Chat with William Wilkerson
Welcome to HornsNation! On Tuesday, writer William Wilkerson stops by to chat about everything Texas.
Wilkerson joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering high school and college sports for the last four years at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. William is a University of Texas graduate and lives in Dallas.
Send your questions now and join Wilkerson Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
William Wilkerson (2:59 PM)
Alright HornsNation, thank you for stopping by. Let's get this thing going.
raul (rio grande city)
Did they 'Horns give up on Garrett Gilbert too soon? He looked good on the second half of the NC game against Alabama...but looked lost the following Spring...what happened?
William Wilkerson (3:01 PM)
The Longhorns didn't give up on GG too soon. He simply wasn't producing. They had to make a move and give someone else a chance. Remember, for as well as he played against Bama in the NC considering the circumstances, he still threw several interceptions, which proved to be a telling theme throughout his time in Austin.
Joseph T (Texas)
Mr. Wilkerson with the Kiel debacle that happened yesterday you have not seen any indications that anyone other than Thomas Johnson will be decommitting from Texas?
William Wilkerson (3:03 PM)
First off, I didn't see the Kiel thing coming at all. I spoke with him in San Antonio a few weeks ago and he seemed very enthusiastic about LSU.As for your question, no I don't see anyone else de-committing this late in the process. The only one I thought would, has in TJ. I do know that A&M is still pressing for Malcom Brown, which they should.
John McCrary (Willis, TX)
Did Texas have talks with De'Vante Harris after his decommitment to OU? Also, Has Mack Brown made any in home visits to either Mario Edwards Jr. or DGB?
William Wilkerson (3:04 PM)
Texas did reach out to De'Vante after his de-commitment. But not much came from it. As I am sure you are aware he committed to A&M yesterday.I was told today that Mack will make in-home visits with DGB and MEJ the last week of Jan.
I've heard rumors DGB has dwindled his list to a final 3 of OU, Mizzou, and Arkansas. Any truth to this?
William Wilkerson (3:05 PM)
DGB and his family are keeping things so tight-lipped. To my knowledge there is no truth to this rumor. Texas is still in the mix.
David Jackson (sugar land tx)
With the signing of UT's signing of Brewer, how difficult will it be for the Horns to land either Swoopes or Barrett? Also which one of those two is a must get for the Horns? Swoopes and the raw size and speed to be a monster in the BIG12.
William Wilkerson (3:08 PM)
Don't factor Jalen Overstreet out of this QB equation just yet. He's a little raw at the position, but his athleticism is intriguing. I think he could have a say in this by the time it's all said and done. If that were to happen, then I think Texas might be in some trouble with Swoopes and/or Barrett. But I think Overstreet is a long-term project and the odds of him seeing the field as a QB next season are slim IMO. So I don't believe Brewer or Overstreet will have that much of an impact on UT's pursuit of these two. As for which one is a must-get, I think it's too early to say. They both have very intriguing qualities about them. I don't think Texas could go wrong with one or the other.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Texas Longhorns will be selected in the 2012 NFL Draft?
William Wilkerson (3:10 PM)
You've got to believe Kheeston Randall, Manny Acho and Keenan Robinson will all get drafted. I think Fozzy is going to get a shot if he can prove he's fully recovered from his injury. But I see him being more of a free agent option. Christian Scott has the athleticism to play at that level, but I think it's more a mental thing with him that he needs to figure out before a team takes a chance with him.
Kris (Fort Bragg, NC)
What chance does Texas have of signing DGB and Mario Edwards? What immediate and long term effect do you see in signing one or both?
William Wilkerson (3:13 PM)
Texas is in the mix for both. But I think it's going to be more of an uphill climb to land MEJ than DGB. They'd both make immediate marks with Texas, there's no question about it. I think it would do a few things, most importantly being that it would signify that Texas, despite going 13-12 the last two seasons, can still recruit as good or better than anyone.
What other reciever will Texas bring in to replace Thomas Johnson?
William Wilkerson (3:14 PM)
The two possibilities are Corey Coleman, who is committed to Baylor, and Daje Johnson, who is committed to TCU.But I don't think Texas will bring in either personally. I think both are happy with their current commitments and the loyalty those schools have shown them. The thre WR Texas has coming in aren't too shabby either.
Is Torshio Davis a target or is Edwards the main target or going all out for both with DGB.
William Wilkerson (3:16 PM)
All three are targets. If DGB and MEJ are priorities 1A and 1B, then Davis is 1C. But I just don't see him backing away from his LSU pledge. Give Texas credit though. This staff is really using their time in the SEC to their advantage. It will work out eventually.
Is Connor Brewer going to get a opportunity right away to become the starter.
William Wilkerson (3:17 PM)
Too early to say. I think him being enrolled right now gives him a better chance, but it all depends on how David Ash and Case McCoy perform. Both QBs have to have short leashes though. So if they slip up too much then I certainly think Brewer could get a chance. Harsin loves the kids potential.
Mario Edwards? We reeling him away from FSU? Arik Armstead; I think he's got a visit scheduled this wknd, you figure him to be a commit soon?
