Texas Recruits @ US Army All-American Bowl

All-Star games can be fairly worthless given that the practices are probably more telling than the actual game. By their nature, after you spot the obvious slam dunks, they're probably better at proving a negative: they can debunk some big prospects who thrived against mediocre competition and discredit mass hallucinations conjured by popular opinion (see Tre Allen, any Tom Lemming advocated recruit who signed with Notre Dame). That aside, it's good to see how guys look physically and who can run.

Some thoughts on our guys after watching live and reviewing on DVR.

Defense:

Tariq Allen 43 LB 6'2 231 MacArthur HS TX

Got the start at OLB though he projects to MLB in college. A bit of a ghost until he absolutely knocked the dog piss out of a East kid in the flat mid 3rd quarter. Then a great TFL on QB Kevin Newsome. Then a great tackle on Bryce Brown. Nose for the ball. I'm pleased to see us recruiting a true MLB - our upcoming game against Ohio St is testament to that fact that you still need those guys. I liked seeing a big body LB bring the wood with authority.

Marcus Davis 28 DB 6'0 193 Clear Creek HS TX

Got in during the late 1st and prevented a TD completion off of a trick play. Another guy who looks the part and he can run. He also wasn't particuarly shy about mixing it up. He just didn't get tested - which is generally a very good thing. I saw him playing a lot of man-to-man CB; probably projects to safety.

Calvin Howell 99 DT 6'4 280 Warren HS TX

Howell got a nice flush on a pass play in the 1st quarter and he didn't see much of a running game to work against. Had a nice play on Kevin Newsome on a QB draw. He definitely passes the eyeball test and I thought he held his own against some good OL - though not many impact plays of note.

Alex Okafor 80 DE 6'5 232 Pflugerville HS TX

Good first step and much, much stronger than I thought he'd be. He covers a lot of ground. He held up very well against the run and on a couple of occasions pushed the OT all the way into the QB to disrupt the throw. What's exciting about Okafor is that you can see he's damn good now, but his upside is huge. 6-5 260 is a year and a half way and he won't lose a step doing it. Made several plays that were initially disruptive - flushing a QB from the pocket, collapsing a pocket with a bull rush, but he didn't always finish with the aid of some well-timed holds. He'll need to learn to discard blockers and fight through chaffe with his hands. His pass rushing skill set is also pretty raw - all stuff that comes with teaching and time.

Offense:

Garrett Porter 78 OT 6'6 308 Permian HS TX

Garrett didn't get the start at OT over human science experiment DJ Fluker (who gave up some big hits on the West QB), but when Garrett did get his first action in the late 1st quarter he did really well. He kept his base and completely stoned the DE on pass plays and kept it up throughout the game. Physically, the dude is a legit 6-6 and although I've heard talk of him moving inside, I see nothing that prevents him from getting his shot at OT. Garrett is pretty technical and well coached - he looks likes he's overextending a bit at times, but the East DEs couldn't do a a thing about it. I wasn't blown by his physicality in the run game. Get the boy a shirt, get him in the weight room, and we'll see him in three.

Greg Timmons 81 WR 6'3 191 Eisenhower HS TX

He looked more like 6-2 205. Solid kid. He opened the game with a nice 18 yard catch from Rollison where he showed the hands and route running for which he's known. He followed that by drawing a PI in single coverage. Two plays later he gets open easily on a fly route and dropped a sure TD on a very poorly thrown ball. Didn't see the ball again until the 4th quarter. He definitely looks good in pads and I love any dude who rocks the retro high top fade ala Big Daddy Kane. He's not particularly fast or nifty, but he's got the Michael Irvin/Michael Crabtree body shield skills and he attacks the ball with his hands. He'll play at 210-215 when he's all grows up and he's certainly a guy you need in our passing game to keep the chains moving and make the tough catches inside.

Chris Whaley 25 RB 6'3 220 Madisonville HS TX

Obviously he's huge and his frame can carry good weight anywhere between 225-260. It was good to see Whaley break a couple of tackles on a late second quarter run and then again in the 3rd quarter. Like most big guys he's slow off of the blocks, but he has excellent feet and he keeps them moving on contact. Nice little skill set. Shrugs off arm tackles. The question isn't really whether he can play RB - the question is whether he can play RB for us. We're not running the I anytime soon. Given what I've seen of his hands and footwork and what he showed on his late touchdown catch, I'd be curious to see what he could be as a TE. He has a ton of athletic ability and versatility so if he doesn't pan at RB, there's still a lot we could do with him somewhere. A 10.8 100 for a big dude is no joke.

All in all, pretty pleased with what I saw for the good guys.

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