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  1. Pretty interesting decision for Mac and Canales to make here. Let's see what the fans think.
  2. Let's make this more scientific. Andrew McNulty Josh Greer Dajon WIlliams Connor Means Quinn Shanbour Josh Cousins
  3. 1). As talented as QB Dajon Williams athletically, is he just not yet ready for prime time. First off -- he's just a redshirt freshman... so after his medical redshirt he will have 4 more years to play. I think sometimes we forget that, and his performance in the Idaho home opener game last season probably didn't help in terms of our expectations. Much like the Fall of 2013, Williams took UNT's first couple of weeks in Spring training by storm. He made great plays, plays that the other guys couldn't make. When it's just football, Williams excels. When it comes to the system and understanding a fairly complex Chico Canales offense, Williams can no longer just react using his instincts and athleticism to make plays. This leads to improvising which can lead to turnovers which we all know Mac utterly despises. read more:
  4. Harry

    Connor Means

    From the album: UNT Football Spring Training 2014

    © GoMeanGreen.com

  5. I was able to watch UNT's 2nd practice of the 2014 Spring Training from start to finish and am posting some of my thoughts. I will also be posting some pictures I took throughout the evening and tomorrow. These are the initial thoughts that stick out, I will answer questions that are posted and may post a few other things I saw and learned later on. First off -- unbelievably nice weather today. The team used the practice fields and for the first time I can remember in a long time the wind turbines sat still. It was a shorts and helmets type of practice as Coach Mac and the assistants are working their way towards the first full pad scrimmage which I anticipate will begin next week. Don't let the shorts and helmets thing fool you though, it is very physical and there was at least one minor injury directly from contact so it's not like a walk in the park. Keep in mind, this was just one day and as such all of these opinions should be tempered as such... I don't dispute a bit of the opinions shared by Mr. Silver Eagle or the other generous contributors from the 1st scrimmage. These are just my impressions from today and they can and will surely change as we move deeper into this Spring schedule. Quarterbacks I was extremely impressed with Dajon Williams today in particular. I really like the depth and players behind Williams (who ran with the first team mostly today) as well but more on that later. Williams throws a beautiful pass, has a nice quick release and accuracy in the longer range passes. He made a picture perfect pass to Darvin Kidsy on a deep sideline pattern that was the offensive play of the day, about a 55 yard touchdown that Kidsey took in stride. He seems to excel in the pressure situations and as one person shared with me has "ice water in his veins... Williams stands every bit of 6-4, but is extremely lean. I don't know if he has a body type that will ever become Derek Thompson big but he could stand to gain another 10-15 pounds. In terms of his durability, it is certainly a concern, but then again - who really knows until we see him take some big hits which likely won't happen until he steps on the field against the Texas Longhorns. Williams had the usual snapping miscues which frankly plagued all of the QB's on the day. Part of this was due to UNT giving #77 Travis Ellard a fair amount of snaps at center today and he struggled at times. He also had a couple of sacks trying to find open receivers. I don't put too much stock into this due to the fact they aren't in full pads/contact and that really is an advantage to the defense in my opinion. I just thought after an entire practice, Williams showed the strongest arm, best accuracy and mobility of the 6 QB's out there. Now on the others: I also liked what I saw from Josh Greer. He's a little taller than Williams, but not as mobile. He carries more weight --- looks more mature physically. He looks like a D-I QB. He also has a nice arm although I wouldn't say it is as strong as Williams. For a guy that is just joining the team in January he seems to be picking up the offense quickly. Where Williams is a leader more through his own actions, Greer seems to be able to rally the troops a bit more. Greer's size is a plus, he is not big but he seems to have more weight than Williams or Means. I also liked what I saw out of Connor Means. He is not up to the standards of Williams or Greer, but you have to keep in mind, he's really still just a high school senior out there! I thought for a really young guy he competed very well. He threw an interception and made some bad decisions at times. I liked his quickness and tempo. You can tell he is a good athlete and will only get better with time. I sense, barring some injuries etc. he will end up being redshirted but having two Spring-training sessions and all the reps he will accumulate plus the off-season program he could be a very nice addition to this program. Andy McNulty did not have his best day. In the passing drills, it seemed like his arm was not as strong as some of the new guys. He has some snap miscues which were