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Golden’s nuggets: Why Texas wideouts Lil’Jordan and Johnson must step up

The Texas running attack should have no one excited.

Daniel Young and Toneil Carter run hard but neither appear to be in that game-breaker category. So Longhorn Nation turns its eyes toward East Texas where Carthage’s Keaontay Ingram, a 2018 Under Armour All-American, will arrive this summer.

Here’s what we do know: The Horns have game changers in wideouts Lil’ Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson. Humphrey has the knack for getting open against tight coverage despite not possessing the blazing speed enjoyed by teammates John Burt and Devin Duvernay, while Johnson. at 6-6, has the ability to impact the game with timely catches over smaller defenders. His diving sideline grab during Saturday’s Orange-White game was an indicator of what coach Tom Herman is expecting to see on a more consistent basis come the fall.

Johnson has a Plaxico Burress look about him — long, rangy and deceptively fast.

“When you have (players like Humphrey and Johnson) with the amount of catches they have, it means the quarterbacks believe in them,” Herman said.

During the last week of spring camp, Herman actually ordered quarterbacks Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele to check out of called plays no matter the down or distance to a deep throw to Johnson if he had one-on-one coverage pre-snap.

“… He really said that?” Johnson asked, when I told him of Herman’s comments. “Let’s make that happen.”

“Many, many times,” some of you just whispered.

Had a nice visit with Texas legend Derrick Johnson after the Orange-White game. DJ was hanging out in the south end zone with fellow Texas exes Brian Orakpo, Michael Griffin, and Cedric Reed. Johnson , the 2004 Nagurski and Butkus award winner, was released after 13 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs but has made it clear he wants to continue playing.

“We’ll see what teams want to do after OTAs and training camp,” said Johnson, who’ll turn 36 in November. “They take their time with these type of deals.”

Teams know he wants to play so the phone will ring eventually — but on their schedule, not his.

I also chatted it up with Reed, a former All-Big 12 defensive end who told me he’ll be playing his first season with the CFL’s BC Lions. The season starts June 16.

Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker may have enjoyed their last win as teammates, but Sunday’s win over Golden State will go down as extremely gratifying for the Spurs’ duo. It was their record 132nd playoff win. The first three pairs on the list are all Spurs — Tim Duncan-Tony Parker (131) and Duncan-Ginobili (125). The others are Lakers Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, who won 123 games and five titles, and the most decorated duo in the modern era — Chicago’s Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, with 117 wins and six championships.

The Ginobili-Parker union could end Tuesday. Ginobili has one season remaining on his contact and still has plenty of juice left in those 40-year-old legs, but may retire. Parker will be a free agent and it’s not likely the Spurs will bring him back next season at a $15.4 million price tag.

If the oddsmakers know their business, the Warriors will eliminate the Spurs in Game 5 and possibly bring to an end one of the most successful partnerships in league history. Parker and Ginobili won four titles together and will both be inducted into the International Basketball Hall of Fame once their playing days are over. Great run.

Are you surprised Dez Bryant hasn’t signed with a team yet?

What’s taking so long?

The former Cowboys wideout has been pretty visible on social media, even going as far as to post a video of him working out with New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on the same day the G-Men released Brandon Marshall.

Still no deal.

The Giants could use another athlete on the outside to go with Beckham and rising star Sterling Shepard, but the concern has to be if the 29-year-old Bryant can still bother NFL cornerbacks and impact games.

The Baltimore Ravens are also reportedly interested. The organization has earned the reputation for taking receivers needing a change of scenery and getting good production from them. The most notable examples are Mike Wallace and Anquan Boldin, who came over from the Arizona Cardinals and won a Super Bowl with Ray Lewis and Co. in 2012.

Bryant will play, but surely he isn’t too interested in dragging this thing out any longer than necessary. Dez wants to get to work and get even with the Cowboys.

The tweet of the weekend came from my buddy Mike Freeman, a long-time NFL columnist and author. When the news broke that Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers had purchased a minority stake in the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, Freeman tweeted, “Aaron Rodgers now owns two teams. The Bucks and the (Chicago) Bears.”

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