Chat with Max Olson
Welcome to HornsNation! On Tuesday, writer Max Olson stops by to chat about everything Texas.
Olson joined ESPN in 2012 after covering the University of Nebraska for the Omaha World-Herald and high school and college sports for the World-Herald and Rivals.com. Olson is a University of Nebraska graduate and lives in Austin, Texas.
Send your questions now and join Olson Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Max Olson (4:03 PM)
Howdy folks. Welcome to this week's HornsNation chat. Lots to talk about this week in both college and pro football, huh? Big week for the Longhorns as they prep for a road test at Oklahoma State. Keep sending in your questions and let's get this started.
Let's talk recruiting: What's the latest with WR Treadwell? I see he has offers from most big-time programs. Does he have visits scheduled?
Max Olson (4:05 PM)
Yeah, Laquon Treadwell has offers from the best of the best. Here's four schools he's expected to visit this fall: Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Missouri and Michigan. He's already been to Oxford once but plans to go back for their game vs. Auburn. Will he end up taking a visit to Texas? That's hard to say right now, he wants to continue to develop his relationship with the UT staff before deciding on that.
Jon (Main Building/The Tower)
Man I sure do miss my horns playing seems like forever?! How much of a statement can the horns make with a win or a controlling victory at Okie state?
Max Olson (4:08 PM)
I think Texas has a chance this weekend to establish itself as an undisputed top-10 team and gain some considerable momentum heading into the WVU game. It's a night game and a big stage and it's on the road. An impressive victory will get a lot of people's attention.
How much of J Gray will we see Saturday if J Berg cannot go? Chances J Berg and J Hicks play this weekend?
Max Olson (4:10 PM)
I like Bergeron's chances better than Hicks'. I'm skeptical that Hicks will be available for this game. As for Gray, I don't know that he'll get a big boost despite a nice showing in mop-up time vs. Ole Miss. I'd bet that Texas works a little harder to get the ball in the hands of D.J. Monroe and Daje Johnson this weekend.
Are you of the belief that the winner of the Big 12 will have 2 losses? What are the tiebreakers? I can see more than 2 teams finishing with 2 losses.
Max Olson (4:13 PM)
I think with Oklahoma already knocking out one of its losses that's a distinct possibility, unless West Virginia just rolls through this conference (and I have my doubts about that). The tiebreaker for a 3-team tie is a bit complicated, you can read up on the Big 12 rules for that here: http://bit.ly/1LYJt9
How many WRs does Texas want in the 2013 class? I think Warrick is very, very good from what I've seen and heard of him. How good is Jake Oliver? I haven't really seen or heard much about him. He has decent size, and I've heard he gets after his blocks, any chance he could grow into the TE Texas has been looking for?
Max Olson (4:16 PM)
If you haven't already, go read more on Warrick over on HornsNation.com today, we've got a feature up on him. Texas is looking to take 3 WRs for the 2013 class. They have 2. Warrick is a talented slot receiver and Oliver is a big possession receiver who's been one of the state's most prolific high school wideouts. I'll get a better look at him on Friday when Jesuit takes on Dallas Skyline and he faces A&M 2014 commit Ced Collins. Great matchup. I don't think he grows into a TE. Texas has already done way too many WR-TE conversions, anyway.
Jeff (Dallas )
I fear that without Hicks in the line up our LB are very vulnerable. When Hicks went down they just seemed completely disoriented. What is going on with Cobbs and Edmonds? Why haven?t they played at a higher level?
Max Olson (4:18 PM)
Because they're first-year starters, simple as that. That learning takes time. Manny Diaz has confidence in them, but the depth behind those two is still a legitimate concern. UT is basically holding tryouts between all the LBs in the program to find the best fit for replacing Hicks this week.
Zach (NW Austin)
Max, do you think David Ash and the Texas offense can have their way against OK state?
Max Olson (4:21 PM)
With a great game plan, I think it's possible. Take away the safety and Fozzy's kick return and Texas' offense only put up 17 on Oklahoma State last year, yet it was still a close game. I watched Arizona-OSU this year. Putting up points on the Cowboys isn't impossible if your QB can stretch the defense with his mobility. Ash has that capability when he's in the zone.
Jose Cuervo (Cali )
A journalist from Rivals.com claimed that Texas ?gave up? on RSJ too early. Do you agree with his assessment?
