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March 19, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with William Wilkerson

William Wilkerson
  (3:59 PM)

What it do everyone. Thanks for stopping by this week's HornsNation chat. There's a lot to talk about be it spring ball, Texas basketball missing out of the tournament, Longhorns baseball dropping their Big 12 series opener, recruiting, SXSW, whatever you all want. Let's get to it.

William Wilkerson
  (4:00 PM)

We'll kick this off with some good news for you guys. Demarcus Croaker has just committed to the Longhorns. Underrated guard IMO. UT likely to miss out on Julius Randle tomorrow. OK now to the questions.

jared (austin)

which db recruits do you see us snagging? speaking of snagging have our chances with cannon improved any? would really love to see him in burnt orange

William Wilkerson
  (4:02 PM)

I think Texas is in good shape with Darrion Johnson and Nick Watkins. Jamal Adams really likes Texas as well. Jermaine Roberts now has Alabama as his No. 1 with Texas a close 2nd. I think Johnson and Watkins end up Longhorns if you are asking me today. It's gonna be close for Adams. Things are improving a bit with Cannon. He really needed to get a glimpse of what Texas' up-tempo offense was going to look like and was able to do so at JD2.

jared (austin)

also on the recruiting trail are we in shape to get any top offensive lineman? would love to see the recruiting momentum of offensive lineman continue after last year

William Wilkerson
  (4:04 PM)

Texas won't get a haul like it did last year across the OL for two reasons. 1. There just isn't that much of a need right now. 2. The in-state targets aren't as hyped as they were a year ago. Texas needs to work its butt off to hang on to Knox, who will be visiting Ohio State soon. Joseph Paul is a name to keep an eye on. Really likes Searels.

hunter (san marcos)

how good can mcfarland be? is his potential better than finleys was?

William Wilkerson
  (4:05 PM)

His blocking has improved, which was one of the main concerns with him a season ago. Physically, he is as imposing a TE as you are going to see. I think he has the athleticism to mold into an All-Big 12 type TE. He just has to put it all together and make his chances count this season. I don't think he'll get to Finley's level but anything close to that would be huge for Texas.

hunter (san marcos)

which linebacker has the most potential? why dont we use edmond in a similar role to what alabama used upchurch? they are about the same size and build

William Wilkerson
  (4:08 PM)

I'm a huge Peter Jinkens fan. Saw him in high school plenty and was always amazed at how well he moved not only laterally but vertically. He's really starting to learn the game and his attitude and desire is what you must have to be a LB. ... I think Edmond will be used in more of an Upchurch roll this season. I do agree with you in that they are similar in build. But Upchurch is a much better football player at this point.

bill (dallas)

how has espinosa been playing so far this spring? ive seen mixed reviews on him either doing really well and standing his ground and then struggling

William Wilkerson
  (4:09 PM)

From what I understand he has looked solid for the most part. He's going to struggle but his experience is key in keeping him No. 1 on the depth chart for the time being. I don't think that Raulerson is progressing like he thought he might. I think he'll get there but I think Espinosa is the man at C right now. Going to be really interesting to see what happens once the full slate of 2013 recruits/transfers get to the 40. Think there could be some huge shifting around.

mike (fort worth)

the one MUST get in the '14 class

William Wilkerson
  (4:10 PM)

Jamal Adams. He's a safety who has coverage corner skills. He's big, he's fast, he's willing to learn. He's probably my favorite player in 2014. Really like what he brings to the table. Texas wants him in that Kenny V roll and I think he'd fit it perfectly.

Michael G (Brownsville, TX)

Hey Sir William Wilkerson, how's it going? First want to say you and the rest of the staff are doing a great job on keeping the recruit junkies like myself well informed with the Longhorns and the Texas commits. Question..Which Louisiana prospects do you see committing to us in next years class? What are our chances with j. adams, k.d.cannon, and dylon mack? Thanks Will

William Wilkerson
  (4:13 PM)

Sir Michael G, what's up man. Thanks for the kind words. Really means a lot. Thank you. I think Courntey Garnett is a kid to really keep a close eye on. Texas was really the first big school to go after him. Anthony Jones is another one I think ends up at Texas. There is some work to do with Jermaine Roberts after his visit to Alabama. Joseph Paul has Texas No. 1 right now as well. Chances with Adams are about 50-55 %. I'd put them around 35% for Cannon and Mack as of right now but that can obviously change.

Jake (Houston)

How do our defensive backs look in regards to their tackling skills and physicality? I still have nightmares thinking of Mykelle Thompson and Adrian Phillips getting man handled in the OU game.

