Ketch's 10 Thoughts From the Weekend (On this team, redemption is spelled B-O-Y-D...)

Discussion in 'Ketch's 10 Thoughts From the Weekend Archive' started by Ketchum, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    [​IMG]
    One of my all-time favorite Longhorns is 2005 National Championship team starter Cedric Griffin.

    Back in the spring of 2000, I first spotted Griffin on film while scanning through film of another player in the living room of Bobby Burton, who hired me to cover Texas High School football recruiting for Rivals.com the previous spring.

    Griffin wasn't just an unknown kid, but he was an unknown kid playing at a high school (San Antonio Holmes) that few people in the college football recruiting industry (this includes college football coaches) spent much time worrying about at the turn of the century

    Like I said, I didn't even mean to stumble across Griffin, but as soon as I did, I felt like I had discovered gold. He was as beautiful of an athlete playing cornerback as you're ever going to see, but he was every bit as raw as he was ultra-athletic.

    Although I was told that I was going overboard with my rating at the time, I immediately ranked him as a top-10 kid in the state of Texas and declared him as the state's top DB prospect.

    In a phone conversation about a month later, Griffin asked me how he should go about go about getting scholarship offers because at the time, his profile wasn't very large and outside of Texas A&M, he had few offers. I told him that he just needed to visit any school from which he wanted an offer with his game film and he'd get a scholarship offer.

    [​IMG]

    You have to remember that the spring of 2000 wasn't nearly like the spring of 2018 from a technology standpoint. There was no social media. Coaches weren't emailing kids. Hudl wasn't a thing. For a kid like Griffin, often times it meant seeking out a school more than a school seeking him out, but with his natural talent, he just needed for schools to know who he was and everything else would take care of itself.

    So, he took my advice. About a week later, Griffin joined his mother and sister on a drive to the Texas football offices, armed with nothing more than some film from his junior season. The Texas staff at the time was not exactly beating down his door before he arrived, but they welcomed him when he arrived.

    Less than two hours later, Griffin was a Texas commitment and I ended up joining his family for lunch afterwards for an in-person interview at the Mr. Gatti's on MLK, just a rock's throw from the 40 Acres.

    I've always been very open about my personal feelings about Griffin ... I love the dude. I've never been around someone with a softer soul, who overcame so much to become the person he became.

    Few people know this, but Griffin's family left Texas pretty soon after he arrived at Texas and he basically had nothing as a very young person living in a very large fish bowl. He had no family to lean on for guidance and he really didn't have a pot to piss in from a financial standpoint. While at the same time as trying to keep his younger brother out of trouble, Griffin at times scrambled for a place to live and once called me because he needed some help finding a place where he could keep his TV until he could find a steady place to hang his hat.

    I was always super protective of Griffin when he was at Texas, especially after the events in the Cotton Bowl back in 2003. For those that have blocked that moment in time out, the Longhorns lost to the Sooners by about 200 points and it probably could have been 300 if Bob Stoops had wanted to push his foot on the gas.

    Inside the belly of the beast of that debacle was a play (go to the 1:12 mark) involving the sophomore Griffin and Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Clayton that became a fan rallying cry for everything that went wrong in that game from a Texas perspective. Clayton caught a ball against Griffin, who only touched him on the back instead of trying to tackle him on the play, which allowed Clayton to gain a ton of extra yardage.

    It was a bad play. Period. He was labeled a heartless quitter by the fans and no amount of good play could convince those fans that he wasn't symbolic of the poison that kept the program from getting over the Bob Stoops hurdle.

    For a long time, it was the play that defined Griffin - who many fans just wouldn't forgive after the play occurred - and I spent a lot of time in the early days of Orangebloods.com telling people they were crazy for not appreciating Griffin, who literally gave up everything he ever had to become a Texas football player.



    Eventually, Griffin redefined himself as a player in the eyes of Texas fans, mostly because of the play he made against Ohio State in 2005 that proved to be a game/season-saver. Yet, you'd have been hard-pressed to convince Texas fans that he would ever become the player he became after that moment against Oklahoma.

    Most Texas fans would have left him at the Cotton Bowl that day in 2003 to walk home if they'd had a vote on the matter.

    Just like they probably would have done with Kris Boyd when he was a freshman re-tweeting a suggestion that he should transfer inside the locker room at halftime in Fort Worth when the Longhorns were trailing ... ahem ... 37-0. Just like Griffin a dozen years earlier, Boyd became the poster-child for a humiliating defeat and found a Texas fan base that would have voted to leave his butt behind if they'd had a vote on that matter, too.

