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 (3:00 PM)
Alright folks, last ditch effort to get Peyton Manning to share some of that $96 mil with me hasn't worked out. So let's get this thing started.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you Think that the Texas Longhorns will play in a Bowl Game in 2012?
William Wilkerson (3:01 PM)
Is this a trick question? Texas is going to make a bowl game next season. Now, do I think they make one in 2012 or a BCS game in 2013? I'm going with 2012 for now with an outsiders chance at the latter depending on QB play, finding a solid kicker and an adequate safety.
adrian (rio grande city,tx)
Has cameron ridley signed yet and will he sign? and will texas punch ou in the mouth in the annual redriver showdown?
William Wilkerson (3:03 PM)
Ridley, the prize of Texas' 2012 recruiting class, has not signed his LOI yet. That could be coming next month. I think Texas has a better chance of doing that next year than last. Of course, OU does have a solid QB coming back.
EZ 28 (Davis, CA)
When do you think they will offer some in state DB's(Smith and Davis)?
William Wilkerson (3:04 PM)
Don't think it will happen today, but it could as Maurice Smith is expected to talk to Texas' coaches at some point today. Both of these players want to go to Texas. If the Horns want them they'll most likely get them. But the longer they wait, the more I can see either player, each with a plethora of offers, going elsewhere.
EZ 28 (Davis, CA)
Do you think Ridley will actually sign and does Brown and Kybango go pro?
William Wilkerson (3:06 PM)
I do. He'd be THE GUY at Texas if he came, and the Longhorns have done as well as any putting five-star type guys like Ridley in the League. I'm guessing that both Brown and Myck go pro, though I don't think Kybango should. Could use at least one more year to work on tightening his J.
Shane (San Marcos, Texas)
What are the chances of J'Covan Brown and Myck Kabongo leaving for the draft, and what do you think they will do? And what is the situation with Cameron Ridley and not signing his letter of intent yet?
William Wilkerson (3:08 PM)
I think J'Covan is all but gone, even though he hasn't officially announced anything yet. He'd have a hard time raising his draft stock any higher than it already is. Thought he showed a lot of maturity this year, which may have been a question mark for some NBA teams. Carter thinks Myck is about 75 percent gone to the NBA and I agree with him. As for Ridley, there have been rumors that he might reclassify to 2013. I haven't been able to confirm those rumors with Ridley's camp. He could also end all of the suspense by signing with Texas on April 11.
Of course with yet another heart breaking end of the season, it's time to look to next year. Lets say J'covan and Myck both decide to enter the draft, but we still get Ridley next year. Is next year's team better or worse than this years?
William Wilkerson (3:11 PM)
That's tough. Here's a look at what next years lineup would look like if that were the case:Bond 6-7Gibbs 6-1Holmes 6-7Lewis 6-4McClellan 6-4Ridley 6-10Ibeh 6-10Felix 5-11Lammert 6-10Papapetrou 6-8I'd say the starting five would be Lewis, McClellan, Ridley, Felix and Holmes. Texas' lack of an inside presence just destroyed them this season, but the ability of Brown to take over offensively masked that to some degree. I'd say this season's team would be better at this point. But Ridley could change that if he is as good as advertised.
William Wilkerson (3:12 PM)
One note on Ridley: In one game this season against Galena Park, it was reported that he tallied 52 points, 25 rebounds and six blocks.
Also, I've been looking into this Ioannis Papapetrou guy coming in next year. He seems to be the least heralded of the incoming class, but the fact that he got offers from Kansas and Florida make me think that this guy could be better than expected. Is the lack of respect simply because of the lack of exposure?
William Wilkerson (3:15 PM)
I think Ioannis is the sleeper of this class even though I do think Connor Lammert is being slept on despite his four-star ranking. Papapetrou is 6-foot-8 and growing. He could end up in the 6-9, 6-10 range, and he handles like a point guard. In fact, when I spoke to his coach about his commitment to Texas he told me Papa was a point guard. It's hard not to get exposure in this day and age with AAU, international scouting, etc. I'm not sure that was it. He is very respected around the country. Horns fans will enjoy him.
Any worries that none of these featured dbs/safeties commit to Texas because of the slow play/late offers??
William Wilkerson (3:16 PM)
I wouldn't be too worried if I were you. Look, all of these kids understand how Texas operates and unless you are a sure-fired All-American type you might have to wait on an offer. I think Smith and/or Davis will eventually be offered. I do admire Texas for putting so much stock in recruiting out-of-state safeties though.
ChingonMD (Midland, Texas)
Hey William,Former Pleasanton Eagle here, I wanted to know who you are excited about seeing during the Spring game?
