Well, those nine innings of baseball weren't exactly the same as a root canal, but if you're a Texas baseball fan it probably came pretty close. It was a day when the Razorbacks simply did everything better than the Longhorns. Everything. For the third time this season. While not a comfortable admission to make if you're wearing burnt orange, it might just be that Arkansas is the best team Texas has played all season and represents the final roadblock of the season that might be too tough to pass. Everyone knew that Texas wasn't the best team left in the field entering the College World Series and it just felt like the point was hammered home in a rather emphatic fashion. The good news for Texas is that it's been in this position before. I'm expecting this team to bounce back and win game two with its back against the wall. The bad news is that the long-game means that the Longhorns need to win four straight to survive and potentially two of those would have to come against the team that beaten them by a combined 31-14 score over 27 innings. No. 2 - The only thing worse than a 170-minute rain delay... A 170-minute rain delay when the team you're covering/following is down by three runs and has the based loaded against them with zero outs. No. 3 - The view of 2019 recruiting from 30,000 feet up ... After the commitment of Peter Mpagi over the weekend, the Longhorns are sitting at 10 commitments, which means they are approaching the halfway point of whatever the 2019 recruiting class is going to be. It seems like a good time to do some position by position analysis of where things stand midway through June. Quarterbacks Needs: One Current commits: Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves) Most important remaining target: None Other targets: None Breakdown: The Texas coaching staff viewed Johnson as the perfect prospect/player for its offense and locked him up very early. Depending on your perspective, you either think he's the best quarterback prospect in the state (as I do), a long-term, high-risk project or somewhere in-between. Running Backs Needs: Two Current commits: None Most important remaining target: Noah Cain (IMG Academy) Other key targets: Trey Sanders (IMG Academy) Breakdown: With all due respect to all of the other running backs that Texas is recruiting, Tom Herman and Co. are shooting for the stars in focusing on the two IMG stars. I list Cain as the most important prospect because the Longhorns have a ton of sweat equity in his recruitment and you'd have to rank the former Texas prep product as one of the top priorities in the entire class. Sanders is a total wildcard, a potentially realistic wildcard, but I think Cain has been and will continue to be the prize Texas wants for desert. This might be the riskiest position group in recruiting this year because the drop-down after these two would be significant. It's a super boom or bust proposition. Wide Receivers Needs: Three Current commits: Jordan Whittington (Cuero) and Jake Smith (Scottsdale, Az) Most important remaining target: Dylan Wright (West Mesquite) Other key targets: Elijah Higgins (Austin Bowie), Jaylen Ellis (Round Rock Cedar Ridge), Demariyon Houston (Oklahoma City Millwood), DevontaLee (Amite, La.), Makiya Tongue (Baton Rouge, La.) and Bru McCoy (Santa Ana, Ca.) Breakdown: With a couple of war horses already committed, the Longhorns have less of a need at the position and more of an obligation to bring as much elite talent as possible, which is why you've seen the Longhorns target a bunch of national top 100/250 prospects. As far as I'm concerned, if Texas can get a commitment from Wright and Higgins, we'll be talking about an A+ grade for this group. Tight Ends Needs: Two or three Current commits: Brayden Liebrock (Chandler, Arizona) and Jared Wiley (Temple) Most important remaining target: None Other targets: None Breakdown: The emergence of Liebrock this spring into one of the nation's top tight end prospects means that the Longhorns have one of the best tight ends classes in the entire country and probably the best in the Big 12. While the Texas coaches might seem content with the two they have, I wouldn't be surprised if a third guy emerges by the end of the recruiting process, IF it's the right guy. Offensive Line Needs: Four or five Current commits: Tyler Johnson (Conroe Oak Ridge) Most important remaining target: Javonne Shepherd (Houston North Forest) Other targets: Stacey Wilkins (Camden, Arkansas) Breakdown: This is one of the position groups that's hard to get a long-term outlook for because there are fewer obvious prospects available than there are holes that need filling. After the visit this weekend, it's easy to see Shepard being the second commitment in this class, but where those remaining commitments needed in this class come from is complete guesswork for now. Defensive Ends Needs: As many good ones as possible Current commits: T'Vondre Sweat (Huntsville) and Peter Mpagi (George Ranch) Most important remaining target: Marcus Stripling (Houston Mayde Creek) Other targets: Rian Davis (Apoke, Florida), Jermaine Johnson (Independence CC) and Jacoby Jones (Butler CC) Breakdown: The Longhorns have a pair of quality commitments going into the June homestretch, but the overall quality of this position group isn't at a nationally elite level, although a commitment from Stripling or Davis would help push it into that direction. The best-case situation is probably pulling one of the top two prep prospects into the cupboard, along with a potential impact JUCO player. Defensive tackle Needs: Current commits: As many good ones as possible Most important remaining target: Ishmael Sopsher (Amite, La.) Other targets: Faatui Tuitele (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Taurean Carter (Mansfield Legacy) Breakdown: Linebackers Needs: Three or Four Current commits: De'Gabriel Floyd (Westlake Village, Ca.) Most important remaining target: Maninoa Tufono (Honolulu, Hawaii) Other targets: David Gbenda (Katy Cinco Ranch) and Spencer Lytle (Bellflower, Ca.) Breakdown: Gbenda looks like the guy you might be able to position as a future Longhorn in ink, but it's impossible to project beyond that at this point, at least until Tufono finishes his visits this summer. Like the defensive line, this has the makings of a nice group, but perhaps not a nationally elite group. Defensive backs Needs: Three or Four Current commits: Kenyatta Watson (Loganville, Ga. Grayson) Most important remaining target: Lewis Cine (Cedar Hill Trinity), Other targets: Derek Stingley Jr (Baton Rouge, La.), Jalen Catalon (Mansfield Legacy), Jeffery Carter (Mansfield Legacy), MarquesCaldwell (Alvin) and Jaden Davis (Fort Lauderdale, Fl.) Breakdown: Watson, Catalon, Carter and Caldwell makes for a very solid and likely group. A commitment from Stingley would send this group to the moon. No. 4 – Nostraketchus ... Here's a stab at how the class will finish. RB - Noah Cain (IMG Academy) WR - Dylan Wright (West Mesquite) WR - Elijah Higgins (Austin Bowie) OL - Javonne Shepherd (Houston North Forest) OL -In-state three-star* DT - JUCO* DT - Taurean Carter (Mansfield Legacy) DT - JUCO* DE - Jacoby Jones (Butler CC) DE - In-state three-star* LB - David Gbenda (Katy Cinco Ranch) DB - Jalen Catalon (Mansfield Legacy) DB - Jeffery Carter (Mansfield Legacy) DB - Marques Caldwell (Alvin) * Player that hasn't yet been offered and might not be on the public radar as a target. Likely an addition in the final two months. That's 24. If I was going to add another name, it might be Jaylen Ellis because his speed is such that you probably take him, even if the numbers are a bit high. Lewis Cine is a total wildcard pending his outcome of his visit this weekend. No. 5 - Story-time with Uncle Ketch... Back by minimal demand, I'm bringing back this section to the column, at least through the end of the off-season. If it's still something that generates interest and discussion, we'll continue on with it. If it's something that bores everyone (like my soccer thoughts), I'll do away with it. Two thoughts before we get started with this week's edition: a. I'm not going third-person with the title. It's just something that I think people will potentially remember as a section of the column. It seems Ketchy, if you will. b. I will do my very best each week not to tell a story that I have ever told before, at least to the message board. This week's story centers on a player that played at Texas under Mack Brown, who would go down as one of the most popular players in the history of the program as far as I'm concerned and eventually played on Sundays. Anyway, this particular player was on an official visit to Colorado back when Colorado was still pretty good. At the time, the player had been leaning to Texas when he took this particular official visit, but he wanted to enjoy the recruiting process, planned to take all five official visits and try to