Texas Longhorns: California Golden Bears

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When it comes to running backs, the state of Texas is loaded. Ten running backs represent the Lone Star State in the ESPN 300. Of those 10, five are committed. A total of seven running backs in the state have reported FBS commitments.

ESPN 300 RBs from the state:

No. 50 Ronald Jones II: Ranked the nation’s No. 3 running back, Jones is an explosive, game-changing back who -- as scary as it might sound -- will only get better. Jones committed to Oklahoma State on April 6 and finished his junior season with more than 2,400 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns.

There are still better than three weeks left for the 2014 recruiting class, but that won't stop the 2015 class from making noise before signing day.

Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) -- the nation's No. 1 quarterback prospect and No. 16 overall recruit -- will be on the move over the next few weeks and it isn't out of the question that his recruitment could come to a close before spring hits.

Rosen attended last weekend's Elite 11 Regional in Southern California but did not participate, as he is still recovering from a shoulder injury he played through for much of his state-title-winning junior season. At the event, Rosen said he plans to take unofficial visit to UCLA and USC after the dead period ends.


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LEANDER, Texas — After a late-June and early-July trip to the West Coast that included elite camp appearances and unofficial visits, Houston Lamar four-star safety John Bonney was back with his teammates recently for the Texas 7-on-7 state championships.

The Redskins performed well, going 3-0 in pool play in day one of Division I action, then making a run in bracket play to the quarterfinals before bowing out to eventual Division I tournament champion, Southlake (Texas) Carroll.

Bonney, a 6-foot, 182-pound prospect who has 32 offers, was glad to be back with his team. Now his focus is shifting to the start of fall practice in August and a potential decision on his college future.


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Texas’ search for potential 2015 quarterback targets has taken Major Applewhite all the way out to California.

The Longhorns offensive coordinator has at least five West Coast quarterbacks on his radar right now and is visiting them this week. Kyle Kearns is glad to know he’s one.


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Texas’ spring practice on Friday featured multiple highlights, and 2014 wide receiver Garrett Gray (Marble Falls, Texas/Marble Falls) was one of the athletes on hand as a witness.

In fact, Gray described the practice in two words: “Very impressive.”


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Dell Diamond will feature two teams this weekend heading in opposite directions.

The Longhorns, ranked No. 18 by Baseball America, have won 9 of 10 thanks to the plate production of several key bats. Jonathan Walsh leads the way over the last nine games with a .500 average (19-of-38). Erich Weiss (.429), Jordan Etier (.412), Mark Payton (.381) and Alex Silver (.368) have also seen spikes in their averages over that span for Texas (14-9, 5-1 Big 12).

Cal, which made it to the College World Series along with Texas a season ago, has lost 7 of 11 and 3 of 5. The Golden Bears (14-9, 1-5 Pac-12) are in the midst of a grueling 12-game road trip that won't end until April 9th.

Scheduling note: Texas and Cal were supposed to play in a doubleheader on Saturday but will instead play one game at 4 p.m. and then close out the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.


PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday, March 30, 2012 -- 7 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Nathan Thornhill (2-2, 3.69 ERA)
California: LHP Justin Jones (2-3, 4.22 ERA)

Saturday, March 31, 2012 -- 4 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Parker French (3-0, 3.82 ERA)
California: RHP Matt Flemer (3-2, 2.76 ERA)

Sunday, April 1, 2012 -- 1 p.m. Central
Texas: RHP Ricky Jacquez (1-1, 6.84 ERA)
California: LHP Kyle Porter (2-1, 5.40 ERA)
Dallas Skyline ESPNU Watch List wide receiver Ra'Shaad Samples said Monday that he suffered a small fracture in his left fibula during a one-on-one drill at Sunday’s Nike Football Training Camp at the Dallas Cowboys practice facility in Irving, Texas.

Samples, a 2013 Under Armour All-American, said doctors found a small break and a stretch of his tibia but found no ligament damage. He is expected to miss 3-4 months, but took consolation in the fact his ligaments were in good shape. Ligament damage could have put him out for an extended period and was speculated to jeopardize a portion of his senior year.

“I’m doing all right,” Samples said. “I left the doctor’s office with a cast on. I won’t have to get a plate or anything. I plan to start rehab in about four or five weeks.”

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ESPNU 150 Watch List tight end Christian Morgan (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood) picked up his fifth offer Wednesday night, as he was offered a scholarship from California.

Morgan, 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, now has offers from Cal, Tulsa, Baylor, Vanderbilt and Arkansas. He said he’s been in contact with his recruiting contact, Cal tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Jeff Genyk.

