- May 29, 2001
Following a weekend that proved to be fairly tame by the stands of the last six weeks or so, why not just throw myself to the wolves?
There can be no other explanation for what I'm about to do other than I'm a glutton for punishment and I just haven't had enough lately (well, with the exception of a few hard-core Texas baseball followers).
By my count, 10 of the top 20 uncommitted prospects on my recently updated LSR Top 100 list for the Class of 2022 have yet to make decisions.
I figured, not only would I make predictions on all 12 of the uncommitted prospects, but I'd enter in an official Rivals.com FutureCast in the process.
It's the ultimate game of shoot the messenger and I'm not wearing a vest.
Prediction: Texas A&M
This feels like one of the worst-kept secrets in recruiting. Almost from the second that Alexander de-committed from Georgia, the expectations from almost everyone across the country were that he would end up at Texas A&M. Of course, Alexander will take his time, explore his options and that did include a recent trip to Austin. Yet, the lure of playing in the SEC and being able to stay close to home in doing so is going to be a tough combo to beat.
I've had Harris penciled into Texas since February, but I have to admit my confidence in the pick has been shaken. There are a lot of reasons to believe that the Longhorns could have a hard time closing the deal with Harris. For now, I'm putting my chips on an SEC team.
Did you know that I'm the only one in the Rivals network that has made a FutureCast on Campbell? I'm not sure what that means other than no one else feels confidence in making any kind of pick, let alone one to Texas, but I'm out there on that island by myself.
Prediction: Ohio State
I've long thought that Dewberry would end up at Texas A&M, but the Ohio State buzz has been non-stop for the last month or so and it's easy to see why because Dewberry has made no bones about the fact that he really likes the Buckeyes. The Aggies could very well turn the momentum of this one around during the season, but this Ohio State thing with Dewberry is not some kind of unthought-out whim.
It's rare when a kid that de-commits from a school actually re-commits, but I think the Longhorns are the favorite and I think when it is all said and done, Sark convinces him that he can be his DeVonta Smith.
Abor had such a good visit to Alabama in June that one of our Alabama recruiting experts (Andrew Bone) put in a FutureCast to the Tide. If not the Tide, it would probably be Oklahoma, but at this point I'll go with the school he last raved about, calling it "different" than everyone else.
Prediction: Texas A&M
Perhaps Perkins isn't as locked into A&M as we all thought entering the spring, but I'm not sure who I would flip my prediction over to. This still feels like a very safe bet. Keep an eye on Florida.
Prediction: Texas A&M
I'm prepared for the tomatoes being lobbed my way. I get it. I just can't ignore the ominous cloud that is Anderson twice backing off of commitment dates that seemed primed for a Texas announcement. All of my Spidey senses are going off. This feels like a 55-45 type deal in either direction, but I can't help but feel like if he really wanted to pull the string for the Longhorns, he could have done so and it could/would help the program significantly from statement-making standpoint. I might flip this pick in a week or two, but I'm not going to lie to you and tell you there's nothing to worry about. As someone mentioned to me over the weekend, "Do you really think he's not going to be at the Alabama game in College Station during the season after visiting both schools last month?"
Prediction: Texas A&M
This is a bit of a wild stab in the dark because making a stab in the dark is about the only thing anyone can do with Thompson at the moment. His recruitment will be decided in the fall, but the Longhorns are very squarely in the mix. It's just a guess at this point.
Consider this one another stab into the blind unknown. It could easily be Texas A&M or Oklahoma when the dust settles, but the Longhorns probably need Bledsoe as much as anyone, a fact that could end up being the biggest deciding factor. Maybe this is where Bo Davis does his thing.
No. 2 - About the hiring process ...
In an effort to provide a little transparency to the work going on behind the scenes, I wanted to provide some insight into our search to fill several positions on the Orangebloods staff.
After receiving nearly 250 resumes over the course of the last month, I cut that list down considerably following July 4 and spent a lot of time last week interviewing three dozen candidates for a variety of jobs. Over the course of the next week, there are a few others that I want to have conversations with, but I'm starting to put together a bit of a plan that I feel very good about.
