Carter Strickland opened up the HornsNation mailbag to answer some fans’ questions.
Matt (Newport, Ore.): In your opinion how good is the Class of 2014 i.e. Cannon, Watkins, Scott, Brown etc.? Is Texas a favorite with a lot of those top recruits?
Carter Strickland: Well it just got a ton better with Jerrod Heard joining the class. Heard is a very polished and smart player. I know he is not huge at 6-2, 190. But he is the QB that Bryan Harsin wanted and for Texas to lock him up this early is very big. Now Texas needs to get some DBs.
Chris (Texas): What's the latest on Cole Luke? I think this guy is a real sleeper. Is he going to visit? Does he know when he will commit? Any info would be appreciated.
Carter Strickland: He is not a sleeper. Everybody knows about him. The good thing is that USC is out of the picture now. Texas is going to have to fight off the Arizona schools, but they do have a chance to get him.
Joe Muniz (Selma, Texas): Does the Texas Longhorns football program have a leg-thigh developement regimen to build better break-away speed and power with their running backs? This would create Earl Campbell-type players, hard to bring down, with speed to break away.
Carter Strickland: I like that idea. They do not have something specific for that but they do some speed-training drills. The big thing for the RBs is to stretch and eat healthy this year. I talked to both of them this week and they said they have taken much better care of their bodies this year than last.
CJ (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): Why does Texas continue to try and obtain multiple quarterbacks every year?
Carter Strickland: The goal is to sign the best quarterback they can every year. Now that might cause some backlog like with Brewer, Overstreet, Ash, Swoopes and Heard. But Texas wants three QBs on the roster and one redshirted at all times.
Bob Strickler (Alvin, Texas): I have followed UT commit Marcus Johnson at Clear Springs. What is your opinion of his potential at UT?
Carter Strickland: Very versatile player. He is going to get in the game early and could also be used as a return guy. I like Kendall Sanders better because he has longer arms but I think Johnson helps this year.
Billy Shaw (Amarillo, Texas): Do you think Jalen Overstreet has a chance to play this year? If so, is it QB or Wildcat?
Carter Strickland: He has a chance and it would be in the wild formation. Ideally he redshirts, but if in the next five to seven days it really clicks for him in the wild formation, then they use him.
Stephen Messimer (Fort Worth, Texas): As HornsNation knows, we have produced some incredible talent at safety during the Mack Brown era. Some always fall short and injuries happen as well. But, with our track record and Mack's unbelievable ability to make you "man crush" the guy when he smiles at you, why doesn't Texas have a sure bet TE committed yet? Is someone on the roster expected to make strides or is this just a year we may fall short on the TE and Receiver spot?
Carter Strickland: Well the issue is more of the style of tight end Texas has recruited. Texas was running the spread offense. D.J. Grant is great for the spread. He can catch the ball and has speed. Now he was injured but still he is a good spread tight end. Texas switched to less of a spread and has yet to stockpile the type of talent it now needs to accommodate that switch.
Rickey (Denison, Texas): Carter, Whitewright is just down the road from me and I just don't understand how Tyrone Swoopes can be so highly touted. Yes, he is a beast on the field, but then consider his competition as he plays in 2A (and the fact the other local 2A schools are pretty bad). Usually these things play are a factor in recruiting. Colt McCoy came from a 2A school and did just fine, but he had a year to sit first. Would you agree that Swoopes needs to sit a year?
Carter Strickland: Well I can tell you why he is so highly touted. He is 6-5, 229 and can run like the wind. The throwing motion is not great. But that can be taught. He has what cannot be taught -- size and talent.