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 4 p.m. ET!
William Wilkerson (3:59 PM)
Happy Holidays folks. Thanks for stopping by HornsNation's weekly Tuesday chat. Let's get to it.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Texas Longhorns Players will be Selected to the 2013 NFL Draft after the Alamo Bowl?
William Wilkerson (4:01 PM)
Chris, the main ones are going to be Kenny Vaccaro and Alex Okafor. Vaccaro has been creeping up the first round as of late.
Adam (Ann Arbor)
William,What is going on with Quandre practicing at safety? Is this strictly for cross training versatality for the next level or should we look further into it. I get it with Kenny leaving there will be a whole, but doesn't it seem more logical to have Mykel or Josh Turner slide in next to AP next year? Especially with a small corner class coming in for 2013.
William Wilkerson (4:05 PM)
Thanks for stopping in Adam. I think this is much more than cross-training for the next level. I wholeheartedly think Diggs will end up as a CB in the NFL. But, as Mack pointed out on Monday, there is a huge hole to fill once KV graduates and Diggs might be the best option. You put him back there with Carrington and Duke Thomas at the corners and you may have something there. Thompson and Turner both made strides this season, and both had some really good games. But the larger product wasn't what Texas was hoping for. Unless they go after a different JUCO safety or go hard after another committed prep safety, I don't know if they'll end up signing another one. I know they would like to but options are somewhat slim. So it might be a case of "Work with what you have" and putting Diggs back there for as physical as he is, might not be a bad thing.
Saw somewhere about Diggs starting to practice alot at safety thoughts? I would feel more confident about moving him if we would have actually seen more of Duke Thomas after all the preseason hype
William Wilkerson (4:07 PM)
Yeah I think the relative unknown of Duke, aside from what you heard during fall camp, is a bit of a concern. But that's what these bowl practices are for. Especially in a non-BCS bowl like this. It's a perfect time to get the younger guys involved to see what they are made of. Duke is getting a long look right now leading up to the bowl game.
John (Copperas Cove)
Are the Horns still recruiting the JC quarterback Tanner McEvoy?
William Wilkerson (4:08 PM)
Max wrote a story on that today John. Go check it out in our HornsNation.com blog. The Longhorns apparently are still interested in at least one JUCO QB.
What is the reason, if any, for the lack of touches for DJ Monroe and Daje Johnson?
William Wilkerson (4:10 PM)
Well DJ was limited somewhat because he isn't the ideal receiving threat Texas coaches would have liked him to be. The coaches tried to fit Daje in to the gameplan more but sometimes simply weren't able to because of the way the game was going. Longhorns coaches had weekly meetings discussing ways to get all of their playmakers the ball and how much. Daje will be one of the main players next season.
Are we seeing Mack hand the keys over to Major behind the scenes? I think Mack wants Major to take his place and hire some fresh talent from the Texas high school ranks to relate to the players better i.e Briles, Chad Morris
William Wilkerson (4:12 PM)
I don't think he's relinquishing the keys over to Applewhite quite yet. I think there is going to be a little adjustment period there simply because Applewhite hasn't called plays in a while. Now, would Brown mind if Applewhite were his successor? No, not at all. Not to my knowledge anyway. But I think Brown truly believes that 2013 & 2014 could really be worthwhile times at UT.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Is Mack Brown back if the Longhorns don't register 10 wins next season?
William Wilkerson (4:12 PM)
Yes, he will be IMO.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How would you rate the current state of Longhorn football and basketball?
William Wilkerson (4:13 PM)
They've both seen better days. Big opportunity for Longhorns to get a marquee win tomorrow against UNC. Big 12 is down in basketball this season so you never know what kind of push Texas will make once/if it gets Kabongo back.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
What uncommited recruits are most likely to sign with the Horns?
William Wilkerson (4:14 PM)
I think they'll get an OL here relatively quickly and at least one JUCO
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Does Rick Barnes have a shot at landing Randle and Frazier?
William Wilkerson (4:16 PM)
I actually think he does. The thing about Randle that you've got to consider is his alpha male persona. He wants to be BMOC. If he were to choose Kentucky he wouldn't necessarily be that guy with all the big time names they have there: I.E. the Harrison twins. The moment he steps on campus in Austin, he would be the BMOC. Not to mention he would have a pretty salty supporting cast around him. Texas has come on strong as of late for Frazier. I think they've def. got a shot if Randle picks Texas.
Kevin (College Station, TX)
Am I on the verge of replacing Mack Brown as the dominant recruiter in the state of Texas?
