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In Coach Littrell's introductory press conference he promised that him and his staff would bring in a high school quarterback with every class he signed. He kept that promise with his first class signing, 2 time Gatorade Oklahoma player of the year, and record setting quarterback Mason Fine. If not for his sub 6 foot frame his offer list would have possibly been a mile long. From what I have seen he has all the intangibles to be a very good college quarterback. With arm strength, pocket presence, and a great head on his shoulders he has everything you look for in a quarterback, besides his height and size. Mason is a great kid and you can't help but root for him. I'm excited to see him after spending a year in Seth and Graham's system. After securing Mason as the solo QB for the 2016 class, Seth and Co. have wasted no time getting a start on their QB for the 2017 class. Unlike the last North Texas regimen it does not look like being 6'1" or taller will be a requirement for this staff. It also looks like Quarterback recruiting may be more of a recruiting priority than in past years for North Texas.
Here is a recap of the 2017 QB offers out there so far:
This was an offer that was offered by the old coaching staff. I'm assuming it is still on the table
Jones, OK (Jones)
Other Notable Offers: Hawaii, Wyoming and Wake Forest
Dallas, TX (Episcopal School of Dallas)
Other Notable Offers: Jackson State
Cedar Hill, TX (Cedar Hill)
Committed to: Notre Dame
Frisco, TX (Lone Star)
Other Notable Offers: SMU, Clemson, Southern Miss, Utah and Virginia
Los Angeles, CA (Bishop Mora Salesian)
Other Notable Offers: None Yet
Tyler, TX (John Tyler)
Other Notable Offers: SMU, Bowling Green, Texas State and New Mexico
Austin, TX (Lake Travis)
Other Notable Offers: SMU
Schertz, TX (Samuel Clemens)
Other Notable Offers: Bowling Green, Texas State, ULM, UTSA and Baylor (as a DB)
Wichita Falls, TX (Rider)
Other Notable Offers: None Yet
And wasting no time there has already been one 2018 Quarterback offered
Denton, TX (Ryan)
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The 2015 version of UNTs Spring Game did not offer any major surprises. The chance for that set sail when it was announced talented junior college transfer quarterback DaMarcus Smith would not be eligible to participate in Spring Ball due to academics. There was however some interesting footnotes which are worth mentioning.
I will preface this by restating a recurrent theme of my close to 20-years of following UNT football. In the bigger scheme of things, the Spring game doesnt matter that much. Sure, it matters to the team and certainly the players who are vying for playing time at their respective positions. But its one day out of 20+, which is a small subset of the total evaluation. Too often, players who make the biggest impact in the game end up not returning in the Fall or drop back down the depth chart once a bevy of scholarship and preferred walk-ons enter the picture in late August [see Erick Evans last year who barely played on Saturday]. Junior college guys who just arrived are still learning the plays and the schemes. Injuries keep some of the better players off of the field [Tillman Johnson].
With that disclaimer out of the way, it is still exciting to be in beautiful Apogee stadium one last time before the dreaded UNT 5-month off hibernation period begins. The weather Saturday was nice, almost too nice as the 1st half of the game got pretty hot. I saw some older fans leave prior to 2nd quarter due to the heat. Cloud cover saved the day at around half time and by the second half things started cooling off and actually perfect game day weather as the sun set in the west.
The UNT Athletic Department gets beat up from time to time and I want to give them credit where it is due. The entire experience for my group on Saturday was extremely positive. This started with well-placed parking signs and directions. We ended up parking in the Victory lot and walked in through the Hill to the student side. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Greek sororities out in full force with signage and music. There was even some decent tailgating going on. The smell of my beloved Kettle Korn was in the air.
I cannot tell you how pleased I was to receive a nicely done, 1-page numerical roster as I entered the stadium. Of course, I had printed off one prior to leaving the house. But it didnt matter because the AD had provided me with a better one which was much appreciated. Concessions were plentiful and the Spirit shop was well staffed with ticket folks eager to assist in renewing or finalizing new season ticket holders. The Talons had Boomer going after every score and the halftime presentation honoring UNT Hall of Fame inductee George Dunham was a nice touch. Also a neat introduction by new play by play guy Dave Barnett who I think was a fantastic hire. It was one of the better days for the entire athletic department and they should be commended for it.
But back to the game itself. I will break this out by position.
Andrew McNulty will be the starter when we face SMU in the home/away opener in Dallas and his performance did nothing to change that one way or the other. He clearly has the best grasp of this new hurry up offense that runs primarily from the shotgun snap. However, he is not the most talented QB we have and struggles in a very key aspect - throwing on the run. Mark my words, with so many new faces on the offensive line, whoever lines up under center better be prepared to throw on the run or it will be a disaster. Before you condemn me for being negative, McNulty's stats were 14 for 29. He did throw 3 TDs and had 342 yards but honestly a lot of that came from some broken coverages. He takes a long time to throw the damn ball but in his defense that was pretty much all of the QBs on this day. The key stat of the day for McNulty was 0 interceptions which alone may have assured him the guaranteed start against SMU.
I still maintain that Dajon Williams is the most talented QB we have and the Spring game just solidified it. Williams may not know the playbook as well as McNulty, but he certainly has a superior arm and can throw the ball on the run. He also provides a more dangerous read option threat as evidenced on a couple of his runs. Williams was 9 of 15 for 129 which paled in comparison to McNultys stats but he half the opportunities and against the #1 defense (McNulty got the #2s). I can't help but wish that we hadn't given up on Williams so quickly last year. He could have grown up so much more if he had been given time. But alas, the staff's will to win games was too strong.
Josh Greer seems to have righted the unfortunate performances at Texas and home against La. Tech last year. He seems more poised and in control of his game. He had some nice passes and also an ugly interception but he did enough for me to think he will figure into things for the Fall. Greer went 10 for 17 and had a TD. Greers problem is he really poses no threat to run the ball which will place him at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the other QBs. Greer took a lot of heat on the GMG board and I think he should be commended for turning around a pretty dire situation. He is back in the mix.
Connor Means showed nice things as a redshirt freshman going 6 of 15 for 94 yards. He didn't throw an INT which McCarney loves. His arm is pretty strong but his accuracy is still developing. He can run pretty well. Hes a keeper for sure, but with the rebuilding of Josh Greer's status, I just don't know if this year will be the year he plays.
On a quick side note, I have to mention another aspect of the new "hurry-up" offense employed by Coach Chico. Do you notice the QB clap of the hands just prior to the cadence? Sort of like a "get your shit together" signal? With tempo being such an important part of an offense and certainly QB play, I couldn't help but notice that some of the QB's had better timing on their clap than others. Some of the QB's have a louder clap and some seem to have a weaker clap. Personally, I think it would be kind of cool from a tempo standpoint if everyone did a clap in unison together but hey that's just me.