not all his fault as well as some fumbles during handoffs which is to be expected to happen this early. There is no question that McNulty knows the Chico offense better than any of the other candidates but will that be enough to override the talent differences? I have stated my belief that the odds are McNulty will start against Texas but after today I am starting to wonder if he will be able to overcome the stable of talent UNT has brought in to compete against him. The other two guys are Quinn Shanbour a transfer from Oklahoma State and Josh Cousins a transfer from Northeastern Oklahoma. Both have lively arms. I could certainly see that Shanbour has a quick release, actually one of the quickest I have seen. Both are south of 6-foot which is likely why they are walking on to this program. I saw some nice throws in drills. Shanbour has excellent footwork on the cones and seems to be pretty quick on his feet. I didn't get to see as much out of Cousins. Both are as quality a walk-on candidates as this program has seen. I like the fact that both could very likely push the scholarship players. In a way, they are competing with each other. The scary thing for McNulty is I think both of them have better arms and are pretty close to him in height. Neither one got to see any of the live action situations against the defense as that time was reserved for the 4 scholarship players. Running back A lot of Jimmy today as Reggie Pegram was working through his knee surgery rehab. Jim Jim had some nice runs but again, in shorts it's really hard to gauge. I though Mark Lewis looked pretty good on some runs. He looks like he is in good shape and should be seeing a lot of time with Pegram out. I was pleasantly surprised to see Rex Rollins out there. He's wearing the red shirt so he won't see contact but man this kid can really fly. He has really gotten bigger and stronger than he was when he first arrived here. Jermaine Wilhite (#21) is a speedy scatback type that they appear to be using on some of the Brelan type of plays. Wide Receiver Darvin Kidsey, Darius Terrell and Carlos Harris made the most plays in my estimation today. The tall walk-on Adams from Granbury actually made a couple of nice grabs. Really wasn't able to evaluate this as well today as I was watching the QB's so closely. It was weird not seeing Brelan out there for sure. Tight End Marcus Smith caught my eye on a couple of plays and appears to be the guy. Cooper Jones has added some size; I would say he is probably closer to 240 now. One regret is that I didn't get to catch much of Wylie Reinhardt although I did see him and was impressed with his size and physique. Tanner Smith was out there doing his thing and looked good. Probably one of the best looking athletes on the entire roster is Chris Loving. He does not carry an ounce of fat and is every bit of 6-4, 260+. The sad thing is he is wearing a hand cast and is not going to be able to participate in Spring contact. To his credit he was still running around and hustling, running pass patterns etc. He's a guy that could definitely help this program and so it's a shame that he is unable to have contact. O-Line Antonio Johnson is alive and well! He was working with the first team and looks great. The main thing that caught my eye with the offensive linemen was big transfer #64 Sam Rice. He is a physical specimen that just stands out in a crowd. Huge guns, no fat, very active... wow this guy could be special. Just wish he could join in this season, but it is nice to have him working with the other linemen. It does appear that they are trying to look at Cyril Lemon at tackle and that is putting big 365 pound Shawn McKinney at guard. Funny story, I actually saw McKinney get angry today, at defensive end Daryl Mason who was pestering him during a scrimmage play. Mason (who is about 100 pounds lighter) didn't seem to press the issue. Travis Ellard was seeing a lot of snaps at center behind Kaydon Kirby so it appears that McKinney will be a guard full time, or at least that is the plan for now. D-Line Starting front four was Daryl Mason and Chad Polk at defensive end although I also saw some Q Brown in that rotation. The tackles were Alex Lincoln and Austin Orr. The guy that stood out to me today was redshirt freshman Sid Moore who was running mostly with the second team. He's not real big, probably 260ish and he's not real tall, probably 6-1 or so, but man this kid is like a heat seeking missile on the field of play. VERY physical. Keep an eye out for him when the pads come on. There is a lot of rotation, but I liked what I saw from defensive end Daryl Mason who might be one of the best athletes on the team this year and looks to be in outstanding shape. I also like the size that Austin Orr is carrying right now. He has to be every bit of 280 and it is not fat. Another guy who caught my eye was Jerrian Roberts who showed some good speed from the outside rush. Linebackers This group is returning all-conference player Derek Akunne, and he looked great today. I spent a fair amount of time watching Oregon transfer Anthony Wallace and liked what I saw. He is bigger than Zach Orr, but I don't know if he is as quick. It's really hard to evaluate him but he looks like a guy that could excel against the run but not be as strong against