William Wilkerson (3:18 PM)
I'll give you a top 5 in order of excitement:1. Brandon Moore2. Steve Edmond3. David Ash4. Connor Brewer5. Duke Thomas
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Was the Goestenkors departure truly a case of fatigue or forced resignation due to lofty expectations not being met during her tenure in Austin?
William Wilkerson (3:20 PM)
I don't think she was forced out. In watching her interview on LHN (which you guys will enjoy, great product), she truly seemed relieved that the pressure of coaching at this level was no longer squarely on her shoulders. But facts are facts. She didn't come close to living up to the expectations she brought with her from Duke. Texas has become a second-tier program in the Big 12 and is probably the third choice for the state's top talent behind Baylor and A&M.
It looks like (at least on paper) we are stacked with receivers, so why are we so intent on using Kendall Sanders as a WR? I saw Kendall Sanders play on the Army game and he is an absolute stud at the CB. He also has enough size to play safety (not sure about tackling ability), which means that he could potentially be our replacement for Vaccaro after the upcoming season. I'm not sure if he could beat out Shipley, Davis, and Goodwin this year but he can definitely compete for playing time as a DB (CB/S). Will Kendall Sanders remain listed as WR?
William Wilkerson (3:23 PM)
It's never a lock that what kids are told they are being brought in for is where the kid will end up playing. I understand your point completely but I do think Sanders has the ability to do some special, special things as a WR. That being said, he does have a nice frame and isn't afraid to rough you up. I'm not sure he would be the answer at safety but he could do some damage at corner too. I just think someone like Duke Thomas (another freshman already on campus) is better suited at corner.
Corey (Austin, TX)
Anyway we can move Barnes to basketball recruiting coordinator and trick Izzo into the head coaching position? No? Well I can dream...
William Wilkerson (3:24 PM)
Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen. But dream away.
Mario (Midland, Texas)
Former Pleasanton Eagle here, I am wondering what you are looking forward to the annual Spring game? Do you think that next years team is ready to compete in the National rankings this year? What bowl do you see them in 2012?
William Wilkerson (3:25 PM)
I think Texas will hover around the middle of the top 25 next season with an outsiders shot at making a BCS bowl.
Is Eryon Barnett with the team? Looked like he was on his way to being a good corner. And if not, is Duke Thomas the third best corner? I guess Turner is playing some safety too?
William Wilkerson (3:27 PM)
Yes Barnett is on the team but it's going to be tough for him to get playing time in this secondary. Thomas has made quite the impression thus far from what I understand. He's one of the guys I'll be most interested to see in the spring game. Didn't play much in the secondary in high school. I'd say he is a top 4 corner. Don't forget about Brysn Echols coming in the fall though.
William Wilkerson (3:28 PM)
I'll go 9-3 for now with swing games at OSU, vs. WVU, vs. OU and at KState. Ten wins is not of of the picture.
So when Raulerson signed he said the coaches were looking at him playing both TE and DE. Some seem to think RSJ will play WR, but we also have Smythe. What do you think about the TE spot down the road and where those three will end up?
William Wilkerson (3:31 PM)
the tight end position got a lot better with Smythe. I think he has all-conference potential down the road. I think RSJ will see some time with his hand on the ground if his body matures like many expect it too. If the Longhorns choose to go after Trent Gow or Jeramiah Gaines they'd be set. I don't see Raulerson playing much TE at all, maybe short yardage situations brought in as an extra blocker. Don't sleep on McFarland. I think he could have a breakout year.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How would you rate the Horns chances of landing Justin Manning at this point? Are they still actively recruiting him or allowed that ship to sail after his visit to OU, and the James commitment?
William Wilkerson (3:32 PM)
The offer is still on the table, but I do think he'll ultimately follow his brother to OU. That being said, you can never count Texas out of any race until a kid puts pen to another program's LOI.
Which recruits are expected in town for the spring game and of these who do u think will get an offer......and maybe commit?
William Wilkerson (3:34 PM)
Still working to confirm several names but there should be a hefty representation of committed and uncommitted players. I'll get a chance to speak with many of them this week in Dallas during the Elite 11 QB camp and Nike Camp at Cowboys Stadium.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Bigger nemesis to the Horns during his career, Ryan Broyles or Mark Clayton?
William Wilkerson (3:35 PM)
Whew that is a tough question. Both were so good. But I'll go with Clayton. Some of the best hands I've seen.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Does Rick Barnes need to lead the Horns to a Sweet 16 appearance next season to prevent his seat from heating up?
William Wilkerson (3:38 PM)
I think, to some degree, you have to base this question on the talent that he has on the roster. If he has another mass exodus of early exits like it appears that he will have with Brown and MK, and lands Ridley then getting to the Tourney and winning one game would be a big boost. If he gets to the Sweet 16 next season his backside will be cool heading into the following season.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Do Horns fans still lament the benching of Major Applewhite in favor of Chris Simms?