The rest of our many QBs was really just spot duty and I would say of the tandem of Cousins, Shanbour and Chumley that Shanbour had the best showing with a TD pass. Mac said after the game that they would likely redshirt Chumley and with 4 scholarship guys NOT including DaMarcus Smith I dont know that Cousins and Shanbour have much of a chance to earn a scholarship here. I think their best chance was if Greer decided to move on and I dont see him doing that as he was running as the second team QB. Five scholarship QBs is probably too many, but with DaMarcus Smiths status still up in the air it is probably the right thing to do.
Saturday was evidence that UNT is still dreadfully behind in their development of quality C-USA quarterbacks. In year 5 of the Mac regime there should be more depth and competition at this position. However, McNulty provides Mac with a safe option which he hopes will be bolstered by a strong running game and defense. Make no mistake, we REALLY need DaMarcus Smith to gain his eligibility and I am certain they will do everything possible to support that happening.
I thought the player of the game and the entire spring was Willie Ivery. He led both teams in rushing with 70-yards and shows moves and bursts of speed that will be a lot of fun to watch in the coming years.
Ivery may provide the most razzle dazzle but sophomore Jeffery Wilson is the guy. He showed the ability to run inside and also outside and in my view has eclipsed senior Antoinne Jimmerson. Wilson gained 44 yards while Jimmerson only had 16 in the game. I think Jimmerson is in a quandary as he could be the power back but his history says that he likes to bump outside more than run in the trenches.
My dark horse is Rex Rollins if he can stay healthy. Rollins had a nifty run on the sidelines where he showed his speed. He is the fastest back we have and could potentially change some games.
As usual, running back is probably the deepest position on the team. I think the big question mark heading into this Fall will be who can be the short yardage guy after the one two punch of Wilson and Jimmerson. I see Ivery as sort of a Jamal Branch type of player who could be very productive in 3rd down situations.
Not a lot to report here from the game itself. Marcus Smith (3 receptions for 47 yards) is a stud and if he can improve his blocking could be an NFL caliber guy. Chris Loving had probably the best game of the tight ends which is encouraging. He had 5 receptions for 103 yards and 2 touchdowns. Loving has great potential and if he lives up to it we could really have some nice options. I think they really need Wylie Rheinhart to step it up as a consistent blocker. Jarrod White Mamba Lynn played more of an H-back role and may fill in as the short yardage runner they need for the short downs.
Wow I think we have really improved in this particular area. First off, Carlos Harris had the catch of the day on a play to the sidelines from Josh Greer. He will have a huge senior season if they get him the ball. The #2 guy appears to be Turner Smiley who had a huge day with 124 yards and 3 TDs. Add to that Kidsey, Goree and Rutherford and you have some firepower. I really liked what I saw from new face Daniel Khan who had 7 receptions for 72 yards in an impressive fashion. He is sort of a fireplug, undersized but plays big type of guy. The wildcard is juco transfer Thaddeus Thompson who like QB Damarcus Smith is regaining his eligibility and could not participate in the spring. If he shows and is as good as he look on film, UNT should have a much stronger receiver corps than in years past.
There are a lot of new faces on this group and there were a lot of sacks in the game. Kaydon Kirby had some type of minor injury and exited the game quickly and they promptly moved juco transfer Brian Ochs in to replace him. I though Ochs played well. I thought RS Freshman Chris Miles looks the part at tackle but time will tell.
This is the hardest area of the team for me to gauge. I think we will be ok but losing guys like YBarbo and Johnson, who were starters on a bowl winner, is rough.
Personally, I think we are in good shape with Kirby, Banogu and Rice. The big question marks are putting a RS Frosh in Miles on the edge (ugh) and Micah Thompson at right guard. Creighton Barr and Avery Fortenberry look like gems. I think Brian Ochs will be the key as he could be a quality C-USA guard or center. Tackle is a BIG question mark though and there just isnt a lot of proven depth which will make QB mobility even more important.
I actually focused more on the offensive side of the ball but here are the players that impressed me and my general impressions on the defense:
This is a blue collar lunch pail type of defense with good speed. Thats the good news. Other than Kishawn McLain, I really didnt see the type of physical play that we have seen in years past. I think teams will try to run it down our throat again and Saturday didn't convince me otherwise. However, I do think we have improved our defensive line and secondary. Linebacker remains a big question mark, however I really do think juco transfer Courtney Finney is special and may turn out to be one of the better linebackers to play here. He is not real big, but extremely quick and is like a magnet to the ball. In fact I would like to go ahead and trademark Finney's new GMG nickname as "Magnet". Other than Finney, I see a lot of speed but not enough plays. The biggest hit of the game came from Kishawn McLain, a safety. We need our linebackers to deliver some punishment as well.
The defensive line seems to be solidified with the emergence of tackle Mustafa Haboul. Haboul was one of my favorite signings a couple of years back (he is a redshirt junior now). He embodies the lunch pail, blue collar description I used to describe this defense. Not tall, probably 6 foot if that, but strong as an oxe and pretty quick with his hands. Austin Orr is also undersized but as a senior should be decent if he can stay healthy. Backing him up is Sid Moore who made some terrific plays behind the line on Saturday. Moore could really shine this year. Zero Wallace played a lot last season and was not a stand out performer but one would think he could improve this year. I liked what I saw from freshman TJ Tauaalo in his snaps.
At defensive end you were missing your two starters who will be Tillman Johnson and Jareid Combs. But I think the emergence of former walk-on Andy Flusche is a nice boost to the overall depth. Malik Dilonga looked like he put on another 15 pounds of size. Overall, defensive end appears to be a fairly stable area of the defense with a lot of hopes being placed on the arrival of Combs. Again, this will not be an imposing defensive line but I think it could be quite capable if the offense can keep them off the field.
At defensive back the standout performers on Saturday were cornerback Kenny Buyers who nabbed an interceptions and safety Kishawn McClain who appears to be the biggest hitter of the group, laying out tight end Marcus Smith on one play and just showing up in a lot of plays overall. Of the transfers, I would say I saw James Grays number the most. They had him playing deep safety in a lot of the formations which tells me they trust his instincts and abilities. Cedric Fernandes is a walk-on who looks like the real deal. I also think they have Jamal Marshall at the right position. If he could have a good season he will definitely get some NFL looks as he has impressive size and speed for a corner. Chad Davis will not be James Jones but he should be solid enough.
After the bowl year, there was not a question of talent but more so leadership among the ranks. I must say, there really is not a lot of leadership emergence that I see out there right now. Of course after a 4 win season that may be expected. It struck me that this was one of the quieter teams I had ever seen at UNT. Every year you seem to have at least a guy who is vocal with the most recent being Marcus Trice. Perhaps this is just an after effect of the instability at QB. You also have the biggest group of juco participants since Mac has been here and they are still feeling their way. I hope that more leaders will emerge in two-a-days and positive personalities will develop in time. I saw the term vanilla on the GMG board and I think it is pretty accurate for where things stand right now. There is certainly talent, but chemistry is a question mark.