“It’s great. The education and location would both be incredible,” Morgan said of Cal, which pulled two ESPNU 150 players and seven four-star players in its 2012 recruiting class.

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Thomas Johnson to visit TAMU 

January, 19, 2012
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According to his high school recruiting coordinator, ESPNU 150 receiver Thomas Johnson (Dallas, Texas/Skyline) will take an official visit to Texas A&M this weekend.

Johnson publicly announced his decommitment from Texas days after the Under Armour All-American Game. The four-star receiver originally was scheduled to visit TCU this weekend, but Skyline’s Jason R. Garrett said Johnson will make a trip to College Station, Texas, as the Aggies have become a darkhorse in the Johnson sweepstakes.

Ranked No. 33 in the latest ESPNU 150, Johnson brings speed, explosiveness and a level of elusiveness that makes him the No. 3 receiver in the country and the No. 4 player in Texas. At 6 foot and 180 pounds, Johnson is entertaining offers from California, Oregon and TCU, in addition to A&M. He also has offers from Auburn, Oklahoma, Baylor, USC and a host of other schools.

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TE Kourtzidis changes his mind 

January, 19, 2012
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After spending more time thinking about his recruiting process on Wednesday night, Christo Kourtzidis (Orange, Calif./Lutheran) has changed his mind and will not take a visit to Texas this weekend.

His father, Akis Kourtzidis, confirmed to HornsNation that the Florida State tight end commit called UT co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite this morning to cancel the visit.

The reason? With national signing day less than two weeks away, the family doesn’t feel they have enough time to consider Texas. Their relationship is much stronger with Florida State and Cal.

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Christo Kourtzidis looking at Texas? 

January, 18, 2012
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Tight end Christo Kourtzidis (Orange Lutheran, Calif.) took what he thought was his final official visit last weekend to Florida State. But an in-home visit Tuesday night from Texas may have changed that.

Kourtzidis said his commitment to Florida State is very solid but Texas assistant coach Major Applewhite came in for a home visit Tuesday. The visit has him thinking about the Longhorns.

“It was pretty cool, I liked the coach a lot,” Kourtzidis said. “I’m supposed to call him back today and let him know if I want to visit this weekend or not. My dad has some questions and I’m not sure he wants me to visit but I’m still thinking it over. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Texas so I might call Connor Brewer and see what he thinks.”

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Four-star cornerback and Under Armour All-American De’Vante Harris (Mesquite, Texas/Horn) has been very active through social media in letting the world know how the recruiting life has been for him. On Tuesday, Harris announced via his Twitter site (@Official_DH10) that he has picked up offers from both Tennessee and Texas A&M.

“Tennessee offered... #AnotherBlessing,” one of Harris’ tweets said early Tuesday evening.

“A&M just offered. Another blessing...,” said another tweet roughly an hour later.

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SAN ANTONIO -- Unlike many of the uncommitted athletes at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, four-star lineman Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) said he has decided against announcing during Saturday’s football game at the Alamodome.

A massive defensive tackle at 6-foot-8 and 290 pounds, Armstead said he eventually will choose between Oregon, California, Notre Dame, Texas and Auburn. The decision, however, will not take place Saturday, as he wants to take as much time as possible to make the proper decision.

“Some schools are stronger academically than others, and some schools have more opportunities as far as education goes,” Armstead said. “All of the schools do a good job of putting guys in the pros, which is very important, too.”

Armstead, a two-sport star in football and basketball, has visited Oregon, Cal and Notre Dame, and he said an official to Texas may be next for him. He said of the five schools, there are no front-runners, but all five schools have agreed to let him play both sports in college.

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SAN ANTONIO -- Four-star offensive tackle Kyle Murphy (San Clemente, Calif.) has a list of five schools, but don’t expect him to make a final decision during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Murphy said he will eventually choose between USC, Stanford, Oregon, Florida and California, but he is considering making a decision after two scheduled visits in January. Murphy, who has visited Oregon and Florida on officials, will visit Stanford the weekend of Jan. 13 and USC the following weekend.

[+] EnlargeKyle Murphy
Courtesy of Damon SaylesKyle Murphy is ranked No. 26 overall in the country.
“I was thinking about committing here a while ago,” Murphy said, “but my season in high school ran really late. I didn’t have time to take another official.”

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Podcast: Mack Brown on SVP

December, 30, 2011
12/30/11
1:58
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With Linda Cohn and Adnan filling in for Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo, Mack Brown stopped by the show.

The Texas coach talked about his team's performance in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl and the Longhorns' season overall. Brown also talked about the expectations in Austin and the team's goals for 2012.

Here's the podcast.

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