Vance Rants: Recruits, Diggs, WVU, Big Malcom

Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford talked about several topics with the media on Wednesday. Here are the highlights.

#1 … It’s a big recruiting weekend with several key prospects taking official visits to Texas.

Defensive coordinator Vance Bedford said Texas needs to win vs WVU “to give them something to talk about.”


#2 ... Bedford also said Texas has to improve its image/standing with in-state recruits.

“If you go outside the state of Texas right now, the University of Texas still is large. But in the state right now, when you talk to recruits and even coaches, they don’t see us that way. So we need to get back to that, where in the state, they see us that way.

“Out of the state, you go to Georgia or Florida, the recruits will say, ‘That’s the University of Texas!’ In the state, you call a recruit, and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, it’s Texas.’

"So we’ve got to get back to where, in-state, the excitement is back. You go back 15 years ago, when Texas called, you wanted to stand up and salute. Now, it’s not a big deal in this state. We’re not the relevant program we once were. We need to get that back.”


#3 … Bedford called West Virginia a must-win game.

“It’s a must-win. Why? Because it makes us relevant. You want to end on a good note for our seniors. And we need to learn to play well at home, not only for our seniors but for our fans.

“It’s very important we make our stadium something special. The last two weeks, we’ve been on the road to Kansas State and Texas Tech. Their student bodies did a tremendous job. We got called all kinds of names.

“We need to make our place special, so now we win at home, fill our stadium, our students come out to cheer, the band plays Texas Fight and you have all those types of things.”


#4 … Vance Bedford said determining the best cover corner on the team depends on the situation.

“It depends if you are playing press or off. Quandre (Diggs) does a better job up close. Duke (Thomas) does a better job off. Both do a tremendous job for us and bring different attributes that you like.”


#5 … After Quandre Diggs’ knockout hit on Tech backup QB Patrick Mahomes, Bedford said he told him, “’Little Ray Lewis at it again.’

"He calls himself ‘Ray Lewis.’ I call him ‘Little Ray Lewis.’”


#6 … Do you talk to DT Malcom Brown during the season about the possibility of entering the NFL draft early or wait until the end of the season?

“I think you always need to have those conversations. You don’t wait until the end.

"When I talk to guys about the pluses and minuses of leaving early, number one, I talk about getting that degree, because football is not promised to you.

"If you’re injured and can’t play and have to go to work tomorrow, what are you going to do?

“He’s married. He has a son. So he has to look at those things, too. When it comes down to it, he’s going to put in an application to see where he stands in the draft.

"You always tell a guy, if you have the ability to be a first-round pick, you go to school to make a living. A first-round pick in the NFL Draft stands to make $12 million. How many of us are going to make $12 million?

“If you have a chance to make that, why wouldn’t you go?

“If your draft grade is the middle rounds, we strongly suggest you come back. If you come back and do the same thing, you might be a top 10 pick.

"Now, we’re talking about a difference of $20 million to $25 million. Those are things you have to evaluate. We’re in the process of evaluating right now.

“Nothing is guaranteed. But if you ask me off hand right now, I’d say the young man is a first-round pick.

"I think he’d be a three-technique in the National Football League. He has great football awareness. He plays with great leverage. Very strong. Extremely explosive. And that’s what the NFL is looking for in a three-technique.”


#7 … West Virginia WR Kevin White, who opened the season with seven straight, 100-yard receiving games, was held to three receptions by Oklahoma State (3 catches for 27 yards) and TCU (3 catches for 28 yards, including one pass for 23 yards) the past two games.

White (6-3,210) has 75 catches for 1,075 yards and 8 TDs, including a 13-catch, 216-yard, 1 TD performance in a win at Maryland.

So how did Okie State and TCU both hold White to 3 catches?

“Pressure. They pressured the quarterback and started playing some zone. Baylor played quarters against them (WVU) and had, I think, eight PIs (pass interference penalties).

“TCU has a big corner (Kevin White) who matched up well against him, and they got great pressure from their front four. Oklahoma State dropped eight and rolled over the top of him. So they gave a variety of looks to take things away from him. We’ll hopefully be able to do some of the same things.”


#8 … WVU receiver Mario Alford (5-9, 177) one of the best kick returners in the country, is a lethal weapon at wideout on the opposite side of the field from White. Alford has 48 catches for 679 yards and 7 TDs.

