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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 3, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas Hage 8 — Herald-Zhtung — Thursday, Februaiy 3, 2011 ► 2011 NATIONAL SIGNING DAY - A&M I Aggies pick up 6 LBs j in recruiting haul ► 2011 NATIONAL SIGNING DAY - TEXAS LONGHORNS Cibolo Steele running back Malcolm Brown, left, made it official on Wednesday by sianinq his letter of intent to play for theTexas Longhorns in the fall. UT’s Mack Brown strikes gold Cibolo Steele RB Brown heads 2011 Longhorn recruiting class By Jim Vertuno AP Sports Writer AILS I IN - After signing so many top recruiting classes, Texas coach Mack Brown faced a new challenge: holding one together after the first losing season in 13 years and an offseason of turmoil. Brown said Wednesday he was astonished Texas would hold on to and sign 22 recruits in a class rated — once again — among the best in the country. No day was tougher than Dec. 11 when lexas was hosting 14 recruits and their families. Defensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp talked to them at breakfast lust before dinner, the news broke that Muschamp was leaving to he the head coach at Florida. Muschamp was one of six assistant coaches to leave in the offseason. SAN ANTONIO — IJTSA head football coach Larry Coker announced Wednesday that 2B highly-decorated student-athletes have signed National letters of Intent to join his program for this fall's inaugural 2011 campaign. The class consists of 26 prep student-athletes and two junior college transfers. Two signees — freshman Chris Johnson (San Antonio, Texas/Fast Central FIS) and junior Brandon Reeves (Santa Clarita, Calif./Canyon HS/Pierce [Calif.J jC) — already have enrolled and currently are attending classes at UTSA. The group is highlightedBOBCATS CONTINUED FROM Page 7 Franchione and his staff put together a recruiting class that includes five offensive linemen, five defensive linemen, four wide receivers, three defensive backs, two tight ends, two running backs, and one punter/place kicker have signed with Texas State. “Transition years are a bit blind in terms of recruiting because you don't know what you really have on your Brown’s message to the stunned recruits: "Trust me. I ’ll hire people you like." If they didn’t like the new coaches and wanted to sign somewhere else, Brown said he’d personally call other schools on their behalf. “It was a little uncertain," Brown said. “Some of them looked at me like I was crazy.” In the end, Texas signed all but one of the 23 players who made official visits to campus. “It shows you their love for this university and commitment to us,” Brown said. Texas went 5-7 in 2010 and the loss of several longtime assistants upset the usually smooth operation of recruiting. Brown, the master closer of the recruiting pitch, was left as the chief organizer of stay-ing in touch with players, monitoring the Internet to see which opponents swooping in to steal them away, and arranging meals, airplanes and anything else he needed to bring in coaching candidates for interviews. Brown’s wife Sally pitched in a lot of help. by nine all-state performers in Demetrius Jacobs (Brookshire, Texas/Royal HS), Joseph Lizcano (Schertz, Texas/Clemens HS), Josiah Monroe (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop HS), David Morgan (Marble Falls, Texas/Marble Falls HS), Ryan Polite (DeSo-to, Texas/DeSoto HS), Payton Rion (Bulverde, Texas/Smithson Valley HS), Alondre Thorn (Hutto, Texas/Hutto HS), Triston Wade ( Tyler, Texas/John Tyler HS) and Josh Ward (Pleasanton, Texas/Pleasanton HS). Additionally, 25 players earned all-district honors in the state of Texas, including 10 who were selected to allarea teams during their high school careers. “ We re really excited about the quality, depth and versa- team,’’ Franchione said. “All you can do is look at a depth chart and see what people have been. “The offensive and defensive linemen were the things that jumped out to us. We felt like we had to get some new players on the offensive line since we lose so many players there after next season. We needed to bring in some players to help bridge that transition." Franchione was quick to praise Texas State recruiting coordinator Charlie Reeve, who was a holdover from die “It was definitely a mom and pop shop there for a while as we were trying to hold it all together,” Brown said. The top players in the 2011 freshmen class include running back Malcolm Brown of San Antonio, a USA Today and Parade All-American who led Cibolo Steele High School to a state championship and rushed for 6,663 yards and 86 touchdowns in his career. At 6-foot, 215 pounds, Malcolm Brown is often compared to former Texas running back Cedric Benson, who rushed rushed for 5,540 yards from 2001-2004. Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley of Brownwood (Texas) High School, is another high school All-American whose older brother, Jordan, was a record-setting pass catcher at Texas. On film, Jaxon Shipley is an exact copy of his brother with speed, good hands and the ability to return kids. Jaxon Shipley will wear No. 8 just like his brother did. All but one of the signees come from Texas. The only out-of-state player is Josh tility of this class,” Coker said. “This is a very athletic, talented and well-rounded group that has bought into the vision of UTSA Football. They want to join the current members of our team and help this program be successful from the start and we’re excited to have them on board.” UTSA will hold its first official spring drills beginning Monday, March 7, and the inaugural spring game is scheduled to be played at the Alamodome at 2 p.m. on April 9. The Roadrunners then begin play as a Football Championship Subdivision Independent (FCS/formerly Division I-AA) this fall before moving to the Western Athletic Conference for the 2012 campaign. previous staff and spent most of his time on the road while the school searched for its new football coach. “1 want to commend Charlie Reeve for merging our transition because he deserves a lot of credit for how this turned out,” he said. “He kept this going in the right direction.” In addition to the offensive and defensive linemen, Franchione feels that he helped add some more speed in addition a pair of “quality" tight ends to Texas State’s roster. TUrner, a defensive back and kick returner from Oklahoma City Millwood High School. The losing season didn’t chase off recruits like some might have expected. Texas typically secures nonbinding verbal commitments months early and those players had come of age during Texas’ great run from 2005-2009 when the Longhorns won a national championship, played for another and narrowly missed a shot at a third. Brown has said that all positions are open heading into spring practice, giving the incoming freshman a chance to earn playing time right away. Four of them are already enrolled in class and will participate in spring drills. Even those that don’t report until summer won’t be that far behind considering Texas is installing completely new offensive and defensive schemes, Brown said. “It’s one thing we’ve sold these kids on. They’re (only) 15 days behind when they get here in June," Brown said. “It’s a great time to be a freshman.” File photo SVHS' Lach LabannaSVHS CONTINUED FROM Page 7 deciding last weekend to play football for the University of the Incarnate Word. “It was a pretty stressful time,” Labanna said about the recruiting process. “This makes the past four years of hard work really worth it.” Labanna used his versatility to wreak havoc on opposing defenses, while earning first-team all-district honors. The 5-foot-7, 210-pound tailback could run between the tackles or break to the outside and run up the sideline for a huge gain this season, as he led Smithson Valley with 988 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. “I can’t wait to get out on to the field at UIW,” Labanna said. “I’m already starting to improve on a lot of things about my game. My main thing is working on my speed. I want to try and get a lot of playing time in the fall.” By Kristie Rieken AP Sports Writer COLLEGE STATION — lexas A&M addressed its biggest need on signing day, picking up six linebackers after losing Butkus Award winner Von Miller to graduation. leading the group was late addition Brandon Alexander, a 6-6, 240-pounder from Brenham who played defensive end in high school. Alexander has only played football for a short time and just moved to Brenham this season when his guardian took a coaching job at Blinn Junior College. He had 59 tackles, five sacks and one fumble recovery last season. “After his first ball game, we were pretty sold that he was the type of linebacker that we think could fit into our system and excel,” coach Mike Sherman said. “He’s a tremendous pass rusher and he has great length and size. We have very high