Chat with Max Olson
Welcome to HornsNation! On Tuesday, writer Max Olson stops by to chat about everything Texas.
Olson joined ESPN in 2012 after covering the University of Nebraska for the Omaha World-Herald and high school and college sports for the World-Herald and Rivals.com. Olson is a University of Nebraska graduate and lives in Austin, Texas.
Send your questions now and join Olson Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Max Olson (4:04 PM)
Welcome to this week's HornsNation chat. Texas is still on a roll in the recruiting department with 5 new 2014 commits in the past 10 days, including Otaro Alaka last night. Hit me up with all your questions about Longhorn football, recruiting and anything else on your mind today.
John (Houston) [via mobile]
It seems that Texas has gained a lot of momentum in recruiting lately. Do you see any others recruits committing or any where Texas has the inside track?
Max Olson (4:06 PM)
You're right about the momentum. With the commitments of Alaka and Louisiana DT Courtney Garnett in the past 2 days, there's been plenty going on. A few guys to keep an eye on right now: LB Andrew Beck decides today (though I don't think it'll be UT), Texas still is in front for S John Bonney and CB Darrion Johnson in good shape for WR Armanti Foreman. Also, DE Sione Teuhema and his brother 2015 OT Maea Teuhema will likely decide at the end of May.
Max- I'd say the 2 biggest recruits left on our board (in terms of star power) are Adams and Thomas. How do you like our chances with them?
Max Olson (4:08 PM)
I'd put Tony Brown right up there with those two, and possibly KD Cannon, but you're right about Adams and Thomas. I think Texas has a good shot to land both of those guys and I'd go so far as to say I'd be surprised if they didn't get at least one. What remains to be seen is how quickly they'll want to decide, though.
Chris (San Antonio)
In getting Alaka, what does that do to our chances of landing Withley?
Max Olson (4:09 PM)
I got a chance to talk to Zach last weekend at the Texas Relays and he said Texas is still in it. Those close to him do believe he's going to end up in the SEC, so I'm leaning that way too. He specifically mentioned Alabama and Notre Dame as two schools he likes when we talked, and A&M is on the short list too. I think Texas will battle for him, but landing Alaka does makes it less critical.
Frank (La Marque,Tx)
Does Kendall Sanders current legal trouble put the Longhorns in a tough position at wide receiver?
Max Olson (4:12 PM)
They do. I'm inclined to suspect Sanders will end up being suspended for a few games next season. If he was truly the No. 3 WR - and that seemed to be the vibe at the end of spring ball - it's not good. Definitely raises the level of expectations on Marcus Johnson. He'll need to contribute. And don't forget about Oliver, Warrick and Meander. At least one of those guys will get on the field early on.
Chris (San Antonio)
What's the difference between Cayleb Jones and John Harris. In other words, why 'was' Jones a potential starter, and Harris relegated to H-Back? They seem to have the same build, and Harris has proven (in spring games that is) that he can make plays.
Max Olson (4:13 PM)
It's a good question. We heard a lot about John Harris during fall camp last year, too, but sure didn't see much of him throughout the season. Gotta remember that a lot of this is dictated by the stuff we don't get to watch: practice.
Should anybody be scared of KU this coming year? I mean, there RBs look pretty salty. J heaps is by no means a weak QB and they ramped up on JUCO taking the K state route, see them winning 4-6 games or no way possible?
Max Olson (4:15 PM)
I can guarantee you Texas will not be overlooking them in 2013, not after they nearly stunned UT despite completing only 3 passes on the day. I was a fan of Heaps coming out of high school in Seattle and I do think they'll win a few conference games this fall.
Stephen (Seattle, WA)
Any more Texas targets that are looking to decide in the next month? Other than Beck & Johnson.
Max Olson (4:20 PM)
We'll see what happens with Houston Lamar S John Bonney. He's told me he wanted to take some spring visits and those haven't happened yet. Teuhema brothers will be end of May, and I could see San Antonio Roosevelt S Arrion Springs making a decision around then too.
