4-star defensive tackle picks UT
Westfield’s Coburn gives Longhorns 16 pledges for 2018.
Tom Herman hasn’t needed a single snap as Texas’ head coach to breathe new life into the program.
The Longhorns’ 2018 recruiting class — ranked No. 3 in the country behind only Ohio State and Miami — increased to 16 players when Keondre Coburn, a four-star defensive tackle from Spring Westfield and the No. 11-ranked player on the American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55, announced his commitment on Twitter.
He’s the lone defensive lineman who has committed to Texas for 2018.
Coburn, who at 6 feet 1 and 329 pounds sports a similar build to Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford, is ranked No. 103 nationally and No. 8 among defensive tackles, per 247Sports’ composite ratings. He’s one of only a handful of linemen in the state who warrant a four-star rating for the 2018 class. It’s a down year for big men.
His pledge will reunite him at Texas with Corby Meekins, the Longhorns’ tight ends coach, who was the head coach at Westfield when Coburn was a freshman in 2014. Meekins’ brother, Matt, is didn’t let it affect him. No one wanted him to break that record, but he did it the right way.”
Baylor blazed a trail of his own by becoming the sixth African-American to manage a major league club. He was the first manager of the Colorado Rockies and had them in the postseason in his third season, earning National League manager of the year honors.
A new generation of players was so fortunate to be around people like “Groove,” who provided a great example of professionalism in the dugout and the clubhouse while practicing plain old human decency during nearly 50 years in pro ball.
“He always gave me confidence after a rough one,” tweeted Street, who played for Baylor in Colorado. “Always ready to laugh, a great coach, a great friend.” And a great loss. Houston Cougars head coach Major Applewhite is embracing the pressure that comes with high expectations created as a member of Tom Herman’s staff that went 22-4 over two seasons, including wins over Florida State in the 2015 Peach Bowl and Oklahoma in last year’s season opener.
When Herman took the job at Texas, Applewhite was promoted from offensive coordinator to the big office. At 39, he’s the second-youngest head coach of an FBS school in Texas. Just as he was as a player, Applewhite is confident entering the biggest season of his coaching career.
Pressure? Bring it on, says the Major.
“That’s just the way it’s been,” he told Kirk Bohls and yours truly on this week’s “On Second Thought” podcast. “Our high school expected us Coburn’s new head coach. The Longhorns signed Westfield running back Daniel Young this year.
How does Coburn fit in at Texas?
It’s hard to expect young defensive linemen to make an immediate impact as true freshmen. The sheer size and strength of offensive linemen are completely different, and most young players on both sides of the line usually need a redshirt season and time in the weight room before they start earning snaps.
That might hold true for Coburn, but don’t count out the four-star prospect from getting playing time in 2018; Ford will be exiting the program, and the Longhorns don’t have many players of Coburn’s size on the roster.
Texas’ switch to an odd-man front makes predicting the defensive line a tough chore. The Longhorns extended scholarship offers to seven defensive tackles for the class despite knowing that Coburn probably was heading to Austin.
That means Texas wouldn’t mind adding at least one more defensive tackle before signing day. The leading candidates for those are Bobby Brown of Arlington Lamar and Israel Antwine, a four-star prospect from Millwood, Okla. to win district every year. Texas expected us to win or 10 or 11 every year. That’s your life. You would rather be in those communities than the ones that throw parades to go 6-6.”
The Cougars start the season with road games against UTSA and Arizona.
Really enjoyed Jerry Jones’ Hall of Fame acceptance speech and was especially warmed to hear him throw out some accolades to former head coach Jimmy Johnson.
“You were a great teammate; you were a great partner,” he said to Johnson, who was there. “To the contrary of popular belief, we worked so well together for five years and restored the Cowboys’ credibility with our fans.”
Jerry is a modern-day Jed Clampett, but unlike my favorite Beverly Hillbilly, he didn’t always show humility, as he was sometimes hesitant to give Johnson credit for his role in constructing the NFL’s team of the 1990s. That changed over the weekend as he actually solicited support for Johnson and his successor, Barry Switzer, to be voted into the Hall.
If he can throw his weight behind Jimmy and Barry being inducted into the Hall of Fame one day, then surely he can show us that the bad feelings are set aside forever by adding Johnson — the franchise’s most successful coach behind Tom Landry — to the organization’s Ring of Honor.
It’s a no-brainer. Johnson won two Super Bowls and put together a team that allowed Switzer to win another in his place. If the beef really is over, then Jerry will make good and give Jimmy some official props.
Spring Westfield defensive tackle Keondre Coburn, 6-1 and 329 pounds, will be among the biggest Longhorns at that position.