As I walked out of the game I actually was feeling pretty good about things, until I peered up at listing of the 2015 home schedule on the big screen yikes. Rice returns their stud QB, WKU has the MVP of C-USA at QB, UTEP beat us to death with their running game and UTSA.. well we all know how that team seems to have our number.
Despite my misgivings about what will be a treacherous schedule, I do think that Coach Mac has addressed some key need areas for this program with the exception of the most important one which is TBD. This strikes me as a team which could win more games than they lose IF a playmaker emerges at QB. I repeat, a playmaker, not a bus driver. So with that in mind, I implore all Mean Green fans across this great nation to keep DaMarcus Smith's eligibility in your prayers for the next five months.
Just getting this started up, and I dont know about you guys, I have gone crazy with bowl spirit.
I literally bought 5 extra tickets to GIVE to friends to get them to come and have bought every bowl game t-shirt out there.
Getting ready to book the hotel, go mean green!
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UNT's move to C-USA, if judged by publicity, media coverage, and--online, at least--fan interest, seems to be a success.
I can't remember when I've looked forward to upcoming games with this much anticipation since the MG were making their SBC bowl runs a decade ago. It's been a while, for sure. There is credible UNT coverage for the program with Beyond The Green. Captive semi-national TV audiences on Thursday nights, and the whole thing has a creeping feel of "big-time". Let that sink in a minute. When has this program had that feel? I'm about to enter my fifth decade of worldly presence, and I honestly do not remember a time when that situation existed.
Opener Was A Gas(p)
Random thoughts on Idaho: Hot as hell. UNT came out shaky, but I thought the coaches did a good job of settling the team down after the quick Idaho strike and made adjustments to what the Vandals were trying to do. I have not had a chance to see a replay of the game since I watched it live, but at the time I was only mildly impressed with the MG play defensively for much of the game. After seeing some highlights, I had a better feel, but the jury is still out regarding the run defense, and pressure from these guys. Oh, they played very hard, were more athletic than Idaho, and are superbly conditioned, but Ohio will speak volumes about this team's chances against a big-boy offense at the C-USA/MAC level.
DT played a hell of a game. I don't know where the idea got started that he doesn't have an arm, because he does. Not a cannon, but he can throw just fine. I'll say this for the last time: When Derek Thompson has weapons that can get open and catch the ball--and has more than 1 on the field at a time with these qualities--he will put the ball on them more often than not. Based on what I saw last year, and although he had his issues, his main problem was that he had no one to throw to, and when he did, they were covered so well that completions were hard to come by.
He demonstrated very well why he is starting last Saturday. Dajon is going to be a great player, but Chico and Mac are absolutely doing the right thing by spoon-feeding him. Doesn't quality QB depth feel great!?
Nice beatdown by the MG in a game they should win. That's another step in turning the program around.
I have no illusions about this game. Ohio is beat up, and they were pretty much whipped on the playground and had their lunch money stolen last week. This gives UNT a better than average chance at a win tomorrow. However, I think Solich is going to have these guys foaming at the mouth for this game, and it is going to be an intimidating place to play football. Offensively, Ohio has two high-quality weapons in Tettleton and Blankenship, and they have receivers who have jets. Good news for UNT is that they are healthy, have some decent depth (compared to past seasons) and are much faster than in years previous. UNT has a better than average chance to win if they can establish the run and use the quick passing scheme that worked last week. Ohio will be prepared for this though, so an effective ground game is essential. Perhaps UNT will try a quick outside passing attack to get their WR's involved early. Who knows.
The bottom line is this: Ohio home opener. Pissed off team. Crowd intangibles. 1st to 2nd week improvement rule in effect. Unknowns for UNT in this environment against this caliber team. Shaky (IMO) UNT run game exhibited last week. Improved, but potentially-crippling kicking game woes remain. Big play vulnerability still exists.
For these reasons, I think Ohio covers in this game, but UNT keeps it respectable. I would not be surprised if UNT steals this one, and if they do, I will be ecstatic because it means that UNT could potentially do some things this year in C-USA, but my head says Ohio 27-19.
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I ran across this from a current football player and thought I would pass it along. In my mind it total puts to rest anything related to this team "Not Wanting It" or "Not Caring", I enjoyed it and think it provides a small peek into the thinking of Athletes competeing at a high level. Here it is, unedited:
Losing sucks. It’s the absolute worst feeling in the world, and anyone who tells you that losing is ok is lying to both you and themselves. The sensation is like a colony of fire ants gnawing away at your inner abdominals, spitting their venom all over your insides until you feel you have to scream to release the pain. You put in hours of effort during the week, practicing the same stupid motions and plays over and over, and then after the lights go down and time runs out you’re left with nothing but an aching sense of hurt and regret.
Nothing you as fans can say to us will make us feel any worse than the things we’re already saying inside our heads. “You’re a loser”, “You guys suck”, “Why don’t you practice more”; these are nothing compared to the internal monologue inside the head of someone who ferociously competes for a win and comes up short. It doesn’t matter what your job is, or how much you played; when the team fails to win it’s on all of you and you all feel like crap. “What could I have done better”, “Where could I have made more of a difference”, “Why didn’t I execute that job perfectly”, all these and more are running endless circles through our minds; an endless train of mocking self loathing.
But we can’t show it. We can’t acknowledge it, can’t give voice to it, and can’t let the bitter sting of defeat shout its pain to the world, because we have to get ready for next week. We have to take all those voices, all those nasty little thoughts, and wall them off behind mental barriers so high and thick they make the Great Wall of China look like a sandcastle at high tide. We have to push it aside and do our best to forget the empty pain even exists, because if you let it affect the outcome of the next game that deadly spiral will crush you down until there’s nothing left but bitter regrets and shattered dreams. We have to believe that we can move on and forget the past, because there’s not one damn thing we can do to change it now; actions have been performed and judged and found wanting, your effort and intent simply not good enough that day.
It fades after a while, the angry introspection of defeat, but it’s always there, always lurking in that mental prison, pacing restlessly behind its bars like a caged tiger, eyes agleam with savage hunger to rend and tear. You can never let that beast out though, lest it wreak your life and those around you. You must use it as fuel to not let it ever plague you again.
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Better late than never, right?
A great offensive showing in the spring game today by the Green Team as they topped the White team 41-20. It is worth noting that the White Team was spotted 20 points to start, which was intended to balance their heavy distribution of second team players.
The game started off with a Mike Marshall interception, which ended the first drive on the second pass of the game. Not a great throw into tight coverage, but give credit to Marshall for coming up with the clutch play. McNulty came out for the White team, and had some success throwing to Derrick Teegarden on some comebacks and crossing routes, but anything over 20 yards was problematic. Give credit to the Green team defense for some pretty solid play in the secondary.
The Green team offensive line, though shaky at times, still showed some decent protection early, giving Derek Thompson a nice comfortable pocket to work from. Speaking of Thompson, the incumbent signal caller had a pretty productive day. He even got involved in the running game, lowering his shoulder on a big block in the first quarter.
