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 (4:01 PM)
Welcome to this week's HornsNation chat. Thanks for joining me. Longhorns are off this week on spring break and resume practice next week, but there's still plenty going on for us to talk about. Send in your questions and I'll answer as many as I can.
Why aren't you a fan of Stacy Searles? Seems like he has been hitting the O-line recruiting hard, bringing in those big bodies. I guess it just matters how he develops them now?
Max Olson (4:02 PM)
I've never said I'm not a fan of Stacy Searels. I think this season is going to be a good test of his coaching ability. He did not inherit a whole lot when he took over in 2011, but now the cabinets are stocked full of quality young linemen. No excuses now, time for UT to have a better than average line again.
I Will Quandre Diggs playing CB or safety this season?
Max Olson (4:03 PM)
Cornerback, but I do see him playing all over the field. Good to see him getting some work this spring at covering guys in the slot. He's going to need to match up with a team's best WR at all times, and in the Big 12 that's not always the outside WRs.
barron (TRIPLE D)
CALEB JONES=LOVELL PINCKNEY KENDALL SANDERS=ERIC METCALF MARCUS JOHNSON=KWAME CAVIL, NOW WE JUST NEED A KIETH AND KERRY CASH=M.J. MCFARLAND
Max Olson (4:04 PM)
I like your passion.
Ben (Wichita Falls)
Mr. Olson, how soon do you think the Longhorns see returns on the hiring of Suddes, and just how big an impact can he make on this program?
Max Olson (4:05 PM)
They'll start seeing returns immediately. The "Sophomore Day" they'll host on March 23 should pay big dividends, as should the spring game. I'm probably most intrigued to see what Suddes does with Texas' summer camps in June. Also have to wonder if 2015 offers go out sooner than later under his watch.
I keep hearing different report concerning Dom Espinosa. Some people have said that he looked dominant against MB2, while others are saying he needs to be replaced. What's your assessment of him?
Max Olson (4:09 PM)
That's the nature of spring ball - you'll see reports that guys are dominating one day and struggling the next. Espinosa will be seriously challenged for his starting job, and he should be. I have my doubts that he's one of Texas' five best linemen, and he's got to prove that to Searels and a lot of people.
Has Dalton Santos overtaken Steve Edmond at MLB?
Max Olson (4:10 PM)
Not yet. But after what we saw during the open practices earlier this month, it would not surprise me. Santos is in great shape.
Is there any chance that Darius James will start this year? I know it's rare for a true freshman lineman to start for UT, but I am hoping for a better interior line this year and that can't happen with the same personnel. I read Carter's article on Sanders, Jones, and Johnson today, who do you think will emerge? I think Jones will be the best complement as a sort of big/red zone target. We already have a beast slot (Shipley) and speed deep threat with Davis.
Max Olson (4:12 PM)
Right now Darius James is being told he'll come in and compete for a starting job at guard. I would be somewhat surprised if he redshirts, honestly, unless he gets hurt. He's a very powerful lineman with great feet and might be Texas' most college-ready incoming freshman. As for the WRs, we hear so much about Sanders in the offseason but that didn't pan out in 2012. I do think Cayleb gets a lot of touches as a sophomore, but Sanders needs to have an increased role too.
How is Texas looking with any of the 2014 bball recruits?
Max Olson (4:13 PM)
Hard to say. It's possibly Texas only has 1 scholarship to offer for that class, unless multiple guys leave the program. That roster is just so young that they're in a bit of a numbers crunch at the moment.
mdizzle (sugar land, tx)
Has there been any separation between Brewer and Overstreet?
Max Olson (4:14 PM)
That certainly seemed to favor Brewer when we got to watch 2 practices this spring. But I really don't see things separating between Brewer, Overstreet and (yes) Tyrone Swoopes until we get deep into fall camp in August. Don't overlook Swoopes just yet.
Texas fan (Austin tx)
. Has the TE out of LA been offered? Why hasn't texas recruited tony upchurch out of Dawson?
Max Olson (4:17 PM)
New Orleans Edna Karr TE Anthony Jones told HornsNation's William Wilkerson he knows there's some confusion about whether he has an offer, but he's confident he'll receive one soon. (Here's that story: http://es.pn/ZjMsxs). Upchurch is a guy Texas has looked at, but they already have 2 WR commits and K.D. Cannon is priority No. 1 for the 3rd WR spot. Upchurch could be on the radar if they miss on Cannon.
in which area do you expect to see the most improvement this year? please say tackling
Max Olson (4:18 PM)
Stephen (Seattle, WA)
What kind of play can we expect from Jeffcoat come next year? Think he plays with some vengeance?