expectations for him.” Along with Miller, the Aggies also lost fellow senior linebacker Michael Hodges who led the team 115 tackles and had 4 1/2 sacks. Miller had 68 tackles including 17 112 for losses. The Aggies also snagged linebackers Donnie Baggs from League City, Shaun Ward out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Darzil Washington from Edgard, La., Galena Park’s Tyrell Taylor and Steven Jenkins of Coffeyville (Kan.) Junior College. Jenkins had 91 tackles with 17 tackles for losses By Betsy Blaney Associated Press LUBBOCK — Tommy Tuberville got a few pleasant surprises Wednesday in his first start-to-fmish recruiting run as Texas Tech coach. Three out-of-state defensive players Tliberville hadn’t counted on ended up signing with the Red Raiders. They included a pair of Penn-sylvania high school linebackers in Branden Jackson and Desi-mon Green and defensive end Leon Mackey of Mississippi. Tuberville also picked up Cooper Washington, a defensive end from nearby Muleshoe who had orally committed to Oklahoma. Tuberville often said last season he was looking for a tight end. He got one in 6-foot-5, 237-pound Jace Amario from San Antonio. “I've never coached a football season without a tight end. I don’t think many people have,” he said. “Jace is a guy that fits exactly what we do. He does a lot of things.” Amaro, Tuberville said, blocks well and can catch the ball. The defensive signees come less than a month after James Willis, last year’s defensive coordinator, left the program. Texas Tech, which finished 8-5 last season, signed 16 players from Texas, three from Florida, two from Pennsylvania and one each from Alabama, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin. There were two physical qualities Tuberville was looking for in recruits. “The thing that you really can’t teach and coach and bring along is the quickness and speed,” he said. “We’ve and four forced fumbles last season. The Aggies added gargantuan 6-7, 271-pound offensive lineman Joseph Cheek as well as Taylor Bertolet, the top-rated kicker in the nation according to Cheek’s father, Louis Cheek, played for Texas A&M in the 1980s and spent four seasons in the NFL. Sherman said Bertolet will provide competition for senior kicker Randy Bullock Texas A&M, which is coming off its best season since 2006 at 9-4, picked up quarterback Johnny Manziel, The Associated Press Texas Player of the Year who accounted for 77 touchdowns last season for Kerrville Tivy. The Aggies are excited about Manziel, who threw for 3,609 yards and ran for 1,544 more last season. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on him before he’s even taken a snap, but he’s a unique player,” Sherman said. "He’s dynamic. He can do a lot of different things for you.” Sherman said Manziel will be a quarterback, but that he’ll probably use him some at receiver this season with senior Ryan Tannehill entrenched in the starting spot. Tannehill played receiver extensively while backing up Jerrod Johnson at quarterback before taking over the job in the middle of last season. got to have that more here on our football team.” The Red Raiders signed three running backs — their biggest haul at one position. Pflugerville’s Kenny Williams, Bradley Marquez from Odessa and Sugar Land Marshall’s DeAndre Washington will join Texas Tech. Tuberville, as he’s said since he took over a year ago, said the Red Raiders will continue to pass more than run. Cooper, whose family had ties to Oklahoma, will probably see playing time next season. Tuberville called him “tough” and “hard-nosed.” He spent time at quarterback. While there were good surprises, there were also players who orally committed and who decided to go elsewhere. James Castelman from Amarillo decided on Oklahoma State and Spring’s Jon Lewis signed with TCU. Tuberville, though, said he felt “very good” about how the day ended. I® rTEXflSTi lotterv SATURDAY LOTTO Jackpot: $20 million 4-5-10-31-33-44(1/29) WEDNESDAY LOTTO Jackpot: $21 million 11-19-31-37-42-43 (2/2) TEXAS POWERBALL (2/2) 3-14-33-53-57 PB: 36 POWER PLAY: 4 PICK 3 Day (2/2)    4-5-0 Night (2/2)    6-8-7 DAILY 4 Day (2/2)    8-1-1-2 Night (2/2)    2-4-5-6 TEXAS TWO-STEP (1/31) 4-12-17-18 BB: 22 CASH FIVE 3-7-9-25-26(2/2) MEGA MILLIONS (2/1) 16-22-23-26-35 MB: 31 MEGAPLIER: 4 Brown ► 2011 NATIONAL SIGNING DAY - UTSA UTSA unveils second recruiting class Coker ► 2011 NATIONAL SIGNING DAY - TECH Texas Tech gets defensive surprises Tuberville ;