Brelan Chancellor had a great day, starting off with a nifty catch on a deflected pass along the near sideline. His two touchdowns were electrifying. The first came on a hitch route, where he caught the ball, cut inside and was gone. The second was a display of pure speed on a go route. Clearly, the guy has another gear than everyone else on defense.
Perhaps the breakthrough performance of the day was Derrick Teegarden, who caught a number of passes significant yardage. He demonstrated good hands, body control, and explosiveness after the catch. You have to think he earned a long look come two-a-days this fall.
The other game story was the stout play of a talented running back corps. Jeremy Brown dominated the Green’s seventh drive of the game in the second half, ripping off a long run down the far sideline and capping the drive two plays later with an excellent run between the tackles. Antoine Jimmerson showed great balance, staying on his feed after a bump tackle near the sideline. Zac Whitfield had a couple of really strong runs, as well.
With light contact being the order for the day, it is a little more difficult to get a feel for how the defense performed. However, Jeremy Phillips was great off the edge, recording a couple of sacks, and generally playing with hustle and speed. The Green team secondary played great, but it is tough to tell given the level of competition they played against. The White team passing game kept going for the long ball, but, with the exception of a few crossing routes to Derrick Teagarden, it was a very quiet day for White QB Brent Osborn and team.
Play of the Game
After a great punt from Zach Olen, the Green Team found themselves with a 1st and 10 from their own 1 yard line. From seven yards deep in the end zone, Derek Thompson uncorked a deep pass to Ivan Delgado. The pass was almost too far for Delgado, but Ivan showed great recovery speed and leaned forward to make a fingertip catch. Then, he turned on the jets and went the distance for a 99 yard score. Maybe it is just an exhibition game, but if that didn’t get you on your feet, you ought to get your head checked.
Play of the Game that almost was
Brett Ringer, a walkon wide receiver from Southlake, caught a pass along the near sideline, was upended, and made a complete flip in the air, landing on his feet and strolling in for the score. However, officials ruled he stepped out of bounds shortly before the acrobatics began.
Underrated Performance of the game
Mike Marshall had great plays on the opening drives of each half. A pick in the first and a touchdown saving tackle in the second. Great hustle all day long against some stiff competition.
- Pretty good, if late arriving, crowd. There were regular season games within the not too distant past that had the same number of fans in the stands. Let us not forget how much better we are now than we have been.
- Pretty solid day for newcomer Lynrick Pleasant, a 6-2, 205 junior wide receiver from Mesquite. Every time the White team made a play in the passing game, it was either Teegarden or Pleasant coming up with the catch.
- Cooper Jones was playing at Tight End. Has a great frame, and George and Hank alluded to the fact that coaches were impressed by his blocking.
- Got a chance to listen to the game call by George and Hank, which was piped into the press box. They had several great guests, including former players and noted sports broadcaster Mike Doocy. It is always great to have folks talking about the great facilities here. It’s going to take some time to change minds, and every bit of pub we can get is great.
- It is not humanly possible to ask for a better day for football. 70 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, with a light breeze and clear, clean air. It’d be great if we could get a few days like this in the fall.
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I thought I would look at the gaps in the line-up caused by the departure of our Seniors.
Position by position:
Quarterback - Not impacted, as everyone comes back.
Kicker - Not impacted* Olen looks to rebound after a down year between 40-49 yards.
Punter - Not impacted* One word: baller. Our punter rocks.
Inside Linebacker - Not impacted. As long as Orr returns at 100%, this is a great strength for North Texas. The best player on the team (arguably) starts and the backup Akunne got a lot of experience last year. Wright also saw time here last year, but was considerably undersized. A couple of the incoming freshman have the size to play here too, so you have to feel good about the ILB situation.
Defensive Tackle - Not impacted (but is damn thin anyway). Though no one graduated, two freshman that we hoped would get some time in the rotation are no longer at DT. NT also lost big Kyle White during the season. Fans are hoping Sir Calvin Wallace steps in immediately.
Offensive Guard - No impact, unless Fortenberry needs to move to tackle and Y'Barbo shifts to center. Otherwise, you are probably looking at Y'Barbo and Lemon together through the 2014 season. Ellard has been playing while Lemon recovers from a late season injury and Cam Feldt is seeing time at guard as well. The final impact here may be determine by what happens at tackle.
Tight End - Low impact. Though listed as a WR, I believe Greg Brown mostly played at tight end and will be missed, though mainly on special teams* (more on that below). Power, Miller, and Prior return, with converted WR Marcus Smith ready as well.
Center - Low impact. JJ Johnson was the guy we thought we would have to replace. An early season injury to JJ (again) meant that Aaron Fortenberry comes in with almost a full year of experience in the middle. Incoming freshman Boone Feldt provides depth and Y'Barbo is an option as well. Like the guard position, this could depend on the tackle situation.
Wide Receiver - Low-medium impact. Mike Outlaw was a fairly productive receiver for a couple of year and will be missed, as his senior year was clearly his impact year at UNT. Breece Johnson provided valuable depth and experience and came up with a few nice catches now and then. Olawale never had a strong impact in the receiving game, after moving over from TE. Stratford only lasted three games and did not do squat.
Three major contributors return next year, none of which were a known quantity before last year. It seems WR might be the easiest position to get unknowns to become solid players. Ivan Delgado, a former junior college and high school quarterback, was the 2011 poster child for the walk-on program. Bynes and Chancellor also had no proven track record prior to last season. Those three should form the core of the receiving core, but Canales will want to be confident in his fourth receiver and the back-ups. NT needs Chaz Sampson to be the player they think he is and have a couple of unknowns to break out. Vito mentions Pleasant as an off-season surprise, with Teegarden also in the mix. Hopefully those players, one of the Florida walk-ons, or true freshmen will provide the depth and a few catches that this receiving corps needs.
Offensive Tackle- Medium impact. Matt Tomlinson graduates and we wonder who fills the spot vacated by an All-Conference player. Some believe transfer Cam Feldt is destined for greatness here, while others say to forget the hype. Perhaps Ayodele Adedipe is ready to step up as a senior? Vito reports Feeley is currently the starter going into the spring. Other scenarios might include Fortenberry moving back to tackle with Y'Barbo or Boone Feldt at center. Mac puts the best players on the field and has no problem playing a freshman, so if Boone is ready, it could happen. Anyiam and Micah Thompson also could be in the mix and/or provide depth.
Defensive End - Medium impact. It seems strange to say medium impact after losing an All-Conference 4 year player, especially when that one is only one of two at the position. It will be very hard to replace his sacks (7.5) and overall production (3rd in tackles). But there is reason for optimism at DE. The first can be summed up in two words: The Sarge. McCoy returns for his junior year as a fan favorite after a very productive 2011, with 4.5 sacks and second in TFL (7.5). And the last two years have reaped a harvest of exciting and big DEs in the recruiting classes. Two backups return (Lincoln and Bellazin) as well as former starter KC Obi. In all there are 6 returning scholarship DEs, plus 2-4 more from the 2012 class (depending on where they end up on the field, as some may play at DT). AK47 will be missed, but there is good, quality depth here.