Chance we see David Ash run a little more this year? I feel he's capable of getting extra yards, not so much running the Read-Option, your take?
Max Olson (4:21 PM)
Expect to see more of that, yes. You saw it in the Alamo Bowl. When he starts making plays - big or small - by scrambling, he really takes his game to another level.
What do you see in Shiro Davis and Caleb Bluiett, see them making some noise in 2013?
Max Olson (4:22 PM)
I do, yes, especially if Texas has any injury issues at DE. Both are explosive athletes who can make a difference as pass rushers.
Josh Houston Tx [via mobile]
Will david ash throw more than 3200 yards this upcoming season? 25 passing touchdowns? Thanks
Max Olson (4:23 PM)
He only threw for 2,699 last year, but I do think those numbers are attainable considering how the offense changes. Granted, I don't think he gets to those numbers if Swoopes is getting many snaps.
Hey Max. Love your work man. I gotta few questions for you good sir. How big/important was the Alaka commitment for UT? Out of all the top remaining cb targets, which ones do you see us pulling in? And what was the word on Fournette's visit, i hear we are a darkhorse. Thanks Max!
Max Olson (4:25 PM)
The Alaka commitment is big. He's a rangy playmaker, the kind of guy who can play on the edge or drop back in coverage. Great build and instincts. Of all the CBs, I think Texas is in a great position to land New Orleans CB Jermaine Roberts. Darrion Johnson, too, and possibly Nick Watkins. As for Fournette, I'd bet he ends up at LSU but "dark horse" is a good way to put it for Texas' chances.
Frank (La Marque,Tx)
With the SEC recruiting the state of Texas even harder than before, will the Longhorns be elite again?
Max Olson (4:27 PM)
It's not all about recruiting. A ton will depend on development, too. The SEC will pluck some good ones but Texas is still getting the guys it wants.
Johnny (Austin, Tx)
over/under 10 wins for longhorns??
Max Olson (4:27 PM)
If you'd said 9.5, I would've had to think about it for a few minutes. I'll take under right now.
Matthew (Dallas, Tx)
Hey Max.. I happen to catch the Texas spring game last night on ESPNU. I'm a huge Texas fan and recruiting junkie, big fan of the site and all of you guys work. I know it's very early in the process but when it's all said and done who are our must get recruits for the 2014 class and if you can name at least 5 guys you see commiting to Texas or that we have a good chance of getting? Thanks!
Max Olson (4:32 PM)
Appreciate the kind words, Matthew. The must-gets, to me, are Solomon Thomas, Jamal Adams, KD Cannon. I could see Arrion Springs ending up on that list, too. Five (realistic) possible commits: Adams, Sione Teuhema, John Bonney, Jermaine Roberts, Armanti Foreman.
Dan (Austin, TX)
A couple questions spanning two recruiting classes. In 2014 do you think we land Edwin Freeman and if so when do you think that happens. In 2015 class do you think we offer DT Du'Vonta Lampkin in the near future?
Max Olson (4:33 PM)
The Edwin Freeman recruitment is going to be a tough one. I assumed he'd end up at TCU or A&M, but he continues to say Texas is right there with them and might even be in front. Freeman says he'd like to decide before his senior season begins. I do think Lampkin has a shot to get an offer in the next month or two. He didn't play a ton last season, but trust me, the kid is mammoth. Texas wants to evaluate him when Cy Falls starts up spring ball. I think he gets one.
Shawn (West Orange, NJ)
Edwin Freeman - will it come down to who takes him at S? TCU is interested in him at LB, so how likely is a commitment to Texas?
Max Olson (4:35 PM)
Freeman worked out at linebacker this weekend at the Dallas NFTC and I can see him playing there in college. The guy has a great build for that spot. I don't know that it's a deal-breaker how he's recruited, because realistically he should know he's a hybrid no matter where he goes.