William Wilkerson
  (4:15 PM)

Yeah that's a big issue and one that really won't be known until the season kicks off. Look, Phillips got better as the season progressed. I think he'll be fine. But Thompson, eh, I'm just not sold on him yet. I think his coverage skills are better. You know physical is the name of the game for Diggs, so you are fine there and Byndom is getting better.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

How do you rate the Horns chances of landing Tony Brown?

William Wilkerson
  (4:16 PM)

He keeps things pretty close to the vest but I think Texas is definitely still in the running. I'd put LSU and Alabama ahead of Texas at this point though.

barbara walters (atx)

How are the underclassmen OL looking in spring practices? Is there anyone that's emerging that's surprising?

William Wilkerson
  (4:16 PM)

I've heard good things about Kennedy Estelle, who was working at RT when I saw him live a few weeks ago. Curtis Riser is another name on the rise (no pun intended).

Ez 28 (CA)

What does Bond's transfer do the 2013 recruiting?

William Wilkerson
  (4:18 PM)

It should free up Texas to take another scholarship player in 2013 if it wants to. Hard to say who that would be right now.

Stephen (Seattle, WA)

Do you think Texas should try and snag another 2013 commit with Bonds' transferring or should they use it for 2014 instead?

William Wilkerson
  (4:19 PM)

I could see Barnes holding off. The piece has to fit though. They could use another big and another scorer. I'll say he waits as of right now.

Stephen (Seattle, WA)

If Kabango doesn't come back, who will be UT's best player?

William Wilkerson
  (4:19 PM)

Johnathan Holmes if he plays like Johnathan Holmes.

Alex (NY)

What should we expect from the Sophomore Day? Will offers go out, or will we just hear about some good reviews from the visitors and then we will wait until they are juniors?

William Wilkerson
  (4:22 PM)

Really hard to say but I could see a couple of offers going out. Possibly to Kendall Sheffield, Aaron Garza, Malik Jefferson or a few others. It's new for everyone but I do think this is a really smart move for Texas.

Jordan (Denison, Tx)

William, what's the status with Jamal Adams or any DB recruits? We sure do need one.

William Wilkerson
  (4:26 PM)

Answered this a bit earlier but I think Texas is in a pretty good position with him right now. he won't say it publicly but I think the Red River rivals are in the lead right now.

Justin (Philadelphia PA.)

This would be my starting defense Jackson Jeffcoat, Desmond Jackson, MalcomBrown, Cedric Reed, Jordan Hicks, Steve Edmond, Peter Jinkens , Quandre Diggs, Adrian Phillips, Mykkele Thompson, & Carrington Byndom. What do you think?

William Wilkerson
  (4:27 PM)

I think you are right on the money if the season kicked off today.

Chris (San Antonio)

I've heard it a couple of times on the forum, but what exactly is a satellite camp and why would that benefit recruiting?

William Wilkerson
  (4:30 PM)

Basically a camp that isn't held at that program's school. Example would be Texas holding it at a DFW high school or ISD football field. It's beneficial simply because travel for a lot of these recruits is hard to come by. So the school is making it easier by going to them.

Chris (San Antonio)

So whats going on with Cayleb Jones; will he ever suit up for Texas again?

William Wilkerson
  (4:30 PM)

Ongoing right now. Not much to say at this point.

Aj (Austin)

Who do you have winning March Madness? And with randle not choosing us, are there any other prospects UT should go after? If so who?

William Wilkerson
  (4:32 PM)

I couldn't get passed Duke vs. Miami in the Natty. I think Cuse is a scary team as is GTown. ... As for other possible recruits right now, there aren't really too many names floating around but some should emerge shortly if Texas plans on using the scholly freed up by Bond's decision to transer. We'll keep you posted as we learn of them.

David (Houston)

Will Dodds be kicking himself if A&M started playing Texas Tech annually rather than Texas

William Wilkerson
  (4:32 PM)

I don't believe so. Not at all.

jayson (derridder)

how my boy daje looking?

William Wilkerson
  (4:33 PM)

Fast. Need to figure out more ways to utilize him, obviously. Really amazed me at how hard it is to get him to the ground in 2012. He needs at least 8-10 touches a game.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Do Horns have a shot at Keith Frazier? And will Myck Kabongo return to Austin next season?

William Wilkerson
  (4:35 PM)

No chance with Frazier. I really don't think Kabongo is going to come back. I know this team is young and could be good in two years but I don't think he'll wait around. He needs to get to the NBADL and showcase his skills in front of scouts on a nightly basis. His game flourishes when he has scorers and big men who can make a difference offensively. He doesn't have that at Texas and won't next season either.

