TOM HERMAN IS QB HUNTING

In his latest CHIP DIPS, HD's CHIP BROWN explores Tom Herman going grad transfer QB hunting ... if UT's new No. 3 QB is already on the roster (not who you think) ... why Herman is "happier" with his "sloppy" D-linemen ... UT's all-important slot receiver ... Jarrett Allen entering the NBA Draft without an agent ... David Pierce's search for a closer ... and ... the UT women's sizable challenge vs Stanford on Friday ...

CHIP DIP #1 ... With only two scholarship QBs on the roster (now that Matthew Merrick is moving on), Tom Herman is looking for QB help "on the waiver wire" and anywhere else.

When Herman was asked if bringing in a graduate transfer such as LSU QB Brandon Harris (pictured above) could stunt the growth of current scholarship QBs - sophomore Shane Buechele and early enrollee freshman Sam Ehlinger - he said:

"We gotta win. We lost seven games three straight years around here. So, if a grad transfer is better than those two and can beat 'em out, then we'll worry about their growth next spring."

Herman said Buechele and Ehlinger "understood" and "were great" with trying to add depth to the position.

"It's pretty rare to have two scholarship quarterbacks in this day and age," Herman said. "We've got two. One's 19 and one's 18.

"I don't know in the history - since they went to 85 scholarships - that a Power Five school has made it through a season with two quarterbacks on scholarship. There probably has, but pretty rare."

Asked if a grad transfer quarterback could assume he'd be seen as the presumptive starter if he came to Texas, Herman said no.

"You'd have to have zero quarterbacks for 'said grad transfer' to think he could come right in and play," Herman said.  "They know they have to come in and beat out whoever's in that quarterback room."

 

 

CHIP DIP #2 ... New No. 3 QB already on the roster?

File the name Josh Covey away in the back of your mind. Covey, a sophomore to be who walked on at Texas in 2015 as a receiver and then moved to QB last spring completed 65.4 percent of his passes (100 of 153) for 1,740 yards with 19 TDs and 5 INTs in eight games played his senior year at Georgetown East View HS.

Covey, who went 6-2 as the starting QB at East View, also ran 30 times for 82 yards (2.7 ypc) and 2 TDs his senior season in high school.

Tom Herman said Covey (6-1, 200), who wears No. 18, "might be a better option at third-string quarterback than Jerrod (Heard)."

Herman said Covey didn't get much team work during Tuesday's practice but sounded impressed with Covey's ability to throw the ball and with his athleticism.

"The kid can run a little bit and threw the ball pretty well," Herman said.

Again, it could be something. It could be nothing. For now, file the name Josh Covey away in the back of your mind.

 

 

CHIP DIP #3 ... It's fun to decipher Tom Herman-ese when he's talking about a position group or player.

As HD's Taylor Estes reported in her Tuesday night practice "Notes and Quotes," Herman said he's "happier" with his D-line group (whom he called full of "fat guys" when spring ball began) "because even though they're sloppy - their bodies are sloppy - a lot of them have a really quick and explosive first step.

"So I was more pleased. But they still have to get in shape."

 

 

CHIP DIP #4 ... The slot receiver in Tom Herman's offense is the one who usually gets the most work.

At Houston, that position caught right at 98 balls each of the past two seasons.

Herman called the slot receiver "paramount" in his offense.

"It's kind of the uniqueness of our offense," Herman said. "It's gotta be a guy who can beat man coverage, find windows over the middle behind the linebackers and someone you can move into the backfield and hand the ball to as well."

So what about Devin Duvernay in that role?

"I think maybe he's a guy who can do something if he takes coaching and continues to get better as a route runner," Herman said. 

 

 

CHIP DIP #5 ... Tom Herman said he doesn't have a physical football team (yet). But he thinks his team wants to be physical.

"I think they want to be physical and want to do things our way," Herman said. "We just need to push through this wall and get into football shape. Everybody can do it when they're fresh. Everybody can do it in the first quarter. It's the fourth quarter, and we're 80 snaps in - that's where this work kicks in.

"We train the minds much more than the bodies, because it's the most powerful tool they have, and it's the most valuable piece of equipment."

 

 

CHIP DIP #6 ... Jarrett Allen is entering the NBA Draft without an agent. That usually turns into a player going through the draft with an agent, but we'll see.

"I want everyone to know that I'm testing the waters with this decision," Allen said in a statement released by UT. "But I will not be signing with an agent. Going through this process will allow my family and I to make the best decision possible for my future.