    What's really ironic about the situation with Boyd is that even though he was a bit of an 18-year-old knucklehead like a lot of us were at that age, he found support inside the Texas locker room that was every bit as defiant in its support of him in that moment as I was with Griffin after the 2003 Oklahoma game.

    In one conversation between a Texas coach in the week following the TCU game, a member of Charlie Strong's staff told Orangebloods that Boyd was a bit unrefined, but that if the Longhorns had 85 Boyds on the roster, they'd win a national title and sure as hell not be losing by 37 points to TCU at the half.

    In that coach's estimation, Boyd had the junkyard dog mentality of fighting for his that every guy Texas recruits needed to have, silly Twitter habits be damned.

    And here we are ...

    Three seasons later, Boyd is a multi-year starter, a future NFL player and the posterboy for the type of leader on the field that Tom Herman needs if this program is going to climb out of mediocrity.

    "The kid loves football, man," Herman said on Thursday. "Absolutely loves football. When you win his heart, he’s as loyal as they come. I have no doubt Kris Boyd would take a bullet for Jason Washington, Todd Orlando, myself. He has bought in. Jumped in with both feet. He loves football. Now, there are times like hyper dog, you’ve got to yank on the leash every now and again, but, again, you’d much rather yank on leashes than kick butts to get them in gear.”

    Who would have thunk it?

    The truth is that I don't know that Boyd and Griffin have a ton of similarities in terms of the things they've dealt with behind the scenes as young men growing up on the fly inside of a fishbowl, outside of that whole thing about playing the same position as a young man while growing up on the fly inside of a fishbowl and the fact that they eventually emerged as something much larger than the lowest moments that once defined them.

    As this season approaches, my favorite storyline on this team is the redemption story involving Boyd, who might just be the best defensive back in the Big 12 this season. Once viewed as a cancer in the locker room, he's now an undisputed leader in this program.

    Tweeting habits, be damned.

    No. 2 – The elephant in the room ...
    [​IMG]


    A week ago, I wrote that if the Longhorns had a quarterback that was definitely going to be the starter in September and the coaching staff knew that fact in March, they should name him as the starter in an effort to jump-start some added leadership from that player throughout the rest of the off-season.

    Yeah ... that's not going to happen.

    After a few days of practice, that quarterback just doesn't yet exist on this roster and he's likely not going to be found in less than a month.

    Never mind.

    Onward we go into the coming months without that tiny little detail ironed out ...

    No. 3 - Five really positive things that might make you crave Kool-aid ...
    [​IMG]

    First, Collin Johnson has had a pretty terrific first three days of camp. It's easy to forget that he's still a young guy with two years of football ahead of him. Oh, and I haven't seen this from a Longhorn player since Roy Williams was trying to catch balls in practice behind his back.


    Second, Marquez Bimage has stood out as a playmaker in three straight workouts. Perhaps he's a year away from a major impact on this defense, but if Todd Orlando is here when Bimage is a third- or fourth-year player, he's going to have a baller on his hands.

    Third, given the importance of the tight end position in Tom Herman's offense, it's more than noteworthy to hear that Reese Leitao is emerging as a player who will be hard to keep off the field in the fall. It's early and you don't want to get carried away with hyperbole, but this position is getting away from the lost cause section of town it has lived in for the last decade.

    Fourth, I thought that Tope Imade was pretty much done as a player once the coaches started moving him back and forth on both sides of the ball. I thought it might have been be a case of "You take him ... no, YOU take him" between the coaches, but he's showing enough flashes at guard that he's suddenly someone we must all pay attention to.

    Fifth, there's a reason I wrote about Boyd in the top section. He's not yet touching his ceiling as a player, but he's within a hand's reach of it. In Jason Washington, you should trust.

    No. 4 - In case you didn't know ...

    Here's a look at the starting cornerbacks that Texas coach Jason Washington has worked with in his last four seasons as a coach:

    2014 (Texas State) Craig Mager - Emerged as a second-team All-Sun Belt selection and was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft

    2014 (Texas State) Germond Williams - Led the Sun Belt in interceptions as a sophomore. Transferred after Washington left the program.

    2015 (UH) William Jackson III - Second-team All-AAC as a senior and was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Led the league in lowest completed percentage in 2017.

