Weekend Recap: April 2
EP Andress' new head coach, a big commit for Houston, and UT spring game thoughts.
It's Monday, and if you spent your weekend away from the computer -- you know, actually doing things -- don't worry: we're here to catch you up on everything you need to know about the weekend that was on the Texas football scene!
Without further ado, your TexasFootball.com Offseason Weekend Recap for April 2, 2012.
-A couple of weeks ago, the El Paso coaching world felt a seismic shift with the retirement of Allan Sepkowitz from EP Andress, where he’d held the head coaching job for 36 years, accumulating 258 wins over that span. We know that Sepkowitz leaves big shoes behind, and now we know who will be charged with filling them: EP Franklin offensive coordinator Patrick Brown. Brown has been the offensive head honcho at Franklin since 2007, and has turned the Cougars into one of the premier offenses not only in El Paso, but in the state. Last year, en route to a 10-2 final record, Franklin finished with the 11th-most prolific offense in Class 5A, averaging over 41 points per game. A former TCU recruit who was forced to quit after a neck injury, Andress will be Brown’s first head coaching opportunity. Hard to ask for a bigger one in El Paso.
-Down in the Houston area, things have not been great at Pasadena Rayburn. The Texans have not finished above .500 since 2004, though last season’s 4-6 finish was closer than most other years. But a new face is coming to Rayburn after Chris Bussey’s five-year tenure ended when he took an assistant’s job at Dickinson. The new man on campus: Jersey Village assistant coach David Satcher. For Texas high school football afficianados, Satcher’s might be a familiar name. Back in 2010, he took over an El Paso Eastwood program mired in a 25-game losing streak and immediately rattled off three wins in his first three games. From there, though, it was downhill, as the Troopers finished 3-7 and Satcher cited family reasons for his resignation after just one season. He’s back in the head coaching saddle again at Rayburn, needing to turn around a similarly struggling program
-Austin McCallum fans have to be reeling a bit. Their coach Todd Raymond has been a revelation for the Knights since taking over for the late Pat Honeycutt, leading the Knights to a 22-12 record, including 14-2 in district play, in three years, taking home a pair of district titles. But all of that changed when Raymond took the job left vacant at Kyle Lehman. Now, McCallum fans will turn their eyes –and hopes – to Round Rock Stony Point defensive coordinator Jason Cecil, who was tabbed as Raymond’s replacement on Thursday. It’s kind of funny: McCallum has now taken two coaches off of Stony Point coach Craig Chessher’s staff in the last four years (Raymond came to McCallum from Stony Point as well). This will be the first head coaching job for Cecil, but he’s got chops, leading a defense that’s reached three state semifinals. And if pedigree is any indicator, coming from Chessher’s staff at Stony Point is an excellent sign for Knights fans.
-Houston Bellaire has already made its mark on the 2013 recruiting scene thanks to WR Devin Lauderdale, a longtime Texas Tech commit. But this weekend, the Cardinals pledged another product to the FBS ranks, as RB Denzel Evans pledged to the hometown Houston Cougars. Evans is a bruising runner, weighing in at 210 pounds on a stocky 6-0 frame, but that doesn’t keep him from having 4.6 speed. His junior year in 2011 was cut short due to injury, but even in just seven games, his numbers are impressive: 105 carries, 814 yards, 11 TDs. He’s a downhill runner who’s not afraid of contact, Evans had drawn interest from a number of big time programs, including offers from Arizona State, Kansas State, Michigan State and SMU. He’s a strong get for first-year coach Tony Levine.
-This isn’t from the weekend, per se, but it did elude our radar for a moment and it’s worth mentioning here: last week, Wylie East WR Quan Jones offered his verbal commitment to Baylor. Jones is a big deal, and I mean that on a variety of different levels. For one, he is a huge receiver, measuring up at 6-4 and filling that big-threat-on-the-outside role that Art Briles loves so dearly. He’s also got sensational hands and terrific top-end speed, rocking a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. And at 205 pounds, he doesn’t really need to fill out like a lot of similar wide receivers his age; he’s a lot closer to a finished product. That’s not to say that he’s a complete package – he needs some help on crisper routes – but Jones is another excellent get for Baylor, which is quickly becoming a place big-time wide receivers want to play.
Other news from across the state
-DCTF’s Jake Shaw will be along this week with a full recap of the Texas Longhorns’ spring drills, but it’s worth noting that the ‘Horns did hold their annual Orange and White game on Sunday in Austin. Jake will do a far better job than I can recapping the action, but in short, three very quick thoughts:
1) David Ash is the Longhorns’ quarterback. He’s just better than Case McCoy, and more polished than Connor Brewer. Ash is still a work-in-progress, and he won’t challenge Casey Pachall, Landry Jones and Seth Doege for All-Big XII QB honors, but it’s his job.
2) The Texas defense will once again have to carry the Longhorns, but it looks strong enough to do just that. The linebackers are especially impressive.
3) There’s no shortage of interesting athletes wearing burnt orange, from WR Jaxon Shipley (who threw a TD pass on a trick play) to Mykkele Thompson (who returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown). But there’s only one ball, and the challenge for Bryan Harsin and Mack Brown is mixing it up enough to give them all a chance to impact the game.
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.