keep an open mind. If there was a No. 2 school, it was Texas A&M, which had a commitment from one of his teammates. I can't remember if it was the first or second night that he was in Boulder, but his host took him to a bar with a handful of other players and recruits. While at the bar, a couple of Nebraska fans started talking trash to the Colorado players. Those fans irked the Colorado players so much that they left the bar, called up a bunch of players and told them to join them outside the bar, where they would wait for the Nebraska fans to come out of the bar. Sure enough, a gang of Colorado players arrived outside of the bar and they waited ... and waited ... and waited. Eventually, the two Nebraska fans came out of the bar, and sure enough, the Colorado players ambushed and assaulted them. The way it was told to me, it was an ugly little scene and the visiting prospect being discussed could only stand in horror. One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, he felt helpless. He was afraid for himself, he was afraid for those Nebraska fans and he felt like he was surrounded by the type of guys (including his host) that wouldn't take any opposition from a visiting high school player kindly. All he wanted to do was get the hell out of Boulder. It was in the following days that he told me about the visit. All this kid wanted to do was get out of his hometown, have a good time, see the world a little bit and then make a decision. After the visit to Boulder, he wanted it all over and acted like a young man that was fine with staying in his living room while all of his friends took their various trips. The players at Colorado had genuinely terrified him. Ultimately, he visited Texas (the next week, I believe), pretty much shut down his recruiting process and announced his commitment to Texas. If I remember correctly, he never took an official visit to Texas A&M. He was just ready to be done with the whole thing after the situation in Boulder. Ladies and gentlemen, this is how the sausage sometimes gets made. No. 6 – Buy or Sell … BUY or SELL: Vegas has our win total as second highest in the Big 12. Multiple publications have pinned Texas as a POTENTIAL playoff team, due to the fact that our schedule sets up perfectly for us this year, with the home games, and lack of experience at QB for our opponents in our biggest games. Tom Herman will not have an easier schedule at Texas, than this season, right now? (Sell) Man, I think this is a brutally tricky schedule, few returning quarterbacks across the schedule or not. The first six games features a dangerous road-opener at Maryland, a 50-50 game against USC, a prove-your-manhood game against TCU and then there's Oklahoma. That's just the first six weeks of the season and that doesn't include a roadie in Manhattan. Throw in road games in Stillwater and Lubbock, and I think you're looking at a much tougher schedule that Texas fans are counting on. BUY or SELL: If Texas wins 10 games in total this season, DC Orlando will be a HC at a P5 school in 2019? (Sell) I think he's here for two more seasons. BUY or SELL: The 2020 class will be higher ranked than the 2019 class but lower than the 2018 class? (Sell) I think the 2020 in-state class is so strong that I think it might end up higher than 2018, if the Longhorns can start winning some games. BUY or SELL: The Longhorns will get at least one win this year that is such an upset that the earth will shift its access, cats will start living with dogs, and general pandemonium will rule in the Big 12? (Sell) Does that type of game exist on the schedule? BUY or SELL: It’s starting to get worrisome with how in-state recruiting is going compared to how Jimbo is going? (Sell) I think it's been slightly worrisome for some time, especially along the offensive line and defensive line, as well the concerns that exist in the Metroplex. There's no reason for panic, but worrisome is fair. BUY or SELL: The staff that Herman currently has in place is a championship level staff? (Sell) Texas has an OC that no one is completely sure will hold on to playcalling duties throughout the entire season and a tight ends coach that was demoted after last season. Frankly, the assistant coaches I would feel comfortable labeling as championship level are Todd Orlando, Jason Washington, Craig Naivar, Herb Hand and Stan Drayton. BUY or SELL: If the Longhorns build a basketball arena that only holds 10,000 they will be making a huge mistake, especially since the population growth of Austin will not stop anytime soon. (Sell) I'm completely in favor of a smaller venue for basketball. BUY or SELL: If the starting QB (or starting combo) performs no worse than the third best QB in the Big 12 this year, Texas wins 10 regular season games. (Buy) Absolutely. BUY or SELL: In all modesty, you can't think of any university that has as good of baseball, football, and basketball coverage as is provided by Orangebloods. (Buy) In all modesty.'