“He can fly. We watched film of last year’s game. He caught a pass, split the defense and took it to the house. He’s done that this year.

“I’m watching the Maryland game (vs WVU) right now. And it looks like the DB has great coverage. Alford’s not very big, and he jumps over the guy and catches a touchdown pass.

“If you worry about White, Alford can beat you man to man. They’re a lot like Kansas State in that they have two receivers you have to worry about – plus their slot receiver has been very productive. So West Virginia has three solid players.


#9 … WVU QB Clint Trickett believes in his wideouts so much, he isn’t afraid to take some chances, Bedford said.

“Trickett trusts his receivers to go up and come down with the ball. He will throw into double coverage, and so far this season they’ve made a lot of plays for him.”


#10 … Against Kansas State, Texas tried to match up Duke Thomas on WR Tyler Lockett all over the field. Will Texas put one person on WVU receiver Kevin White?

“Quandre is such an outstanding nickel back, you hate to take him from that position. He has outstanding instincts and awareness, that’s what a nickel back must have.

“We’re going to have a few changes for this ballgame, trying to match guys up – maybe Duke again. But it’s going to be a game situation. We’ll see how it’s going.”


#11 … Sophomore CB Bryson Echols got his first start at Texas Tech (in the team’s nickel package) and had 7 tackles. It sounds like Echols can expect to see more playing time.

“Echols did a solid job for us. He’s done a great job on special teams and has practiced well the last month. Because of injuries to Jason Hall, we wanted to put Echols out there at corner, which enabled us to put Mykkele Thompson back at safety.

“That allowed us to play quite a bit of man (coverage) and made us a better football team. Because now, we play man-to-man with Mykkele coming down to cover the slot, and it’s like we have four corners out there (Diggs, Thomas, Echols and Thompson with Dylan Haines as a single-high safety).

“I think the experience was good for him, and I think he’ll help us out the remainder of the season.”


#12 … Vance Bedford would not support Texas wearing alternate uniforms.

“You’re asking the wrong person, because that’s an absolutely, 100 percent, no. It’s the University of Texas. A uniform is going to make you a player?

“I think when we wear the white, that’s as a pretty as any uniform out there. You can put all the clown suits on everybody else, with all the different colored helmets. Who are they?

“When the University of Texas walks out there with that helmet and that uniform, you know who they are. The respect, in my opinion, is there. You look at USC and Notre Dame, you know who they are. But you’re asking an old school guy. I’m not a young guy who needs all that stuff to say, ‘This is who I am.’”


#13 … Who’s the best team Texas has played this season?

“When the Oklahoma quarterback is on point, they are extremely talented. Overall, they may have the most talent of any team we’ve played in the conference.

“Baylor because of the tempo offense and as a team they do a great job.

“K-State, coach Snyder – when you say guys are achievers, they achieve. He gets everything out of his guys. They play up to their potential.

“Most of the teams we’ve faced this year, they’ve been underachievers. That’s why you lose games. When I look at K-State and how you’ve ranked their recruiting classes, a lot of times you’d say, ‘I wouldn’t take that guy.’ And then that guy ends up hitting you in the mouth.

“I always wonder how you get so many junior college players to do as well as what they’ve accomplished at K-State. Because you have them for two years, and usually it takes a year to get all the little issues out of a junior college player. So you’ve got them for one good year.

“But he’s gotten it done year after year after year. So, as a team, Kansas State is definitely the best team we’ve played. They execute. They don’t make mistakes. They don’t beat themselves.

“They play as a unit. Their offense plays for their defense and vice versa. That means they are going to snap the ball with 5 seconds on the clock to help their defense stay off the field.”


#14 … Steve Edmond is a completely different person around the coaches than he was when they first arrived.

“He’s starting to feel comfortable around us. When we first got here, Steve wouldn’t say two words around us. Now, he smiles, talks and jokes with us.

“It’s been amazing to see his transition. He’s a young man from a small town, and the trust factor wasn’t there. So we have gained his trust, and he’s starting to open up. It’s been a plus for all of us.”


#15 … On DB Mykkele Thompson wearing contacts now during games:

“Before, I don’t think he was seeing the ball at all. Now, he might be seeing four balls. No, he’s seeing the ball a lot better. It’s amazing that he’s in his fourth year, and that was the first time he wore contacts in a game.

“I think that was his second interception, and it was a timely interception for us, so I’m hoping to see him make more plays on the ball.”


Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights


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