    2015-16 (UH) Howard Wilson - Earned first-team All-AAC honors as a senior after missing most of his junior season to injury. Was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

    2016 (UH) Brandon Wilson - Earned second-team All-AAC honors in his only season as a starter under Washington. Was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.

    2017 (UT) Holton Hill - Was on his way to All-Big 12 honors last season through the first nine games before missing the rest of the season because of suspension. Expected to be drafted in the upcoming NFL Draft.

    2017 (UT) Kris Boyd - Earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a junior and is expected to compete for All-America honors in 2018.

    2017 (UT) Davante Davis - Still a work in progress, but showed a lot of upside in his five starts last season, most of which occurred after Hill was suspended.

    * Five of the last eight full-time starters that have started for Washington won all-conference honors.

    * Four of the five draft-eligible players have been drafted by NFL teams and Hill will likely make that five out of six.

    * The worst season that any starter under Washington has under his watch is Williams' sophomore season in 2014 (which watched him rank among the top players in the country in interceptions) and Hill last season.

    Basically, you should have a lot of confidence with the level of play we'll see from the players that start at Texas this season. Creating all-conference/drafted players is kind of what he does.

    No. 5 - A solid season with nothing gained ...

    Before anyone brings up Shaka Smart, just stop. This is a completely different topic of discussion and if you need me to say that Shaka Smart isn't within a 100-foot pole of the success that Karen Aston has enjoyed in Austin, I'll just get it out of the way ...

    Smart hasn’t come within a 100-foot pole of the success that Karen Aston has enjoyed in Austin.

    Better?

    Ok, now let's talk about Aston's program, which saw its season end on Friday night against a very athletic UCLA team. Frankly, there's not any shame in losing to a better team and I came away thinking that Jordin Canada and Co. were just better than the Longhorns.

    For the second year in a row, the Texas program stalled in the round of 16 and suddenly only one of Aston's teams has crossed that bridge in six seasons. The Elite 8 appearance in 2016 was believed to be a springboard at the time, but has proven to be an anomaly at this juncture.

    I'm not really sure how to judge her work at this point because the goal of taking the program past Baylor in the Big 12 and emerging as a legit national championship contender isn't happening. Not yet, anyway.

    With no banners to raise, Aston has built a solid women's program, but it's pretty far from elite. Forget about UConn, Aston's Longhorns don't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with Kim Mulkey's Baylor Bears.

    Eventually, Aston has to win something worthy of a banner ... right?

    No. 6 – Speaking of banners ...

    [​IMG]

    Ho hum, Eddie Reese and the Texas swimming/diving team won yet another national title.

    That's four straight and the 14th overall national title in the program's history.

    I don't know what else to say about Reese's absurd level of championship production other than to say he's the role model for every coach on this campus - men and women.

    Oh, and maybe name a street or put a statue up of Reese right now. There's no reason to wait. Or does he need to win five straight national titles before something like that happens?

    No. 7 - Getting the job done ...


    The Longhorns had one job to do on the diamond this weekend - take the series against Oklahoma State by any means needed and go into next weekend with a crackerjack 5-1 record in conference play to build on.

    After taking a kick to the backside on Friday night, the Longhorns clawed their way back to the series win it needed, which included a come-from-behind win in the series-clincher on Sunday.

    Slowly, but surely, this team is starting to make something out of this season.

    No. 8 – Buy or Sell …
    [​IMG]

    BUY or SELL: Texas finishes with top 5 recruiting class?

    (Sell) I've got Texas recording a top-10 class in ink, but I'm not sure the landscape in-state will support a top-five class. It'll be close.

    BUY or SELL: This season, at long last, we see competent offensive line play and no longer view that unit as a liability?

    (Sell) I'll believe it when I see it. I'd advise everyone to do the same.

    BUY or SELL: Chris Beard would be a top target for CDC if Shaka doesn't work out here?

    (Buy) Pretty obvious candidate at this point.

    BUY or SELL: Our strength and conditioning coach has given this team a different feel of swag and confidence, something that has been missing from past teams?

    (Sell) No offense to Yancy McKnight, who might have my favorite name in all of college athletics, but every time a school hires a new strength coach, the hype from that area of the program is out of control. I'm going to wait until this team is better than 7-6 before drinking any Kool-Aid.

    BUY or SELL: Considering the importance of guard play in college basketball and despite losing Bamba, Texas basketball will have a better record next year with an experienced Coleman and a senior Roach (and a maturing Sims)?

