QB Vince Young

2004 Statistics

Coach: Mack Brown
70-19, 7 years
2004 Record: 11-1
at Arkansas WON 22-20
RICE WON 35-13
vs. Oklahoma LOST 0-12
at Texas Tech WON 51-21
at Colorado WON 31-7
at Kansas WON 27-23
vs. Michigan WON 38-37

2004 Final Rankings
AP-5, Coaches-4, BCS-4

2005 Outlook

Whether you think Mack Brown finally answered the question "can you win the Big One" depends on whether you're a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person. Brown's lobbying for a BCS bowl berth - criticized by many - worked when the Longhorns drew enough votes to sneak past Cal in the final polls and into the Rose Bowl, where Texas won a character-building 38-37 game over Michigan. But that's not the Big One - the Big One is the annual tilt with Oklahoma, which Texas has now lost five consecutive times. Like recent years of FSU trying to get over Miami, Texas focuses on recruiting just to win this game and still loses. Mark it down now - this is the squad to get Mack past his daddy.

Brown is still the only coach in the country with 10 consecutive seasons of at least nine wins. But even though he finally scaled one mountain in getting to a BCS game (and winning it) and returns so many (16, eight of whom are seniors), this might be his toughest offseason. He has to "replace" Benson, an impossible task if looking for one guy to be him. Rotating the talent properly will be the key to finding that one guy. He, too, has to find a solid receiver. He has to hope Young's passing game has improved. He also has to break in three new assistants. Former Auburn defensive coordinator Gene Chizik replaces Greg Robinson, who left to become the head man at Syracuse. Oscar Giles comes from the University of Houston to take over for Dick Tomey at defensive end, and Georgia's Ken Rucker will assist with running backs. So, you tell us, which developing area causes the most concern? "We'll have to see where we go offensively and where we go defensively," Brown said. "That's one of the fun things about spring practice. We coaches like to see which young guys step up."

Another intriguing development, though one that might not play itself out for a year or two, is that this wasn't a classic Brown recruiting year. None of Texas' top five recruits signed with the Longhorns, including the nation's top quarterback, Ryan Perrilloux, who originally committed to UT only to pick LSU. But Brown has done more with less, so this is no legitimate excuse for the coaching potential Brown has proven he can muster when chips seem their most down. Accordingly, Texas has a national championship caliber team. But in many respects, this team's needs first to win the Red River "championship" in Dallas. Until that win happens, UT will have to drag that chip around some more, never overcoming their "Red Sox" role…oh, wait, the Sox finally won, so does that mean that…yes, maybe, just maybe…this is Texas' year to go all the way. It starts in October…

Projected 2005 record: 10-1
QB - 4.5 DL - 4.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 4.5
WR - 3 DB - 4
OL - 5 ..

Passing: Vince Young, 250-148-11, 1849 yds., 12 TD

Rushing: Vince Young, 167 att., 1079 yds., 14 TD

Receiving: David Thomas, 25 rec., 430 yds., 14 TD

Scoring: Vince Young, 14 TD, 84 pts.

Punting: Richmond McGee, 49 punts, 39.7 avg.

Kicking: Richmond McGee, 1-1 FG, 3 pts.

Tackles: Aaron Harris, 118 tot., 65 solo

Sacks: Tim Crowder, 4.5 sacks

Interceptions: Michael Huff, 2 for 14 yds., Tarell Brown, 2 for 31 yds., Cedric Griffin, 2 for 29 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Ramone Taylor, 11 ret., 23.6 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Aaron Ross, 18 ret., 7.6 avg., 0 TD


DT Larry Dibbles
OFFENSE: Chance Mock-QB, Will Matthews-FB, Cedric Benson-RB, Tony Jeffery-WR, Bo Scaife-TE, Jason Glynn-C, Dusty Mangum-K
DEFENSE: Derrick Johnson-WLB, Phillip Geiggar-FS

Both fans and critics will agree that Vince Young has his shortcomings - a questionable arm and questionable decision-making. Even with that knock, his upside is worth it. Young is one of the country's top offensive weapons and is sure to be included as a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate. You can talk all you want about his rushing ability (a whopping 192 yards against the Wolverines in earning Rose Bowl MVP); Young just needs to focus on making his passing as consistently strong. Still, entering his junior year, Young already ranks eighth on Texas' all-time passing yardage list. Many are sold on his maturation due to the Rose Bowl, but we think he has to carry that momentum over from just one game to an entire season - no easy task when losing your ace back (Benson). Defenses will focus (spy) on Young until the running game is worthy of their attention, so there is still contingency in our minds as to whether Young can shine even when the only backfield target. Young's backup will be senior Matt Nordgren, and this is where it gets iffy. The Longhorns have enjoyed having a quarterback controversy with two solid signal-callers (Major Applewhite-Chris Simms, Simms-Chance Mock, Mock-Vince Young, etc.), and in his last year, coach Brown will surely want this drop-back (but speedy), to use his quick-release and smarts (4.0 gpa) when anything goes awry with Young. Junior walk-on Matthew McCoy enters the spring as the No. 3 QB and incoming freshman Colt McCoy is expected to compete for playing time as a true freshman. The position is stacked, but utilizing multiple-QBs properly for wins has proven a true test in big games.

