Greg Tepper runs down the biggest news of the weekend.
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We’re still a few weeks away from the official start of the DCTF Weekend Recap – we generally save that for the doldrums of the deep, deep offseason – but there were so many happenings across the state over the weekend that the best way to touch on everything is to do an impromptu weekend recap. We’ll have much, much more on each of these over the next week or so, but for now, it’s important that you are up to speed on all the goings-on! Let’s get to the big stories!
Tech hires Wallerstedt as DC: New Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury is filling out his staff, and it’s going to look familiar to many Texas A&M fans. This weekend, Kingsbury hired his once and future colleague Mike Wallerstedt to be his defensive coordinator, plucking him from his job as the linebackers coach for Texas A&M. Wallerstedt is a Kansas State product, where he played linebacker for the Wildcats from 1984-1987. From there, he went into coaching, and has been a defensive coordinator at Wyoming (1997-2002), North Alabama (2003) and Air Force (2010-11). In those two years as Air Force’s DC, the Falcons finished 28th and 72nd in scoring defense. But, perhaps most importantly, Kingsbury knows and trusts Wallerstedt; it stands to reason that he wouldn’t be so eager to bring him in if Kingsbury didn’t think he could do it. The most important thing will have to be continuity: this is, believe it or not, Texas Tech’s fifth defensive coordinator in five years.
Pachall returns to TCU: One of the biggest storylines of the 2012 football season across Texas has to be the Casey Pachall saga at TCU. To recap: Pachall, the starting quarterback for the Horned Frogs, was arrested for DWI in October, and that – combined with his admission to police earlier in the year that he had failed a drug test – led to Pachall being suspended and ultimately leaving TCU to enroll in an alcohol and drug treatment facility. Well, some good news on that front: Pachall has completed his treatment and returned to the team this weekend, TCU confirmed. Whether or not Pachall will regain his role as the starting quarterback is still in question – one imagines he’ll have to earn his way back into Gary Patterson’s good graces – but for now, this is a hopeful sign that he has his life back on the right track.
Odessa Permian hires Feldt: It was big – though not entirely unexpected – news when Odessa Permian coach Gary Gaines announced that he was retiring (again), opening up one of the most high-profile jobs in the state. After a brief interviewing process in which three finalists were named, Permian announced late last week that Buda Hays head coach Blake Feldt would be taking over at the helm of the Panthers. You may remember the name Blake Feldt, and not just from his days at Buda Hays; that’s because if there’s one thing we know about coach Feldt, he’s not afraid of any job. Feldt has been at Hays for two years, guiding the Rebels to back-to-back district titles for the first time in school history, and did so after taking over for Bob Shelton, one of just 11 coaches in state history with 300 wins. Before that, Feldt coached at Pilot Point, helping them win the 2009 2A DII title after taking over for G.A. Moore, the state’s all-time winningest coach. Feldt is the father of former All-State lineman-turned-North Texas freshman Boone Feldt. Can Feldt give Mojo some of its magic again? That remains to be seen.
Boyce declares for the draft: This is the time of year when college players – juniors, mostly – announce that they’re forgoing their senior season for the NFL Draft. We’ve already had a couple of players in Texas do so – Texas A&M OL Luke Joeckel and Texas DT Brandon Moore, most notably – but we had another one late last week: TCU WR Josh Boyce. The junior from Copperas Cove is coming off his second big year for the Frogs, leading the team in receptions (66), receiving yards (891) and receiving touchdowns (7) for the second year in a row. He’s the school’s all-time leader in touchdown catches with 22, and is second all-time at TCU in receiving yards (2,535). He’s certainly got the numbers; now, the question is, where will he go in April’s draft?
Recruiting news: A few notable recruiting tidbits came down the pike over the weekend, starting with a guy that I’ve called the state’s most dominant player: Munday ATH Dee Paul. Paul recently decommitted from SMU, but on Saturday, he found a new home: Texas Tech. Paul chose the Red Raiders over Baylor, Oklahoma State, Tennessee and SMU, citing his intention to both play football and run track, and will likely profile as a wide receiver or a defensive back. Paul was a superstar for the Moguls, leading the team in passing, rushing and defensive interceptions and scoring touchdowns in six different ways during the 2012 season (rushing, passing, punt return, kick return, interception return, fumble return). He was, in my estimation, the single-most dominant player in the state. That means that Tech now has both quarterback dynamos from that 2011 1A Division II state title game, in Munday’s Paul and Tenaha’s Reginald Davis, a 2012 Tech signee.
Another recruiting tidbit of note: Temple QB Zach Allen has switched his commitment from Syracuse to TCU. Allen pledged way, way back in the summer to the Orange, but with coaching instability at Syracuse, Allen has decided instead to stay in Texas, opting for the Horned Frogs. Allen has good size at 6-3, but don’t be fooled: he can both throw and run. He threw for 2,128 yards and 24 touchdowns against just three interceptions, and added 941 yards and nine scores on the ground for the Wildcats this season. Allen is expected to enroll early, and could be on campus today.
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.