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)
Good afternoon everyone and thanks for joining the latest edition of our weekly chat. It's inching closer to football season so feel free to ask any questions you have about where the Longhorns stand heading into fall camp as well as any recruiting or other questions you may have.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When will we see the Texas Longhorns win a National Championship again in College Football?
William Wilkerson (3:01 PM)
My guess is as good as yours Chris. I do think Texas has a chance to win the Big 12 this season and should be even better in 2013 given the youth of this team. Need to win the Big 12 before you start talking Nat'l title though. The addition of WVU and TCU won't make that easy.
Jaston (Lubbock, Texas)
Which O-lineman will man will commit first, Andrew Billings or Caleb Benenoch?? Which one do you think is better?? My opinion is Billings because he is super strong and has good feet and can move well.. Your thoughts??
William Wilkerson (3:04 PM)
Both players really like Texas. So the Longhorns do have that going for them. But they've also got several other teams to fight off for both prospects, who have seen their stock rise in the last month(s). I believe Benenoch is more of a Texas lean than Billings, but not by much. As for who is better, I'd give the slight edge to Billings. I really like the power he possesses. And, if there is one knock on Caleb that I have heard, it is that his feet aren't the best. I haven't seen him in person yet. But that's what I've been told.
HotStuff Mcgee (Austin, Tx)
What does this T&Z position consist of? Do you have anymore details of what daje and dj would be doing?
William Wilkerson (3:06 PM)
This position is still in the very beginning stages so there isn't too much to tell other than what Mack told us at his press conference last week. That was basically that a new position has been created with the hopes that it would get players like D.J. Monroe and Daje Johnson more involved in the offense. Brown loves both player's abilities to be game-changers. They will line up in some mixture of tailback and 'Z' WR. As more info becomes available we will get it to you.
Darrell (Cypress, Texas)
Does Texas have the nations best starting DE's in the country?
William Wilkerson (3:08 PM)
I believe it is a toss up between Texas (Okafor and Jeffcoat) and LSU (Mingo and Montgomery). I'd hate the be the quarterback going against either one of those lines. The interior of Texas' DL should be a lot better than it was last season, especially deeper, so that should really help Okafor and Jeffcoat's case.
Shiloh (Pittsburgh PA)
How do I get into the business? Care to share your story of how you came to be where you are today?
William Wilkerson (3:11 PM)
Sure, well, I'd say your best bet would be to get into some sort of journalism program in college. Then get out in the field and get as much work done as you can. A degree is great but it won't do you much good if you can't produce quality, sound stories. You can generate some of your best ideas by reading some of your favorite journalists too, so be sure to read and hone your craft that way.
DDakota (Lubbock, Texas)
Hey is there any more news on RSJ and if so when could we see a commitment and what are his top 5 teams in order
William Wilkerson (3:12 PM)
Visit with Texas went well. He was able to meet with coaches of both programs, including the football coaches who cancelled a coaching clinic to meet with RSJ. He said he'd make a decision before his senior season starts, which leaves him only with next month to decide. He hasn't listed a top 5 but I do know he likes Texas, LSU, Baylor and Texas A&M.
With the lack of depth at the linebacker position do you see any of the 2012 class's Linebackers having significant playing time such as Dalton Santos, Peter Jinkens, Timothy Cole, or even Shiro Davis giving linebacker a shot?
William Wilkerson (3:14 PM)
Absolutely do. Brown mentioned his concern with the second group of LBs last week. I fully expect the LBs from 2012 to get a look if they can prove themselves worthy this fall. I think Santos and Jinkens are your best bets right now to get in the LB mix. I beleive Cole could earn time on special teams.
With Camrhon Hughes injury, who will the back-up tackels be and if there is an injury to a starting tackle what do you think Coach Searels will do?
William Wilkerson (3:18 PM)
Brown said that Hughes was likely headed for a reshirt season before the injury. So his absence shouldn't have any affect on the two-deep. Hawkins and Cochran are the likely starting two tackles. Then you've got any combo of Greenlea, Doyle, Poehlmann and Estelle. Estelle is the one to watch though. Supereme upside.
Do you see Myck Kabongo having a big year offensively for the Longhorns next year now that J'Covan Brown will be entering the NBA draft?
William Wilkerson (3:20 PM)
He has to have a huge year in order for the Longhorns to have a successful season. The emergence of a true post presence should help his game a ton. Every PG is better with a post man to dump it to and Texas should have no fewer than three of those in 2012.