Running Back
Junior Selvin Young is a stud but he missed most of last year with an ankle injury and Mack Brown isn't exactly banking on his return. "We anticipate Selvin will be in the mix, but it might be a blessing… [we need] to look at other people," Brown said. "If Selvin is healthy, then he's the guy." If not, then the guy is sophomore WR/TB Ramonce Taylor, who touched the ball in 10 games last year and averaged 10.1 yards per carry. Sure, it was mop-up, but Taylor is an exciting talent. But even Brown knows the biggest question is his durability. "Can he be an every-down back," Brown said, "Or does he need to be more like a Reggie Bush, who gets the ball in the backfield and gets outside as a wide receiver as well?" Incoming Jamaal Charles is the best of the new (nation's No.7 RB prospect - Rivals.com), and his (4.4-sec 40) wheels will hit the ground in spring. But the back who might be missed the most is FB Will Matthews. Those duties now fall to walk-on bruiser Ahmard Hall, who will get a guaranteed few carries/catches a game in Texas' running approach (keeps LBs honest). The unit will struggle for identity, but not aggregate yards.

One of the glaring holes that Texas has is here. This might be the thinnest unit, talent-wise, the Longhorns will have. The projected starters, Limas Sweed and Nate Jones, had just 30 receptions between them last year. RS frosh Jordan Shipley missed the entire 2004 season with a knee injury but is in the mix this spring. The prospects look good, though no WRs come in with this recruiting class, so it is a matter of development amongst the other 2004 signees (six are listed, all over 6'). Due to the Longhorns' extensive passing schemes, expect a few to be broken in quickly, and then impacting/expanding what can be done offensively.

Tight End
One of the best tight end duos is now a solo act. David Thomas is left behind to start. The Longhorn TEs were their second and third leading snarlers, with seven TDs combined. Speaking of keeping LBs (and safeties) home for that extra second - this dimension will be an integral part of Texas' offense. Thomas has lined up at TE, H-back, slot receiver and wide receiver at various points in his career, so he brings so much to the table. It is impossible to account for him all 60 minutes. Former-RB Henry Melton (4.6-sec 40, 275lbs) and Jermichael Finley both look like newbies who will impact this position well for what Texas demands.

Offensive Line
Tackles Jonathan Scott (NC.net first-team all-American) and Justin Blalock are back, as are guards Kasey Studdard and Will Allen. The only player missing from a mammoth offensive line is center Jason Glynn. Offensive linemen don't rack up the personal numbers, but there is a stat that speaks volumes about this group - Texas was second nationally in rushing at 299.2 yards per game (the team's most since the Earl Campbell days). There will be no letdown in performance here in 2005. In fact, the depth on this unit is the best on the team. Guard Cedric Dockery (Rivals.com No.2 prospect in '04) and converted-TE Tony Hills bring size and speed, respectively.

There's no question that Texas is going to miss Cedric Benson, especially with a quarterback like Vince Young, who relies/d on a strong RB to distract from his efforts. When keyed upon, Young's foibles can cost. Not exactly the greatest passer going (ranked 51st in efficiency), Young will really blossom if/when that next great Longhorn RB is found. Still, the prime beef up front and Young's return should be more than enough to carry early games until the Longhorns are able to get a team flow established when holding the pigskin. Fans shouldn't be disappointed when Young doesn't show his wares like he did this past January - one game is just one game, not a change necessarily. He will take them to the next level, but his evolution cannot be pressured. Accordingly, fans shouldn't whine when the talented Nordgren is inserted. They may not have the 7th-rated total offense or the 12th-best scoring offense anymore, but the numbers will be close enough such that the Longhorns will again be the offensive powerhouse needed to compete for the Big XII South crown.


