While I got ya before I go on three weeks’ vacation, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. Good things are ahead for Texas’ new offensive coordinator, Major Applewhite, or so says the old Texas offensive coordinator. “Whatever his style is, it’ll be different,” said Bryan Harsin, who is the new head football coach at Arkansas State. “I know he’s really smart and prepares himself well. I’m excited for him and what he’s going to do because I know he’s got a plan.”
2. Harsin also raves about the upcoming seasons for tailback Johnathan Gray, slot receiver Daje Johnson and offensive guard Mason Walters. “One thing that stood out in his high school all-star game,” he said, “was how some guys go out and BS in a game like that, but Johnathan didn’t. You could set the ball down in a parking lot, and this guy wouldn’t care. He loves football and has a blue-collar mentality. I always liked that about him. And Daje Johnson has a world of talent. When he steps out there, he flips a switch. The more mature he becomes, the better he’s going to be. Mason Walters looks fantastic now. Texas obviously has speed, and I think they’re all really hungry.”
3. Everything is full speed ahead for the filming of the new movie based on Jim Dent’s book about Freddie Steinmark, “Courage Beyond the Game,” which the author tells me is on target to start shooting this fall. Some of the emphasis of the movie, however, has been changed to focus more on the late Darrell Royal, who will be portrayed by Josh Brolin, according to an agreement in place.
4. Texas still hasn’t announced a third football game to be shown on the Longhorn Network this fall. Asked if Kansas is still the targeted game, UT Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said, “There’s conversations.” … Dodds also said he’d like to see the NCAA outdoor track and field championships anchored in one or two spots and said, “We’d be interested in being a future site.” He still believes the sport was done a disservice when the indoor championships were moved out of Detroit, where they were a proven draw. “They need to put these events somewhere where fans appreciate it and leave them there.”
5. Arkansas State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir said he’d love to schedule football games with Texas. That’d be a great attraction with Harsin returning to Austin. “We’re trying to schedule Texas, but I don’t think they’re interested. They may be full. We make daily calls on scheduling. We call people with confidence. I would call DeLoss and say, ‘Let’s do a home and home,’ but he’d think I’m crazier than a June bug.’ We do want to play more teams in Texas, and Boise State is interested in a home-and-home series.”
6. Mario Sategna didn’t come out and predict that Courtney Okolo would become the next Sanya Richards-Ross, but she might. The new Texas men’s and women’s track coach, who exudes confidence, expects big things from the Longhorn freshman, who was a three-time state champion in the 400 meters and will compete at the Pan American Games in August. “She looked pretty smooth when she ran a personal best 51.04 recently, especially this late in the track year. That speaks volumes about her, and she’s only a freshman,” Sategna said. “She has a bright, bright future.”
7. Lance Armstrong can’t help himself. He recently said it was impossible to win the Tour de France without doping. Uh, no. Someone clean can always win, just in a much slower time. Lance also accused the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of ruining his life. Yeah, crazy that the USADA would aggressively go after someone who claimed he passed more drug tests than anyone else in the world. Oh, right. He confessed to doping.
8. Kudos to the New England Patriots for releasing murder suspect Aaron Hernandez just 90 minutes after he was arrested on an obstruction of justice charge without regard for a substantial salary cap hit. Proper move. Are you paying attention, Jerry Jones?
9. Melissa McCarthy may be the funniest person in movies today. I think she could make Tommy Lee Jones laugh. She carried “The Heat.” Gave it seven ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: Texas’ Martin Perez will develop into the Rangers’ No. 3 starter by the playoffs.