Max Olson (4:20 PM)
Yes. Jeffcoat has been hampered by injuries for a long time now and has to prove he can be a dominant lineman who can stay on the field. You know the potential is there.
Stephen (Seattle, WA)
What do you see Texas Mens bball doing in the Big12 tourney, can they beat one of the top 3 teams?
Max Olson (4:23 PM)
I think they get past a pretty poor TCU team in the first round Wednesday but can't knock off Kansas State in the 2nd round. Know UT has won 3 of its last 4 but can't envision a good run in KC this year.
The Prophet (The Chair)
Tell me why I shouldn't be super excited about the season. Texas saves college football by beating Alabama (who many will argue is the greatest team in college football history going into the game) in the national championship game. David Ash, after a prolific junior season, will finish second to Alabama's sophomore running back for the Heisman trophy. David Ash will be seen celebrating on the sideline with Vince Young in the closing minutes after one of the greatest bowl performances in recent history amassing over 300 yards passing and 6 touchdowns against a salty Alabama defense. (drops mic) you heard it here book it
Max Olson (4:23 PM)
Posting this just because you finished by dropping the mic. Well played.
Whats going Max, hope your having a good one! But hey, are you and the HN crew going to put a list up of the recruits expecting to vist the new sophmore day and the spring game? i know it probably early but i was just wondering. you guys are pretty good about that stuf.
Max Olson (4:24 PM)
We definitely will. We've been checking in with a lot of 2015 recruits this week and will have full coverage of next weekend's big recruiting day. Expect a visitor list on our forum and in next Thursday's edition of The Heard.
thoughts on greshams comments? could saban screw us over AGAIN?
Max Olson (4:25 PM)
Gresham and Knox are solid with Texas. Nothing to worry about.
mike (fort worth )
what are your thoughts on greshams comments about alabama? should we be worried?
Max Olson (4:28 PM)
Can't knock the kid for being honest. What recruit doesn't want an offer from Alabama right now? It's affirmation that you're a top prospect. If Gresham gets serious about visiting Alabama you would have reason to be concerned. But right now he's not.
Nicolai (Denmark, Europe)
Any word on Braden Smith? He was mentioned quite a lot last year, but I haven't heard anything from him the last few months. Has the staff moved on to other guys like Joseph Paul or is his recruitment just quite like Dorial Green-Beckham's?
Max Olson (4:29 PM)
I know Texas has given him a long look and that Stacy Searels went to watch him play the Friday before Texas' road game vs. Kansas. But he's a big-time national prospect, and all you can do is work to get him to visit campus right now. Smith doesn't do interviews - only his coach does - so it's hard to gauge his thinking.
Bo (Sugar Land)
Any word on players transfering?
Max Olson (4:30 PM)
Not yet. We'll find out after spring ball ends and guys begin to consider where they want to spend the 2013-14 school year.
dale gribble (arlen)
will we ever see a longhorn receiver who is dominant in the nfl?
Max Olson (4:31 PM)
You didn't consider Roy Williams dominant? Kidding. I think Mike Davis has a chance to be special if he makes the most of 2013.
Plain and simplle.... Are we beating Oklahoma this year?
Max Olson (4:35 PM)
I'm not all that impressed with the 2013 Sooners, but I'm not gonna answer that one until August.
Better WR Mike Davis or Jaxon Shipley?
Max Olson (4:36 PM)
That's a tough one. I'd take Shipley. Better rapport with Ash and much more consistent. But Davis has a chance to be a game-changing, 1000-yard WR this season too.
Max Olson (4:38 PM)
Keep bringing the questions guys, good stuff so far today.
You may not be very impressed with the Sooners, but it also sounds to me that you are not that impressed with the longhorns. I'm i reading you right?
Max Olson (4:40 PM)
Texas might have the most talented team in the Big 12 on paper. I expect them to contend for a conference title. But we all know that game vs. OU dictates a lot in how the season plays out. Texas can be a 3-loss team or it can be quite a bit better than that. I'm not sure which one we'll see yet.