OT Jonathan Scott


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Vince Young-Jr (6-5, 230) Matt Nordgren-Sr (6-5, 235)
FB Ahmard Hall-Jr (5-11, 235) Marcus Myers-Jr (6-3, 250)
RB Selvin Young-Jr (6-0, 230) Ramonce Taylor-So (5-11, 195)
WR Jordan Shipley-Fr (6-0, 184) Nate Jones-So (6-2, 190)
WR Limas Sweed-So (6-5, 215) Brian Carter-Sr (5-11, 185)
TE David Thomas-Sr (6-3, 245) Neale Tweedie-Jr (6-5, 267)
OT Jonathan Scott-Sr (6-7, 310) Tony Hills-So (6-6, 295)
OG Kasey Studdard-Jr (6-3, 295) Mike Garcia-Sr (6-3, 315)
C Lyle Sendlein-Jr (6-5, 305) Dallas Griffin-So (6-4, 280)
OG Will Allen-Sr (6-6, 315) Kyle Thornton-So (6-4, 320)
OT Justin Blalock-Jr (6-4, 329) William Winston-Sr (6-7, 350)
K David Pino-Sr (5-8, 180) Richmond McGee-Sr (6-4, 203)



Defensive Line
The boys are back in town. ALL the boys are back in Austin, as the starting front four return intact. This is where all of Texas' defensive success (16th in rushing defense) will begin again. Seniors Dibbles and Wright both passed up the NFL draft, and Dibbles (an NC.net third-team all-American) remains somewhat of a question mark. He did not register for spring classes and won't participate in spring drills. But he is expected back by summer. Dibbles is just relentless, blessed with a combination of speed and power that allows him to get into the backfield and disrupt the flow of a play. Juniors Brian Robinson and Tim Crowder have 24 TFLs and 40 pass-breakups from last campaign. Sophomores Frank Okam and Derek Lokey, both of whom played as true freshmen last year, along with senior Aurmon Satchell, give the Longhorns amazing developed depth here. Texas is poised to lead the country in sacks, but the one and only thing we all want to know is: will they show up against OU (311 rushing yards allowed, 0 sacks in 11/9/2004's 12-0 loss)?

Everybody's replaceable. Right? Hmmm. Texas' Butkus Award winner Derrick Johnson (led the team in tackles and had an NCAA record nine forced fumbles) is the only missing element from a crew solid in its ability to both fill gaps and drop back. The good news is that seniors (MLB) Aaron Harris and (SLB) Eric Hall will be here to usher in a marginal but tough group. The only flaw of the upcoming talent will be playing experience, not potential. Harris was Texas' second-best tackler and looks good at his middle spot to run this defense. Simply put, the Longhorns will be able to overcome the loss of Johnson simply because Harris is in the middle. Incoming true frosh Chris Brown is lightning fast and will impact this unit. This unit is responding well to the offseason programs of new defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, so the entire front seven is tight.

Defensive Back
If opposing teams are looking to exploit Texas anywhere, this is it. Corners Cedric Griffin and Tarell Brown are both tight coverage guys and hard hitters, as is strong safety Michael Huff. They each, as does the other DBs, stand 6' or taller, so size is not an exploitable issue. This core is perfect for the fresh talent (Kelson, Tatum, Brown, and Jackson) to watch and imitate. They are less of a cover-centric group as they are run-support oriented. The Longhorns were ninth nationally in pass defense in 2003, and last year, they slipped all the way to 58th, but were 31st in the all-important efficiency category. This makes it clear that these DBs know just how/when to break on the run so as not to set themselves up later for the pass, and how to keep the passes in front of them (T-12th in Division I-A with only 12 passing TDs allowed). This may be a weakness comparatively, but any foe takes huge (game altering) risks when this unit is where they try to expose the Longhorns.

So why is Texas our No.2 team in the preseason? Let us count the ways in their nine returning starters. UT's 4-3 defense returns all four starters up front and two of the three linebackers, and could be the nation's top defensive unit when it's all said and done. Texas' recruiting focus on speed has paid off with this year's D. Opponents should take a page from OU and methodically pound the underneath stuff, hoping to marble run and pass well enough to be effective and score those few chances the Longhorns allow. The front seven will control the passing game well enough so that the secondary can look good regardless of their schemes. The words "shut down" and "three-and-out" will blanket broadcasters' vocabulary when covering UT.