It seems like Texas offered Geoff Swaim as more of a blocking tight end, so my question is what separates Swaim from converted tackle Luke Poehlmann?
William Wilkerson (3:23 PM)
Experience at the position and the threat of catching the ball if needed. Swaim doesn't have much experience at TE as he has only really played it in JUCO (he was an LB in HS). But he's really matured at the positon and, judging from film, knows what he's doing. Poehlmann did his job well last season but having a true TE on the end with the ability to break out into a route will give the defense something else to think about.
What are the chances we land either Vonn Bell or Marcell Harris? Are we on their lists because we've shown interest or do we have a legitimate shot at getting one of them?
William Wilkerson (3:25 PM)
There is a chance with both of them. Bell has the tie to Texas because he used to live in the DFW area, and Harris has shown his interest by visiting Austin on more than one occasion. DB slots are filling up for Texas in 2013 but I'd imagine both of these guys are players Texas would take regardless.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will allowing RSJ to play basketball in Austin close the deal and lead to him recommitting to the Horns?
William Wilkerson (3:25 PM)
It gives them a better chance, yes. But other schools are offering the same deal. He says Texas is still "No. 1 in his heart" but the heart of a 16-year-old can chance pretty quickly.
Doesn't Texas has one more basketball scholarship left, if they do who will it go to sine Pollard didn't commit
William Wilkerson (3:26 PM)
It does but I would imagine they will hold on to it for the next class. Scholarships are tight.
Hey William who's the next commit for UT? Are the 'horns getting RSJ back?
William Wilkerson (3:28 PM)
What's good Mike, this next month is going to be huge for not only Texas but several other big time programs. Many prospects, like RSJ and Prevot, want to get this decision out of the way before football begins. Tough to say who will be next considering the surprise of the last commitment (Swaim) but I'll say it will be an offensive lineman.
Dexter (De Kalb, Texas)
Do you think there is a good chance that Ricky Seals-Jones will recommit, it he is allowed to play hoops too?
William Wilkerson (3:29 PM)
I think Texas has a better chance of getting a commitment from RSJ than any other school. Then again I also thought the Spurs would beat OKC in six games, so I don't know much.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you have an issue with LSU placing #2 nationally on their SEC Championship rings? Doesn't it belittle what they accomplished last year and tarnish the ring/season even more for the kids who will probably never wear the ring in most cases now because of the painful reminder on the side of it?
William Wilkerson (3:31 PM)
I don't have an issue with it. To each his own i suppose. I understand your point but there is a ton to be proud of in the season it had. That said, I wouldn't wear a ring with the No. 2 on it.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do the Horns have a Plan B if Ricky Seals-Jones doesn't jump back on board?
William Wilkerson (3:32 PM)
Pray he de-decommits and ends up in Austin.
who do you see committing next for football and basketball
William Wilkerson (3:34 PM)
Answered this earlier for football. I think it will be an offensive lineman. Tough to say for basketball. Though Texas would love it if his name were Julius Randle and/or Keith Frazier.
We heard a lot about Noel Ellis recently, and now he commits to A&M. This after Maurice Smith commits to Alabama. What is going on with DBU?
William Wilkerson (3:37 PM)
Everything is fine with DBU. You are going to miss on some prospects. Texas probably waited a little longer than it had to on Smith, and that may have ultimately cost UT. Things seemed to be going well with Ellis and he goes to A&M. I understand the concern but they've got an ESPN 150 player in Davis and a possible steal in Huhn. Cole Luke is still out there as are Harris and Bell. Give it time. I think you'll be pleased.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Will Cameron Ridley be able to step in and have an immediate for the Horns down low? Or do you think it will take more time for him to adjust to CBB?
William Wilkerson (3:40 PM)
Defensively, Ridley could have stepped in last season and been the Horns best interior defender. He's that massive and that skilled defensively. Offensively is going to take some time as he won't be able to bully his way through colelgiate post players like he did high school posts. But he will still get his fair share of put backs. Two huge keys for Ridley in my opinion: 1. Kabongo has to penetrate with more aggression this season. Ridley's man should collapse on Myck thus creating a dump off pass or an easier path to an offensive board and put-back. 2. Ridley needs Ibeh and Lammert to take some of the pressure off of him. Ibeh is somewhat limited offensively too but Lammert can really stretch a defense with his left-handed outside shot.