Outside Linebacker - Medium impact. This position on the surface looks pretty strong -essentially 3 starters return (Phillips, Wright, Stojkovic) at 2 positions. Furthermore, there are a couple of good-looking LB and RB recruits that might end up here as well, plus redshirt Polk from Mac's first class. So it looks pretty solid.
On the other hand, it would be very foolish to overlook the departures of Herron and Forlando Johnson, who both played a lot, including starting. Both made some big plays, especially Herron, who seemed to always be around to cause or pick up a fumble. Herron had four fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. One of those recoveries was six points for the Mean Green. And when the young players struggled or depth was reduced from injury, it was these two seniors that picked up a lot of the slack. Both these guys will be missed and at least one young player will need to step up and provide depth in the two-deep.
Cornerback - High impact. Royce Hill. I could stop there. Unfortunately, I can't because Ford also graduated. It is pretty hard to replace a four year starter, but even harder when the other corner also graduates. Hill had pretty good run at NT and will be missed. Ford was productive as a senior as well, with a couple of INTs, one for a touchdown. Fortunately, Freddie Warner gained starting experience as a freshman and Hilbert Jackson played meaningful minutes as well. Mac also brought in JC corner DQ Johnson. Hopefully, DQ comes in ready to try to take one of the open corner jobs. Highly regarded recruit Xavier Kelley might also have a shot at the two-deep.
Running back - Very high impact. Lance Dunbar was the offense and it is very likely he will be replaced with one player right away. I don't really need to go into how much he meant to this team or the fans, but I will simply saw that he was a player that other teams game-planned. Hamilton was often overlooked, but had great numbers as a back-up and was a real Wildcat threat. The running game really didn't drop off very much when Hamilton came in. Brandon Byrd will be the early favorite, with 20 carries last year leading all returning backs. Walk-on Jeremy Brown has impressed, and the two redshirt freshman will be counted on to compete for the starting job. There were several running backs signed in the 2012 class as well. With Coach Mac, the players that have the best spring and fall practices will play, so this position should be considered wide open. Scary, but at least there are several talented young players ready to contend for the honor of being the next running back for UNT.
Safety - Mega super high impact. All four players in the two-deep graduated. It is pretty hard to impact a position more than that. Downing and Graham were in the top four in tackles and each created turnovers. Shorter and McCord provided the depth. Only Laramie Lee returns with any game experience and that was quite limited. OU transfer Trice is expected to grad one starting spot, with Lee holding down the other at this point. Kerry Swarm was a three star recruit that redshirted last year. He will counted on to challenge for a starting spot this season, or at least provide quality minutes. And that means that a true freshman will probably need to crack the two-deep. Devante Davis out of Louisiana seems a likely candidate based on the recruiting hype. David Busby is another well-regarded prospect that could step in, though we don't know if he is a corner or a safety at this point.
*Special teams - medium-high impact. It is pretty tough to determine this category, as special teams is such a unique unit. But one thing is for sure, NT needs someone to replace long snapper Troy Kokjohn. I put the asterisk on both punter and kicker, since the quality of those positions is directy related to the quality of your long snapper. It is pretty hard to kick a 45 yard field goal without worrying about a bad snap. Coach Riddle will need to hope that Blake Dunham's scholarship was well deserved or that someone else can step up immediately.
The return and coverage units will also have to replace several players. Greg Brown and Julian Herron were essential pieces of the special teams unit and several other seniors contributed here as well (Olawale, January, Jamaal Wilson). Ford returned punts as well. NT will likely mostly rely on young players and walk-ons to anchor this all too important unit. With little depth at key positions, such as the entire secondary, it may be too daangerous to risk injury to a starter or key back-up flying down the field on kick coverage.
I read this view of what one Georgia Southern fan prespective was toward the changes that are taking place inside college football.
The following view was posted on gsufans.com.
"The Move-to-FBS debate is MOOT!
We are now talking about the BCS conference realignment, and how the fallout will affect the future of Georgia Southern Football.
The FBS/FCS discussion is now irrelevant, and within a short time (some pundits estimate 24 – 48 months), this classification, as we know it now, may cease to exist.
There will be a classification for the BCS schools.
A classification for DIV-1 schools.
A classification for DIV-2 schools, and so on.
The talk of FBS/FCS can now change to, “remember that cool thing they used to do where we could claim championships and still call ourselves division 1.”
We are either “MOVING UP” to DIV-1 (joining former non-BCS, FBS teams), or being absorbed by DIV-2, where our current funding dictates we are most attractive to compete.
We are currently NOT funded to remain a competitive DIV-1 program.
However, our administration has made it absolutely clear our intentions are to “MOVE UP” to (or remain in) DIV-1 in football, and to build the infrastructure necessary for us to continue to be competitive – in all sports across the board.
We’re not, for example, “increasing coaches salaries so that they don’t get hired away to an FBS school” – last years thinking.
We’re increasing coaches salaries so they’ll be commensurate with other competitive, championship-level, DIV-I schools (former non-BCS, FBS teams).
The whole Athletics Program needs to be elevated to this DIV-1 standard.
The debate now is are we going to raise the money we need to grow the program, in the short time we have, or will we have to let this ship sail, as we languish in stagnancy at our current financial levels.
No one can say when the train is coming – and no one knows where that train is headed.
But, we do know the train IS coming, and we HAVE TO BE READY when it gets here.
(enter Capital Campaign, stage right)"
I feel like this maybe what comes to pass in the next several years. The question in reference to UNT is where does the Mean Green fall within the new football system that might come to pass.
You want to build a program find the right coach
But if you want to win every year, groom the right quarterback.
With the season opener only a few days away, the anticipation of an upcoming season is reaching a peak not seen around here in quite a long time. A brand new stadium we can all be proud of, a new coach who is installing a new attitude, the return of Mike Canales, record setting donations and naming-rights deals, and most of all the brand new uniforms. It’s all green and all good this time of year and rightfully so, we are currently undefeated.
Almost lost in the off the field news are the on-field stories to follow this year. None bigger than Lance Dunbar’s quest to become UNT’s all-time leading rusher. With only a pedestrian season, compared to the lofty standard he has set the past couple of years, Dunbar should pass Patrick Cobbs as the all time leading rusher at North Texas. Let’s face it, Lance could have 1000 yards by mid-season and set an all-time record that would be very hard to pass.
It doesn’t end there. What can new defensive coordinator Clint Bowen get out of defense that has been on its heels for years? What will returning offensive coordinator Mike Canales bring to the table now that he has sole control of the offense? If last year’s five game end of the season run showed us anything, it’s that Canales isn’t afraid to use the kitchen sink. How will the team respond to an almost entirely new coaching staff?
All of those will play an integral part on whether North Texas is successful this season but if recent Sun Belt history shows us anything, they won’t be the most important part. Dunbar could have his best season, Bowen could extract a defensive effort not seen in these parts in years, and Canales could reproduce his year ending success and we could still fall short of winning half our games. In the Sun Belt, you better have a quarterback if you want to win, and you better have a good one.