    (Buy) Experienced guards are worth their weight in gold. Personally, I like the potential of the roster, especially if Andrew Jones can come back and reach his previous levels.

    BUY or SELL: If Texas football, men's basketball and baseball don't hurry up and start winning big on a consistent basis, the Texas brand is going to take a noticeable hit?

    (Sell) Is going to?

    BUY or SELL: You believe I'm a 58 yr old MAN with insecurity issues that stalks high school boys twitter accounts?

    (Sell) Are you?

    BUY or SELL: @Suchomel can out drink the other mods but @Ketchum can win a hot wing eating contest?

    (Sell) I'm such a punk when it comes to eating wings. I ordered 10 the last time I was there and only finished seven. Besides, Suchomel is a cheap, easy drunk. My money is on McComas in both.

    BUY or SELL: There has been a lot of discussion on the board this week. So once and for all, which movie is the greatest of all time?:

    • Over The Top
    • Commando
    • Predator

    Sports can wait.

    This isn't technically a Buy or Sell question, but it's too important of a topic to skip. As a kid that never really knew his dad, I've always been a mark for Over the Top. In fact, one of my early Orangebloods alias handles in the early days of the site was "Harry Bosco." When you combine Stallone's hat turn with the killer 80s soundtrack with the feel-good father-son reuniting story, this becomes an easy call. Predator ranks second among this group.

    No. 9 – Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind …
    [​IMG]

    ... Sister Jean is the middle of the best 15 minutes of fame that any nun has ever had. I love the Loyola story.

    ... In his final game as a college player, Duke’s Grayson Allen had a chance for the Jimmy Chitwood moment, a jump shot in the final seconds to send his team to the Final Four ... and the ball hit every part of the rim but the bottom of it. Man, he's going to dream about that shot for the rest of his life.

    ... Bill Self has done an awesome job this year.

    ... Tweet of the Weekend


    ... This is the third weekend in a row that I've said this, but now is the time to get the Warriors if you're the Rockets. The championship is there for the taking.

    ... I like the addition of Allen Hurns for the Cowboys, but it's not the kind of thing that changes any real dynamics on the team.

    ... I missed my Premier League this weekend.

    No. 10 – And Finally …

    Because it deserves one more special mention...

     
    1 Ketchum, Mar 25, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  2. timpcoffey

    timpcoffey Well-Known Member
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  3. daflonghorn

    daflonghorn Bleedin' burnt orange since before I was born
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  4. jshorn

    jshorn Everyone's favorite poster
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    In early. Will read the morning.
     
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  5. benflr

    benflr Well-Known Member
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    The baseball team played OSU. Not Tech.
     
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  6. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    I had Tech on the brain today.
     
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  7. EdSimmonsPants

    EdSimmonsPants Treasurer, @bozans Fan Club
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    We the crap out of those sand aggys!
     
  8. trophies2

    trophies2 BJ Foster kills quarterbacks
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    The Cedric Griffin vs Kris Boyd comparison is very apt. I never held the 2003 RR game play against him. That loss was embarrassing for everyone except Vince Young and Aaron Harris if memory serves.

    Griffin was really an average/above average player before taking a gigantic leap in 2005. He had a fantastic season - far more than merely the Ohio State breakup play. He was sensational that season in coverage and on special teams - to the point that he earned himself a second round selection.

    Kris Boyd was better as a junior than Griffin was thanks to a second half resurgence. Let’s just see if Boyd can be as good as Cedric was as a senior. He’s got that potential. No doubt.
     
    8 trophies2, Mar 25, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  9. Bushwack

    Bushwack Well-Known Member
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    Series against Okie Light, not Texas Tech.
     
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  10. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    that has already been addressed, but thanks.
     
  11. jstalcup1

    jstalcup1 Well-Known Member
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    "........ he's not an undisputed leader in this program.“

    Ketch, I think this is not what you intended to say?
     
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  12. losthorn

    losthorn Well-Known Member
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    I never blamed Boyd for tweeting, I blamed the staff for not having rules against phones in the locker room.
     
  13. Hookah Horns

    Hookah Horns Well-Known Member
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    What's McKnight's nick?
     
  14. McLovin327

    McLovin327 Newsletter Editor
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    Eddie Reese lost his wallet, please help him find it....