DB Michael Huff


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Brian Robison-Jr (6-3, 267) Kaelen Jakes-Sr (6-3, 270)
DT Larry Dibbles-Sr (6-2, 285) Franklin Okam-So (6-5, 315)
Derek Lokey-So (6-2, 275)
DT Rodrique Wright-Sr (6-5, 305) Thomas Marshall-So (6-6, 297)
Tully Janszen-So (6-3, 280)
DE Tim Crowder-Jr (6-4, 255) Mike Williams-Jr (6-3, 240)
Brian Orakop-Fr (6-4, 238)
SLB Eric Hall-Sr (6-2. 245) Eric Foreman-Jr (6-4, 230)
MLB Aaron Harris-Sr (6-0, 235) Rashad Bobino-Fr (5-11, 235)
Scott Derry-So (6-3, 230)
WLB Robert Killebrew-So (6-2, 225) Braden Johnson-Sr (6-1, 205)
Jeremy Campbell-Fr (6-2, 220)
CB Cedric Griffin-Sr (6-2, 193) Brandon Foster-So (5-9, 180)
CB Tarell Brown-Jr (6-0, 185) Aaron Ross-Jr (6-1, 189)
SS Michael Huff-Sr (6-1, 205) Andrew Kelson-Fr (6-2, 210)
FS Michael Griffin-Jr (6-0, 200) Matt Melton-Jr (6-0, 210)
Marcus Griffin-So (6-0, 190)
P Richmond McGee-Sr (6-4, 203) Greg Johnson-Jr (6-1, 195)




Senior David Pino, who does have some game experience, is the starter heading into spring ball. There shouldn't be too much of a drop-off here. Both Mangum and Pino, while not particularly long, are consistent. Coverage will have to step up its weak 23+ yards allowed per KO, though this D could handle that number again without flinching.

Richmond McGee is as solid as they come. The senior averaged 39.7 yards per punt, including 11 inside the 20 yard line and 12 fair catches (on 49 punts, that's 47% of his tries never returned). Coverage units will continue to be decent with so much hungry youth looking to prove its wares. Of McGee's 75 kickoffs, more than a third - 28 - were touchbacks.

Return Game
This was one of Texas' few weak areas last year and the Longhorns are hoping for the return, pardon the pun, of Selvin Young, who continues to rehab the ankle injury. He has already tied the UT record for career kick returns for a TD at three. To better put it in perspective, Aaron Ross, who replaced Young on punt returns, averaged 7.6 yards per return last year -- more than 10 yards less than Young has averaged in his career. Stay tuned here for further updates as we get them…remember, don't panic Horn fans, this is still only a drill.


Only two players are on scholarship which means Matt Nordgren is the definite backup. His development is important since there is no one else to take snaps in the event of any setback. His health has always been a question mark, but his arm and shoulder problems have now appear to have held up. In the spring game, Vince Young was his usual self, making plays with his feet while missing on a couple of passes that could have gone for TDs. He was 8-of-14 for 115 yards passing while rushing for 24 yards on seven carries.

First, Selvin Young missed spring with an ankle injury. He is expected to return in time for August practice. In response, Ramonce Taylor moved over from WR. Taylor has great speed, especially around the outside and is a much different pace from the bruising Cedric Benson. This could force many more one-back sets, and coaches have even flirted with the QB option. This unit is extremely thin, with many answers not coming until the fall. Former WR Chris Ogbonnaya and true freshman Michael Houston have received the majority of backup work, but neither is ready for prime time. The FB spot is wide open with the forced retirement of injured Albert Hardy, leaving the program without a scholarship here. Walk-on Ahmard Hall and converted-LB Marcus Myers will continue the battle into the fall.

The big news has been on the return of Jordan Shipley and his elevated play. He was limited because of his bum knee but has eventually become the top target among the wide outs. The ability to get deep with separation has been an issue for this unit, and Billy Pittman is the likely candidate to take up some of this slack. Pittman is having problems with consistency however.

The loss of Bo Scaife has been eased with the emergence of Neal Tweedie, who was able to get open on multiple occasions this spring. He is also very capable of running with the ball once it's caught. This should allow coaches to now use many of the two-TE sets seen last season.

Lyle Sendlein has really grabbed (with ease) the open center position. Don't look for much of a drop-off due to the loss of Jason Glynn. Depth has actually been a problem, mostly at tackle. Tony Hill is a budding star but is still showing signs of inexperience, while Will Winston has not shown he can perform at the level needed consistently. OG Terrance Young has quit the team due to injury.

Starting DT Larry Dibbles missed the spring due to unspecified reasons. Upwards of eight players are battling for a right to exist on the two-deep, with most of them capable of starting on most other Big XII teams. Look for a huge rotation up front…an extremely beneficial plight. The ends have been labeled the best unit on the team. Mike Williams sat out the entire 2004 season due to academics, but has returned with the same pass rushing explosiveness that created expectations of him being one of the nation's true sack monsters.

Returning MLB Aaron Harris has been all over the field this year and has emerged as a team leader. Keep an eye on his backup, Rashad Bobino, one of the smallest LBs in the conference at 5'11. He is, though, one of the team's surest tacklers. Garnet Smith has been granted a release to transfer.

The biggest storyline has been the move of Michael Huff from strong safety to corner. Coaches are still undecided if Huff will remain here, which depends on the progress of Tarell Brown and Aaron Ross. Of course, much of this move had to do with the play of SS Andrew Kelson.