What should we expect to see at Sophomore day?And Barca or Milan?
Max Olson (4:43 PM)
Expect to see Texas' 2013 signees, most of its 2014 commits and a group of some of the state's best 2015 prospects. I don't think it's going to be 30 sophomores or a giant group. But it'll be elite guys. As for soccer...I like Messi. I believe he plays for Barca. So I'll take Barca. (I'm not a soccer guy.)
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be on Defense for the Texas Longhorns in College Football in 2013?
Max Olson (4:44 PM)
If you're asking for a starting lineup, right now I'd have to project it would be Jeffcoat, Reed, Jackson, Whaley/Brown, Hicks, Jinkens, Santos, Diggs, Byndom, Phillips and M. Thompson.
Blake (San Antonio)
Do you think it is possible for the team to lose respect for Ash after being mocked by V Y. The last thing we need is for him to lose his confidence or for the team to lose respect for him.
Max Olson (4:45 PM)
I think Vince was just trying to loosen him up. Ash is naturally a bit of a quieter, more introverted guy but is trying to become a vocal leader.
Jonathan (San Antonio)
Will Edmond be switched to DE or TE (great hands) if he loses the MLB battle to Santos?
Max Olson (4:46 PM)
I don't think that would be the plan, but there were times last season when I wondered if Edmond could become what Chris Whaley is as an athlete pass-rushing defensive lineman.
whoopi goldberg (austin)
who steps in for vaccaro in the secondary?
Max Olson (4:47 PM)
Welcome to the chat Whoopi. Must be in town for SXSW. The coaches want Thompson to be that guy and I know Akina has a lot of faith in him.
% Myck stays for another year to improve his 2nd round draft stock? Any other Longhorn hoopers potentially leaving early?
Max Olson (4:50 PM)
Here's my opinion: I think there's an 80% chance Kabongo should stay. I think there's a 40% chance he will stay. I just don't see how he's going to get a better draft eval and wind up in a better spot than he would've last year. My guess is he would've fallen in the 30-40 range in the draft last year. I don't see how he could've improved that in 8-10 games this season.
Kevin (Houston )
I keep hearing that Texas will be using 4 wr sets like never before. So is it fair to say R.I.P. to the TE position?
Max Olson (4:53 PM)
They'll still need TEs for running the ball and McFarland can line up in the slot and be a pass-catching threat.
Which team's early exit will make you happier: Gonzaga or Creighton?
Max Olson (4:53 PM)
I like Gonzaga. So Creighton.
Doesn't sound promising for Julius Randle to pick the Horns. If we pick up Croaker and Myck stays, what kind of team does Rick Barnes have next season?
Max Olson (4:54 PM)
A pretty good team. Croaker has a chance to be a pretty reliable scorer down the road. The key for me is how much can Papi and Ridley take the next step? Papi might be the key to that team.
duane akina (austin)
Who produces better DBs in your opinion? UT or LSU? BE HONEST. I can take it. or maybe not. I might get a heart attack if you say LSU. Please be honest!!
Max Olson (4:56 PM)
In my opinion, it's Texas. Have lots of respect for Peterson, Claiborne, Landry and the good ones LSU has put in the league. But Akina's track record is unmatched.
who are the hardest hitters on the defense? i can't wait til the day we develope another sergio kindle to knock off some helmets
Max Olson (4:58 PM)
They're no Kindles just yet, but Santos might take that crown right now and I can see Deoundrei Davis being in contention for it in a couple years.
Bob (Fort Worth)
It seems to me that the last 3 years Mack has recruited OL who's strength is bulldozing people in the run game. Now, in a whim, Mack decides to change the offense to 4 wr spread with uptempo. Are our OL even able to play that style of offense?
Max Olson (5:00 PM)
The coaches and linemen will always tell you yes, that it's no issue at all. But you make a good point. It's going to mean a higher priority is placed on guys with good, quick feet, and I do think that could mean this incoming 2013 line class gets on the field very early on.
Thoughts on who will be the next 2014 commit?
Max Olson (5:00 PM)
I'm not really sure what Abilene DE Jake McMillon is waiting on at this point, but he'd be my favorite.
Max Olson (5:05 PM)
That's all I've got for today guys. Thanks for your questions. Gotta wrap this one up early to get to work on this Cayleb Jones story. Will have a story up on HornsNation soon. Have a good afternoon.