William Wilkerson (3:20 PM)
I've touched on MEJ a bit in previous questions. Texas is doing all it can to get him away from FSU. But all reports are his official visit at FSU last weekend went very, very well. Armstead has Texas in his top five but I do not believe he is scheduled to visit Texas this weekend. He told me in San Antonio that he liked the Longhorns and has spoken to them about the possibility of playing both football and basketball. But I think he'll stay on the west coast.
TB (Hillcrest, MO)
Talked to Dorial a bunch lately, he's not looking at Texas anymore, but he really liked Coach Wyatt. What is his future at Texas. Will he eventually be an OC or Head Coach there? Or will he get those jobs somewhere else?
William Wilkerson (3:21 PM)
Wyatt has been one of Texas strongest recruiters in this class. He's done a phenominal job. I think he has a few more years to go as an assistant before he tests the OC waters. But there's no question he has it in him.
todd (austin tx)
Why isnt texas going after daje johnson or somebody to fill the void left by thomas johnsons decommit and whats is up with DGB everybody is saying its down to arkansas and texas its been that rumor for a long time is it true i really believe we can get him? sorry for the long question also
William Wilkerson (3:24 PM)
Texas' recruitment of Daje has been pretty interesting. He was the one who originally reached out to Mack Brown to see if there was any interest during the season. They brought him in to meet with the coaches. He likes the proximity to home. But there is something that is holding the Longhorns from offering him. I think the fact that they have waited this long means it won't happen. If they really wanted him they would have likely pressed the issue right after TJ de-committed. And they didn't. I think Texas feels OK with where they stand with their WRs. UT not going after another WR might also have something to do with them not wanting to show their positioning with DGB.
todd (austin tx)
Is texas going to offer vincent hobb? And do you think he will committ on the spot at texas?
William Wilkerson (3:30 PM)
It's unclear if Hobbs will get an offer this weekend, but I do know that Texas loves his athleticism. If there is a downfall with Hobbs right now it's that he didn't block much in high school and is pretty raw in that sense. But, in speaking with his HS coach yesterday, he thinks that's nothing that can't come around with practice.
justin (austin tx)
Is texas hosting any uncommitted played that are considering texas except vincent hobbs this friday?
William Wilkerson (3:30 PM)
Hobbs is the only uncommitted player this weekend.
TBreezy (Austin, TX)
Yo Willie Dub, Signing Day is around the corner. Any surprises in store for Longhorn fans? I'm thinking I want Mr. Edwards over DGB.
William Wilkerson (3:32 PM)
Yo TBreezy, what's good. Texas fans would surely love nothing more than another Jordan Hicks/Jackson Jeffcoat type of day with DGB and MEJ. But I don't think that is going to happen.
Kirk (San Antonio)
Sounds like DGB has ruled out UT and is down to three schools. Does Texas need to go after another receiver with the loss of Thomas Johnson and failing to reel in DGB? Can/will Kendall Sanders play both ways?
William Wilkerson (3:34 PM)
If Texas is indeed out of the running for DGB I think it could look at Daje Johnson or Corey Coleman. But the fact that they haven't contacted either player since Johnson's de-commitment speaks volumes. I'm not so sure that either player would take Texas' offer anyway. They both like where they stand with TCU and Baylor respectively. I do think Sanders is going to be a productive WR for this team. Considering how young and talented Texas' secondary is, I think he'll stay at WR.
If and when is mack suppose to have a in home visit with DGB? Is it over with us for mario edwards since reported he had a hell of a time at his fsu visit.
William Wilkerson (3:34 PM)
Was told today that Mack will take in-home visits with both players the last week of Jan. You can never count Texas out until the player puts pen to the paper of another schools scholarship.
Tyler (Greensboro, NC)
At this point do we have a shot at landing either MEJ or DGB? If not who do you see the horns targeting for those empty spots?
William Wilkerson (3:36 PM)
Even if Texas doesn't land either player, I believe it would be enthusiastic about the haul it made. This is one of the best, if not the best class in the nation... and it's coming off two seasons in which the combined record was 13-12. That's huge.
Tyler (Greensboro, NC)
What freshmen do you see coming in and having an immediate impact?
William Wilkerson (3:37 PM)
The first name that comes to mind is Malcom Brown. The DT from Brenham, Texas was unblockable at the Under Armour All-American Game. I think he and both JUCO players, Donald Hawkins and Brandon Moore, will all have immediate impacts. I think Cayleb Jones sees a lot of playing time too. I'm not so sure he wouldn't have been the best WR on the team this season.
Tyler (Greensboro, NC)
What are your feelings about the QB situation? Are we doomed to another season of overthrown passes and ints?
William Wilkerson (3:39 PM)
It all depends on what Harsin and Applewhite are able to do with Ash, McCoy and Brewer this spring and then Overstreet this fall. One thing that Mack has been sure to point out is the fact that these QBs will have better talent around them in 2012, and I do believe that is true.
Tyler (Greensboro, NC)
What's your realistic view on JGrays impact as a freshman?
