Media Daze: Texas’ talent underwhelming on Day 1

Nick Cremona

The first of two Big 12 Media Days will have its fair share of star power, but the shine from Texas’ stars will be much dimmer than those of the other teams in attendance.

The Longhorns have elected to bring running back Fozzy Whittaker, safety Blake Gideon and linebackers Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson to the annual media showcase in Dallas; not exactly the players everyone associates with Texas football. Then again, who is the face of the Texas program?

These selections leave much to be desired, but once again Mack Brown has decided to keep it vanilla in the offseason. Never one to reveal tactics or depth charts before week one, Brown has chosen this group wisely, so as not to draw attention to the million-dollar question: Who’s the quarterback?

Although Garrett Gilbert attended last year’s media day, there will be no sight of him this year. Instead, a group of veterans that will most likely speak from a pre-prepared list of responses and buzz words will be in attendance. That’s nothing new from Brown. He doesn’t want anyone getting attention that doesn’t need it or won’t be able to handle it, even if he is the
starting quarterback.

Other schools are sending their best players to greet the media.

Oklahoma State announced their duo of quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon will join safety Markelle Martin as the school’s representatives. Weeden and Blackmon got together for 20 touchdowns a year ago and are two of the biggest names to appear on the list at this year’s media days.

Texas A&M will also have some high-profile names in Dallas including quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Cyrus Gray and wide receiver Jeff Fuller. Tannehill has become a household name after he led a potent offensive attack last season. Gray and Fuller also helped out and are currently the faces of the Aggies football program.

The Baylor Bears have all the star power they need in quarterback Robert Griffin. Back from an injury-riddled season two years ago, Griffin showed his mettle on the field last year, leading the Bears to the Texas Bowl. He has done a lot for the program and has made football relevant in Waco once again. Joining Griffin is wide receiver Kendall Wright and linebacker Elliot Coffey.

Maybe the only team that will not have bigger names than Texas will be Missouri. Defensive end Jacquies Smith, wide receiver T.J. Moe, safety Kenji Jackson and offensive lineman Elvis Fisher will be the Tigers’ representatives. None of the names pop out, but Missouri has been a school that has found success plugging various guys into its system.

Although the star power from the other schools in Texas’ media days overshadows the players the Longhorns have chosen to send to Dallas, they were selected with purpose. They may not be the fan favorites — though Robinson and Acho headline a strong group of linebackers — but they are all seniors and represent the school well. This isn’t Brown’s first rodeo, and he knows precisely what he’s doing. 

Printed on 07/25/2011 as: Brown picks wisely, other schools send big names to Dallas