For years, Mack Brown has been praised for his incredible ability to reel in one high-caliber recruiting class after another, which allowed the Texas Longhorns to remain a 10-win team each and every season for the better part of the past 15 years. That was partially the result of solid or at least adequate play at the quarterback position, but that sustained ended suddenly with the departure of Colt McCoy in 2010 and the Horns have been about average since then. But Texas could have had Jameis Winston leading the charge in 2013 had Brown and his staff simply picked up the phone two years ago.
CBS Sports reports a conflicted story regarding Winston’s recruiting, which includes an account from a UT source, who states the school contacted the quarterback’s alma mater, but was given the impression he didn’t want to play for the Longhorns. That’s a different count than the one told by Winston’s high school coach, Matt Scott.
The main man on the sidelines for the Hueytown High School (Alabama) Golden Gophers says he called Texas “four or five times” but his calls were never returned. In fact, Scott blatantly denied the story by the UT source that the Horns reached out to Hueytown about Winston. Regardless of who’s telling the truth, is anyone really surprised that Winston didn’t end up in Austin?
Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Matthew Stafford, Andy Dalton and Johnny Manziel are just five notable passers from the Lone Star State who were overlooked by the Longhorns (you can add Christian Ponder, Ryan Tannehill and Nick Foles to that list if you want count them). Needless to say, things turned out pretty well for Stanford, Baylor, Georgia and TCU, who landed the former four, and Texas A&M got at least one good season out of Manziel, whose story is still left to be written. The excuse for all of them not playing in burnt orange? Texas already had a ton of quarterbacks. Well, you can’t argue that, but it’s easy to point out the fact none of those passers were very good.
Now to be fair, it’s hard to tell which superstar high school signal-callers will excel in big-time college football but isn’t that what Brown and his staff get paid to find out? They did land two once-in-a-generation quarterbacks in the same decade after all, so how did they blow it on Luck, Griffin, Stafford, Dalton and Winston? We’ll give them a pass on Manziel because of his incredible lack of maturity and intelligence, but the other three? Winston makes strike number three.
To add insult to injury, Winston said he grew up an Oklahoma Sooners fan, but still wanted to play for Texas first and foremost. There was no mention of Winston’s OU allegiance in the reports from his coach and the UT source, but in the Horns’ defense, Winston was the only out-of-state recruit on the list of notable passers above that were overlooked by Texas. But do the Longhorns’ faithful forgive Brown and company for not bringing Florida State‘s dynamic signal-caller to Austin? The answer is the same as the one Griffin gave Brown when he was offered a scholarship as just an “athlete.”