Hoston enjoys UNT visit, considering options

New North Texas coach Seth Littrell and the Mean Green made quite the impression on Los Angeles Valley College defensive end Raveon Hoston during his official visit over the weekend.

“I loved it,” Hoston said via text message. “Coach Littrell is the man! [He] showed lots of hospitality and [is serious about] bringing winning football back to the great city of Denton at North Texas! The people out in the town were so humble & nice.

“All the coaches showed great respect towards me & I did to them. The players were very welcoming & excited about the idea of being teammates.

“The food was so GOOD. I’m a Louisiana guy, so good cooking is always great to come by.”

Hoston is a 2016 recruit who is planning to sign with a school in the next few weeks and report to camp in the fall.

While Hoston enjoyed his visit to UNT, he left town without committing.

“I’m still going to weigh all my options before I make a decision to continue my road to greatness,” Hoston said.

Hoston is a highly regarded player who had offers from Memphis and Central Florida at one point. He finished with six sacks and 23 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, in eight games last season.

Hoston missed three games with a hamstring injury.

Here is a link back to our original story in advance of Hoston’s visit.

UNT has gone heavy on junior college players since Littrell arrived and already has five junior college defensive players set to make their debut next season.

Hoston is seriously considering becoming the sixth.

“I like the school a lot,” Hoston said. “The coaches [want to help] me become the best Raveon possible. It’s always good to come across coaches like that.”

NFL draft follow-up — UNT’s drought reaches 12 years

Conference USA NFL draft selections
First round
Player School Position NFL team
30. Vernon Butler Louisiana Tech Defensive tackle Carolina Panthers
Third round
1. Kevin Byard Middle Tennessee Safety Tennessee Titans
12. Tyler Higbee Western Kentucky Tight end Los Angeles Rams
Fourth round
36. Kenneth Dixon Louisiana Tech Running back Baltimore Ravens
Sixth round
13. David Morgan Texas-San Antonio Tight end Minnesota Vikings
31. Michael Thomas Southern Miss Wide receiver Los Angeles Rams
32. Jeff Driskel Louisiana Tech Quarterback San Francisco 49ers
Seventh round
2. Brandon Doughty Western Kentucky Quarterback Miami Dolphins
28. Prince Charles Iworah Western Kentucky Cornerback San Francisco 49ers
32. Kalan Reed Southern Miss Cornerback Tennessee Titans
Cody Spencer remained the last North Texas player to be selected in the NFL draft after UNT's players were passed over in the 2016 draft that ended today. Spencer was selected in 2004. (DRC file photo)

Cody Spencer remained the last North Texas player to be selected in the NFL draft after UNT’s players were passed over in the 2016 draft that ended today. Spencer was selected in 2004. (DRC file photo)

Cody Spencer remained the last North Texas player to be selected in the NFL draft after UNT’s players were passed over in the 2016 draft that ended today. Spencer was selected in 2004. (DRC file photo)

Another NFL draft is in the books, and with it another year in North Texas’ long drought when it comes to having a player selected.

The Mean Green didn’t have a player selected this year and haven’t since Cody Spencer, one of the better linebackers in program history, was selected by the Raiders in 2004. It’s now been 12 years since UNT has had a player picked.

That drought ranks as one of the more baffling issues when it comes to the UNT football program, and yes, it is a problem.

There are a a number of reasons players decide on a school, but a reasonable path to the NFL is certainly on the list.

UNT has had a number of players make the league as undrafted free agents, including Patrick Cobbs, Lance Dunbar and Craig Robertson.

That helps, but not as much as having someone drafted.

That drought is used against UNT in recruiting, and that’s really what it goes back to. Shortly after he arrived at UNT, former head coach Dan McCarney commented on how ridiculous it is that the school hasn’t had a player drafted in so long.

I just don’t think McCarney had any idea how hard it is to convince Texas high school players with the physical attributes to grow into NFL players to sign on to play for the Mean Green.

UNT has developed some great players though the years. Some, including Dunbar and Brelan Chancellor, were hurt by their size when it came to the NFL draft. Others weren’t considered fast enough.

UNT really needs to hope that new coach Seth Littrell fares better in terms of having a player drafted at some point, because the rest of Conference USA is getting it done.