Tim (Lewis)

How many recruits do you think will be at the Sophomore Day..List seems pretty large already and it's only Tuesday. I notice there arent a lot of east Texas/Houston guys though

William Wilkerson
  (4:36 PM)

I think you'll see more than 50 there. East Texas and Houston should be well represented. Keep it locked on the forum this weekend for updates.

Shawn (West Orange, NJ)

With regards to director of player personnel type positions, who else is likely to be added to Suddes's group?

William Wilkerson
  (4:37 PM)

I think Texas has to hit home runs with these selections. The issue right now is Texas doesn't know how many they can hire due to NCAA hangups. They'll know more after May 2. I expect them to at least be able to hire two more and I think one of them needs to be a prominent, well-liked coach in the DFW area. They need someone tech/media social savvy as well.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Justin Manning was the most hotly contested OU-Texas recuriting battle last year. And who ironically both school missed out on. What player will the Red River rivals battle for the hardest in 2014?

William Wilkerson
  (4:38 PM)

Side note: Just saw Justin Manning a few weeks ago and he looks like he's in really good shape. I think Jamal Adams and Solomon Thomas are the two guys they'll battle over the most.

John (Plano)

what is all this talk about SO. day this weekend and what are some big names that are going to be on site, do you think any of them have a chance of an offer?

William Wilkerson
  (4:40 PM)

It's a new deal Texas is starting up this weekend where they'll bring in a bunch of their top sophomore targets to really get the recruiting process going. A few big names include Aaron Garza, Kendall Sheffield, Justin Dunning, KeKe Coutee, James Proche, Zach Rogers, Daylon Mack, etc. I think a few offers could potentially go out.

Chris (Austin)

How is the whole Cayleb Jones and Bev case effecting UT's recruiting?

William Wilkerson
  (4:40 PM)

It doesn't appear to be effecting it in anyway right now.

Jason (Frost)

Whats up W. What's your ceiling for the 2013 team and basement. Do you see ash having a sort of Breakout year.

William Wilkerson
  (4:41 PM)

Texas has some tricky games at the beginning of the season like BYU, Ole Miss and KSU. I really think this team can win the Big 12 and should be able to flirt with 10 wins. And I do see Ash having a breakout year. Don't think he'll lead conf. in passing yards but I do think he'll be up from last year and see his INT numbers drop.

Honey Boo Boo (atx)

Hypothetically, if it doesn't work out for Overstreet or Swoopes at QB, would they be open to playing other positions? or would they just transfer? I left out Brewer because he doesn't have any other position. Or does he? Secret kicking skills perhaps?

William Wilkerson
  (4:43 PM)

Too early to say with Swoopes, though, I do think he could end up as a TE possibly. I think Overstreet is set at proving his worth at QB. So if that doesn't happen here I think he'll look for it to happen elsewhere. I think Brewer is all QB, though his family is rich in baseball tradition.

Stephen (Houston)

What can you tell us about WR Trey Quinn out of LA?

William Wilkerson
  (4:44 PM)

As sure-handed as they come. Fast. Similar to the Shipleys.

Megatron (MD)

What it do Will? Got two questions for you today: 1) Will Joe Bergeron move to FB? I do not want J Gray to end up with less than a handful of rushing TDs again and I would much prefer Daje to get JB's carries. 2) Looking at our basketball roster, I think Prince Ibeh is the most talented player (potential-wise). Can we expect to see him start next year?

William Wilkerson
  (4:46 PM)

What up Megatron. I think JB could see some time there but don't think he'll move there, no. I don't think you have to worry about J Gray getting that few TDs again. He'll get his. As for Ibeh, he could, sure, but his offensive game is going to have to improve drastically. That's been something he's really focused on since his junior year.

Keith (Seattle, WA)

Will Deondre Clark pull a Demarco Cobbs-Josh Turner move and leave the Sooner State for greener pastures in Austin?

William Wilkerson
  (4:47 PM)

I'm not seeing it Keith. Not right now at least.

Jon (Mezes)

Who's the next commit? Also how much of a chance does texas have with DE Thomas?

William Wilkerson
  (4:48 PM)

Texas has a very good shot with Solly. I think there is an OL that could be the next commitment, possibly a DB.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Will, you use to be my homey, now you act like you don't me. Riddle me this if you woud sir. Who is the top defensive line prospect/target for Texas in 2014 now that Washington has committed to TAMU? The pickings appear to unusually slim in the state this year.

William Wilkerson
  (4:50 PM)

Tony, that stings man. That stings. Ha. I'll say Courtney Garnett and CJ Reese are up there. But you are right, homie, picks are unusually slim.