Max Olson (4:27 PM)
Yes and no. "Gave up" is a term that gets lots of people's attention on purpose, it's supposed to drum up argument. It's not like Texas bowed out because they didn't think they could win his pledge. Lot of factors in play here. But did they do it too early? I don't necessarily think so. There's a lot of time left, yeah, but he was supposed to decide by the end of the summer. Texas had to move on eventually.
Alright Max,In light of OU's disaster against K-State, and WVU not looking so potent against a bottom-of-the-barrel ACC team, in Maryland, I want to hear your top 5 Big12 title contenders, in order. Go!
Max Olson (4:28 PM)
My top 5 Big 12 title contenders: 1) West Virginia 2) Texas 3) Oklahoma 4) Kansas State 5) TCU
Other than the QBs, what freshmen appear to be headed for a redshirt?
Max Olson (4:31 PM)
I'd say: Echols, Norman, Boyette, Cole, Bluiett, Colbert, Hughes. I still think there's a sliver of hope for Shiro, Ridgeway, Cottrell and Riser. If they don't start playing soon, though, they'll likely sit.
After watching the k-state Oklahoma game I don't think I'd trade David Ash for Landry jones. Jones has no "it" factor at all. Would you?
Max Olson (4:33 PM)
Apples and oranges. You're talking about a fourth-year starter and senior vs. a true sophomore. I'd prefer Jones' experience, but Ash has more than 2.5 seasons left. Who knows how good he'll be by his senior year? You'd have to hope he's a little steadier by then than Jones has been this year.
Kevin Johnson (FL)
What is the possibility that Texas lands Marcel Harris? With Vaccaro leaving after this year they need a Safety to come in to replace him. Your thoughts?
Max Olson (4:34 PM)
Kevin, I think it's going to be tough. The loss of Vaccaro does create a legit need at safety. I still think it's going to be Texas vs. Florida in the end, but the fact that he's visiting a bunch of other big-time programs doesn't help. Makes you wonder if Texas would've rather been the last visit than the first one.
Justin (Oklahoma City)
Who is a greater threat to Texas' chances? Walsh or Lunt?
Max Olson (4:36 PM)
Well, I have a hard time seeing Lunt playing this weekend, so I'll go Walsh. For either guy, it's the first really big start of their careers. Texas will try to prey on that inexperience. I like Walsh, though, and think he has a chance to be a handful for UT if he gets the offense on track.
DW (Kansas City)
What are Texas' chances of running the Big 12 this year, and if they do not, who are the loses to?
Max Olson (4:37 PM)
The chances look good right now. The potential losses are Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas State, maybe even TCU. Tough sledding ahead. Doesn't mean I think Texas loses 4 games, but they'll have to pull off some big wins.
Curt (40 acres)
Max, if Texas takes care of business on Saturday, what do you think of the chances that the home game against W. Virgina brings College Game Day to town? With it most likely being a top ten match-up and their first test in the Big 12.
Max Olson (4:39 PM)
A fine question. Even if Oklahoma State was undefeated right now, I still don't think GameDay would've come to Stillwater, not with a sexier Texas-WVU matchup the following week. I like Austin's chances of getting GameDay, though I have no say in that. Georgia vs. South Carolina is another big game that weekend to keep an eye on.
Jake Altman (NYC)
Do you see antonio gates coming back with a vengeance this week?
Max Olson (4:40 PM)
Man I hope so. Big disappointment this weekend, though so were the rest of my Chargers.
Who do you take in a showdown: Omar Little or Walt White?
Max Olson (4:41 PM)
Walter White hands down...though I've never watched The Wire. Shameful, I know.
Hardy (Houston )
What is going on with Carrington Byndom? He seems to have regressed. Is it time to start looking at other corners, perhaps Thomas and Turner?
Max Olson (4:42 PM)
We'll get a better sense of where he's at this week, I think. Oklahoma State will see Quandre Diggs' two picks at Ole Miss and might not want to throw his way too often.
Zach (NW Austin)
If Texas ends the season at 10-2 and makes it to the At&t Cotton bowl, do you think Texas could play an SEC team well enough to beat them?