William Wilkerson (4:18 PM)
You are definitely making a push. It's hard to argue with the proof that is out there. However, you've got to build on this year and prove you aren't just a one-hit wonder before you dethrone Mack. He can still recruit with the best of them. He still holds the crown right now even those you've arrived on the beach with your troops and are approaching his turf.
Joe (Houston, TX)
What do you think of Fozzy signing with the Cardinals? Do you think he can play in the NFL after that knee injury?
William Wilkerson (4:19 PM)
I think it's wonderful. Fozzy has always been one of the more respected players to come through Texas in Mack Brown's tenure. It was unfortunate that he suffered such a gruesome injury. He's been a pretty determined cat since he went down. I think he'll get a shot.
will mack offer any other 2015
William Wilkerson (4:20 PM)
In the short term? Questionable. I know there are certain guys out there that seem like no-doubters. I just don't know if the time is right, right now. I think you could see a few more after New Years. Daylon Mack is a good start though. Dude is going to be one of the top national recruits in a few years time.
Saw on a message board that UT was offering 10 class of 2015 kids already is that really true i did see the one DL from east TX
William Wilkerson (4:21 PM)
Have not heard anything like that. I know there are several others out there that Texas really likes. But don't believe they've offered 9 others already.
How concerned should i be about whats brewing down in college station? One season isnt going to change the complexion of texas but a couple more years of mediocrity from us and success from them could have me really worried
William Wilkerson (4:25 PM)
You've got to be concerned. Every recruit that I talk to about A&M just glows at the fact that they could play in the SEC and still stay in Texas. That's a concern for the Longhorns. But winning cures all. It's a bottom line business. The Longhorns need to start doing a lot more of that. 2013 would be a great time to start.
Barnie L (Bartlett)
How do you think ol johnny football is gonna do next year without those great tackles?
William Wilkerson (4:28 PM)
Boy those are some solid tackles, aren't they. Look Johnny Football is an exceptional talent and I think he is going to continue to do wonderful things in CS. However, think of things in baseball terms. The first time a lineup faces a new pitcher, that new pitcher might dominate. But the second and third times through the order they'll start to pick up on little things, fight off pitches and get those base hits that they weren't getting before hand simply because they are more familiar. The SEC is full of some of the best football minds in the country. They'll figure out a great gameplan to try to corral JF. Question is, will it work?
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Does Mack Brown take care of the Sooners next year after two blowout losses in the Cotton Bowl?
William Wilkerson (4:30 PM)
Texas is due and next season would seem like a good time to get a W in Dallas. A lot of turnover is going to take place in Norman. Can't underestimate the loss of Landry Jones. We know Blake Bell has an arm we just haven't seen him use it much. If Texas gets its QB situation under control before that game I think it'll get the win.
Which recruit do you see having the biggest impact next year? I keep hoping for a young receiver to have a big impact but that hasnt been the case
William Wilkerson (4:31 PM)
Bob, the one I would really be anxious to see is Darius James. I think he'll find his way into the rotation on the OL even though all five starters are coming back. I think Jake Raulerson will fight his way on the field. If A'Shawn sticks around he could factor into the rotation as could Antwuan Davis.
Where would you rank UT's running back stable going into next year against the rest of the country?
William Wilkerson (4:33 PM)
When healthy, it is one of the best. If M. Brown runs with the same fury he did against KSU, then watch out. He really looked like a different guy. He just has to stay healthy. I think you've got to feed J Gray the ball much more next season. Then you've also got Bergeron, who led the team in TDs this season. All that combined gives you one of the top groups in the nation, no doubt.
All i want for christmas is some consistency from our DT's. so much potential and flashes of being a beast then disappear for long stretches of time (Diaz blitzes not helping)
William Wilkerson (4:36 PM)
I really liked what I saw from Malcom Brown this season. The more PT he gets, the better he'll be. I think he'll end up being an all-conference player by the time he leaves. The blitzing didn't always help, nor did the injuries at linebacker. Whether or not A'Shawn stays committed to Texas, I think the Longhorns are sitting pretty next season at DT. D. Jack really played well this season.
I heard Raulerson is going to start out at DE? I think that might be a mistake, as i feel like he is much better at Offensive Tackle or Offensive Guard.. Heck, maybe even Tight End.
William Wilkerson (4:38 PM)
Yep, starting at DE. I've spoken to him numerous times about it since and can tell you he is really amped about it. I don't think DE will be the only position he ends up playing. He can do many things very well. Like he told me recently, he probably won't make a lot of friends during spring ball because he is going to push the guys to get better. He'll find a way to be good at whatever it is he plays.