Things you should know ...
a. Although there are a couple of candidates I still need to talk with, the hire I plan to make with a special focus on football recruiting is going well and I'm really pleased with where we stand. This is a position that I'm hoping to wrap up in the near future, but I'm still vetting a few candidates and have several follow-up calls scheduled for this week.
b. I suppose I could have my mind changed if one specific scenario I'm exploring came to fruition, but at this point I'm not planning on hiring someone to cover both basketball and baseball together. It's too tough of a task when the two sports are playing at the exact same time in February/March and it flies in the face of what I'm exploring to do with the coverage of both sports. I've got what I believe are some really, really good options on the basketball front. One of the areas that most concerns me is making sure that we aren't naked on the basketball recruiting side of things, even if the team coverage outside of recruiting is top-notch. There's no single area of my search that includes me exploring as many possibilities as I am on the hoops front.
c. Other areas that I'm looking to address - steps that elevate our Youtube channel and coverage of all sports on the site.
d. Let's just talk baseball for a moment. No website or media outlet in this market has invested more than Orangebloods has in the last decade-plus towards sensational baseball coverage ... and it's not even close. In reality, Dustin McComas should have been involved in a lot more football and football recruiting coverage because those are the areas that 80 percent of Orangebloods has historically told us where it wants investment of our resources directed. Believe me, we explored the hell out of the idea of doing exactly that. However, it was just too important for both of us that he remained in a position to cover baseball full-time because the sport matters. You guys need to know that it's not some silly accident that outside of possibly Kendall Rogers, we've had the best college baseball coverage of anyone on the planet in the last decade. Finding the person who follows that kind of legacy takes time to map out. They don't just fall out of trees. It might take me some time to map out exactly what I want to do, which means filling this position might take the most time to fully accomplish my goals. With all due respect to the ongoing MLB Draft and the movement of transfers, there is no way that I was going to find the right replacement for this position by August 1, and by the time we hit that date the sport will likely keep a fairly low profile for the rest of the year. Of course, I'm not going to wait until the end of the year to have a decision in place, but I'm also in no rush to make a decision to meet an urgent finish line when it isn't remotely needed.
e. When all of this ends, you're likely going to find a supersized list of contributors to the site that is close to twice as large as anything we've ever had before. Stay tuned.
No. 3 - Blake deserves his own damn section...
It's flown a little under the radar, but @BlakeSkaggs is officially an Orangebloods full-time staff member as of today after graduating from college last month.
Although he will continue to contribute as a content provider with The 41st Acre, his main area of focus for is going to be with sales, marketing, social media and the official Orangebloods.com tailgate.
Help me give him an attaboy. He's going to do great things here and we're going to keep him very busy.
No. 4 - The little strange NIL cloud that won't go away ...
Where are all of these deals for athletes across the country that don't involve selling t-shirts out of the back of a car, shooting birthday videos on Cameo for someone's significant other or a school promoting a story for the headline and not because any kids actually got paid something besides lunch money?
As I wrote on Thursday night in the Texas Card House War Room, I'm expecting more deals to be announced in the next week once the Texas compliance office has fully vetted any deals that are turned into it, but I still expected to see more announcements across the country.
This thing has been a big snooze-fest thus far. Hell, not even the SEC has done anything worthy of a real headline yet.
No. 5 - Five things I'm looking for at this week's Big 12 media days...
a. Lots of NIL discussion among all of the players and coaches on hand. It'll be the first time we've heard from someone like Mike Gundy since the whole thing went live on July 1.
b. I'm just curious as to the vibe Steve Sarkisian projects on Thursday and whether he fully engages with any questions about the recent losses in recruiting.
c. Hello, Bijan Robinson. This is exactly why you came to Texas. Be that guy.
d. ESPN will have multiple SEC coaches in its studios on Wednesday and Thursday. It happens every year. Prepare yourself for the shouts of anger.
e. Is the best quarterback at Big 12 media days actually Oklahoma State's Spencer Sanders or TCU's Max Duggan? Is that the worst headlining quarterback duo at Big 12 Media Days in the history of the conference?
No. 6 - Just enjoy...
No. 7 – BUY or SELL …
NIL will ruin CFB
(Sell) Did it even ruin last week? I think the cries that the world is coming to an end are very overplayed.
B/S Texas had two first team pre-season all B12 members. It triples that number and finishes with 6? I’m thinking Bijan, one OL, Dicker, Collins, Overshown and one DB (maybe Jamison; maybe someone else).
(Sell) I don't think it's that many. I'm certainly not ready to put an offensive lineman on that list.
The size of the state of Texas hurts recruiting for THE University of Texas.
(Sell) Let's not make a bad guy out of the best single natural resource that Texas has at its disposal.
B/S BJ Foster turns in a healthy and productive senior season.
B/S BJ Foster is drafted, B/S he is drafted higher than Caden Sterns.
(Sell) I've sold almost all of my BJ Foster stock. I'm holding on to a little, but it's been a long time since I've seen him play at a very high level.