. BUY or SELL: You went for treatment in a hyperbaric chamber but ended up in a hyperbolic one. (Buy) It happens. No. 7 - The List: Texas Quarterbacks ... I love lists. I love making them. I love debating them. Sometimes I enjoy how emotionally involved some are with them. Therefore, after the reaction my NBA player rankings generated in the last two weeks, I've decided to do a different list each week. It might be sports related, it might be music related, it might be book related ... who knows? This week, I'll keep it Texas football-focused and rank my top 10 Texas quarterbacks of all-time. 1. Vince Young. 2. Colt McCoy 3. James Street 4. James Brown 5. Bobby Layne 6. Chris Simms 7. Major Applewhite 8. Eddie Phillips 9. Marty Akins 10. Chance Mock No. 8 - Eight Things on the World Cup... I. Viva, Mexico! Save me the narrative about their fans throwing bags of urine on American players because we've got plenty of terrible fans in our own right. Rival or not, I don't view the Mexican soccer team as something to hate, which means I quite enjoyed their upset of defending champion Germany for the mere spectacle of it all. I'm not saying I'm rooting for Mexico to win the whole thing, but I have no issue with my Mexican-American friends having a few happy moments in this tournament. II. Chucky Lozano might be this year's James Rodriguez. PSV might need a bigger bank vault after this summer. III. Germany looked... what's that word I'm looking for....old. Germany looked old. And lacking of pace. If only that country had one of the world's fastest and dangerous wingers to threaten opposing teams with... IV. If Brazil makes a run in this tournament, and I expect this team to do better than it did against the Swiss on Sunday, it's going to be Philippe Coutinho that leads them there, not a limited Neymar. It's time for Coutinho to be the world star on a big world stage that he's capable of becoming. As a Liverpool fan, I'm not bitter at all. Spready your wings, young magician, spread your wings. V. Roberto Firmino was more dangerous in 10 minutes than Gabriel Jesus was in 80. I said it last week and I'll say it again, Firmino needs to be in the starting line-up. His chemistry with Coutinho needs to be showcased and emphasized. Perhaps his coach now agrees... Tweet! VI. I'm convinced that 100-percent of casual soccer fans in America are convinced that Ronaldo is greater than Messi based on the first game for each in this tournament. To be fair, Ronaldo was spectacular and Messi was far from it. The stakes in this year's World Cup for their all-time legacies is fascinating to say the least. VII. Thank goodness Diego Costa doesn't play for Chelsea any longer. How in the world did they let him go? VIII. Luis Suarez is a walking, talking, biting Snickers commercial waiting to happen. No. 9 – My my moment of potential great hyperbole of the day... … Did we just witness the emergence of a one of the greatest golfers in the history of the sport in Brooks Koepka this weekend? With two U.S. Open wins under his belt at the age of 28, it would seem we're about to see a guy really start to enter his prime in the next 5-7 years. He's a guy that I could easily see winning another 1-2 majors over the course of the next decade, which would leave him in the Phil Mickelson, and Lee Trevino, territory of all-time American golfers. Or he could never win another tournament, since he only has three career PGA tour wins in his entire career. Discuss. No. 10 – And Finally ... Just wanted to give a shout out to my mom, who was both the mother and the father in my life throughout my entire life. Pregnant at 17 and without a college education or any financial security to lean on, she was able to lift us up into another stratosphere when it comes to the available possibilities and opportunities that became available in our lives. Thanks mom for being a great mother and a great father at the same time. I wouldn't go back and change a thing.