USA Today Sports Images

Chips Dips: Texas Longhorns Football Overload!

In "Chips Dips" Friday edition, Chip Brown discusses his thoughts on the latest going on with University of Texas athletics.

CHIP DIP #1 ... Got a friendly wager with a former NFL assistant coach that D'Onta Foreman runs a faster 40 at the NFL combine today than LSU's Leonard Fournette.

D'Onta weighed in at 233 pounds, and I think he'll be disappointed if he doesn't run a sub 4.5 40.

I've told this story before, but it's worth repeating: When Texas was recruiting Armanti Foreman, Mack Brown and his staff were reluctant to offer his twin brother ( D'Onta), who didn't have much of a chance to showcase his talent at Texas City because he was backing up another RB who got a Division I offer.

Chase Fickessen, the Texas City OC, told then Texas OC Major Applewhite the first school to offer both Armanti AND D'Onta would get the Foremans. So Major asked Fickessen for D'Onta's 40 time, and Fickessen told Major "he's never run higher than a 4.48."

Applewhite then told Fickessen if D'Onta came to a Texas camp and ran 4.48 he'd make sure D'Onta got an offer from Texas. And that's exactly what happened. D'Onta camped at Texas, ran a 4.47, and UT coaches offered him - and, just as Fickessen said, the Foremans committed to Texas.

The rest, as they say, is history ...

 

CHIP DIP #2 ... Because D'Onta had to wait his turn to get on the field at RB for Texas City and was overlooked in the recruiting process he came to Texas with a burning chip on his shoulder and got to showcase his talent in a big way thanks to Chris Warren's knee injury last season.

If Warren stays healthy last year, there's a good chance Warren and Foreman split carries and Foreman is still at Texas, preparing for his senior season.

Instead, it's twin brother, Armanti, the more decorated recruit coming out of Texas City because he was a three-year starter at WR, who is preparing for his senior season at Texas (and providing some good leadership from what I hear).

 

CHIP DIP #3 .... I talked to Chris Warren III's dad - former Pro Bowl RB Chris Warren Jr. - and there is no doubt that D'Onta Foreman's 2,000-yard rushing season last year is serving as inspiration for Chris Warren III.

"Chris saw what was possible with D'Onta's incredible year last year," Warren Jr. said. "That helps drive the work you have to put in to get there."

Warren III suffered a sprain (slight tear) to his posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Because it was not a total tear, Warren III did not have surgery.

 

CHIP DIP #4 ... The offensive line this season has a chance to be a real strength of the team if some guys take the next step as players in their mental and physical development.

https://twitter.com/PatrickVahe/status/837483265997033473

I'm hearing Patrick Vahe is determined to get back on the field after losing his starting position last season to Jake McMillon. But Vahe, McMillon and Zach Shackelford all need to take big steps this season.

And we haven't really talked about it, but it was a total wasted year last season for Jean Delance, who played in two games (UTEP and Iowa State) when he absolutely should've redshirted.

Denzel Okafor played in 10 games last season and will undoubtedly compete with Brandon Hodges and Tristan Nickelson at RT.

Who knows? If those three OTs (Hodges, Nickelson and Okafor) can handle things and Connor Williams can stay healthy, maybe Delance gets the chance to redshirt this season. Doubtful. But who knows?

And then there's Patrick Hudson, the 4-star OG from Silsbee with the great size and arm length who is coming off a broken foot last year. (I'm always concerned when the big fellas have foot problems. Those are injuries that tend to linger with the 300-pounders.)

But I've heard the coaches can't wait to see if Hudson is a guy who they could line up at LG next to Connor Williams and pound teams with Chris Warren III running behind those two.

 

 

CHIP DIP #5 .... Great to see Bob Shipley, father of former Texas WRs Jordan and Jaxon Shipley, back with the Texas football program as Tom Herman's Director of High School Relations.

https://twitter.com/RobertShipley2/status/837459242131013633

For those who don't know Shipley, he's a very respected voice among the Texas High School Coaches Association with a great personality who - of course - raised UT's all-time receptions leader (Jordan) and UT's No. 3 receptions leader (Jaxon).

Shipley is replacing Hardee McCrary, but McCrary, who has played a key role in organizing two of the state's biggest high school coaches' clinics, will continue to work within the athletic department (in more of a support role for Mike Perrin).

One high school coach told me bringing in Shipley - while also having McCrary as a resource - is a really smart move and only enhances Tom Herman and Texas ties to the state's high school coaches.

 

 

CHIP DIP #6 ... Longhorns pick up a really good win - 4-0 at Stanford Thursday night - in Game 1 of a four-game series with Morgan Cooper (1-0, 2.08 ERA) taking the mound for Game 2 tonight (8 pm CT).

Wow - what great pitching performances from Nolan Kingham (7 IP, 3H, 0R, 8K, 3 walks), who threw 98 pitches (62 for strikes), and Beau Ridgeway, who relieved Kingham in the 8th and threw 19 pitches (14 for strikes) in retiring six straight batters with 2 Ks.

