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2009 Texas Football Recruiting: Offensive Skill Players

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If you want to look at their high school accomplishments and stats.

QB

Garrett Gilbert QB 6-3 205 Austin, TX

I won't tell you anything you don't already know. Great frame and pocket presence. His demeanor and NFL Dad's grooming suggest that he'll be a coach on the field. This is the guy we want running the '08 McCoy offense & precision passing game; this is the QB that Mike Leach has wet dreams about. Smart, accurate, tough, can throw beautiful balls while off-balance, on-the-run, or shuffling around in the pocket, good feet, and he's a decent enough athlete to punish you if you leave open running lanes. Like most great QBs - even the really nice guys - he has that little edge where his teammates don't want to disappoint him and they constantly jockey for his approval. His arm strength is more than adequate for college. I see him as a legitimate scrambling threat, but not a running threat. Certainly not enough of one to open up our running game. He racked up plenty of rushing yards at Lake Travis, but that was also against gimmick 3-1-7 defenses and/or against dudes from Alice named Hector. Exciting get, obviously. I'm agnostic as to whether to redshirt him - it all depends on how John Chiles and Sherrod Harris perform. If he beats them out fair and square, make him Colt's backup and get him 20+ snaps a game in every game outside of Dallas and Stillwater.

RB

Chris Whaley RB 6-2 230 Madisonville, TX

Look, he's obviously huge and runs with real skill for such a big kid. Could he be a TE/DE/DT/LB/RB/FB/SG/CPA/MFA/PHD? Yeah, I could conjure scenarios for all of those. I thought he showed legitimate RB skills in the Army game: he got his pads down, saw the game well, used his strength, and demonstrated great feet - though he's been showing great feet for three years. I've always been impressed by his soft hands. He catches the ball effortlessly out of the backfield for such a big dude and I prize that highly. On the downside, he has faced weak competition in high school, he hasn't always embraced contact, he has an upright style that screams MCL tear, and he'll need to learn blitz protection. Regarding blitz protection, I'm not sure when picking up men inside-outside got so complicated to teach a RB, but I will readily concede that there's also a technique and willingness aspect too. Whaley is also reported to have had moments of attitudinal melodrama, but I don't know about that. Those things can be malleable. I'd heard the same thing about Sergio Kindle and under the proper (read: any) mentorship he has become the hardest working guy on our team. Whatever you think of Whaley's RB future, the guy is an elite athlete and an obvious take. Why he was our ONLY take there is another matter, particularly when the state had some other interesting talents.

TE

I like both of these guys fine. Brandon Pettigrew isn't often available in Texas and since we make no effort to identify intriguing freaks at this position nationally, we took two interesting prospects - Mutt and Jeff - that could develop into players for us.

Barrett Matthews TE 6-1 220 Galena Park, TX

My favorite recruits are rarely the flashiest and Barrett Matthews fits that bill. The question is - what do you do with him? The answer is: what don't you do with him? He's a unique athlete and I hope our staff values him appropriately as a guy who will, in short order, weigh a solid 235-240, be a devastating blocker in space, run an honest 4.6, and have excellent hands. That sort of versatility screams for a Chris Cooley H-back role where he can help add diversity to the running game (dare I say as an occasional lead blocker in the backfield), can split into the slot to earhole a MLB or catch a 20 yard post, and line up at traditional TE and use superior technique and explosiveness to seal off a DE or OLB. He may not be an every down player, but there's real value in this guy's unique athletic mix. He's also pissed off on the field all of the time and I like having guys like that. That's why we keep CloseToJumping around.

Trey Graham TE 6-5 235 Waco, TX

Trey is a traditional TE, but he played quite a bit lined up in the backfield at Waco Midway as a lead blocker due to some injuries at FB. He has a nice frame and clearly has the ability to carry 250+ comfortably once his upper body fills out. He's a willing and very capable blocker at TE with his hand down on the edge: great lower body strength, good drive, finishes blocks on smaller guys - though I was totally unimpressed with him as a lead blocker at H-back. It's tough for the tall guys to get low in the hole from the FB position, so that's not on him. He shows some balls skills, but was generally under-utilized as a receiver in Midway's run-first offense. There were three or four TEs in the state that roughly approximated Graham's skill set so if you were going to take one, why not him? I could easily see Graham being a contributor early, more out of desperation than anything. He doesn't project to anything else, it's TE or bust. At worst, he's Joey Thomas from A&M.

WR

It was nice to see us reign rein in our natural impulse to sign 16 WRs with each class. The fact that the 2009 WR class was historically weak was also a contributing factor.

Greg Timmons WR 6-2 200 - Aldine, TX

I've been persuaded on Timmons. Sure, he generally does as much with the ball in his hands after the catch as Mason Walters does, but the guy is a physical mismatch against CBs, knows how to use his hands and hips to get separation, runs outstanding routes, snatches the ball with his hands extended, and generally does all of the little things you expect out of a wily NFL veteran rather than a cocky 18 year old rocking a Big Daddy Kane fade. I love slow dudes who get open deep off of pure wiliness and change of pace. You need this guy on your receiving corps and if he proves to be nothing more than Nate Jones as a senior, then he's still a take. His upside looks considerably better than that though. I expect him to play at 210-215 and consistently wreck smaller defensive backs.

Marquise Goodwin WR 5-10 165 - Rowlett, TX

Consider me intrigued. It's not just that Marquise is fast (10.3 100 meters) but his long jump of 26 feet + makes him a world class elite athlete. We're talking about a guy who could go 10.1 100 meters with a 27 foot long jump in short order. What I really like about him is that he's not a track guy dabbling in football. I saw a little dude without vaginal tendencies who catches the ball well, too. The $100 question is whether Marquise can fulfill his track potential while building the strength and frame necessary to play football. If he can both at 180, we've stolen something. Honestly, I hope he does the right thing for himself either way. I'd 'shirt him and wait and see.