When I strolled onto the North Texas campus in the fall of 1994 and enjoyed my first full season of North Texas football, you didn’t have to look far to find the man. Mitch Maher was coming off a successful junior season and hopes were high going into his senior season. Maher didn’t disappoint. In a year that still rules the North Texas record books, Maher threw for over 3000 yards, had 26 passing touchdowns, a few more on his feet, and an efficiency rating off the chart. He led North Texas to a Southland Conference championship and to the I-AA playoffs before a one-armed bandit from Boise stole our hearts and maybe our best chance for a national championship.
Best ever at North Texas? Not even close if you talked to people who had been around the program. The would regale you with the tales of the great Steve Ramsey, the will, toughness and all-around talent of Scott Davis, the leadership and guts of Jordan Case, and the athleticism and efficiency of Ken Washington. No we weren’t Quarterback U, but we weren’t lacking for signal callers and each one brought something to the table that also brought North Texas success.
Today’s newcomers aren’t so lucky. We’ve had our share of tough, enthusiastic, and talented young men playing quarterback come through the halls of North Texas football since Maher used up the last of his eligibility. They’ve provided us with some great moments and great victories and most importantly great leadership. But be it system, talent, turnover, small window of time at UNT, or in one case tragedy, the position has lacked the consistent production needed to win at the FBS level today. Don’t kid yourself, it is the time of the quarterback and you need to look no further than the Sun Belt to find that out.
Three yards and dusty thinking
If you wanted to make a list of the most successful quarterbacks at North Texas since 1994 the list starts (and stops?) with Scott Hall. Tough, efficient, fearless, and able to make the play when we needed it, Hall held the reigns for most of the 26 game conference winning streak. The late Andrew Smith quarterbacked us for the most successful season of that stretch while Hall was out with injury but his time here was tragically cut short. Both benefitted from what was in my opinion the best defense ever at North Texas and an offensive line and running game that brutalized Sun Belt competition. But since those days the game and how to be successful has changed. And North Texas got left behind.
The run came to an end in 2004 and it’s no coincidence that since then we have not won more than 3 games. During that time the QB position has been a revolving door for many a reason and even with the institution of a passing-based offense and an otherworldly running back, North Texas has not been successful. If you look at the Sun Belt all-conference honors it is easy to see why. All conference quarterbacks win games. All conference running backs win…..honors.
If you look at the All Sun Belt first and second team running backs of the past four years, NONE have been on teams with winning records. A few have managed to bring their teams to (6-6) records but none have had winning records or more importantly led their teams to a conference championship or bowl game. Last year’s all Sun Belt RBs won a woeful 5 games between them.
Year 1st team All Sun Belt RB (Team Record) 2nd Team All Sun Belt RB
2007 Fenroy ULL (3-9) Dawson ULM (6-6)
2008 Arnold ASU (6-6) Fenroy ULL (6-6)
2009 Morris FAU (5-7) Dunbar UNT (2-10)
2010 Rainey WKU (2-10) Dunbar UNT (3-9)
Meanwhile all conference quarterbacks have all had a minimum of a .500 record with one exception. They have led their teams to two conference championships, tied for another, and five bowl appearances. Only one has had a losing record.
Year 1st team All Sun Belt QB (Team Record) 2nd team All Sun Belt QB
2007 Smith FAU (8-5) Haugabook (8-4)
2008 Desorneaux ULL (6-6) Leonard ASU (6-6)
2009 Brown Troy (9-4) Dasher MTSU (10-3)
2010 Aplin ASU (4-8) Robinson Troy (8-5)
Derek Thompson, a Mean Green Nation turns its lonely eyes to you
If recent history tells us anything, it’s that Derek Thompson needs to have at minimum an above average year for North Texas to reach the .500 mark. To contend for the conference championship he’ll have to get near the 2700 yard mark and have near 20 touchdowns and no more than 12 interceptions. Are those concrete numbers? No, but that’s the minimum it’s going to take to win first or second team honors and in turn, that’s probably what it’s going to take to win more than we lose this year.
Does Derek have it in him? That’s the toughest question to answer. He has 27 pass attempts in his time at North Texas. His resume includes one hell of a drive at the end of a game two years ago and a season ending injury after less than one half of play last year. With the “distractions” of a new stadium, new coach, a Doak Walker candidate to share the backfield, and a closed practice policy, no recent quarterback has been under less scrutiny. But if North Texas is to return to its winning ways, no player needs to produce more. North Texas is ready for the new “man”.
Zach Hammond - QB, 6'4", 188 lbs., Charlotte HS, Punta Gorda, FL - interested in Florida Atlantic, Florida International, North Texas, Oklahoma and UCF. Offers from Florida Atlantic, Florida International and UCF
Jared Johnson - QB, 6', 195 lbs., 4.5 40, South Grand Prairie HS, TX - interested in Colorado, Colorado State, Houston, Indiana, Nebraska, North Texas (per DMN), Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech
Brady Burgin - QB, 6'2", 205 lbs., Highland Park HS, TX - interested in Baylor, Kansas, North Texas, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas Tech, Tulsa and Utah
Brooks Haack - QB, 6'2", 190 lbs., 4.7 40, Katy HS, TX - interested in Arizona, Baylor, Houston, Kansas, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Rice, SMU, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M. Offer from North Texas
Justin Owens - QB, 6'2", 190 lbs., Sulphur Springs HS, TX - interested in Colorado, Iowa State, Memphis, North Texas and Pittsburgh
Josh Greer - QB, 6'4", 195 lbs., 4.8 40, Arlington HS, TX - interested in Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Mississippi, North Texas, Rice, SMU, TCU, Texas A&M, Tulsa and UAB
Tai Gibson - QB, 5'11", 150 lbs., Rouse HS, Leander, TX - interested in North Texas, SMU, TCU and UTEP
Dane Evans - QB, 6'2", 185 lbs, Sanger HS, TX - interested Brigham Young, East Carolina, Houston, Louisiana Tech, LSU, Mississippi, Missouri, North Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Utah
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There were several times throughout the Dickey days where Darrell's honesty rubbed many in the Mean Green Nation the wrong way, including myself often times. What surprises me is how refreshing it is for me to hear Dan McCarney be brutally honest about this team, no matter how bad he paints the picture...
...we're one of th worst tackling teams in the nation
...we lack physicality
...it has been very difficult to change the culture of losing
Heck, McCarney has even come out and publicly stated he pretty much doesn't have a clue when he is going to be able to turn this thing around, but guaranteed that it will happen.
You know what? I believe in him, and he has done nothing but to say how bad a position we are currently in, and I am more excited about this season than I have been in quite some time, and most of my excitement has to do with McCarney than that beautiful new stadium.
I guess it is a sense of confidence I have in his assessment, and my belief in his ability to fix the issues that peaks my interest. I, as have many other Mean Green backers, have heard enough over the past four years about how close we are, and how we are right where we need to be. Knowing that the people in charge understand where we are is reassuring.