B/S UT coaches save at least 5 (or more) of the 25 scholarships for Transfer Portal usage.
B/S You think the UT coaches should save at least 5 (or more) of the 25 scholarships for Transfer Portal usage.
(Sell) I'd probably hold three, unless the recruits in their place are of the low four-star and high-three star variety. I'm not expecting Texas to save three spots.
B/S: Thompson/Card with Sark in ‘21 will have a better QBR than Sam with Tom in ‘20.
(Buy) It feels like a sucker bet that I'm going to feel stupid for taking, but BUY!
B/S: UT ranked 19th in total offense and 64th in total defense last year. This years team will be in the top 20 in offense and top 30 in defense.
(Sell) I'm just not expecting Texas to be a top-10 team and that's basically what you just described.
B/S If the starting QB (either Thompson or Card) is seriously injured, and the other QB transfers, Charles Wright saves the season.
(Sell) With all due respect to Wright, what exactly do you believe he'd be saving at that point?
Due to covid this past year, no seasons, short seasons, no camps, etc., there will be a lot of "late bloomers" in recruiting this fall.
(Sell) Perhaps in other states like California, but not in the state of Texas. It's been full speed ahead for a while now.
B/S. This upcoming season can be called “Unpredictable”.
(Buy) 100 percent.
Buy or Sell: Given the misses in the past two recruiting cycles and the lack of talent in the 2023 class, Texas should expect to recruit at least 50% of its class from out-of-state?
Buy or Sell: If we are being honest here, Miley is kinda skanky?
(Sell) I don't know if you're Texas that you'll ever "expect" to recruit 50-percent of your talent from out of state. It isn't something Texas should do unless it's for elite-level talent. When in doubt, I'd always take a three-star from Texas over a low four-star from outside of the state (except in rare circumstances) because the success rate for each is so close that you're better off investing in your in-state infrastructure.
Why would be Miley be skanky? She's a 28-year-old multi-millionaire with all of the money and the means to make sure she's the exact opposite. She's mostly been in a long-term relationship for most of the last 10 years. She's never been in rehab ... never been arrested .... never really been tabloid fodder the way so many other pop stars have been.
Maybe you can explain it better because if you think she's skanky, I'd like to introduce you to a number of football players you've rooted for over the years with a reckless abandon that more than earned such a nickname.
Esports is the future and will overtake traditional sports in terms of popularity and revenue within the next 20 years.
(Sell) Meh. I just don't see it.
B/S: The line on 10/9/21 will be OU -5.5
(Sell) It'll be at least a touchdown.
(Buy) I expected this class to be in the conversation for a top-five class (or higher) recruiting class and it is not headed in that direction.
No. 8 - Scattershooting on the sports weekend...
... Suns in 5.
... The biggest story of the weekend was Leo Messi getting his first major trophy on the international stage. Good for him. It was hard not to root for him.
... Italy beating England in penalties was cruel. It's hard for me to knock three really young players for missing penalties in the situations that they did. I really have no idea what Gareth Southgate was thinking when he asked a 17-year-old to take his final kick? Wow.
... Team USA lost to Nigeria in hoops. 🤷♂️
... For those of you that purchased the Conor McGregor fight, did you honestly expect more? It's been five-plus years since he's won a fight that matters. In addition to being a sleazy person, he only cares about cashing checks at this point in his career. It was always going to end with him broken in the Octagon.
... You'll forgive me if I wanted zero part of a UFC card that features McGregor and Greg Hardy.
... I've never really given Novak Djokovic the same kind of due that I give Nadal and Federer. I pretty much have to at this point, huh? The dude has earned it.
No. 9 - Top 10 NFL Wide Receivers of All-time ...
Damnit, let's just argue.
10. Andre Johnson
9. Tim Brown
8. Julio Jones
7. Marvin Harrison
6. Michael Irvin
5. Terrell Owens
4. Calvin Johnson
3. Larry Fitzgerald
2. Randy Moss
1. Jerry Rice
No. 10 - And Finally ...
I wanted to take one final moment today to announce that on July 9, the Orangebloods Benevolence Foundation wired $25,000 to the University of Texas to fund the Jim Stacey Excellence Fund for Texas Football. Nearly 100 people came together to donate the funds for this campaign and the university has executed a written agreement to formalize the fund.
Special shout out to @echeese, @pdhitt, @PeakAttys, @drunk randoke and @joeywa. It was probably joeywa's vision that kick-started the entire idea, but everyone on this list put a lot of sweat into making it a reality.
Way to go, Orangebloods.
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