Whats up with all these trolls (aggies) commenting on Hornsnation? Keep them out Max... I know your the big cahuna around here.
Max Olson (4:37 PM)
Carter is definitely the Big Kahuna of HornsNation, except when his old man knees are acting up.
How many DBs does Texas want/need to take? There are many DBs that Texas is in really good shape with; Adams, Roberts, Bonney, Watkins, Johnson, Freeman, and maybe McGraw. I don't think we can take all of those.
Max Olson (4:37 PM)
How does 4-5 sound to you? That's what I'm expecting.
Does this sounds reasonable or greedy? To finish out the 2014 Class Texas will get: CB - Darrion Johnson, Jermaine Roberts, & Nick Watkins; DE: Solomon Thomas
Max Olson (4:38 PM)
Optimistic but definitely not unreasonable. Hardest guy to get a read on is Watkins. I think his recruitment will be a long process.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
What does it say about the state of Longhorn basketball that recruits such as Shepherd and Frazier, would rather attend TCU and SMU, than Texas?
Max Olson (4:40 PM)
It doesn't say anything good, that's for sure.
Caleb T. (DFW)
Max, is it possible that we land Tony Brown? Such a stud, and I was really wondering, he'd be a huge pickup!!
Max Olson (4:41 PM)
"Such a stud" is a bit of an understatement. I'd argue he's the best prospect in the state for 2014, though we'll find out on April 18 when ESPN 150 gets released. Texas is in the top 3 for Brown but a whole lot would have to change right now for me to start thinking anyone is surpassing LSU as the favorite.
FloridaHorn (Destin, Fl)
Afternoon, Max.. Usually I don't get too upset about this sort of thing because kids will be kids, but how many arrests have we seen over the past 4 months? Has the time come that Mack isn't getting through to the kids about how serious getting in trouble is? Rape charges, assault charges, and alcohol charges aren't something that makes a coach or university look good, especially in this short of a time. Your thoughts?
Max Olson (4:46 PM)
Kind of a loaded question there. When nobody is getting in trouble (no trouble between the Roppolo's incident and the bowl game one), Mack and the staff don't get any credit. I'm not sure what more he could do to prevent these things from happening. Kids take risks and make dumb decisions, and Mack is pretty consistent when it comes to the subsequent discipline.
Cowboy Ranger Maverick Star (Eastern Metroplex)
Think Texas will be National title contenders with this years open Big 12 and return to the old offense ?
Max Olson (4:48 PM)
Mack said it himself: His expectation is to win every game. The first step, to me, is winning the Big 12. I don't think 2013 is the national title year, but a big step has to be taken to get closer to one.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will Brandon Moore and Jackson Jeffcoat dominate upfront for Texas this year?
Max Olson (4:49 PM)
Moore left early for the NFL, and with Jeffcoat it's all going to depend on if he can stay healthy. I like all the DTs that Texas does have coming back. A few of them have a chance to be dominant.
I have been watching the film on this past weekend Nike camp and Zach Rogers seems be ready to play now, what chance does UT have with him, He would be a big get seems to be hot target in that class
Max Olson (4:51 PM)
Zach had a very strong showing in Dallas this weekend. Demetrius Knox went out of his way to tell me that he thought the guy had the best technique of anyone there, and that Knox even learned a few things from him. He would be a big get for the 2015 class and a guy who could really anchor that group.
Shawn (West Orange, NJ)
Who's your favorite rappers currently and all-time?
Max Olson (4:52 PM)
Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan and Dylan. Because he spits hot fire.
Frank (La Marque,Tx)
With the offense now going with an up-tempo, no huddle pace of attack like Oregon will it better prepare the defense to face the kind of teams it will see in the Big 12?
Max Olson (4:53 PM)
You raise a good point. If you see it every day in practice, you ought to be better prepared for teams like Oklahoma State and TCU that are expected to be among the Big 12's best this year.