 

 

CHIP DIP #7 ... At the plate in Game 1 vs Stanford, Texas did a little bit of everything, including some ball to drive in UT's first run. 

But most importantly, CF Zane Gurwitz, who had really struggled (1-for-15) as the leadoff hitter since returning from a hamstring injury, went 2-for-4 with a home run.

It's funny, because Buttermaker12 and I were having a discussion on the board this week about whether or not to get Gurwitz out of the leadoff spot and maybe drop him down the batting order. And I said I'd give Gurwitz, a senior leader, a little more time in leading off because he performed well last season (.294, 5 HR, 36 RBI with a .994 fielding percentage and only 1 error).

Now, we'll see if Gurwitz can start stringing some hits together. That home run in the 7th vs Stanford was big, because it obviously provided an important insurance run in a pitchers' duel. And because it was Gurwitz who hit the bomb - it undoubtedly provided a jolt of confidence to the rest of the dugout that maybe the team's leadoff hitter had reclaimed his mojo.

 

CHIP DIP #8 ... Kacy Clemens (1-for-3) and Bret Boswell (1-for-4) may not have looked like they did much damage at the plate in Game 1.  But it was the RBIs each guy produced in drawing walks with GREAT at-bats in the top of the 9th that deserve a little mention. 

We know Clemens is already locked in at the plate, batting .419 with 3 HR and 8 RBIs, but Boswell is right behind him, batting .348 with 2 HR and 5 RBI.

And a good indicator of how well guys are seeing the ball at the plate is when they don't chase pitches that are just outside the strike zone. And that's what both Clemens and Boswell did in the top of the ninth. 

With the bases loaded, Clemens showed a great eye in getting walked on five pitches - all of them right on the edge of the zone. That walk scored Michael Cantu from third after Cantu singled to start the T9

Boswell followed Clemens to the plate and walked after a seven-pitch at-bat. Boswell fouled off a couple pitches, with the count full, and showed great restraint in taking ball four, because, again, the pitch was right on the edge of the zone. 

Boswell's walk scored David Hamilton, who was hit by a pitch to get on base after Cantu singled. 

Bottom line, Clemens and Boswell are seeing the ball well right now at the plate.

 

CHIP DIP #9 ... Karen Aston told me today she gave her team off a couple days after the Longhorns won at K-State on Monday, snapping a three-game losing streak (at OU and home vs Baylor and Iowa State).

"I'm hoping that will refresh them heading into the Big 12 Tournament this weekend," Aston said.

She said she felt her team was really tired in the K-State game, maybe best exemplified by Big 12 Player Of The Year Brooke McCarty going 1-of-10 shooting.

"You won't see that kind of game very often - if ever - from Brooke McCarty," Aston said. "That's when I decided to give them a couple days off."

The Texas women are the No. 2 seed in this weekend's Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City and will face the winner of Oklahoma State and Kansas at 6 pm Saturday on FSN.

 

 

CHIP DIP #10 ... If you've perhaps seen enough of the men's basketball team this season and aren't feeling a trip to the Erwin Center on Saturday to see the Horns vs Baylor, might I suggest heading over to 24th and Lamar - the Caswell Tennis Center - for No. 8 Texas vs No. 3 Wake Forest in what will be a GREAT Top 10 duel.

If it rains, the match would be moved to UT's indoor tennis facility out at the UT Golf Club in Steiner Ranch. But even that would be worth the trip.

These two teams have already met once, and Wake Forest barely beat Texas at the ITA National Indoor Championship, 4-3 in a match that came down to the third set of the final match.

Texas has two of the best freshmen in the country in Christian Sigsgaard and Yuya Ito as well as sophomore Harrison Scott, who has won 12 straight singles matches for the Longhorns.

The UT men's and women's tennis programs have been without a facility for three years - and mercifully they'll have one by the end of this year, because it's under construction behind Disch-Falk Field right now.

But both programs reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAAs last season, and coach Michael Center has the men's program  currently ranked No. 8. Incredibly impressive work by both Center and women's tennis coach Howard Joffe.

 

CHIP DIP #11 ... Very intrigued by UFC 209 Saturday night. 

And while the rematch of champ Tyron Woodley and Stevie "Wonderboy" Thompson is very compelling, the guy who I think is unstoppable is Khabib "The Eagle" Nurmagomedov, the No. 1 contender to Conor McGregor at 145 pounds. 

Nurmagomedov is fighting the No. 2 contender at 145 pounds - Tony Ferguson, and I think Nurmagomedov not only destroys Ferguson but would also destroy McGregor, because he's like carbon monoxide in all the different ways he can submit you.

McGregor is smart to go get as much money as he can for fighting Floyd Mayweather because he won't be the 145-pound champ much longer - once The Eagle his landed in the octagon with him.

 

 

 


Horns Digest Top Stories