RB Vondrell McGee
The Longview product should emerge as Texas' No. 4 back this season, but he may have factored into the rotation even if Ramonce Taylor was not transferring. Clocked at 4.35, McGee has added 12 pounds of lean muscle to his 5-10 frame and tips the scales at 200 pounds. He is one of those diminutive backs who models his game after Clinton Portis and LaDainian Tomlinson; he could remind Horn fans of Priest Holmes by the time he hangs up his cleats. McGee is a tough, mature kid who loves to run up the middle. The second-team Texas 5A All-Stater rushed for 3,400 yards and 44 TDs during his final two seasons. He averaged 8.3 ypc as a senior (1,361 yards on 163 carries) and led his team to a 10-1 mark. The program operated out of the ‘I' during his junior season but incorporated an option attack out of the shotgun in 2005. McGee also won his school's Iron Man award as a senior.
RB Antwan Cobb
Texas snatched up the Pflugerville product when Coppell RB Emmanuel Moody opted for USC. Mack Brown said it was a prime example of good things coming to those who wait because Cobb fulfills a lifelong dream of suiting up for the Horns. He'll likely redshirt this season and is projected at either RB or LB. He rushed for 1,655 yards as a senior while adding 417 yards through the air.
MLB Jared Norton
The two-time all-stater needs to gets stronger but is likely to lose his ‘shirt this season. The consensus was that the Rowlett product was one of the nation's Top Five inside linebackers in 2005 when he set the school record for most tackles in a season (197). Norton is quick to remind Inside Texas that his stats would have been loftier had coaches played him more in the second half. Just before reporting for summer workouts, Norton told us, "Coach Brown told me it would be nearly impossible for me not to play this fall. They said if I'm in shape, I'll play." Norton prefers the middle because it gives him a better shot at being involved on every play. Teams tended to run away from him, he said, when he played on the outside. His program based out of the 4-3, but he moved to SLB when the team operated our of the 4-2-5.
MLB Dustin Earnest Earnest is the latest in the Texarkana pipeline to Austin. He's not as likely as Norton to lose his ‘shirt this season but has a shot for playing time since Co-DC Gene Chizik wants to be three-deep at all linebacker positions. Earnest received First-team Texas 4A All-State honors after notching 140 tackles, 11 TFL, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, five sacks and three defensive TDs during his senior year. He set a school single-season record for most tackles (153) as a junior. Earnest is a highly intelligent student athlete (he took calculus this summer at UT) whose greatest asset may be reading the offense.
SOUTH TEAM (white jerseys)
K Hunter Lawrence
Horn fans are keeping their fingers crossed that Lawrence quickly emerges as the championship-caliber kicking specialist that has eluded Brown during his tenure. Texas coaches made an in-house visit upon arriving back from the Rose Bowl win over Michigan after former K Richmond McGee couldn't buy a touchback. The First-Team All-Stater set a new Texas schoolboy record for 20 FGs in a season (No. 5 nationally). He connected on 32-of-44 attempts during his final two seasons. Seven FGs were from 40+ yards while two of his misses were blocked.
WR Montre Webber
Webber is symbolic of the shifts in Texas football recruiting since Mack Brown arrived nine seasons ago. He grew up just outside of Bryan-College Station but, like many of Brown's signees, considers himself a lifelong Longhorn because he grew up watching Texas on TV (not to mention take seven of the past eight from the Aggies). The transition from a 2A program is easier for a WR than for other positions, but Webber's frame (6-3, 195) fits the profile of the taller wideout that Brown likes to sign. Webber accounted for 2,480 receiving yards and 38 TDs during his prep career.
DB Chykie Brown
The second-team all-stater from North Shore has a good shot of cracking secondary coach Duane Akina's rotation since depth appears to be the unit's only weakness. Brown impressed recruiters with his outstanding cover skills. The two-year starter notched eight INTs and accounted for 61 tackles (51 solo) during his career.
WR Ken Beasley
Everybody calls him Deon. Not only is it his middle name, it is also an appropriate moniker for a special talent who is versatile enough to be a difference-maker on both sides of the ball. Beasley raised eyebrows as a pass-catcher during the Scout.com U.S. Army All-American Game last January; in fact, it was enough for Mack Brown to tell reporters that coaches might reconsider their initially projecting Beasely solely at DB. West Orange-Stark coaches wanted the ball in Beasley's hands on every play in 2005 and so they moved him from WR to QB. The result: he completed 116-of-204 passes for 1,928 yards while rushing 244 times for 1,468 yards (6.0 ypc) and 23 TDs. Clocked at 4.28, Beasley will get a serious look this fall on return teams, Brown said. The 5-11, 170-pounder was so explosive that his position coach told Inside Texas, "If he was six inches taller, he would be Vince Young." Beasley was basically a third-down DB; he was also saw limited action in the secondary on certain down-and-distance situations. He'll play WR on Tuesday but, in all likelihood, will be in Texas' rotation at DB this fall.
RB/DB Robert Joseph
Joseph is slotted to play RB on Tuesday but he'll be a DB at Texas. "They (coaches) told me that the freshman DBs, more than likely, will have a chance to play," Joseph informed Inside Texas earlier this summer. The two-time all-state selection (as a FS) recorded 213 tackles and three INTs during his final two seasons (including an abbreviated senior season due to Hurricane Rita). The Port Arthur product was also the first RB off the bench to replace teammate Jamaal Charles. He rushed for 800 yards his junior year as Charles' primary backup while starting the last five games of his senior season at RB.
TE Britt Mitchell
The 6-5, 250-pound Mitchell is a prototypical blocking TE. Ask him about his favorite plays from high school, and he'll eagerly recount pancake after pancake after pancake. The three-year starter got his hands on enough passes last season to account for 264 receiving yards. Schools are allowed to send only one player to the THSCA All-Star Game, and that's why Five-Star DE Eddie Jones (a teammate of Mitchell's at Kilgore before both signed with Texas) will be a spectator on Tuesday night.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday's contest marks just the second time in the 71-game history of the event that it has been held in Austin and the first since 1950. The North All-Star squad owns a 38-27 series lead over the South and there have been six ties.