Chat with Carter Strickland
Welcome to HornsNation! On Tuesday, writer Carter Strickland stops by to chat about everything Texas.
Strickland joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the University of Georgia for Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the University of Oklahoma for The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman and Washington State University for The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review. Strickland lives with his wife and family in Austin, Texas.
Send your questions now and join Strickland Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Carter Strickland (2:59 PM)
Welcome to the chat. Sorry for the technical issues last week.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Bowl Game do you think that the 2012 Texas Longhorns has the Best Shot of Playing in?
Carter Strickland (3:00 PM)
I'm thinking the Cotton Bowl right now but the three week stretch of OSU, WVU and OU is going to play a huge role in what happens. My thought is that Texas and OU go into RRR as top 10 teams. Teh winner of that is going to be on the inside track to a BCS game. Too bad the SEC-B12 bowl is not this year because that would be a very good matchup for the conference's second place team.
Alex (New York)
What will be Shiro Davis' impact on this year's Longhorn team, if any at all? Could he possibly be moved to linebacker to improve the depth there?
Carter Strickland (3:02 PM)
He can have an impact. Now Texas is pretty deep at defensive end so he is going to have to fight for space. Moving him to linebacker could make some sense. But Texas has Tevin Jackson and Kendall Thompson there. Plus they like Jenkins too. I still think he plays. My over/under on freshmen who play this year is 10.
Jose Cuervo (California )
OU just lost starting OL Ben Habern(OC) and Tyler Evans (RG). They also lost back up OT Dylan Dismuke. Back up center Austin Woods (cancer) and back up OG Nile Kositati (heart surgery) are dealing with very serious health issues. Juco superstar OT WIll Latu never qualified academically. Shouldn't the horns D easily dominate OU's OL and thereby prevent Landry from being a difference-maker?
Carter Strickland (3:03 PM)
Interesting fact from Ivan Maisel this morning. OU's offensive line has a combine 43 starts. That makes it the least experienced offensive line in the Big 12. Here is the deal, Texas goes 10 deep across the defensive line. Five deep at the tackles and another five at the ends. Diaz is going to rotate those guys like crazy and try and wear down every o line Texas plays.
Jose Cuervo (California )
When will Marquise Goodwin start practice?
Carter Strickland (3:04 PM)
He will be getting back around Aug. 9 or 10. He will then have to do four days in shorts as per the NCAA rules. So look for him to be ready to go by Aug. 14. That is plenty of time. The guy is obviously in shape. He knows the playbook. He should be much better than the start of last year. Remember he was the most productive receiver UT had down the stretch last season.
Tippy Tom (Clute, TX)
OU....will the season be done if they lose another OL?
Carter Strickland (3:05 PM)
Check out the state I posted just a second ago. And if they lose another guy they are in trouble. Looks like Justin Brown is the real deal though.
Much has been said/written about the need for improvement at the quarterback this year. How much do you think the WRs need to step up to improve the passing game. Who are the best candidates for a breakout year at WR?
Carter Strickland (3:06 PM)
That is a good question. Mike Davis was not dependable last year at all. He even was dropping balls in the Holiday Bowl. He looked better in the spring but that is the spring. Davis should be better. But watch out for John Harris inside the 20. He is tall, ca jump, has huge hands and is hungry to get on the field after the injury.
Marc (DFW, Tx)
will Jalen Overstreet play an active role in the offiense or see PT at all?
Carter Strickland (3:07 PM)
Right now I do not see that happening. He is just going to be way too far behind to make a real contribution. So much is thrown at the guys in the QB room and it takes at least a spring for it to soak in.If there are injuries he will be there. But I have him as a redshirt guy.
Any chance of the Horns wearing the black jerseys this year?
Carter Strickland (3:08 PM)
No chance at all. Texas did do some different things with practice jerseys this year. They are black, orange (not exactly burnt orange which is slightly strange) and white. But those are going to stay on the practice field. Mack Brown said there will be no wholesale uniform changes while he is the head coach.
Tony (Richmond, CA )
The Horns received some nice 2014 commits, but still have unfinished business in 2013. What are the most pressing needs that still need to be addressed by the Texas staff? And who is most likely to fill those voids?
Carter Strickland (3:10 PM)
Well defensive end is going to be big. Actually all of the defensive line.I'm starting to hear that RSJ is not going to come back to Texas so the coaching staff really needs to work on that. He is a priority.Defensive backs, like Luke, are also something Texas needs to recruit. But 2014 is a good year for DBs.
How has Connor Brewer looked? I'm hoping he can give us a dependable QB in the future
Carter Strickland (3:11 PM)
I think he has been overlooked in the whole Ash/McCoy thing. Right now he is just learning things. But being i the film room this summer and throwing seven on seven was a huge help to him. He may not be ready to go by week one. But week five or six if there is an injury, he could be a capable backup.Texas would still like to redshirt him if at all possible.
Future recruiting classes seem to have focused on getting better TE prospects. However, this year TE still seems relatively thin. Will we see increased use of TEs this year from Harsin or are we going to have to wait for the new recruits for the TE passing game to improve/
Carter Strickland (3:13 PM)
Great question. They think Grant will be better this year because he is another year removed from surgery. Also MJ McFarland is there. The issue is not so much their passing catching skill. It is the blocking.Texas was a team that ran the spread offense and as a part of that it did not need a hand on the ground stud blocker at tight end. Harsin wants that. So they are having to work with guys that were not recruited to be blockers and try and turn them into that. Grant is not every good at it. McFarland is so big it is hard for him to get leverage. So it is a process.
Dax ((Hou, Tx))
Why does Rice play Texas?
Carter Strickland (3:14 PM)
They don't this year. But when they do it is because of money.It's also good for Texas to have a game in Houston every once in a while for the alums down there.