Brutal honesty, knowing what is reality and being able to address it...resfreshing!
The game will take place on Saturday March 26th, 1PM tip off (please arrive for warm ups at Noon) at the Mean Green Village Gym.
We are pleased to announce that the GoMeanGreen.com Basketball Game benefitting the UNT Cheerleaders is on! The game will take place on Saturday March 26th, 1PM tip off (please arrive for warm ups at Noon) at the Mean Green Village Gym. It's time to break out those dusty Converse out of the closet and show us your "A" game. All of the proceeds from this event will benefit the UNT Cheer Squad. Our cheerleaders do such a great job and they need our support! This is a great event and we need your support to make it happen!
DATE: March 26, 2011
PLACE: Mean Green Village Gym
TIME: 1PM Tip Off, 12:00 Noon Check In/Warmup
COST: $25 (includes player shirt). Please make checks payable to UNT Athletics. You can bring your registration fees to the event or you can mail your checks to the following address:
c/o Mark Miller
3608 Montecito Dr.
Denton, Texas 76205
REGISTER NOW: We need to know if you can play so we can set up the tourney format and draft. Please respond to this post or
contact Mark Miller at email@example.com to reserve your spot! Please include a brief bio including your age, height, weight and prior basketball experience. We will provide this bio information to the coaches who are conducting the draft.
DRAFT: The Draft will be conducted in the GoMeanGreen.com chatroom about a week prior to the event. More details to come.
DONATIONS: Even if you can't participate in the event your donations are gladly accepted and can be made payable to UNT Athletics. Also if you have items that you would like to provide us that we can use for a silent auction or raffle please contact Mark Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
SPONSORSHIPS: Please contact Mark Miller at email@example.com for more details.
VOLUNTEERS: We need lots of volunteers to help us run this even smoothly in particular referees and event day organizers. If you are interested in lending a hand, please respond to this post or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
I DON'T PLAY BUT WANT TO WATCH: Would love to have as many people come out and support the event as possible! Great opportunity to visit the campus and see some of the new facilities!
KID FRIENDLY? - Absolutely, if you have a young cheerleader who would like to spend some time and get pictures with UNT Cheer this is the event for you!
AFTER PARTY: We are planning an after party to be held at a local Denton establishment. If you are a restaurant/bar and would like to have a bunch of hungry and thirsty Mean Green faithful please contact email@example.com for more details.
GoMeanGreen.com will have a live podcast with interviews and coverage on the day of the event for those unable to attend. We are working on having both current and former players to participate in this event and so if you know of any that might be interested in being a part please respond to this post or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. We are working on some very unique items including signed jerseys and basketballs. The cheerleaders will also be available to take pictures. We will have a professional photographer taking pictures of the event. Also working on some other special guest that we will announce soon. We will be updating this blog as news comes available so be sure to bookmark and check back often. Thank you in advance for your support and as always GO MEAN GREEN!!
A BIG GOMEANGREEN.COM WELCOMETO ALL OF THE 2011 MEAN GREEN FOOTBALL SIGNEES!!
GMG Verbal Commitment Listing Updated 2.2.11 - (22) total
By Position: Offense: QB:3, RB:2, WR:1, TE:1, ATH:2, OL:3
Defense: DE:3, DT:2, LB:2, Safety: 2, Corner: 1
Players who signed at midterm are indicated by a *
1. Jamone Greer - CB, 5'11", 165 lbs, Kempner HS, Sugarland, TX - Coached by James Brown. Offers from North Texas and Utah State - Committed to North Texas - 7/26/10 - Really made a name for himself at the Under Armour Combine in Bryan Texas when he clocked a 4.45 shuttle, 7.18 L-cone drill and 4.53 40 along with a 34½-inch vertical. This performance led to interest from Utah, Texas A&M, Houston and TCU. Greer also picked off four passes in his junior season. As a senior in 2010 he returned two of his district best five interceptions for touchdowns. He also made 38 tackles. Kempner came up short in the playoffs against eventual state champion Pearland by a score of 28-13. Was a 1st Team 23-5A Zone A All District Selection his senior season.
2. Derek Akunne LB, 5-11, 225, 4.5, North Garland HS, TX - Coached by David Farris. Offers from Colorado State, Air Force, Western Kentucky and North Texas - Was a 1st Team All District 10-5A Linebacker @North Garland in 2010. Was a 1st Team All District 10-5A Offensive Linemen @North Garland in 2009. As a junior, set a North Garland Record in the shot put as a junior and placed 15th in the state meet in Austin with a 47-11.00. Was listed #1 of players to watch in Dave Campbell's 2010 edition for North Garland. Ranked #4 in the State by Coach Scout. Committed to North Texas 12.18.10.
3. * Brent Osborn - pro-style QB, 6'4", 210 lbs, 4.74 40, Northwest JUCO, Senatobia, MS - Coached by Ricky Woods. Offers from Murray State and Tennessee-Martin (Visited UNT 12-17-10). Originally siogned with Georgia Southern and transferred to Northwest after a run oriented coaching change. Osborn finished the year completing 61.4 percent of his passes (181-of-295) for 2,014 yards, 18 TDs, 12 INTs and a solid QB efficiency rating of 130.7. He threw for 200 yards or more in seven of the Rangers' 10 games, including a career-best 255 yards on 27-of-36 passing and two TDs in a 24-7 win over Southwest. Has three years of eligibility at North Texas. Signed and enrolled @North Texas
4. Cooper Jones - pro-style QB, 6'5", 200 lbs, 4.8 40, Lone Oak HS, TX - Coached by Dean Lasseter, Dave Campbell's Texas Football 2010 Top 20 QB. Rivals ratings - 3 stars/5.5 rating. Offers from North Texas, Southeastern Oklahoma State, Air Force and Stephen F. Austin. Jones had 39 touchdowns this season and earned most valuable player honors on the All-District 6-2A football team. He ran for 356 yards and six touchdowns on 82 carries, threw for 2,418 yards, completing 152 of 247 attempts, plus caught eight passes for 171 yards and four more scores. He led the 11-1 Buffaloes to district and area titles. Committed to North Texas
5. Andrew McNulty - pro-style QB, 6'2", 205 lbs, Iowa City HS, IA - Coached by Dan Sabers. Had interest from Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa. McNulty did not play QB until his senior season as he backed up eventual Iowa signee AJ Derby. His father, Jim McNulty, was a wide receiver at Iowa, where he played with Dan McCarney. His brother Ted McNulty plays tight end for Kansas. McNulty was an all state selection at QB but was also an outstanding safety in his junior year. Committed to North Texas - 1/14/11
