What say we make a trade; Brian Kelly for Mack Brown and a coordinator to be named later? Think about it. Mack Brown is a national championship winning coach. He taught Vince Young how to be Vince Young. Think what he could do for Tommy Rees!
Mack also would have handled Mighty Nick Saban had Colt McCoy not had a Faberge Egg for a shoulder socket.
Now, the way the upcoming schedules for Texas and Notre Dame unfold, the timing of striking this accord is imperative. Obviously you don’t want Mack coaching against Oklahoma and neither do Texas fans. That’s why this deal won’t be struck until next week. Kelly makes his Texas debut against Iowa State, a team he’ll probably mistake for Southern California until he looks at the opposite sideline and notices the absence of douche on the headsets. With his familiarity from playing Oklahoma this weekend, he’ll be more than ready to coach Texas against OU on October 12th.
I realize deals like this make too much sense to ever happen.
The reality is Mack Brown is in fact gone after this season. The importance of this for Notre Dame Football is Mack’s absence creates a recruiting vacuum within the state. Compounding out of state school’s good fortune is the possibility that Kevin Sumlin will head to the NFL at season’s end. If that happens, the dynamics of in-state recruiting could shift significantly. I’d be ready to capitalize if I worked for a national power.
While the Notre Dame staff is focused on completing its 2014 haul, it should already start pursuing 2015 players in this bountiful state and with the recent offers to defensive tackle Darrion Daniels, defensive end James Lockhart and safety Justin Dunning, it appears to be doing so.
We looked at the offensive players a while back. Let’s now take a look at the Texas crop on the Ross Browner side of the ball.
Note: If you click on a player’s name it will take you to his Inside Texas bio complete with highlights.
Also, click here to read my thoughts on the 2015 offensive players in the state of Texas.
Tevin Boone, Cleburne (Cleburne, TX): Boone’s an active and athletic defensive tackle who came on midway through his sophomore year. Texas has been flirting with him for quite a while and he was so impressive at a June camp in Austin I was surprised he wasn’t offered.
Ross Donelly, Cy-Fair (Cypress, TX): I first saw Donnelly after his freshman year and couldn’t believe he wasn’t an upperclassman. He’s now standing 6-2, 300 pounds, and moves extremely well. He’s originally from the Bahamas, so say his name with an Islander’s accent. Like Boone, Donnelly is still waiting on his first offer.
Bryce English, DeSoto (DeSoto, TX): “Do we get to kill the Ainglish?” Aye….but good luck with this one. Bryce is a 5-10, 305 pound side of beef in the Mark Henry mold. He’s committed to Texas, his childhood favorite. UT may have jumped the gun here.
Jalen Goss, South Oak Cliff (Dallas, TX): I’m a big fan of Goss, but thus far he hasn’t received the attention he deserves. I’ve seen film of him working 2014’s Demetrious Knox which tells you just how quick he is off the ball.
Du'Vonta Lampkin, Cypress Falls (Houston, TX): Lampkin’s a young man that would intrigue any school with his legit 6-3, 290 pound build, but thus far his film and imposing ability don’t align. Texas wants to offer badly, as it already has one Falls player on the roster and another one, Otaro Alaka, committed, but Lampkin hasn’t justified it yet. If the light comes on, watch out.
Daylon Mack, Gladewater (Gladewater, TX): If you follow recruiting closely you’ve likely already heard of Mack. He’s one of the best prospects to come out of Texas in the last several years and is the state’s early number one player. He’s a freak athlete in a 6-2, 290 pound, chassis. He also pitches, as in baseball, not just interior linemen. Mack likes A&M, Clemson and LSU, but I think he’s going to wait quite a while before deciding.
Darrion Daniels, Bishop Dunne (Dallas, TX): Admittedly I hadn’t heard about Daniels until last week when he started picking up offers like a Sunset Strip lady of the night. Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Ole Miss have offered, and Texas and Texas A&M are showing interest. After a quick glance of his film he needs to learn to keep his feet moving, but he does have ideal size. He transferred in from nearby Red Oak High School; a school often treated like that very same lady of the night when it comes to having players transfer out. Obviously, Notre Dame heard of Daniels because of its recruitment of 2014 cornerback Nick Watkins. An important note, Daniels is a Tech legacy, as his father is Tony Daniels.
Landis Durham, Plano East (Plano, TX): Notre Dame likes its defensive ends big, so count out Durham as an end, but don’t rule him out as an outside linebacker. When I talked to former Texas defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz at Texas camp, he said he’d be interested to see where Durham’s body goes. If he adds the proper size I hope it goes to Texas. Explosive athlete.
James Lockhart, Ennis (Ennis, TX): Sticking with the theme of larger defensive ends for Notre Dame, Lockhart will in time fit the bill. I’ve compared him to ends of recent Texas vintage, Alex Okafor and Cedric Reed. He’s an extremely safe player on the next level. Whether he maximizes I don’t know, but I doubt very highly that he doesn’t turn into a quality piece if not a multi-year starter. Currently Texas leads, but who knows what happens over the next few months.
Breylin Mitchell, Round Rock High (Round Rock, TX): At 6-4, 250 pounds, Mitchell is another bigger defensive end. He’s committed to TCU but the Horned Frogs are no stranger to getting pick pocketed for players. He’s not the greatest athlete, but his size is fairly uncommon for his age. Who knows, maybe he turns into Kapron Lewis-Moore.
Nathan Fox, Clear Lake (Houston, TX): One of the best ways to gauge athleticism and instincts is a player’s ability to block kicks and punts. One look at Fox’s film and it’s evident he has both. He projects as an inside linebacker, and I think a good one. He shows good sideline to sideline ability as well as relishing his run gap duties.