the pass. Full pads will fetter that out for us. Good looking athlete for sure. I also really, really like the athleticism I saw from Fred Scott who will be battling Wallace for time. The outside spot could go a dozen different ways. More on that once we get a chance to see full pads. Defensive Backs James Jones is on the sidelines after his surgery but making a lot of noise and encouraging his teammates. Jones may not get on the field until this Fall but he sure is stepping forward as a leader on the sideline which is great. The biggest news in the secondary was a pretty heated exchange between wide receiver Carlos Harris and cornerback Kenny Buyers. I gotta say, Buyers held his own. I was just trying to get out of the way... note to Carlos, when you are fighting on the football field it isn't wise to take off your helmet. You can tell these guys can't wait to get into pads and let out some aggression. Interesting to see John Schilleci playing cornerback and I saw Coach Skladany spending time with him. The new DB coaches, Perry Carter and LaMarcus Hicks you can tell are feeling their way. Both are fairly quiet as compared to some of the more senior coaches but as with Joseph and Walters that will change in short order. Love what I am seeing out of Zed Evans at safety... he could be very good for us there and he was receiving a lot of praise from both Skladany and Carter for his play today. Beautiful sight for me was seeing #21 Freddie Warner roaming the practice field out there again. He was not wearing any type of brace which I found somewhat odd. He looks very fluid and very good thus far. He could be a HUGE boost to the secondary this season. Coaching and General Thoughts As usual, Mac was out there shaking hands with all of the visitors prior to practice starting. His energy level was sky high and the same thing for Skladany. There was more than a fair amount of fumbles today, some due to them trying out a new center but also some miscues between the QB and running backs. It happened on one play and Mac got very angry. Then it would happen again on another play and I thought Mac was going to explode. As I mentioned there was a bit of a friendly altercation between Kenny Buyers and Carols Harris and that led to one of the longest post practice Mac speeches ever. Defensive line coach Kevin Patrick is going to be very intense and I really enjoyed seeing him out there coaching with enthusiasm. I really admire and like how John Skladany will make a point to let a player know when he did something good... it is not overdone but sincere. You can tell it MEANS something to the player receiving it and is appreciated. It was neat to see Derek Thompson out there catching passes in the QB drills and kidding around with the players. The thing that stands out to me right now is the overall team speed. This is the fastest team from top to bottom I can ever recall. I was pleased with the effort and intensity. You can smell the confidence after the bowl win. As always, the real show starts when the full pads start up and we find out who is for real. I always appreciate hearing other GMG fans offer their observations and opinions during Spring training and look forward to these as practice and scrimmages unfold. GMG!
  6. Here's a little blog article I put together addressing the UNT QB situation as we head into Spring Training 2014:
  7. Senior quarterback Derek Thompson is graduating from UNT, paving the way for a four-man race to the starting position next season. The team recruited two more quarterbacks, freshman Connor Means and sophomore Josh Greer, and junior Andrew McNulty and freshman Dajon Williams return after backing up Thompson last year. The incoming players have potential on their side, while the latter look to utilize their experience at UNT to take the lead. “You talk about wide open and with Josh and Connor coming in here, I think it’s going to be really fun for our fans and coaches to watch the quarterback competition,” head coach Dan McCarney said. Read more: http://ntdaily.com/new-qb-class-brings-competition-to-vacant-position/
  8. When North Texas hired Mike Canales to be its offensive coordinator, Canales stated his desire to find a quarterback who could be a threat both running and passing. Four years into Canales tenure, UNT has had better luck finding Nathan Tunes dog than finding a dual threat quarterback. The Derek Thompson era (otherwise known as the Stone-foot Age) will end at UNT after this season. Can Deer Parks Connor Means develop into the type of offensive threat Canales wants in a quarterback? If I had a stock broker, I imagine he would tell me that past performance does not guarantee future results. I may not have an eTrade account, but I do have a Rivals account. And after a disappointing senior season of high school, North Texas is hoping past performance does not indicate how Means college career will play out. Without being able to account for variables such as the quality of opponents/teammates/coaching, lets look at how Means, our only QB commitment, compared as a high school senior with the high school senior stats of his future teammates and the starting QBs of each of UNTs opponents. College Player Comp Passing YDS Pass TD INT UNT Connor Means 49% 1,323 yds 10 TD 9 INT UNT Dajon Williams 