Chris (Houston )
What % would you give Trxas of landing Billings, Luke, Benonch, Harris an RSJ to wrap up te 2013 class
Carter Strickland (3:15 PM)
OK lets go through this one at a time.Benonch: 75Harris 40Luke: 50RSJ: 30Billing: 60
Aaron Ross (JAX)
Carter, do you have a pair of pants I can borrow? My wife Sanya is wearing them all in the household right now.
Carter Strickland (3:15 PM)
She is impressive. It's crazy how talented that family is.
You say RSJ is not coming back to Texas, is that a big time blow to our chances with him?
Carter Strickland (3:16 PM)
I am just hearing things that make me believe he might be interested in another program over Texas if everything works out at that program. Now Texas still has a chance but I put them at a disadvantage right now.
Carter Strickland (3:18 PM)
By the way Texas will a big pickup today in the class of 2104. Daniel Gresham who is 5-11, 226 has given his pledge. He will come in as a fullback but i think Texas might use him in a lot of H back stuff as well. And he might be part of a package deal with a his teammate D. Knox, an offensive tackle that Texas really wants.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Which Horns program is more likely to play for championsip first, baseball or basketball? Is Rick Barnes out the door if the Horns don't make it into the second week of the tournament next year?
Carter Strickland (3:18 PM)
I like Texas' chances to make it to the Sweet 16 this year. I think they are going to be rough at the start but get better through the year and peak at the right time. I'm going with baseball to win a title first though.
"That other program" LSU or A&M?
Carter Strickland (3:19 PM)
Very educated guesses there. Have you been talking to tiger mike?
Any updates on the availability of LHN in the fall?
Carter Strickland (3:20 PM)
Man, I wish I could tel you it is coming because the product is unreal. Those guys do an amazing job from Ben Hobbs to Kevin Dunn and Lowell Galindo just outstanding work. But there are still a lot of hurdles to clear. Sorry about that. But I will be breaking down live practices on the HN forum. So there is that.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will the Horns pursue Devon Allen more aggresively if what you say is true about RSJ?
Carter Strickland (3:21 PM)
I think they still go hard after RSJ. Remember they beat out a certain program last year at the last minute.
Carter Strickland (3:22 PM)
A little on Allen though. I know that OU is very high on him. Notre Dame has also offered. He is a very smart kid. Texas has done well in Arizona.But Texas has not offered and a ton of other places have so that puts UT way behind in recruiting him.
With the 2014 offers there has been talk of meeting conditions to keep the offer (performance at school, staying out of trouble etc). Are you aware of the specifics of those conditions relative to Jrs or are they more general?
Carter Strickland (3:25 PM)
I know that they have set certain guidelines as far as grades and such. But an important guideline that they set was how the player performed on the field. If the player loafs during his senior year and it is caught on film, Texas is going to point that out to the recruit. They are serious about keeping tabs on just how mentally and physically strong these kids stay throughout their senior year. If they do not perform Texas has told them they will pull the offer.
With the addition of Ferra (sp?) how many of the current K and P's transfer? Nick Jordan can't be too happy
Carter Strickland (3:27 PM)
Well there are three kickers on schollie. One of those - Fera - does not count against the 85 cap. Jordan may not be too thrilled but he is a kicker and he has a scholarship at a major university. It has only been recently that kickers have been given scholarships. Usually they are walk-ons.BTW, Texas now has eight kickers and punters on the roster.
How have some of the freshman looked in the first couple of practices? In particular Brown at DT, Gray, Marcus Johnson, and Kendall Sanders? Heard Marcus Johnson is getting rave reviews.
Carter Strickland (3:28 PM)
Johnson and Sanders had very good summers. The freshmen are not mixed in with the vest yet so it is hard to tell where they are.But Okafor said Brown is a guy that will play.And the QBs were talking about how well Gray has fit into the program.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
What is the latest on Keith Frazier and Kaviar Shepherd? Does UT have a legitimate shot at landing either of these guys? And what would be more harmful to Rick Barnes program? These guys going to an out of state program, or going to Baylor?
Carter Strickland (3:31 PM)
Baylor is the dominate program in the state right now. Frazier has a ton of offers and may go somewhere he can be more of a creative player. Shepherd's future may depend on how the post position looks for Texas. It actually is slightly crowded in there now.
Have you noticed a big difference in the players size and strength over the last year and a half ever since Bennie took over? Jordan Hicks looks huge
Carter Strickland (3:32 PM)
No doubt. Just looking at Mike Davis yesterday it was clear that he was much bigger. Both Ash and McCoy came out to practice with their sleeves rolled up to show off their arms. McCoy is up 15-20 pounds. Brandon Moore looks better than he did in the spring. This team is in much better physical shape than it has been in quite some time.
Tim (San Antonio)
I have to say, you saying Texas has only a 30% chance of landing RSJ almost made me vomit on my desk. After he commits to LSU, any chance UT tries to poach Samples from OSU?
Carter Strickland (3:34 PM)
Samples is pretty much done. Texas told him they were off him.I will say that LSU is the leader on RSJ. But TAMU has a lot to offer.Now don;t get too upset. Nobody thought Texas could pull of Shiro Davis and they made some moves to make it happen. But I'm not sure if the right moves can be made in the case of RSJ.
Kevin (London, UK)
Will I join fellow Longhorn Sanya Richards-Ross on the gold medal podium? Or will the lack of interior post play and dependence on the 3-point shot eventually bite me and my Olympic teammates in rear end?
Carter Strickland (3:35 PM)
You are no doubt on the podium. Lebron will check any big postman in there and Melo will start to jack up more shots. So no worries there.
Carter Strickland (3:36 PM)
Looks like we are out of questions. Remember we will have live practice updates on the HornsNation forum starting today at 5:30 p.m.