Louisiana Tech had a huge weekend. The Bulldogs had three players drafted including defensive tackle Vernon Butler, who was a first-round pick. Western Kentucky also had two players picked.

UTSA, which started its program just a few years ago, had its first player picked in program history in tight end David Morgan. 

What dives UNT fans nuts is seeing out of state programs from G5 leagues grab Texas players and roll with them. Colorado State is among those programs and had two former Texas high school standouts drafted today — Mesquite wide receiver Rashard Higgins and Del Rio linebacker Cory James.

 

JUCO DE Raveon Hoston talks about visit to UNT

North Texas has already landed one California junior college player over the last few weeks in running back Anthony Wyche.

Now the Mean Green could be on the verge of grabbing another — Wyche’s Los Angeles Valley College teammate Raveon Hoston. The defensive end will visit UNT this weekend and boarded a plane to DFW this morning.

He is being recruited by new UNT defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler and defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc.

The pair has already formed a bond with Hoston, who is a 2016 recruit.

“Coach Elker is eccentric,” Hoston wrote in a text message. “I love his energy, honesty and hospitality. He’s a great man. He’s good for the football world. Coach LeBlanc is another great person, a great teacher as history has displayed. As a player you always looking for the best teachers, because great coaching is a big part in an athlete’s success. I have unlimited love from coach LeBlanc also. UNT is on its way, with the right men leading the way. I’m excited to check the place out.

Hoston is a pretty highly recruited player who had offers from Memphis and Central Florida at one point. He finished with six sacks and 23 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, in eight games last season.

Hoston missed three games with a hamstring injury. Here are his Hudl highlights.

UNT gone really heavy on junior college signees in new coach Seth Littrell’s first class. The Mean Green have had eight junior college players who either transferred in at the semester break or will be in Denton in the fall.

Late-arriving junior college players are always a boom-bust proposition. Those players can either come in and have an immediate impact or not qualify to transfer at all.

UNT had players who fit both categories last season in defensive end Jareid Combs, who made it to campus late and helped UNT, and cornerback Xavier Grindle, who didn’t qualify.

UNT had a scholarship left after signing day that it used on Wyche. Now it looks like the Mean Green have another.

Hoston is strongly considering joining his LA Valley teammate at UNT and taking that scholarship.

“I’m just looking for the right place to come in, put my head down, focus up to attack the task at hand day-by-day,” Hoston said “I’m all about winning and understands the process it takes to win!”

UNT’s post spring depth chart

North Texas quarterback Alec Morris throws a pass during the Mean Green's spring game. UNT coach Seth Littrell declined to name a starter after spring practice, but Morris was is listed with the first team on the Mean Green's post-spring depth chart. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

North Texas quarterback Alec Morris throws a pass during the Mean Green’s spring game. UNT coach Seth Littrell declined to name a starter after spring practice, but Morris was is listed with the first team on the Mean Green’s post-spring depth chart. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

The North Texas coaching staff has formulated its post-spring depth chart following the Mean Green’s spring game on Saturday.

There are a few key items to point out, including …

Alec Morris is at the top of UNT’s detph chart at quarterback as expected

The Alabama transfer will be with the Mean Green for just one season as a fifth-year senior transfer. Morris had the most consistent spring of UNT’s quarterbacks and threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns in UNT’s spring game.

UNT coach Seth Littrell declined to name a starter after the spring game, but indicated that Morris was running with the Mean Green’s first team for a reason.

Quinn Shanbour, the undersized former walk-on that many UNT fans fell in love with, also had a good spring and landed second on the depth chart.

UNT has settled on the 3-3-5 on defense

It appeared as if UNT might move to the 3-3-5 as soon as Littrell hired former Georgia inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler and former Memphis cornerbacks coach Troy Reffett as his defensive coordinators.

UNT lined up in the 3-3-5 all spring, moved JUCO defensive end Joshua Wheeler to outside linebacker and recruited several other players to fit the system.

UNT’s depth chart lines up in a 3-3-5.

Sam Rice is starting at center after moving over from guard

One of the key questions early in spring practice was how UNT would compensate for the loss of Kaydon Kirby, who left the team following the death of his father. UNT looked at backup Creighton Barr in the starting lineup and also experimented with Sam Rice at center.

UNT looks like it will stick with Rice at center after he started at left guard last season.