58% 1,618 yds 15 TD 3 INT UNT Andrew McNulty 55% 1,438 yds 12 TD 5 INT UNT Brock Berglund 61% 2,150 yds 23 TD 5 INT Idaho Chad Chalich 73% 3,641 yds 42 TD 2 INT Ohio Tyler Tettleton 57% 1,947 yds 21 TD 11 INT Ball State Keith Wenning, 69% 3,629 yds 40 TD 12 INT Georgia Aaron Murray 61% 2,285 yds 33 TD 5 INT Tulane Nick Montana 58% 2,636 yds 34 TD 10 INT MTSU Austin Grammer 74% 3,007 yds 30 TD 4 INT La Tech Ryan Higgins 60% 1,804 yds 11 TD 4 INT S Miss Nick Mullens 64% 3,649 yds 40 TD 7 INT Rice Taylor McHargue 47% 1,309 yds 13 TD 11 INT UTEP Mack Leftwich 66% 3,331 yds 45 TD 4 INT UTSA Eric Soza 55% 1,523 yds 15 TD 6 INT Tulsa Dane Evans 64% 3,265 yds 36 TD 13 INT Now before we go jumping headfirst off the top of the Apogee tail because Means ranks near the bottom in completion percentage and passing yards with the worst touchdown to interception ratio, lets consider that Means stats are not HORRIBLE. In fact, they are average. Means was an average high school quarterback. Hey, as a 2013 North Texas football fan, I am an expert at watching average quarterback play. Of the guys above, Means stats most closely resemble Rices Taylor McHargue and UTSAs Eric Soza. If Means could go on to have a college career like those two, I would be happier than Darrell Dickey at 3 a.m. on Bourbon Street. But McHargue and Soza derive most of their value from their legs (Curse your legs, Soza! Your beautiful, pocket-escaping, playmaking legs. Oh how we long for a UNT quarterback with legs. Not Joe Namath wearing pantyhose legs. But its 3rd and 7 and all the receivers are covered and you can scramble for a first down legs.) What kind of legs does Means have? His 40 time is listed on recruiting sites as 4.65. But high school 40 times are less reliable than a Ron Mendoza defensive game plan. As a runner, Means averaged six yards a carry and scored 10 touchdowns. That seemed kinda impressive until I noticed that Derek Thompson ran for 6.5 yards a carry and scored 13 rushing touchdowns in his final year of high school. I also heard that Means runs the 300 hurdles in track. (Hey, so did RG3!) But cant find any results that indicate how good he is at it. It has also been reported that Means is a basketball player (his dad is the varsity basketball coach). But as far as I can tell, Means averaged 2.7 points a game before permanently disappearing from the Deer Park basketball box scores halfway through his junior season. Means football highlight film shows a long run where he weaves his way through a defense to score a touchdown and has other runs where he demonstrates decent straight line speed. Means played Class 5A Texas football in a good district. Its not like the guys hes playing are a bunch of suburban Colorado hippies wearing hemp shoulder pads. But Means elusiveness will not remind anyone of Riley Dodge. He is not a future 1,000 yard rusher. So why would North Texas give a scholarship to a high school quarterback with average passing stats, a sub .500 record as a varsity starter (he did lead his JV team to a 10-0 record as a sophomore!) who does not possess elite running ability? Well, UNT wasnt the only school to offer Means a scholarship. Recruiting sites list other offers from Boise State, Texas State, La-Lafayette and La-Monroe. Going back to the mid-90s, I cant think of an incoming UNT freshman, who was recruited as a quarterback, with that many FBS offers. If Means cant play quarterback at the next level, UNT isnt the only program he fooled. While Means has yet to prove he is a college quarterback, his picture could certainly be used to catfish an unsuspecting Internet user to believe he was one. Means is a full 6-3 and 205 with the frame to get heavier. He looks comfortable in the pocket and can take a hit. While his arm is not anything to tweet about, it looks like he can make all the throws necessary to spread the field and keep a defense honest. So why wasnt he a better high school player? The scouting reports mention a small mechanical flaw in his delivery (his elbow is too low when he throws) which impacts his accuracy (thus the low completion percentage and high interceptions). This will be the key to Means success in Denton. Means attended the UNT satellite camp and has thrown in front of Canales and Dan McCarney a couple of times. They must think they can fix him! UNT is hoping that Means can be the new car you buy on deep discount because the dealer left it outside during a bad hail storm. Just give it a new paint job and a little body work and your friends will never know! The truth is, if Means already had a perfect delivery and impressive stats, hed probably be heading to the Big 12. For a FBS QB, Means moves well, possesses ideal size and has acceptable arm strength. Those are assets you cant coach. It is smart football to include a quarterback in every recruiting class and this is the time in the life cycle of the UNT football program to invest in one with raw upside. If Andrew McNulty, Brock Berglund and Dajon Williams are who we hope they are, then Means doesnt have to be anything more than a 4th string QB for at least two years. That gives Canales time in the laboratory to work through his flaws and improve his accuracy. If Canales can do that, Means past performance will have no bearing on his future results.