Max, When does ESPN release its 150/300 rankings for Class of 2014?
Max Olson (4:54 PM)
April 18 is the big day for the ESPN 150. The ESPN 300 will come out in the summer as more and more prospects get evaluated. But you can already check out the full scouting reports for Texas' commits and targets. Almost all of them have already been posted on their player pages.
marc (ft worth)
Sean Adams said last week that he though Overstreet had the best arm out of all the QBs so what is keeping him from being the number 2 guy or solid running the wildcat?
Max Olson (4:59 PM)
The wild card there is that if Texas has a logjam of QBs and doesn't want to push someone like Brewer out the door, Overstreet is the one most capable of playing another position like WR. He's talented, but I'm not sold that he's the 2nd-best QB on the roster in terms of the full package.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When will be the Very First College Football Game for Texas in 2013?
Max Olson (5:01 PM)
August 31 vs. New Mexico State.
Zach (Austin, TX)
With Myck Kabongo seemingly having one foot out the door, how do you like Kendal Yancy Harris' chances of possibly taking the starting PG spot? I like him a lot at 6'4" running the point. I have always had the opinion that Javan Felix's size will always hold the hoops squad back. If you are going to be 5'10", you better be able to shoot the ball on a consistent basis, and he has not proven that yet from the outside. Also wanted to know how much of a factor Demarcus Croaker will be with that insane 42 inch vert.
Max Olson (5:02 PM)
Yancy-Harris' size gives him the flexibility to play either guard spot. He and Croaker have a shot to play right away for Texas, and they're gonna need to be good if this Texas team with a pretty average-looking roster hopes to get back to the tournament next season.
vinnie kuzava (los angles)
i like ku do you
Max Olson (5:03 PM)
I visited Lawrence one time, for a KU basketball game. It was not bad.
As a recruiting junkie I cant say enough about you taking the time to do this chat where we can read all this and it not be insider really appreciate it, that being said what one thing has to change to take us to a BCS team? Excluding ash cuz that?s always the answer
Max Olson (5:05 PM)
Thanks Jared, my pleasure. If you're loving this recruiting stuff, you've gotta give Insider a try. The one thing that has to change is an offseason that takes a lot of guys on this team from pretty good to great. The list of legitimately great players on Texas' 2013 team is a pretty short one (Mike Davis, Quandre Diggs, potentially Jackson Jeffcoat). Texas needs more guys get on their level both in performance and leadership.
Who rounds out the class at WR? I don't see Cannon coming to Austin.
Max Olson (5:07 PM)
I'm growing more skeptical on Cannon-to-Texas too. The guy cares a lot more about offensive scheme than I expected, and that's putting Baylor and Texas Tech seemingly real high on his list. Armanti Foreman or maybe a guy like Dorian Leonard could finish Texas' take at WR. With Foreman, I think Texas gets him quickly if they can convince themselves to take his brother D'Onta as a RB or LB.
Shawn (West Orange, NJ)
After a cursory glance, I didn't see this question asked so SIAP. Who is your guess as the next commit?
Max Olson (5:08 PM)
Let's go with Jermaine Roberts, just for fun.
I have not seen film of Edwin Freeman yet, but I have read the scouting report from multiple sites. I want to see him come to Texas. I love the thought of a hard-hitting safety growing into a LB with established cover skills - a tweener position that is a great fit in the Big 12!
Max Olson (5:09 PM)
Agree with you. He and Alaka both have that size and speed you really desire if you want to succeed in today's Big 12. We've got him listed as a safety, but I did like what I saw when you put him to work as a linebacker.
Max Olson (5:10 PM)
That's all the time I've got today, guys. Appreciate all your questions. Got a ton today about who Texas' new few commits are going to be. Best way to find out is to keep reading our stuff over at HornsNation.com, we've got you covered. Thanks, and have a great afternoon.