Courtesy of rise.espn.go.com
Cibolo Steele Running back and 5-star Texas recruit Malcolm Brown (Ranks No. 7 overall and No. 1 at position on Rivals100)
Not everything about this year's football season is completely negative. The Longhorns still have a bright future in front of them.
Despite all that has happened in Longhorns football this season, I can’t help but think about its anomalistic nature in Mack Brown’s tenure in Austin.
Sure, the nine-season streak of at least 10 wins is over, but I think many fans—myself included—have been guilty of throwing this team under the bus. It is time to look at some bright sides.
Youth. It is no news that our veterans have failed to step up their consistency and performance. The offensive line, wide receivers and secondary come to mind. The exciting part about the underperformance in other positions is our young blood.
Garrett Gilbert is still a sophomore, though he has battled sky-high expectations, sometimes unrealistic. I’m reminded of a certain Oklahoma team that saw their star quarterback injured for most of the season and had to resort to a freshman signal caller in Landry Jones to heal the wounds. That Sooner team went 8-5, and look at them this year: back on top and with plenty to show for it.
I trust his development because I’ve seen him do some good things in a year where the intended strategy consistently failed miserably, forcing the offense back into a passing game when the team spent an entire spring and summer doing just the opposite. But I digress.
Is it so much to expect a similar rebound next year for Texas? This year seems to be a perfect storm of question marks at a number of areas that a good, energizing offseason can help mend.
Understandably, our problems are grounded in a multitude of areas, but there seems to be a divide between the youth and the experienced on this team, and I’ll take the young guys.
You can have your Malcolm Williams, I’ll take Mike Davis. I was never impressed with Chykie Brown, and despite his injury, I’m also under the impression that true freshmen Carrington Byndom or Adrian Phillips could have done at least a commendable job.
These seniors listed on the roster will say farewell in a couple of weeks. Both Browns, Vondrell McGee, John Chiles, James Kirkendoll, Jared Norton, Eddie Jones, Dustin Earnest, John Gold, Micheal Huey, Kyle Hix, Britt Mitchell, Steve Moore, Sam Acho, Greg Smith, Blaine Irby, Michael Summerville, Mark Fisher, Ryan Zych, Chris Torbert.
Recruiting class. Headlining the 2011 recruiting class are a couple of war daddy prospects that can revitalize a Texas team lacking playmakers. Malcolm Brown figures to be a huge game-changer at running back. Christian Westerman is an offensive lineman out of Arizona that should push for playing time very early. Jaxon Shipley should be no stranger to Longhorns fans, and he is a player.
Sheroid Evans and Quandre Diggs are names that deserve extra recognition for the future, a couple of speedy athletes that I think will make serious impacts.
I trust the coaches know whom they are getting and what they bring to the table.
Speaking of coaches...
Mack Brown. In Mack Brown I trust. He led us out of the Mackovic Era with a huge splash, and I doubt he wants to leave the program after the kind of year that his Longhorns have had.
If coaching changes are to be made, I trust that Brown will make the right pieces fall in place to get back to doing what he does best, winning football games.
Things will get better, because they can’t get much worse.