William Wilkerson (3:41 PM)
Heisman. Just kidding. But I do think you will be able to tell very early why he set all of the prep records he did. His breakaway speed is second-to-none that I've seen. I think he will compliment Brown and Bergeron perfectly, especially given his pass-catching abilities.
HornBehindEnemyLines (North of the Red River)
Two Questions:What are the horns' chances with Mario Edwards?Do you see Alex De La Torre ever making an impact at Texas?
William Wilkerson (3:43 PM)
After his OV with FSU last weekend, I'd put them at 43.6 percent. I think De La Torre will definitely make an impact at Texas. Dude is a leader, and was one of the primary leaders of this T.G.O.D. 2012 recruiting class. He's a very smart player that I see making in impact on special teams next season and then on defense soon after that.
Michael (Weatherford, TX)
With Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron already as proven runners in the backfield, how are some ways you think Brian Harsin can utilize a third most likely productive back with incoming freshman Jonathan Gray? Do u think an old school throwback to the wishbone would be possible?
William Wilkerson (3:44 PM)
Someone has to replace Fozzy in the Wildcat, right? And I think there is no better person to do that than Gray. In addition, I think Gray's ability to catch out of the backfield will be a huge bonus for this offense in the seasons to come. I think an ever-so-often wishbone formation isn't out of the realm of possibilities. Nothing should be with these running backs... and these quarterbacks.
Sam (Austin, Tx)
Hey William, With the departure of Thomas Johnson does Texas have a higher chance of picking up DGB? Also, do you think Brewer will redshirt next year seeing that Ash looked like he could be the guy after a pretty impressive showing against Cal.
William Wilkerson (3:47 PM)
Sam, I don't think TJ's departure has that big of an impact on whether or not DGB chooses Texas. He's going to go wherever he wants and not have much competition wherever he goes. Texas would love to be able to redshirt Brewer. And I wouldn't get too caught up in Ash's performance in the Holiday Bowl. It doesn't override some of the performances he had in the regular season.
In your opinion are there any locks to commit during Junior days?
William Wilkerson (3:48 PM)
I think there are a few linemen that will be committed to Texas by the time they leave Austin the weekend of Feb. 12.
With all the talent at the running back position, do you see a running back by committee or one getting more carries than the others?
William Wilkerson (3:50 PM)
I think you'll see something similar to what you saw this season. Each player brings something different. And if they can all stay healthy I think you'll see something similar to last season, with Gray possibly taking over for Fozzy in the Wildcat. Also, remember Cody Johnson is gone too. So you could see Bergeron shift over to fullback at some point too.
William Wilkerson (3:51 PM)
Ody Johnson is a name that I left of the list of players I think will get drafted. I think he showed a lot of unselfishness last season.
So i'm hearing MEJ has pretty much picked FSU? Is it over now?
William Wilkerson (3:51 PM)
His visit went extremely well over the weekend. But like I said earlier, you just can't count Texas out until a scholarship is signed.
Austin (Houston, Tx)
What are the chances connor wood would have ended up with the starting job if he wouldn't of transferred to colorado? And do you think we will be good enough to beat OU next year?
William Wilkerson (3:53 PM)
He would have certainly seen playing time. It's anyone's guess if he would have started. But you have to think his chances would have been pretty good given what we saw out of the other two.I do believe Texas will have a much better chance against OU in 2012. Good enough to beat them, eh. I wouldn't put money on it right now. But a lot is going to happen between now and Oct.
Greg (Austin, TX)
How many future 1st round picks do you see Texas having on it's current roster? Who would they be?
William Wilkerson (3:55 PM)
Not including 2012 recruting class, I'd say Alex Okafor is a possibility. I think Kenny Vaccaro could sneak in as a late pick if he has another season like he did in 2011. You can't count Malcolm Brown out as a possibility if he stays healthy and isn't overshadowed by JGray.
Daniel (Fort Worth, TX)
What can Texas do better in it's evaluation of potential QB recruits? I know it really hurts to miss on a five-star prospect like Garrett Gilbert, and David Ash is still very young, but if the mediocre QB play continues this upcoming season that will make three straight subpar years. What is Texas doing wrong?
William Wilkerson (3:59 PM)
Well, everyone missed on Gilbert. Texas had no choice but to take one of the best players in the country in its back yard. One thing I think Texas could do a better job of is developing depth. Sure, it had plenty of depth at the beginning of last season. But none of those guys seemed to be sure-fired starting quarterbacks. Texas needs Ash or McCoy to step up in a major way this season so it can redshirt Brewer, figure out what to do with Overstreet and then go after a salty group of dual threat QBs in the state for 2013 in Tyrone Swoopes and J.T. Barrett. Also, the more time Harsin is able to spend around these quarterbacks is only going to make them better. Give this some time, even though time isn't something Texas fans want to give its program these days.
William Wilkerson (4:00 PM)
Alright folks, that's going to wrap up this week's HornsNation chat. We appreciate all of you for stopping by and asking us questions. Until next time,William