"I had a fantastic year personally here at Texas. I had fun and learned so much. I learned that things are going to be tougher than you think. But you have to learn how to respond to adversity, and I've matured a lot as a person."

Recent projections have the 6-foot-11 Allen, who averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds as a freshman, going late in the first or early in the second round of the draft.

 

 

CHIP DIP #7 ... Texas baseball is still in search of a closer. ... And could it be Beau Ridgeway?

Ridgeway has not given up a hit in his last six relief appearances (a total of 5.1 innings) dating to March 11 vs UCLA. More on that in a second ...

The closer does not appear to be first-year coach David Pierce's first choice - Kyle Johnston ... at least not right now. Not after getting the ball up 10-7 in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday night at Texas State and failing to close it out.

Pierce said after beating Texas A&M last Tuesday he believed Johnston was his closer - and that was after Johnston gave up two late runs (in the seventh) against the Aggies, making a 4-1 game a 4-3 game that Ridgeway and Chase Shugart ultimately closed out.

In Game 3 of the Texas Tech series, Pierce brought in Johnston for starter Blair Henley in the fourth inning with the game tied 3-3 after Henley got two outs but then gave up back-to-back singles. Johnston threw a wild pitch, allowing a Tech run to score, then gave up a walk, followed by back-to-back doubles as Tech scored four runs before Johnston got the final out of the inning.

Pierce stuck with Johnston for the fifth and sixth innings in that Game 3 loss to Tech, and Johnston gave up a hit in each inning but no more runs scored.

Then, the improbable 11-10 loss in 10 innings Tuesday night at Texas State happened.

Texas State loaded the bases with no outs after a walk and a pair of hits off of Johnston. Another single by the Bobcats scored two runs, cutting UT's lead to 10-9. Another walk by Johnston loaded the bases once again with no outs, and Pierce went to the bullpen for Parker Joe Robinson, who gave up a sacrifice fly that scored a run, tying the game 10-10.

Robinson recorded two outs in the bottom of the tenth, but he hit a batter and walked another, allowing the game-winning run to score on a bloop single.

Ridgeway had gotten the final two outs of the eighth inning without giving up a hit against the Bobcats.

The Horns take on UT-Pan American tonight at the Disch. 

I'd be surprised if Ridgeway, who has a 1.59 ERA and has given up three earned runs all season (all in the same game - a 5-4 win over UCLA on March 10) isn't the guy the next time a game needs to be closed out. 

Right now, he's the team's most reliable reliever. 

 

 

CHIP DIP #8 ... Karen Aston's team will have to be at its running and defensive best Friday night in Lexington against No. 2-seeded Stanford if the Longhorns are to match last year's trip to the Elite Eight.

Not only does Texas have to contain Stanford leading scorer Erica McCall, a 6-3 senior forward averaging 14.3 points per game, and Brittany McPhee, a 6-foot junior guard who torched Texas for a career-high 28 points (on 11 of 15 shooting) in a 71-59 victory over the Longhorns on Nov. 14 in Palo Alto as well as 6-foot senior guard Karlie Samuelson, who is also averaging double-digits (12.6 ppg).

Now, UT will have to deal with 6-foot-3 sophomore forward Alanna Smith, who was a bit player against Texas in their first meeting (5 points in 9 mins) but has turned into a force, averaging 19 points per game in the NCAA Tournament. 

In tourney victories over New Mexico State and K-State, Smith made 15 of 25 field goal attempts (60 percent) while averaging 9.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game.

The Cardinal weren't able to host in the first and second rounds of the tourney, because their gym was hosting the Pac-12 gymnastics championships. So they were forced to travel across the country to play at seventh-seeded Kansas State.

No problem.

Stanford demolished K-State by 21 points - 69-48 - in Bramlage Coliseum for the Cardinal's 10th win in 11 games.

When Texas finished the regular season at K-State, the Longhorns saw a 15-point, third-quarter lead cut down to three points in the fourth quarter before closing out a 69-61 victory in Manhattan.

The key to the game: Because of Stanford's size across the board, UT is going to have to run and beat the Cardinal's defense down the floor for easy baskets in transition. And play GREAT defense, of which UT is capable.

If the Horns, who won 19 straight at one point this season but have lost four of their last eight, get drawn into a half-court game with Stanford, I don't like UT's chances.

 

 

CHIP DIP #9 ... Reese Witherspoon turns 41 today.

What's the first thing you think of when you hear her name?

 

 

CHIP DIP #10 ... Saw Tom Herman retweeted this ...

https://twitter.com/CoolestLifeHack/status/844121552249638912

 

 

 

*****

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