  9. Recently, he achieved perhaps his loftiest goal and that was to one day play collegiate football. If all goes according to his objectives, he’ll be doing it at the University of North Texas in Denton, the football program he has verbally agreed to play for starting next season. Now the next step is to patiently wait for Feb. 5, the first day recruits in the class of 2014 can sign national letter of intents. His father, Deer Park High School head basketball coach Louie Means, says his son is scheduled to graduate in December, opening the door for him to report early enough to the Mean Green so that he can participate in spring drills, a rarity for a high school athlete to do that. “It all began in the beginning of spring maybe a little before that. I went up to a Junior Day there. Coach (Mike) Canales, the offensive coordinator, saw my tape and said they’d keep in touch. Spring ball started and they came down and watched me and I had a good day. They said, we’d keep in touch so we kept talking over and over and over again. All that time, coach Canales and I had built a relationship. I had other schools offer me but our relationship was stronger than anything else. So I just felt comfortable making my decision to go play ball there,” Connor Means said Monday, following the opening day to fall workouts. Read more: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/deer_park/sports/means-verbally-commits-to-north-texas-football-program/article_a94f9ce4-021a-5ccd-a179-3ce6ce7be859.html
  10. Deer Park men's basketball head coach Louie Means' admiration for his father and his influence on his life makes coaching extra special. "I have so much gratitude toward him. I have so much appreciation for how my life turned out," Means said of Dwyn Means. "He gave us an awesome childhood and an awesome life." Dwyn Means relocated the family from St. Louis to Mississippi where they were raised. Means said he knew from an early age that much would be expected from him throughout his life. "That comes from Dad. He was in the construction business, so he was a hard worker. He expected us to work hard too," Means said. "Dad never did anything half-way and he would never, ever let us get away with doing anything half-way. That's what I try to instill in my family and my teams. You're either in or you're out. There can't be an in-between because when you're in, that's when you give it all you've got." Although the family was close, Means said the real bonds grew when Dwyn introduced sports into his children's lives. "That was it for us. I fell in love with it all. Football, basketball, you name it. He even helped start the youth football league in our town," he said. Dwyn Means played quarterback in his football-playing days. Louie Means did the same as did his son Connor. "I think that's pretty cool right there. A nice little tradition of quarterbacks," he said. "Plus football is dad's sport. That's what he loves. He's a huge Ole Miss fan." Means said he fondly remembers his dad cheering for the likes of Archie Manning as he led the Rebels and then the New Orleans Saints. Means' brother was a wide receiver for Southern Miss. When the two teams squared off, it was the only day Dwyn Means didn't cheer for the Rebels. When Means told his father he wanted to become a coach, he was a little hesitant at his son's decision. "He didn't think I could make a good living being a coach. But, I told him 'Dad, you put a glove on my hand, a basketball goal in the backyard and helmets on our heads. I want to do this because you brought this into my life,'" he said. "He didn't really have any problems after I explained it to him." Read more: http://insidedp.com/news/1346-dads-expectations-of-hard-work-dedication-passes-through-means-family-to-team
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