6. Micah Thompson - DT, 6-5, 300, Jones High/OK - Coached by Dave Martin. According to Rivals was offered by Tulsa and had interest from OSU. 78 tackles, eight sacks, forced three fumbles as a senior. In his high school career, he had a total of 180 tackles, 20 sacks, seven forced fumbles and two interceptions as a four year letterwinnner in football. 48 tackles in his junior season. Jones reached the second round of the playoffs, losing in overtime to Davis. An Oklahoma Coaches Association 2010 All State Selection at defensive tackle. Committed to North Texas - 1/16/11
7. Grant Shaw - OL, 6-5, 285, Forney HS - Coached by Kevin Rush. A 1st team 15-4A All District Selection in 2010 and a 2nd team selection as a junior. Outstanding basketball player. Committed to to North Texas - 1/17/11
8. *Andrew Power - Arizona Western CC, 6-5, 265, 4.65 - Coached by Tom Minnick. Offers from Memphis, Nevada, UTAH State and UNT OFFER Originally COMMITTED TO TENNESSEE. Rivals ratings - 3 stars/5.6. De-committed from Tennessee, North Texas is back in the picture. - 1.17.11 Signed and enrolled @North Texas
9. * Michael Stojkovic (pronounced STOCK O VICk), LB/Safety/ATH, 6-2, 215, 4.6, ValleyForge Prep/Katy HS - Coached by Glen Foley. A quarterback at Katy who spent a year at Valley Forge and was converted to an outside linebacker. 375 bench press, 4.3 shuttle, 32 inch vertical jump. Recruited by Coach Anthony Weaver. Signed and enrolled at North Texas 1.18.10
10. Kerry Swarn, Safety, 6-2, 190, Dallas Lincoln - Coached by James Argenti. Decommitment from Arizona, recruited by North Texas assistant Justin Gaines. 3-star ranking on Rivals. Committed to North Texas 1.20.11
11. Daryl Mason - Defensive End, 6-4, 225, Rowlett HS - Coached by Kiff Hardin. Offers from Colorado and Memphis. 2nd Team 10-5A All District Selection at defensive end. Late bloomer who moved from linebacker to defensive end in his senior season. Committed to North Texas 1.20.11
12. Austin Orr - SDE, 6'4", 245 lbs, 4.9 40, Clear Lake HS, Seabrook, TX - Coached by Troy Aduddell. Offers from New Mexico State, Montana State and Texas State. Was a 1st team 24-5A All District selection at defensive end. Fans saw Orr at the UNT banquet and were impressed with his size. Committed to North Texas on Banquet Weekend 1.22.11
13. Zach Whitfield - RB, 5-11, 200, 4.49, Sherman HS TX - Coached by Gary Kinne. 1st Team 9-4A Selection. Had interest from Tennessee after his junior season and offers from NMSU and Sam Houston. Explosive speed and a terrific receiver out of the backfield. In 2009 (his junior year):108 carries, 1119 yards (10.4 yard per carry average); 12 TDs rushing, 24 receptions for 332 yards, 1 TD reception. In 2010 (his senior year): 119 carries, 846 yards (7.11 yard per carry average); 18 TDs rushing, 28 receptions for 244 yards, 2 TDs. Committed to North Texas on Banquet Weekend 1.22.11
14. Alex Lincoln (Scout Profile) - DE, 6-4, 255, 4.9, Cibolo HS TX - Coached by Mike Jinks. Played end in his senior season but could project to be a defensive tackle with his frame. Scout indicates that he will benefit from technique enhancements and coaching but huge upside. A big part of Cibolo's State Championship run which culminated in a win over Denton Guyer. Offered by Wyoming, Utah State and UNLV. Committed to North Texas on 1.24.11
15. Terell Brooks - DT - 6-4, 294, 4.83, Duncanville HS TX - Coached by Jeff Dicus. Had offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma State and SMU. Should challenge for an immediate starting spot. Teammate of OLB Josh Hunt. Cited McCarney's ability as a defensive line coach as one of the primary reasons he chose North Texas. Named MVP of National Underclassmen Combine. Committed to North Texas on 1.25.11
16. Antoinne Jimmerson - RB - 5-9, 192, 4.5 - DeSoto HS, TX - Coached by Claude Mathis. Ran for 700 yards in a primarily pass oriented offense. Had an official visit to Iowa. Committed to North Texas on 1.27.11
17. Freddie Warner - CB - 5-10, 176, 4.5 - Pinkston (Dallas) HS - Coached by Gerald Jones. As a junior, Warner had 61 rushes for 393 yards and 6 touchdowns; 22 receptions for 365 yards and 4 touchdowns; and he also scored 13 touchdowns overall. As junior Warner was named first team all 11-4A District on offense, defense, special teams player of the year and utility player of the year. As a senior he was 1st team defense as a defensive back, utility player of the year and and special teams player of the year. Verbaled to Texas Tech in June of 2010 and changed his mind after the coach recruiting him (Defensive Back Coach Travaris Robinson) left to go to Florida. Also had offers from Colorado State and UTEP prior to commiting to Texas Tech. Warner was recruited to North Texas by Coach Justin Gaines. Committed to North Texas on 1.30.11
18. Laramie Lee - ATH - 5-10, 180, 4.5 - Chapel Hill HS (East Texas) - Coached by Thomas Sitton. 2010 District 17-3A All-District Team MVP, All State 3A recognition. Lee recorded 178-Tackles, 13-TFL, 6-Sacks, 5-PBU, 10-Caused Fumbles, 4-Recovered Fumbles and 3-Interceptions on defense, and ran for 1,443-yards on 163-carries and 23-TD's along with 15-catches for 212-yards and 1-TD on offense.
Perhaps the best linebacker in East Texas. Committed to North Texas 1.30.11
19. Chaz Sampson - WR, 6'5", 185 lbs., Timberview HS, Mansfield, TX - Coached by Mark Walker. Offers from Pittsburg, Tulsa and UTEP. Had previously committed to Tulsa. A 2nd Team All District rated No. 93 in The Dallas Morning News' Area Top 100 list. Committed to North Texas - 1/31/11
Photo Courtesy NextLevelAthlete.com
20. Cyril Lemon - OL, 6-3, 315 - Marble Falls HS - Coached by Kyle Futrell. Offers from Missouri, Houston, La. Tech, Rice, Florida International, New Mexico State. All-District 25-4A selection and second Team All-Centex (Austin American-Statesman), 58 knockdowns in 2010. Projected as a tackle. Committed to North Texas 2.1.11
Photo Courtesy Jennifer Fierro of The Daily Tribune.
21. Chad Polk - LB, 6-0, 210, 4.6 - Woodrow Wilson HS - Coached by Bobby Estes. As a senior, Polk had 98 tackles, 14 sacks and two forced fumbles in the regular season and earned first-team All-District 12-4A honors. Polk started all four years he played at Woodrow Wilson. Was an Honorable Mention AP All State Selection at linebacker. Offers from Baylor and Sam Houston. Committed to North Texas 2.1.11
22. Travis Ellard - OL, 6-4, 275 - Deer Park HS - Coached by Chris Massey. Ellard was a Unanimous 1st Team All District 22-5A Selection at Tackle. Good size now but a frame that could be even bigger.