Texas Tech transfer Trey Keenan is starting at right tackle

Former Argyle standout Trey Keenan transferred to UNT from Texas Tech after struggling to put on weight and find a role with the Red Raiders. He is in the starting lineup at right tackle and will play a key role for the Mean Green.

UNT will add highly regarded JUCO transfer offensive lineman Cody Hayes in the fall, which could cause the Mean Green to look at their lineup again. But Keenan is in a good spot at this point.

Converted tight end Kelvin Smith is starting in the slot

Former tight end Kelvin Smith looked good in the slot throughout the spring. He caught two passes for 77 yards in UNT’s spring game, and both of them went for touchdowns.

Smith’s performance landed him a starting job coming out of the spring.

North Texas post-spring depth chart

Offense

Position Name Ht./Wt. Year
Left tackle Jordan Murray 6-9, 360 Sophomore
Chris Miles 6-4, 291 Sophomore
Left guard Ryan Rentfro 6-4, 313 Junior
Center Sam Rice 6-4, 297 Senior
Creighton Barr 6-3, 302 Sophomore
Right guard T.J. Henson 6-4, 315 Junior
Elex Woodworth 6-4, 284 Redshirt freshman
Right tackle Trey Keenan 6-5, 272 Senior
Garrett Gunter 6-4, 293 Senior
Wide receiver O’Keeron Rutherford 6-5, 185 Sophomore
Rodney Bendy 6-5, 196 Redshirt freshman
Wide receiver Connor Davis 5-10, 193 Senior
Kenny Buyers 5-11, 185 Senior
Wide receiver Kelvin Smith 6-2, 250 Redshirt freshman
Thaddeous Thompson 6-2, 202 Senior
Wide receiver Tee Goree 6-3, 173 Sophomore
Willie Robinson 6-0, 185 Senior
Running back Jeffrey Wilson 6-0, 195 Junior
Andrew Tucker 6-0, 203 Junior
Quarterback Alec Morris 6-3, 233 Senior
Quinn Shanbour 6-0, 191 Junior

Defense

Position Name Ht./Wt. Year
Defensive end Jareid Combs 6-3, 258 Senior
Andy Flusche 6-3, 261 Junior
Nose tackle T.J. Tauaalo 6-2, 287 Sophomore
Julius Combes 6-1, 313 Redshirt freshman
– or – R.D. Wegmann 6-3, 265 Redshirt freshman
Defensive end Malik Dilonga 6-4, 264 Senior
– or – Jarrian Roberts 6-2, 252 Senior
Outside linebacker Josh Wheeler 6-3, 240 Junior
Bralen Schwartz 6-0, 226 Junior
Middle linebacker Fred Scott 5-11, 233 Senior
Brandon Garner 5-11, 225 Sophomore
Outside linebacker Cortney Finney 5-11, 220 Senior
William LeMasters 6-2, 213 Redshirt freshman
Nickel Calvin Minor 6-3, 215 Junior
– or – Ashton Preston 5-10, 183 Sophomore
Cornerback Nate Brooks 6-0, 170 Sophomore
Kerrick Rhone 5-10, 180 Senior
Cornerback Chad Davis 5-10, 184 Senior
Andrew Jones 6-1, 173 Sophomore
Free safety Kishawn McClain 5-11, 201 Junior
John Schilleci 6-0, 201 Senior
Strong safety James Gray 6-0, 190 Senior
Taylor Robinson 5-11, 199 Redshirt freshman

Special teams

Kicker

Trevor Moore 5-11, 175 Junior
Eric Keena 6-2, 175 Senior
Punter Eric Keena 6-2, 175 Senior
Trevor Moore 5-11, 175 Junior
Deep Snapper Trey Enterline 6-3, 225 Senior
Jake Davis 6-0, 210 Sophomore
Return specialist Turner Smiley 6-0, 189 Junior
Kenny Buyers 5-11, 185 Senior

UNT’s satellite camps back on after NCAA reserves course

The NCAA reversed course today and will allow college football programs to have satellite camps after all.

The original ban came down just a couple of weeks ago.

Needless to say, this is great news for North Texas.

UNT coach Seth Littrell has already announced that the Mean Green’s camps are back on.

