Taylor Estes

HD Only: Are the Texas Longhorns Ready to Name Starting QB?; Big 12 Realignment News; Notes from Closed Practice; & More

Every Wednesday, HD's Chip Brown and Taylor Estes gives you HD ONLY: the latest news with Texas Longhorns' recruiting and team notes. This is usually exclusive for HD members. But here's a glimpse into HD ONLY for those looking to become an HD member with our 4-months-for-the-price-of-1 special (ONLY $4.95) that gives you the 2016 football season. Offer ends Thursday, Aug. 11.

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WHEN WILL TEXAS NAME STARTING QB? DON'T BE SURPRISED IF ...

Taylor Estes

Texas has its first scrimmage of fall camp this Saturday, and the scrimmage serves as the last determining factor in the minds of the coaching staff in naming the Longhorns' starting quarterback heading into UT's season opener against Notre Dame on Sept. 4. 

If Shane Buechele has a good scrimmage and doesn't show any type of cause-for-concern steps backward, then Buechele will likely be named starting quarterback within the next week, multiple sources told HD.

So what happens if he has a bad scrimmage and/or Tyrone Swoopes steps up? 

I was told if Swoopes has a great scrimmage and Buechele struggles, then the staff would hold off on naming the starter. However, I was told the coaches are hopeful that they will be able to name a starting quarterback within the next two weeks, and at this point in fall, it is Buechele's job to lose.  

Saturday will be a big day for both quarterbacks. If Buechele continues to show the progress he has since arriving on campus, then don't be surprised if he is named the starting quarterback as early as next week.

(Taylor Estes)

 

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RELEASE THE KRAKEN

Taylor Estes - Horns Digest

So my man Higs and I are hearing the same thing as it pertains to sophomore S DeShon Elliott seeing a larger number of reps with the first-team defense alongside Dylan Haines.

The knock on Elliott, in the mind of Vance Bedford in the past, was that Elliott hadn't put in enough time on his own to know how and where to line up based on offensive formations/tendencies, etc. The best safety on the team - from that perspective - has been and continues to be Haines.

But Elliott has improved his knowledge of the defense and his ability to read keys/tendencies - and that improvement, combined with Elliott's instincts/feel for the ball and willingness to come down hill and crunch you, are giving Elliott a chance to move up, I'm told.

I keep going back to a conversation I had with RB Chris Warren, who went to Rockwall, about Elliott, who went to Rockwall-Heath, the spring before they enrolled at Texas. 

Warren said when the rival schools met, he felt like every time he was tackled against Heath - it was Elliott.

"It was like there were seven of him out on the field," Warren said of Elliott. "Maybe that was because when he hit you, he let you hear about it, too."

Elliott intercepted two passes in his first meaningful action last season against Kansas. Of course, he stripped OU's kick returner of the ball (recovered by Kris Boyd), setting up a touchdown in UT's 24-17 upset of the Sooners last year.

And he had an interception on Baylor's last offensive play of the game to preserve a 23-17 upset over the Bears in Waco.

When the guy has been on the field, he makes plays. He reminds me of former OU safety Roy Williams, who drove Mike Stoops crazy initially because Stoops didn't think Williams was a student of the game. In fact, Stoops thought Williams was fat.

But Williams' high school coach in Union City, Calif., told me that while Williams had a learning disability when it came to classroom work, Williams had a sixth sense when it came to football - much like those of a Junior Seau or Troy Palomalu.

"He just saw the game instinctively the way some people can hear a song and immediately be able to play it on the piano or guitar," Williams' high school coach said. "I had to realize he wasn't going to process things maybe the way I  would or thought he should. And as soon as we turned him loose, he never stopped making plays."

I'll be surprised if Elliott isn't on the field as a starter come the Notre Dame game.

 

(Chip Brown)

 

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LATEST ON BIG 12 - FOCUS ON CINCY AND UH (NOT SO MUCH ON BYU)

Robert Sellers

I'm hearing Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Oklahoma Sooners president David Boren and Texas president Greg Fenves as well as the Big 12's TV partners have been working overtime since the Big 12 began "actively evaluating" two to four candidates for expansion. 

And for those wondering why the Big 12 made a public cattle call for potential expansion candidates back on July 19, I'm told the league did so to avoid any claims of tortious interference that could be made by the leagues of any schools the Big 12 spoke with. 

As long as schools in other leagues were the ones seeking out the Big 12, any legal claims of the Big 12 being a home wrecker would be diminished, I'm told. 

After talking to sources in the Big 12 as well as TV industry sources, it sounds like the Big 12 will expand by ... 

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