D'Vonta Hinton, Texas City (Texas City, TX): Hinton’s an undersized rocket that I doubt Notre Dame ever looks at, but he’s a player nonetheless. Look for him to end up in a spread conference where his range is a prime commodity and his lack of size is mitigated by the need to play in space and possibly as a nickel backer. The kid packs a punch. I’ll be watching him this Thursday, along with 2014’s Foreman twins, Armanti and D’Onta (both Texas commits).
Malik Jefferson, Poteet (Mesquite, TX): When it’s all said and done Malik (pictured) may end up being the best linebacker in the entire class. He’s hyper-athletic, having long jumped over 22-feet as a 210 pound freshman. He’s an exceptional kid that I’ve gotten to know quite well in the past year and he speaks candidly with me. He says he’d be very interested to hear from Notre Dame and frankly I’m not sure why he hasn’t yet. He’s a high character kid with exceptional ability; a take for any school in the country. Malik’s ability could be developed to fill any linebacker role in any scheme. He’s that versatile. Pick up the phone, Notre Dame.
Cameron Townsend, Fort Bend Ridge Point (Missouri City, TX): A bit undersized, but still filling out, Townsend is exceptionally quick and a violent striker. Depending on who Texas hires he’ll likely end up in Austin. He’s a smart kid that understands his best fit is in a passing league rather than trying to shed blocks.
Anthony Wheeler, Skyline (Dallas, TX): Depending on where he ends up, Wheeler could be a guy that puts his hand in the ground. He’s more comfortable coming forward than he is in reverse. He could be an excellent pass rusher. He reminds me a bit in what he can and can’t do with fellow Dallas linebacker, Sergio Kindle. Texas originally tried to fit a square peg into a round hole by playing Kindle in a traditional 43 role outside linebacker role. Kindle didn’t take off until Will Muschamp quelled that nonsense and dropped him to end. Hopefully Wheeler doesn’t ‘text’ and drive as much. Kids, you should always have a designated ‘texter’.
Kris Boyd, Gilmer (Gilmer, TX): As the first cousin of Curtis Brown, Boyd had Texas out in front early but now likes Oregon. He’s a bigger corner that could end up at safety. Reviews are mixed on Boyd depending on who I talk to. Texas likes him a lot, A&M not so much, at least at this point. At 6-0, 180 pounds, he has the build schools covet these days, but there’s a lot more to playing corner than having length.
Jalen Campbell, Flour Bluff (Corpus Christi, TX): Campbell showed well on the camp circuit just in the nick of time. He earned a Texas offer then promptly committed. Not long after he tore his knee up when his Mensa of a coach decided it was necessary to have him return kicks in the Spring Game.
Holton Hill, Lamar (Houston, TX): I saw Hill a couple of weeks ago and came away intrigued. He had a long interception return where you could tell how fluid he was. Currently at 6-2 I wonder if he’ll end up growing out of his native corner position, and if so he may become even more in demand as a safety with excellent cover skills.
Darrell Miller, Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill, TX): My same A&M contact that’s not very high on Boyd loves Miller and I do as well. He’s not the biggest kid out there, but he has excellent footwork and is extremely tough. Most Cedar Hill kids are tough.
Kendall Sheffield, Fort Bend Marshall (Missouri City, TX): Sheffield is one of the true headliners in the state for 2015. He’s a big corner with excellent size. He’s also a track star. The feeling is A&M leads which is unfortunate because at one point no school compared to Texas in his eyes.
Justin Dunning, Whitehouse (Whitehouse, TX): Unfortunately Dunning tore his ACL early in the season. It’s a crap shoot where he ends up on the field. He’s already over 6-3 and in the neighborhood of 200 pounds. Many feel he’ll end up with friend Daylon Mack in College Station.
Larry Pryor, Sulphur Springs (Sulphur Springs, TX): Pryor’s a multi-sport star and also plays both sides of the ball for Sulphur Springs, a place that by the sound of it I wouldn’t drink the water. Pryor’s a Texas lean and will most likely end up at safety, or perhaps even linebacker.
Johnny Shaw, West Orange-Stark (Orange, TX): Shaw’s a physical safety who has some coverage work ahead of him if he wants to survive in the Big 12. When in position to make a play he does have good ball skills, but he’s inconsistent in that regard. He’s committed to Texas after originally pledging to TCU.
Deionte Thompson, West Orange-Stark (Orange, TX): Thompson shook the Texas recruiting landscape when he committed to Alabama last spring after being a life-long fan of Texas. He’s a condor in the secondary with his 6-2 height and long arms. He’s also very physical, but his coverage skills are yet to be determined.
KeKe Coutee, Lufkin (Lufkin, TX): He could end up at corner or receiver at Texas, but one thing’s for sure is he’s an explosive option at either. I think he ends up in the slot.
Morie Evans, Huntsville (Huntsville, TX): I’m shocked Evans hasn’t received more attention. He could play safety or slot receiver. He’s a thickly built play maker who’s unafraid to bring his hat. He’s often featured in jet motion where his athleticism is evident.
Jeff Gladney, New Boston (New Boston, TX): Gladney has received a lot of letters from Notre Dame but I’m not sure if they’ll make a serious push for him. He’s another guy that should be getting way more attention. He could play corner, but he’s electric with the ball in his hands so I’d slot him on offense.
JW Ketchum, Fort Bend Marshall (Missouri City, TX): Ketchum has been picking up offers as a quarterback but I think his abilities will lead him to wide receiver. He has long arms, huge, strong hands, and the temperament that makes him think every ball is his. His upbringing has hardened him, I think his Mom was Della Reese in Harlem Nights. He’s the teammate of Kendall Sheffield, but these two couldn’t be any more different when comparing disposition.
Now, have your people call my people about that coaching trade.
Eric Nahlin is a writer for InsideTexas.com