I went through why camps are such a great asset for UNT and why it was such a bad break for UNT when the ban went into affect a few weeks ago.

UNT has been at its best when it has gone out and supplemented the players it landed from the DFW area with players that are often overlooked in parts of the state that aren’t nearly as heavily recruited.

Now UNT will have the opportunity to go out to Tyler, San Antonio and Katy and see far more players this summer. There are plenty of O’Keeron Rutherfords (Carthage), Jeffrey Wilsons (Elkhart) and Kelvin Smiths (Spring) out there,.

UNT will have a better chance to find them now.

Granted, other schools will get to set up camps in DFW.

Everyone — and I do mean everyone — recruits DFW anyway. UNT has typically struggled to sign top players from DFW. UNT only had seven starters from DFW last season out of 22, less than a third.

UNT is going to come out ahead in the end now that Seth Littrell and his staff will have a chance to set up shop across the state again.

Wednesday night notes (Golf team falls to LA Tech on tough day for UNT)

Rosenmueller

Rosenmueller

The North Texas men’s golf team fell in the Louisiana Tech in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament this morning.

Victor Lange knocked off Ian Snyman on the second playoff hole to give LA Tech the match.

The Bulldogs, who came in ranked No. 123 in the GolfStat.com rankings, went on to beat UAB in the final a pretty big stunner. UAB is ranked No. 37, while UNT is ranked No. 61.

UNT will have to sit and wait to see if it receives an NCAA regional bid now.

The Mean Green had two freshmen in their lineup in Snyman and Thomas Rosenmueller and have a good future in front of them. Rosenmueller finished third in the stroke play portion of the tournament and earned all-conference honors.

Falling in the semifinals at the conference tournament was a tough break for UNT, though.

The UNT softball team also had a tough day. The Mean Green were swept at home by Texas Tech. UNT dropped the first game 8-5 before falling in the second 4-2.

The Mean Green have now lost nine straight and 16 of their last 18.

That last total is what is interesting. UNT also lost 16 of 18 late last season, but managed to get off the deck to sweep UTEP in their final series of the regular season and make the C-USA tournament.

The Mean Green finished 11-12 in conference play last year and squeaked in to the postseason, but are just 3-15 this year. That marks put UNT in last place in the C-USA standings.

UNT spring game stats, players who stood out

North Texas safety Kishawn McClain runs with the ball after posting his second interception of the day in the Mean Green's spring game on Saturday at Apogee Stadium. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

North Texas safety Kishawn McClain runs with the ball after posting his second interception of the day in the Mean Green’s spring game on Saturday at Apogee Stadium. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

North Texas conducted its annual spring game that really wasn’t a game this year on Saturday. The Mean Green elected to simply scrimmage due to a lack of depth.

That format still allowed several players to finish off the spring on a high note. I have finally had a chance to type in the complete stats that were handed out.

They should be pretty close to accurate. UNT’s sports information crew, myself and a few other media types tried to be as close as we could, which was a bit of a challenge with the format.

So, who really helped themselves in the last workout of the spring?

Here are three:

Wide receiver Tee Goree – UNT is going to throw the ball and throw it a lot next season, which is going to make having someone to throw it to kind of important. Carlos Harris graduated after last season, leaving Turner Smiley as UNT’s top returning receiver. Smiley caught 25 passes for 255 yards in 2015, when Goree caught 15 passes for 118 yards. Goree exceeded his yardage total from all of last season while catching six passes for 141 yards and a touchdown in the spring game.

Defensive tackle Sid Moore – Moore worked with UNT’s second team, but played particularly well, finishing with seven tackles and three sacks. Moore made his case for more playing time at a position the Mean Green don’t have a lot of depth.

Defensive end Joseph Ozougwu – Ozougwu finished with two sacks and four tackles. The grayshirt from Alief Taylor joined the Mean Green before spring practice. He needs to put on weight, but looks like he can contribute.

Defensive end Jareid Combs – The former JUCO standout seems like a sure bet to start this season and played well in the spring game. The senior finished with two sacks and three tackles.

Safety John Schilleci – The backup safety finished with eight tackles and broke up a pass. The senior is stuck behind James Gray and won’t play much as long as Gray is healthy. If disaster strikes and UNT needs the former Guyer product, he showed he is capable of filling in.