David (Mansfield Ohio)
Two questions for you. Where does Texas stand with Bell and Harris and any timetable for their committment? Also with all of this talk about offering sophomores, I don't see how Alabama, Oklahoma, or an Ohio State offer can be such an advantage when they offer 2 to 3 times the amount of players Texas does. Don't you think an offer from a school like Texas that picks and chooses rather than a school who offers anyone and everyone is more prestigious to high school kids?
William Wilkerson (3:43 PM)
No real timetable for Bell and Harris. But I do think Texas is in the mix for both. As for offering sophomores, we've had an interesting debate in our HornsNation forum. A slight edge of voters says not to offer sophomores. I think, like you mentioned, one of the positives Texas has created with how it goes about offering has created an aura around its offer. It holds a lot of weight compared to others. But I do think they need to really break down the pros and cons of offering them if it's determined that too many of its targets are jumping on those early offers from Bama, LSU and A&M.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Does Rick Barnes miss Frank Haith on the recruiting trail? It just doesn't seem like recruiting has been quite as good since he left. Your thoughts?
William Wilkerson (3:46 PM)
Fair point. Haith was great at it but Texas still has Russ Springmann, who is one of the better recruiters in the country and also Rob Lanier, who is very talented. This staff will relly be tested in 2013 with so much top-tier talent in the state.
How good do you see Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh, Javan Felix, and Demarcus Holland to be this year
William Wilkerson (3:47 PM)
I think they can be really, really good, and quite frankly, are going to have to be. Don't forget about Connor Lammert. I think he is the sleeper of this class.
Shiloh (Pittsburgh PA)
Who would win in pickup game? if they were both in their prime? T.J. Ford or D.J. Augustine?
William Wilkerson (3:48 PM)
Gotta go with T.J. Unreal how quick he was when he resided in Austin.
Do you think UT having to play OSU before the RRSO helps or hurts the Horns for the OU game? Barring injury I think it helps.
William Wilkerson (3:50 PM)
Barring injury, it only helps. No question. Anytime you can go on the road to a hostile enviornment and compete your team is going to come away better for it. They'll come from Ole Miss into that game and then return home against WVU the next week. That's a tough three-game stretch heading into Dallas.
Mando (Houston, Tx)
I've heard really, really good things about Jalen Overstreet. As good things that he might give Swoopes some competition. What have you heard on him? Any chance he moves up to back up Ash? I think he should. We could use him in special packages with our offense. You see any RGIII potential in him? The kid looks legit! Hook'em \\m//
William Wilkerson (3:53 PM)
Tons of upside with Jalen. I think the thing that shoudl excite you all the most is his hunger to succeed. Can't be fun being the "other guy" behind Brewer, who has already been on campus for months. Harsin saw something in Overstreet, and normally when he sees something in a QB it's a good thing. Overstreet doesn't have the arm strength or shiftiness of RGIII at this stage in his career but that's not to say he couldn't get there.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
A fairer question speed wise, is who'd win the pickup game and foot race between T.J. Ford and Ty Lawson? Who you got Will?
William Wilkerson (4:00 PM)
Tony, you forgot "White Lightning" Wilkerson. If it's the three of us, clearly, I'd go with myself. With those two though I'm going to the guy whose first name is two letters long and begins with a 'T'.
Chris (Groves, TX)
Will Brewer red-shirt this season? Seems to me the QB position is too unstable to red-shirt him.
William Wilkerson (4:02 PM)
I doubt he redshirts. Like you said, too unstable to sit him out the entire season. Any in-game experience he can get this season will only help him, and strengthen the quarterback competition, heading into 2013 when you could have Ash, McCoy, Brewer, Overstreet and Swoopes all competing.
Kevin Durant (South Beach)
Are my title hopes gone if we lose tonight to the Heat?
William Wilkerson (4:03 PM)
They'll be as good as the Spurs if you don't give OKC 34 points or higher tonight.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
LOL! Good one "White lighting". :)
William Wilkerson (4:04 PM)
I'll give it a few more minutes here folks.
Buter (Lake Hawkins, Texas)
What's the upside and downside so far at the 7 vs. 7 workouts this summer?
William Wilkerson (4:08 PM)
Upside is cohesiveness and a better familairity with the playbook. Downside, eh, there aren't really any.
William Wilkerson (4:09 PM)
Alright, that will conclude this edition of our weekly chat. We appreciate all of you stopping by. Until next week, Cheers.