What players do you think are transfer candidates?
William Wilkerson (4:39 PM)
Will have a much better feel for that after the bowl game. There have been some big names rumored to be looking elsewhere, but I just don't buy them at this time.
Do I need to take the Michael Jordan approach with Lebron James instead of being so buddy buddy?
William Wilkerson (4:41 PM)
Keep being you young buck. I know certain guys hate being buddy-buddy with the opposition but it doesn't seem to be having an affect on you. The one I'd be less buddy-buddy with, actually, would be your own PG. Tell Russ to pass you the ball more. And let me get a ride in that minivan of yours one of these days.
Juan (Mexico City )
Hola senor wilkerson, which OL did you think didn't play up to expectations this year? and do you see any of them as a truly "great" lineman?
William Wilkerson (4:43 PM)
I think Espinosa played better, free from injury, but still think Texas would like to have more from its center. I think Hawkins could have been better at times. Trey Hopkins was solid. As was Mason. I think the ones who could be great ones are the ones not getting PT right now. Kennedy Estelle is one of those.
Any word on Kabongo's status?
William Wilkerson (4:44 PM)
Nothing yet Frank. Texas could really use him tomorrow night though.
When i look at the offensive line i dont see a physically dominating one, can be get some big nasty maulers like everyone else has? Doesnt seem like our line has the 320+ pound kids most teams have
William Wilkerson (4:46 PM)
Those 320 types aren't necessarily what Texas has been looking for though. Texas has recruited ones that are very nimble on their feet as of late. But I understand what you are saying. Look how big the O lines of ND, Bama and Oregon are. Massive group.
Will, do you think Rick Barnes missed a golden opportunity to tap furhter into the fertile recruiting ground of the D.C. area after my time and departure from Austin?
William Wilkerson (4:47 PM)
I guess he could have looked that way a bit more. He's gotten the players. That hasn't been the issue. He's just been hurt by them leaving so early. Imagine what Texas would look like had guys stayed three-four years.
thoughts on edmond moving to olb and rushing the passer?
William Wilkerson (4:50 PM)
I think it could be a good thing, especially with the speed that Jackson, Cobbs and Jinkens can supply on the opposite side.
2013 Red River prediction? Be gentle.
William Wilkerson (4:51 PM)
Already, Sam?!Ugh, Texas 31, OU 28
How do you see the development of Josh Turner and Tevin Jackson? Seem they could have monster bowl games to set up next season
William Wilkerson (4:52 PM)
I have really been impressed by the way Tevin has come on at the end of the season. He and Jinkens have both been really solid as of late.
Any word of potential transfers from the program? One name to throw out.. Miles Onyebugle, saw him plenty in his first year, however, he was nonexistent sophomore year.
William Wilkerson (4:53 PM)
Frank, I had said in an earlier answer that I think that will be a little more clear after the bowl game.
Is the stat of the amount of NFL players we have a transparent one? For the amount of quantity i dont think there is that much quality at all
William Wilkerson (4:56 PM)
There are some solid names out there. Casey Hampton is still going strong. David Thomas has come on as of late. Terrell Brown is starting for SF. Henry Melton has become one of Chitown's better defenders. J. Charles is healthy and running well again. Lyle Sendlein is still starting in Arizona. Blalock is starting at Atlanta. J. Finley has picked it up the past two weeks. There are some solid names in there.
Could the move of Diggs to safety be partly because of Antuwan Davis and how good he can be?
William Wilkerson (4:57 PM)
Potentially. Davis is going to be very good. He has great size. Bigger than both Diggs and Byndom. And is one of the fastest players in the state. It very well could be.
Why not play Kabongo against UNC? You are not expected to win without him, so if you with with him and have to forfeit later, its not bid deal, right?
William Wilkerson (4:58 PM)
Really hadn't thought of that to be honest. I mean, I guess, if you really want to just waste a game before conference to see where the team is at then I suppose. But I don't see that happening. Good thought though.
im tired of hearing the excuse that we're too young, start producing and win and stop making excuses
Is Edmond really a MLB? I've seen some people talking about putting him outside and letting him rush the passer and i kind of think he could make alot bigger impact that way IMO
William Wilkerson (4:59 PM)
I think the way that he had to man the entire LB core this season will allow him to fit comfortably wherever he ends up.
William Wilkerson (5:01 PM)
That will do it for this week's chat. Thanks everyone for stopping by. Remember there is a great special going on right now where you can get ESPN Insider for 1/2 off. Here is the link: http://es.pn/QsZWWR Santa would want you to get it for all of your friends. Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to you and yours.