North Texas spring game stats
Scoring summary
Tee Goree 28 pass from Alec Morris (Trevor Moore kick)
Moore 38 field goal
Moore 43 field goal
Moore 43 field goal
D. Prater 37 pass from Morris (Moore kick)
Quinn Shanbour 8 run (Keena kick)
O’Keeron Rutherford 50 pass from Morris (Moore kick)
Kelvin Smith 52 pass from Shanbour (no PAT attempted)
Moore 42 field goal
Smith 25 pass from Shanbour (Moore kick)
Willie Robinson 48 pass from Shanbour (no PAT attempted)
Passing
Player Comp-Att. Yards TDs INTs
Alec Morris 17-35 261 3 2
Quinn Shanbour 20-33 315 3 0
Connor Means 1-1 3 00 0
Caleb Chumley 1-2 21 0 1
Rushing
Player Attempts Yards TDs Fumb
Jeffrey Wilson 3 7 0 0
A.J. Ezzard 8 54 0 0
Andrew Tucker 6 13 0 0
Marcell Porter 5 4 0 0
Quinn Shanbour 3 24 1 0
Alec Morris 3 -6 0 0
Caleb Chumley 3 11 0 0
Receiving
Player Receptions Yards TDs
D. Prater 7 106 1
Tee Goree 6 141 1
Connor Davis 3 26 0
Rodney Bendy 3 15 0
Thaddeous Thompson 3 15 0
Jeffrey Wilson 3 -2 0
Kelvin Smith 2 77 2
O’Keeron Rutherford 2 56 1
Willie Robinson 2 54 1
Marcell Porter 1 48 0
D. Johnson 1 21 0
Turner Smiley 1 6 0
Defense
Player Tackles Sacks INT Pass breakups
John Schilleci 8 0 0 1
Sid Moore 7 3 0 0
Fred Scott 6 0 0 0
William LeMasters 5 0 0 0
Kerrick Rhone 4 0 0 0
Joseph Ozougwu 4 2 0 0
Braelon Schwartz 4 0 0 0
Calvin Minor 4 0 0 1
Kishawn McClain 3 0 2 1
Cortney Finney 3 1 0 0
Jareid Combs 3 2 0 0
Josh Gray 2 0 0 0
Taylor Robinson 2 0 0 1
Joustin Garror 2 0 0 0
R.D. Wegmann 2 1 0 0
Chad Davis 2 0 0 0
Andy Flusche 2 1 0 0
Andrew Jones 1 0 1 3
Kicking
Player FG-FGA Long
Trevor Moore 4-6 43
Eric Keena 0-1

Tuesday night notes (C-USA golf tourney goes another day, et cetera0

It’s Tuesday night and time for a quick lap around the world of North Texas athletics.

The big news of the day is that the Conference USA men’s golf tournament was suspended late this evening due to darkness. UAB has already advanced to the match play final.

UNT and Louisiana Tech are playing in the other semifinal. UNT trails in three of the five matches, but Michael Cotton is 3-up through 15 and Thomas Rosenmueller 2-up through 13.

UNT’s golfers trailing are: Ian Snyman, who is 1-down through 17; Cory Churchman, who is 1-down through 16; and Alejandro Villasana, who is 2-down through 14.

It’s still anyone’s match at this point.

Here is the tournament site.

And in other news …

UNT guard J-Mychal Reese had minor knee surgery this week.

It sounds like he will be fine for summer workouts.

Former UNT running back Erick Evans was named the Offensive Back of the Year at Tennessee State. He rushed for 413 yards and six touchdowns last season.

And finally, the UNT women’s basketball team picked up a commitment from Adrianna Henderson, a high-scoring guard from Topeka. Henderson averaged 21.6 points a game last season.

Why Alec Morris is UNT’s best option at QB

Morris

Morris

Over the course of spring practice I came to what I thought was a pretty obvious conclusion when it comes to North Texas and its quarterback race.

Alabama transfer Alec Morris is UNT’s best option and should take over after the graduation of Andrew McNulty and the departure of DaMarcus Smith. I watched Morris and UNT’s other options throughout the spring, and thought over the course of 15 practices he was the best player and showed the most potential. Quinn Shanbour also had a good spring and will enter the fall second on the depth chart, which is what head coach Seth Littrell indicated after the game.