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Rick the Dick

    Rick the Dick Suck my member, there I finally thought of one!
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    Enjoyed the read!
     
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  16. Dank Bank

    Dank Bank Fully Aligned Member
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    Series was against Tech not Okie Lite but otherwise a great writeup.
     
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  17. collinhookem18

    collinhookem18 President of Kody Clemens fan club
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    Conference series win and 5-1 in big 12 play. Is there something wrong?
     
  18. learnsome

    learnsome Cut you beggars!
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    This. And, for being down 37-0.
     
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  19. diehard horn

    diehard horn Well-Known Member
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    Great job keep it up
     
  20. downgoesfrazier

    downgoesfrazier Bend Over and I'll Show You
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    Loved the Ced griffin story
     
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  21. SAHorn83

    SAHorn83 Well-Known Member
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    Enjoyed your story on Cedric Griffin. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  22. PhillyHorn

    PhillyHorn Well-Known Member
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    Lest we forget Johnny Walker and the Cash twins.
     
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  23. BrownHorn

    BrownHorn Well-Known Member
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    The number of personal fouls and unsportsmanlike penalties Kris Boyd has committed in his career are Robert Killabrew-esque. Kris has a ton of making up to do.

    My friends and I laugh when we watch Texas football games on TV and there is a penalty on special teams. We all know it is likely to be on Kris Boyd and most times we are right. The Strong and Herman coaching staffs have allowed too much of that irresponsible behavior.
     
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  24. NativeTex

    NativeTex Well-Known Member
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    Excellent work
     
  25. BrownHorn

    BrownHorn Well-Known Member
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    SA Holmes has produced major college talent before - Wilbur Odom, Mike McKenzie, Johnny Walker, the Cash twins.
     
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  26. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    SUCHOMEL!!!!!!!!!!!:)
     
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  27. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    He's a much better player than I think you realize.
     
  28. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    So, between the late 80s and 2018, it's Cedric Griffin and...
     
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  29. pdrscott99

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    I remember in 2005 thinking where the heck did THIS Cedric Griffin come from?!?!! He was just kinda average before then from memory.

    Great player and senior season. Let's hope Boyd reaches that level or higher.
     
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  30. bkennedy404

    bkennedy404 Well-Known Member
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    Great write up, especially the Griffin inside recruiting stuff.

    Wow, my first date with my wife was when we were going to Permian H.S. In 1980, we went to Mr. Gattis. Married each other 3 years ago.
     
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  31. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    He started a ton of football. His career is greatly underrated. 44-game starter. He took on the other team's best every single week.
     
  32. bkennedy404

    bkennedy404 Well-Known Member
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    Great write up, especially the Griffin inside recruiting stuff.

    Wow, my first date with my wife was when we were going to Permian H.S. In 1980, we went to Mr. Gatti’s. Married each other 3 years ago.
     
  33. danlaw08

    danlaw08 Well-Known Member
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    Ketch, you're behind the curve on Yancy. With the exception of the Damn near uncoached O-line, we beat up on everyone physically and we had more endurance. I can't believe you can't see the difference from the year before.
     
  34. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    I didn't say I couldn't see a difference. I said that everyone talks about their strength guy as a hero of sorts in the early stages. His impact hasn't impacted the record at this point.
     
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  35. LilBigDaddy

    LilBigDaddy Well-Known Member
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    @Ketchum Nothing to add about the Carrington/OSU dust up on twitter?
     
    jdaughtrey, rgvsarrman88 and danlaw08 like this.
  36. Universal Horn

    Universal Horn Well-Known Member
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    With the inherent advantages of Austin, top facilities, and a UT degree, you’d think our coaches in sports other than men’s swimming could pull in as much top talent as Eddie Reese. How we’ve been so mediocre in the Big 3 men’s sports for so long is baffling.

    Congrats to Eddie for showing how it’s supposed to be done!
     
    WTexasHorn, bozans, jrr8989 and 4 others like this.
  37. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    I probably should have.
     
  38. BobHorn

    BobHorn baby steps
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    Bro...
     
  39. T-Sip-71-12

    T-Sip-71-12 Well-Known Member
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    I missed soccer this weekend too. Friday friendly were good but give me Saturday and Sunday morning live sports any weekend over not having it.
     
    Mordain likes this.
  40. SirGeeO

    SirGeeO Well-Known Member
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    This is your favorite storyline for this season? Don't get me wrong it's intriguing but there are other things I'm more interested in
     
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