Kirk Bohls

American-Statesman Staff


9 Things: Young Longhorns buy in quickly

Texas OL Kent Perkins says ‘no doubt’ team can win a national title.

Posted August 19th, 2015

Story highlights
  • Asked if the whole team shares his level of enthusiasm, Perkins said,"Yes, sir. We are all buying in."
  • I hope I'm Jordan Spieth when I grow up.

1. Kent Perkins is all-in. So much so that the Texas guard is predicting really big things for the Longhorns. “I think we can win it all,” he said Tuesday. “I have no doubt. I think we can go to the national championship. And win it.” Asked if the whole team shares his level of enthusiasm, Perkins said,”Yes, sir. We are all buying in.” He added that in Saturday’s 125-play scrimmage, the offense whipped the defense decisively. “We beat em up pretty good.” … It is a good sign of the team’s unselfishness that Charlie Strong said starting running back Johnathan Gray volunteered to be on the punt team. The punt coverage team.

Incoming freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson takes a breather during practice Sunday on fan appreciation day. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Incoming freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson is one of the key youngsters that could play a lot this season for Texas coach Charlie Strong. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

2. This is clearly the Year of the Freshman at Texas. Strong can’t stop talking about them. About being pressed by freshmen, senior linebacker Peter Jinkens said,”If they’re better than me, they’re better than me.” Starters could include two – Connor Williams and Patrick Vahe – on the offensive line, Malik Jefferson at middle linebacker, DeAndre McNeal at tight end and John Burt at receiver. Kris Boyd, Holton Hill and Davante Davis will contribute immediately in the secondary, and the list goes on….. “I teased Hill about being so skinny,” Strong said,”and he said he weighs 197 (even though he’s listed at 179 on the roster). He’s so long and athletic. He can cover you up back there.”…. Strong raved about Daje Johnson’s scrimmage in which he had two TDs on a reverse and a bomb “and even had a double backflip.”

3. Big-time college football 1, National Labor Relations Board 0. The board overturned a regional director’s ruling that Northwestern’s football team had the right to unionize. In other words, it’s in Congress’ or the federal court system’s court. I don’t favor unionization because of workers’ compensation, taxes and other issues, but the NCAA must do more than pay the full cost of attendance as well as reimburse players for image and likeness. Schools must provide better medical insurance , liberalize transfer rules, help pressure the NBA players association into changing the one-and-done rule and – if we really want to be truthful and admit this is all about entertainment and NFL training – allow athletes the option of attending or not attending classes. The NCAA should give athletes a louder voice at the table and award them up to 10 percent of the vote on player issues. Probably the only way to bring about meaningful change would be for an Ohio State or an Alabama to boycott a game. That would get everyone’s attention.


4. Got a first up-close glimpse of Sam Ehlinger, Westlake’s junior quarterback and a future Longhorn. He said he’s grown an inch to 6 feet 2 and added about 25 pounds to 215. Very impressive in stature. Ehlinger says his favorite athlete is another Westlake ex, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, whom he met in Orlando at Brees’ camp. “He’s a great guy, and he shows you you don’t have to be huge to be good.” Asked whose game his own mostly resembles, Ehlinger picked Cam Newton because “not only can he throw, but he runs well and he’s physical.” Asked if any schools are still recruiting him, Ehlinger said,”Coach (Todd Dodge) has a rule to shut it all off after someone commits.”

5. I hope I’m Jordan Spieth when I grow up. Besides being No. 1 in the world, he might be tops in sportsmanship as well. You think about how close he came to winning the Grand Slam and he’s been a pro on the PGA Tour only three years. It took a 20-under-par score by Jason Day to deny Spieth a third major championship in the same season. Just loved Day’s honest, raw emotions of joy and satisfaction. Golf is in good hands.

6. Count me among those who agree with Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison’s stance against silly participation trophies. Can we stop the “everyone gets a prize” nonsense? The participation “trophy” should be a Gatorade box and a cookie.

7. Compelling story Sunday by our own Rick Cantu on Mulbah Car, the Reagan running back who escaped the abject poverty and hardship of Liberia with his mother and sister. As a very small child, he was actually homeless, living on the streets, begging for food and sleeping in vacant houses. Can’t help but wonder if he’ll follow the trail blazed by Pflugerville’s Samaje Perine, who left the Longhorns’ backyard to break NCAA records for Oklahoma. I think Texas blew it by not offering Car a scholarship. Iowa State offensive coordinator Mark Mangino said the Cyclones looked at tape of 35 running backs around the country over a three-day span and ranked Car No. 1 on their board. One college defensive line coach, who used to coach in the NFL, told Reagan coach Keith Carey,”I know what an NFL player looks like in high school, and that’s an NFL player.”

8. Could Texas State have the second-best quarterback in the state in junior Tyler Jones? When I asked Bobcats coach Dennis Franchione if he could be No. 1 in Texas, he said,”I think (TCU’s) Trevone Boykin would probably argue that point. I know (Jones) would be right up there. I’m glad I’ve got him. An NFL player? He could be. All I know is he beats you.”

9. Finally got around to seeing “Unbroken.” Gripping story. Gave it eight ducks.

Crazy prediction: J.J. Watt will throw a TD pass this season.

Contact Kirk Bohls at 512-445-3772.

Twitter: @kbohls