Stephen (Houston)

I know it is still early in the process, but I feel Texas really needs something positive to happen in recruiting to give the '14 Class some momentum! It has been rather quiet since JD1. It seems like a lot of the guys (especially the DBs) are saying that they want to wait until the very end to announce. This makes me nervous!!

William Wilkerson
  (4:51 PM)

I think you speak for a lot of HornsNation. However, things come in spurts sometimes. Patience grasshopper. Patience.

Kevin (Reno, NV)

What does Rick Barnes have to do next season to keep his job?

William Wilkerson
  (4:53 PM)

Get to the tourney and at least to the Sweet 16. He's done more for the program than anyone but it's been a long time since Texas basketball was elite. I don't think they can make the Sweet 16 next season but I do think they need to get close.

Ron Burgundy (san diego)

Who's your favorite true freshman receiver? meander, oliver, or warrick?

William Wilkerson
  (4:54 PM)

Good afternoon San Diego, I'm going to go with Oliver. Sure-handed, great blocker, and bigger body than you'd think. He should be key in short-yardage, third-down situations.

Bruce Wayne (Gotham City)

Solomon Thomas is a mystery, just like me.... Any new news from him? Are we still leading with him?

William Wilkerson
  (4:55 PM)

I speak to Thomas' weekly and he's as unassuming with his leaders as they come. But I will tell you that Texas sits in a great spot right now. His parents love the campus. That's huge to him. Big family guy.

Dave Nelson (WNYX)

Does Dodds really believe the Big 12 is tougher than the SEC? That KState had a tougher schedule? I love the Big 12, but come on...

William Wilkerson
  (4:56 PM)

All I can say is I don't think that way, nor do I believe the majority of this country thinks that way. But, to each his own I suppose.

Dave Nelson (WNYX)

Why can't we play A&M again? Dodds said the UT fans don't want it. I do and everyone I know does. Is he crazy?

William Wilkerson
  (4:57 PM)

I know a ton of people who just don't want to deal with the Aggies anymore. I don't think he's crazy. But I understand where you are coming from. I think it'll happen again, just not anytime soon.

Stephen (Houston)

Latest on LB Alaka? Chances Solomon Thomas ends up on the 40?

William Wilkerson
  (4:58 PM)

Had Texas offered at JD I think he'd be a Longhorn right now. But more offers have come his way and I think he is just taking his time right now.

Kevin (Reno, NV)

Will the Horns get the consistent QB play they need to win the Big XII next season?

William Wilkerson
  (4:59 PM)

Ash definitely looks like he is taking the proper steps to becoming that guy. Only time will tell though.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Any word on who will play in the Southwest Classic this year? Did I miss it?

William Wilkerson
  (5:00 PM)

I have not heard. Texas A&M and Ark. play at Ark. this year I believe.

Bob (Texoma)

The new up-temp offense, will it more closely resemble Oregon's Spread attack or Oklahoma's dink and dunk offense?

William Wilkerson
  (5:01 PM)

Somewhere in the middle. But I'd lean more toward OU and OSU than Oregon.

Stephen (Houston)

In your opinion, does Solomon Thomas project as a DE or DT?

William Wilkerson
  (5:01 PM)

DE

Stephen (Seattle, WA)

Usually the signs of a winning program will show up in how a team handles themselves in practices and off the field (maturity wise) Do you see this team mature enough to make big strides this year on both Offense and Defense ?

William Wilkerson
  (5:03 PM)

Maturity usually comes with age (except when you are talking about Carter). If that's the case then Texas should have the maturity to take those steps. I think this team has been looking forward to this season for so long that the focus is there. If it's not, there is something drastically wrong.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will be the Starting Defense in College Football for Texas in 2013?

William Wilkerson
  (5:04 PM)

Chris, I think it'll be Jeffcoat, Jackson, Brown and Reed across the front. Hicks, Edmond and Jinkens at LB. Diggs, Byndom, Thompson and Phillips in the secondary.

Stephen (Seattle, WA)

Shipley or Magic with more receiving yards to finish the season? And who is going to be the guy to lay the hammer this year? Jinkens?

William Wilkerson
  (5:04 PM)

I'll go with Magic because if his deep-threat ability. I think Santos will be that guy for sure, especially since he's lost some weight and seems to be in better shape.

William Wilkerson
  (5:06 PM)

Alright everyone that will do it for this weeks chat. Thanks again for your interaction and hope to see you all next week. Remember Texas has a big sophomore day on Saturday so keep it locked on HornsNation this weekend for the latest. Tell a friend too. Have a good one.