Max Olson (4:43 PM)
Yeah, I do. I'm not sure what SEC teams I'd peg for that bowl right now but if that conference gets a bunch of BCS bids you'd be looking at maybe the conference's third or fourth best school.
967cody (2512 maryjane)
go arkansas state
Max Olson (4:45 PM)
Big game against Western Kentucky this week. I'm a big believer in Willie Taggart. Think the Hilltoppers get the win this weekend. Sorry.
Jose Cuervo (Cali )
Is Texas really a serious player for Laquon Treadwell? What is taking Caleb Benenoch from pulling the trigger?
Max Olson (4:47 PM)
Texas is a player for Treadwell but not a serious one yet, at least compared to the schools that have been recruiting him longer. What's slowing down Caleb is the fact he's loving all the visits he's going on. Remember, he didn't hit up junior days this year. He committed to Michigan State on the spot, sight unseen. This is really his big chance to really get out and see a bunch of programs.
Can you offer some insight/comparisions into what kind of backs we have coming in (Hicks, Catalon, Gresham)? Will Texas land one of the other 2014 RBs offered?
Max Olson (4:53 PM)
Yeah, good question Stephen. Hicks reminds me a bit of Fozzy Whittaker, especially after watching him run the Wildcat this year. Catalon is that nice combo of speed in open space and power on inside runs. Kind of reminded me of (not to overhype the kid) LaMichael James in a way. And Gresham is that bruising fullback/tailback similar to guys like Cody Johnson and maybe, if he develops more, Bergeron in some ways. But I'm not a scout, that's just off the top of my head.
Max Olson (4:53 PM)
As for the other 2014 RBs I wouldn't be surprised if Texas nabs another in-state back for this class but I don't think it's happening with Fournette or Starks.
James (San Antonio)
Is Vonn Bell 100% out of the question? I've seen that he's narrowed his list but I also hear random notes that he may pick a darkhorse.
Max Olson (4:55 PM)
According to our Georgia guy Kipp Adams, Vonn Bell is down to Tennessee, Ohio State and Alabama. Seems like Texas is out of it at this point.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will the Texas Longhorns play a College Football game at Cowboys Stadium This Season if so when?
Max Olson (4:56 PM)
Nope, not this year. Unless they play in the Cotton Bowl in January.
Sal (San Antonio )
Will Texas pick up commitments from Andrew Billings and Caleb Benenoch? What is going on with Laquan Treadwell and Devon Allen?
Max Olson (4:56 PM)
Texas is still very much in it for Billings (who could decide any day now) and Benenoch. Allen is visiting for the West Virginia game. UCLA is reportedly his new No. 1 school.
Yo should I start Martellus Bennett on my fantasy team this week? or Antonio Gates?
Max Olson (4:57 PM)
Ask Matthew Berry, not me. I'm no fantasy expert. Went 2-3 in my leagues this week.
Max Olson (4:57 PM)
Send in your last questions. Thanks for a good chat guys, hope I answered most of your questions.
Of the guys currently offered and uncommitted for 2013, who does you think Texas wants the most? Top 3?
Max Olson (4:59 PM)
I'd guess Marcell Harris, Andrew Billings and a wide receiver, though not many have been offered yet.
Will you please explain to me why Baylor has become such a destination school for top basketball talent? I can't for the life of me figure out how/why Baylor is getting so many top ranked players!!
Max Olson (5:00 PM)
Lot of good tournament runs lately, fun playing style. And I've only drive through it on the way to Dallas, but Waco must be one magical place.
Max Olson (5:01 PM)
Last question of the day:
Okay, let's be serious...refs have ruined the NFL so forget about Sunday football, everyone was watching the Emmy's. Now Max, I've seen your interview videos, you have some serious STYLE. Of all those who presented or were nominated, who were the best and worst dressed?
Max Olson (5:06 PM)
First of all, I wouldn't put my "style" in all caps. Far too generous. Best dressed for me, besides Vergara, might've been Zooey Deschanel and Kerry Washington. Didn't really care for all that yellow from Julianne Moore, and I was pretty disappointed by Connie Britton. Aaron Paul and Jon Hamm win for the men. Man, I shouldn't have answered this question.
Max Olson (5:07 PM)
Well folks, that's all I've got for today. Thanks for joining me and keep reading HornsNation.com, lots of great stuff running all week long! Have a good day.