The Red River Rivalry
The babies have been bringing it, but the toddlers need to step up if Texas is to have a chance against the big red Stoops-mobile Saturday at the Cotton Bowl. While the true freshmen of Texas—Malcolm Brown, Jaxon Shipley, David Ash and Quandre Diggs—have made experience a non-issue so far in this 4-0 season, Longhorns fans are waiting for the recruiting class of 2010—rated #2 in the nation behind Florida—to show some dominance.
How good was Mack Brown’s haul? Oklahoma and Texas offered scholarships to 19 of the same players in the class of 2010 and 16 chose Texas.
On Feb. 3, 2010, Texas recruiting groupies were wetting their burnt orange undies as defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat (Plano West High School) and linebacker Jordan Hicks (West Chester High School, OH)—both rated #1 at their positions nationally, put on UT ballcaps. Texas got seven more commits in the Rivals national top 100—DE Reggie Wilson (#29), WR Mike Davis (#34, an LSU decommit), LB Tevin Jackson (#36), WR Daruis White (#41), RT Trey Hopkins (#64), WR Chris Jones (#96) and DT Taylor Bible (#98). That’s a whole lotta rosey when you’re talking about the Horns’ future.
How good was Mack Brown’s haul? Oklahoma and Texas offered scholarships to 19 of the same players in the class of 2010 and 16 chose Texas. (Thanks, Norman nightlife!)
But UT’s Men of ’10 have yet to fulfill their potential. Yeah, it’s still early in the careers of these sophomores and redshirt freshmen, but with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State coming up next, both ranked in the top 5 nationally, it’s time for the “gets” to get going. Lady Antebellum isn't the only one who needs you now.
Oklahoma is not Iowa State. They’ve got mean, fast guys with bleached Mohawks and the swagger God gave to wolverines.
Jeffcoat has been a disruptive presence as the “buck” end, but too often the buck stops at the arms of the offensive tackle. This son of a Cowboy (Jim Jeffcoat) has yet to record a sack this year and has only three quarterback hurries. The speedy hitman Hicks had a good game against BYU, with 11 tackles and a couple of pass breakups, but he came advertised as a fierce blitzer and he’s also as sack-free as Costco. Maybe Defensive coordinator Manny D (who looks like one of Al Pacino’s men in “Scarface,” doesn’t he?) has been hiding Hicks’ red dog schemes until the OU game. Say hello to my little blindside friend.
Come to think of it, Texas has not fielded a great linebacker since Derrick Johnson seven years ago. And, so far, Hicks is no DJ, though he’s got the speed. Wouldn’t it be great if JH goes all New Mexico gift shop on New Mexico native Landry Jones? Look at all those tomahawks!
They’ve shown flashes of greatness, but how often do you hear the names of Jeffcoat and Hicks on TV (and not just on drive-reviving personal fouls, JJ)? There should be fans in the stands wearing Hicks’ #3 and whatever number Jeffcoat is. (It’s #44, I had to look it up.) Solid is so-so; it’s time for spectacular.
You can’t really call the class of ’10 a disappointment because some of that year’s Brown chip recruits have contributed to this seemingly blessed season. Case in point (sorry, state law requires using that pun) is Case McCoy at quarterback, who didn’t make the Rivals 100 (or 200 or 300) because binoculars in the stands can’t see the number of football cells in the blood. When a McCoy or a Shipley gives a pint to the Red Cross, transfusion recipients are warned that they may soon be wearing mouthguards for no apparent reason. Center Dom Espinosa of Cedar Park, DT Ashton Dorsey (Tyler), and DBs Carrington Byndom (Lufkin) and Adrian Phillips (Garland)—more men of '10—also have the struts of longtime starters. Players make plays. Playas get tattoos. (Kenny Vaccaro does both.)
They’re calling this season the Texas Revenge Tour. (Or the end of the Garrett Gilbert Error, if you want to be catty). The Horns went to UCLA and slapped ‘em around a bit and did the same to Iowa State. What were you guys thinking last year? Thwack! That we’d let you disrespect us again? Smack!
Oklahoma is not Iowa State. They’ve got mean, fast guys with bleached Mohawks and the swagger God gave to wolverines. Ryan Broyles is the best receiver the Sooners have ever had, and Landry Jones is Sam Bradford without all that personality, so 63-14 isn’t totally out of the question.
But neither is Texas 45 - Oklahoma 35, the score in 2008, the last time these Red River Rivals played when the Sooners were #1. It could happen, and a big key is for those studs-in-waiting, led by Jeffcoat and Hicks, to play like the 2013 NFL draft is next week.