Seems pretty cut and dried.

Boy, was I wrong. I have since received a few e-mails and been asked how I possibly come to that conclusion. First off, I’m a writer, not a football coach. But I have covered college football for nearly 20 years. Part of the deal is giving your honest opinion.

A few points here …

1. UNT has an honest to goodness legitimate top college QB prospect in Morris

One of the constant complaints at UNT through the years is that the school has struggled to lure top quarterback prospects to Denton.

Morris is the best one UNT has landed in years. The most highly regarded quarterback prospect to agree to come to UNT in the last 15 years other than Morris was Giovanni Vizza, who bolted early in his career when it became obvious he had been duped by Todd Dodge, the worst coach in the history of UNT athletics who convinced him to back out of a commitment to Nevada.

Dodge was a high school coach and is back to being a high school coach

And no, Riley Dodge doesn’t count as a top quarterback prospect.

There is one coach who would have rolled him out there at quarterback early in his career at his size and, again, he’s back in the high school ranks.

Morris was recruited and signed by A-L-A-B-A-M-A and Nick Saban. Maybe you’ve heard about Saban and the Tide. Seems like they know what they are doing.

Morris was rated 26th among pro-style quarterbacks in the Class of 2012.

2. I like Shanbour because he’s a great story and is talented

It’s not that I don’t like Shanbour. He’s a great story, even if he doesn’t start next season. He’s a walk-on who had an offer from Colorado at one point, started out at Oklahoma State, ended up at UNT and has already surpassed a couple of scholarship guys to become the Mean Green’s No. 2 quarterback heading into the fall.

It’s a terrific story.

And Shanbour did look pretty good in UNT’s spring game.

I’m not overlooking what he has accomplished.

3. Don’t read too much into spring games, especially with a whole spring to watch

Speaking of spring games, people always read too much into them. It’s one afternoon, and UNT’s spring game was essentially a controlled scrimmage.

UNT’s quarterbacks were in red jerseys and were not getting hit.

It’s going to look at whole lot different in the fall when the bullets start flying. Morris is 6-4 and a whole lot better built to handle that change, especially behind a shaky offensive line, than Shanbour, who is 6-feet tall, and under 200 pounds.

4. Fifth-year senior transfer quarterbacks have worked before at other schools

The best path to success in college athletics sometimes is to see what has worked other places and follow the same path. Louisiana Tech has won bowl games the last two years behind fifth-year senior transfers Cody Sokol and Jeff Driskel.

Dan McCarney used to say, “Why not North Texas?”

On the other hand, name one walk-on quarterback who has been wildly successful as a starter. Baker Mayfield is one, but he wasn’t a typical walk-on. He had offers from Florida Atlantic, New Mexico and Rice before starting out at Texas Tech and then transferring to Oklahoma.

There might be a few others, but I sure can’t think of one.

5. What is the more likely story?

We mention the success Louisiana Tech had with fifth-year senior transfers at quarterback.

What is the more likely scenario, that UNT brings in a highly regarded guy in Morris, who was tutored for years by arguably the best coaching staff in college football and he puts it all together in one final year and succeeds at UNT? Or that UNT has a walk-on sitting on its bench who was passed over time and again by a team desperate for an upgrade at the position who is suddenly going to come in and change the program’s fortunes?

Yes, UNT does have a new staff. And that new staff has a new system that is a better fit for a passing quarterback.

I have also thought that the old argument fans sometimes roll out there that “our new coaches are better than our old coaches or another team’s coaches” is a little overplayed. It’s kinda like the adult version of “my dad can beat up your dad.”

Coaching matters, but in the end it’s all about the players.

I just don’t buy that Morris isn’t the best player.

6. Isn’t what we’ve seen/heard told us how this is likely to go?

And speaking of the spring game, Morris was the starter and played nearly all the reps with the first team. Littrell wasn’t ready to name a starter after the game, but he did indicate that there was a reason Morris was out there with the first team.

Littrell wants to keep both his guys hungry and working hard into the summer.

It sure looked like Morris will head into the summer as UNT’s starter and will have a great chance to hold on to the job at this point. Louisiana Tech played the same game the last two years with its two transfers and Ryan Higgins, who was a contender, right up until he wasn’t in the fall.