William Wilkerson (3:41 PM)
Always and forever, IMO. Look no further than the 2001 Big 12 title game when Major came in and almost helped Texas knock off Colorado. Simms threw three INTs and had a fumble. A Longhorns win would have sent them to the NC.
Nick (CC, Tx)
I know its a bit early for this since some guys are not on campus yet but who do you see running the Wild formation this season? (Daje, Gray, Jaxon, etc)??
William Wilkerson (3:43 PM)
I think it could be a "by committee" approach early but I think Gray would be perfect for this. He is a bright guy with the immediate burst to get through holes quickly, which is often needed in these situations. But he can also follow blockers well enough too. He's my choice, but I don't get paid to make those decisions.
Edmond has been the focus at LB, but what do you make of Jordan Hicks? H was a monster recruit. Carter said he hadn't lived up his potential, but didn't he do pretty well last year considering he was playing with Acho and KR and UT sometimes plays with only 2 LB's?
William Wilkerson (3:45 PM)
I agree with Carter here. I don't think he has played to his capabilities. But, to his credit, he wasn't always 100 percent healthy and, as you mentioned, was often left on the sideline because of Texas' choice in coverage. This is his linebacking group now, and a chance for him to show the nation why he was the top LB in the country a few years back. If he can channel that and get help up the middle from guys like D. Jack, B. Moore, Dorsey, Whaley, Brown, Etc., then I think he will do that.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Who will prove to be the better defensive end at UT, Sergio Kindle or Jackson Jeffcoat?
William Wilkerson (3:48 PM)
Another tough question from you Tony. I'm going to go with Kindle... for now. Once he figured out how good he was, which I believe he did his last season in Austin, he was a menace. I still remember that hit be put on Tech's QB that knocked his helmet off. But you have to be encouraged by JJ's performance late in the season. He still has two solid seasons left to make his mark, though I do think he'll only use one.
Reagan (Waco, TX)
How much does the loss of the TCU drug dealers hurt the team? Is WV really THAT good? How will OKST fair with losing their QB,WR?
William Wilkerson (3:51 PM)
TCU is lucky it has leadership in place that is as strong-willed as Gary Patterson. He'll get that program where it needs to be in order to compete for the Big 12 title. Yes, WVU really is that good. I don't care who you are playing, if you score 70 points in the Orange Bowl you can play. I know that was last year, but Holgerson is that great of an offensive mind to recreate that year after year.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
I've heard a lot of positive things about Brandon Moore and his performance thus far in Austin. How does he compare to recent Longhorn defensive tackle standouts Franklin Okam, Roy Miller, and Lamar Houston?
William Wilkerson (3:54 PM)
Well he is bigger than all of them, which is the most striking thing to me because Okam is one large human. All three guys you listed were so strong up the middle and had such low centers of gravity that allowed them to succeed. I think with Moore you will see his brute strength be the cause for much of his play. Another thing to think about is I'm not sure any of those three guys had partners in crime as talented as the supporting cast Moore will have.
Can we get them to play "I Hope You Dance" on gamedays again? I think that's the missing key to a national champ run.
William Wilkerson (3:55 PM)
Marco, I think you are right. Mack, if you are reading, we just handed you your golden ticket to the BCS National Championship game. You're welcome.
michael (san antonio)
will texas go hard after mike mitchell and brett wade
William Wilkerson (3:56 PM)
I don't see it happening for either of these guys Michael. Texas has who it wants at linebacker.
Christopher (PDX, Oregon)
what are Overstreet's chances of landing a starting role, or is he the wildcat with the occasional passplay?
William Wilkerson (3:58 PM)
I think Overstreet feels like he has a lot to prove once he gets here. Ever since he committed he's been the OTHER guy behind Connor Brewer, who, as you know, has already gotten a jump on his Texas career. I think Overstreet can earn a starting role. It didn't get any easier with the commitment of Tyrone Swoopes. But he's got the ability to be a lot like Denard Robinson... with his shoes tied.
When Coach Diaz decides to move on to another coaching role, what are some names of up and coming Defensive coordinators that will be on the Longhorns Radar?
William Wilkerson (4:01 PM)
Completely throwing this name out of left field, but how about Tennessee DC Justin Wilcox? Coached with Harsin at Boise State before going to Rocky Top.
Chase (South Dakota)
When is the spring game? April 1st?
William Wilkerson (4:02 PM)
Yup. April 1, 2 p.m. CT on LHN.
William Wilkerson (4:03 PM)
Alright folks, thanks for stopping by to this week's chat. Be sure to come back next week same time, same place. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter at @ESPNwilkerson.