidently, you actually love winning more than you love recruiting...
I don't know about Hawkins seeing time at center. I think that's going to come down with how well they think he can handle the line calls. Hawkins certainly has the strength and quickness for it and may actually have the right kind of build.
I feel like Walters may get a shot there and I still think they will definitely give Hopkins a shot, too, when he returns.
Long story short, I could see it going a number of different ways.
1. Hawkins was absolutely fantastic at caving the line inside this year IMO. In spurts, he was the team's best OL.
I think the RT position has been far less suspect than either the RG or center play.
By moving Hawkins inside, you allow yourself to get better in two spots potentially, left tackle and one of the interior spots.
2. Comparing McWhorter recruits to Searels recruits are going to give you some problems because the two of them had absolutely different things they were looking for.
McWhorter wanted the 270-pound guy that he could build up. Searels is looking more for those massive body types from the get go.
You want to compare recruits to past history and that is fine, but I think you're comparing apples to oranges.
No problem with that.
But I feel strongly that this OL class is going to big dividends long term for the Horns.
Fair points, especially when Walters is also considered the vocal leader of the OL and is highly respected by Searels.
No doubt. I remember think Wylie was the best hire but with all of these guys getting hurt I'm not giving him the nod over Searls. He still has work to do now that he has his own guys in place. Time for them to really perform.
explain: What's more, he's been a breath of fresh air in East Texas recruiting across the board for the Horns.
are you saying in the sense that he is actually recruiting there or how he handles his business there with coaches and players.
The Blake Gideon of OL?
Best five could be Hopkins, Harrison, Estelle, Flowers, Walters? That would provide tremendous depth with Cochran as swing tackle, Espinosa at center and Riser and one of the freshmen developing at back up guard...
Bobby - what is your theory with why Walters hasn't been better?
I get the idea it isn't intensity or mental based on what you said about Searles' feelings about him. It shouldn't be size. I really expected a big surge of improvement this year and it didn't seem to happen. What position is best for mason in your opinion?
I can't remember if Walters redshirted.
How good would you predict this line should be this fall?
Thanks in advance
If Estelle can't beat out Cochran now, when will he play? When he's a senior?
he's just a redshirt freshman coming off a big surgery.
Just so much more thorough IMO.
Also: he helped pull three late in the game, all from East Texas. Kendall Sanders, Jalen Overstreet and Dalton Santos. If he hadn't done his homework, those wouldn't have happened.
Bobby, I agree wholeheartedly with all of your points. I believe that two current starters won't be starters next fall. Your point about Cochran is salient. He is going to be a 5 year guy in order to maximize his potential in an NFL draft, so he really does need to redshirt.
We couldn't afford for him to do that in 2011 as a freshman nor last year.
Now that we have Harrison, Estelle and Hughes to the rescue this year it would be best for Cochran to take his redshirt now, IMO, to get stronger.
Because Walters is a senior, he will likely start at either RG or Center.
You are also correct about the wealth of talent in OL and DL recruits. This may be the best year ever, including 2002. That was obviously an incredible haul. Good problem to have, finally.
Walters has a few issues IMO.
* He lacks lateral athleticism.
* He does not have the bod type that succeeds inside.
* He is not very quick.
He's a max effort player who works hard in the weight room. I really think he lost some quickness after the foot surgery.
Estelle will be a sophomore when Cochran graduates, so he would start as a junior. The question for him is how quickly he can regain his upper body bulk and strength after having a pulled pect. repaired. That's at least four months of no weights.
247Sports In partnership with CBS Sports