 7. Morris has been at UNT for like 5 minutes. 

UNT knew when it landed Morris that he has been riding the pine at Alabama for the last four years. He was going to be a bit rusty and he started out with absolutely no rapport with his receivers.

He is going to get a whole lot better.

Morris started out with a distinct disadvantage in the spring and still played pretty well, considering the circumstances.

8. It’s not just me who thinks Morris is going to be the guy.

Listen to some of the other people who watched the majority of spring ball. They are high on Morris as well.

I’m not talking about some fan who parachutes in for one or two afternoons and formulates a staunch opinion based on little to no information, but people who stood there, watched most of what went on and talked to UNT’s coaches.

I certainly didn’t have perfect attendance, but was there quite a bit. Don’t believe me, listen to other people who were there as well. The fact that Morris is the guy has been floated by a whole lot more people other than me who know what they are talking about.

9. UNT has to recruit the DFW area

UNT’s best hope to land top players from DFW likely isn’t by signing them out of high school. History shows that.

What UNT can become is Transfer U for DFW retreads. Marcus Trice worked out great. So did Reggie Pegram. UNT also has high hopes for Kansas State transfer Bryce English. Others have been busts, but that is going to happen.

Morris is the highest profile transfer UNT has landed in a long, long time because he is a quarterback. And he’s from Allen, one of the biggest talent factories in the state.

The DFW football community is going to be watching.

If UNT is going to start anyone other than Morris to begin the season, it had better be damn sure it’s going to be able to sell the fact it made the right decision to the next batch of transfers looking to come home.

UNT might struggle to win four games this season.

You can bet your rear end that if UNT rolls out there and goes 3-9 with Morris sitting on the bench, it’s going to be used against the Mean Green’s coaches in recruiting. It might also give future transfers, DFW quarterbacks and recruits in general a moment of pause.

UNT needs all the help it can get.

That help is staring UNT right in the face with Morris.

UNT has a whole lot riding on the decision it makes at quarterback next season. I’m sure Littrell and the Mean Green will make the obvious call.

UNT’s coaches are smart guys. Morris is their best option.

It’s pretty obvious for a number of reasons, nine to be exact.

What does the addition of Anthony Wyche tell us, et cetera?

North Texas picked up a commitment from Los Angeles Valley College running back Anthony Wyche today.

We covered the story on the blog earlier today and had a few quick comments from the Philly native who will have three years left to play at UNT.

But what does the addition of Wyche tell us?

UNT’s roster has more holes than your average slice of Swiss cheese. The Mean Green could have been following the old “best player available” approach and liked Wyche more than any defensive tackle, pass blocking tackle or wide receiver it could find.

I think there is more to it than that.

UNT clearly doesn’t feel all that comfortable with its running back situation and went searching for a solution. California is a heck of a long way to go.

Jeffrey Wilson is a very good Conference USA-level running back. Dan McCarney once predicted that he would be one of the best ever to play at UNT.

Wilson isn’t quite at the level of Abner Haynes, Patrick Cobbs and Lance Dunbar yet. He’s also been snake-bitten by injuries a little bit. He has yet to make it through a season without missing time due to injury.

And UNT is potentially looking at having not a whole lot of proven talent behind Wilson. Willy Ivery missed the spring with off-the-field issues, leaving his status for the fall in doubt.

Andrew Tucker has 119 rushing yards in two seasons as a backup. Nic Smith is a terrific prospect, but will be a freshman this season.

UNT would have been in a world of hurt with one bad turn of Wilson’s ankle.

Wyche gives UNT some insurance at running back and another offensive weapon.

I also wonder if taking Wyche doesn’t open the door for UNT to land his teammate, highly regarded defensive end Raveon Hoston

And in other news …

– The rumors that UTEP is about to bolt Conference USA for the Mountain West are floating in El Paso again. We’ll see if they amount to anything.

– The UNT men’s golf team is sitting in fourth place in the Conference USA tournament heading into the final round of stroke play tomorrow. UAB leads at 579 with Louisiana Tech  and Middle Tennessee tied for second at 585. UNT is at 591. UTSA and UTEP (594) and Old Dominion (596) are just behind the Mean Green.

UNT needs to finish in the top four to advance to match play. Avoiding a fourth-place finish in stroke play and a first-round match with UAB would do UNT a lot of good.