2017 NFL Draft

As the NFL Draft kicks off this year, it leaves fans to wonder really who will land wear? But there are different kinds of fan this year as opposed to other years. Fans this year are  strategic this year as to who they need and what part the players can contribute. If it would be the Cleveland Browns needing help on the offensive side of the ball or the New York Jets needing assistance of the defensive side of the ball in the secondary. All only the fans would know.

As the draft went on, interesting things happened through out. Here are the first 5 picks of the picks of the NFL Draft of 2017:

  1. Myles Garret, DE out of A&M, Cleveland Browns. Something that was missing on the defensive side of the ball was an edge rusher. Choosing him would puts some variety at the edge
  2. Mitch Trubisky, QB out of North Carolina, Chicago Bears. As the depth at the QB was lacking, having this QB will have something to look foward to as this QB is a dual threat QB and will help in a form that this offense would need.
  3. Solomon Thomas, DE of Stanford, San Fransisco 49ers. This is an interesting pick because of the previous season that the niners had that was not good at all, Solomon would come in and help put variety onto the defensive side
  4. Leonard Fournette, RB out of LSU, Jacksonville Jaguars. Fournette is a well known player to run aggressive with a good zero level of balance and just incredible break away speed. Is this what the Jags offense needs this year on offense? Only one way to find out. Stay Tuned.
  5. Corey Davis, WR out of Western Michigan, Tennessee Titans. Marcus Mariota will have fun aiming down his sights on this reciever. Davis is a very flexible WR when it comes down to being able to have fast feet and also having great hands. This player has a bright future ahead of him as well as everyone else.

More amazing players out there who went to great teams with bright futures. As well as our very own D’onta Foreman who signed with the Houston Texas. As a candidate and winner of the Doak Award, seemed to earn his way to the NFL and will continue to work hard. As for everyone else in the draft, it will be something to look foward to.

Patrick Vahe

UT Football Orange vs. White Spring Game. By: Monica Mott

 

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PC: Tadia Franko

It’s that time of year again! Texas football is well underway and we caught up with our favorite team at this year’s Orange vs. White game!

The Orange vs. White game is a scrimmage that happens every year. The entire Longhorn football team gets split into two teams, orange (defense) and white (offense), and then they play each other. It is a free event and a lot of the capital city turns out for it. From college students, to young kids, and even celebrities, this is one scrimmage you don’t want to miss!

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Vince Young covering the Orange vs. White game. PC: Monica Mott

This year’s Orange vs. White game had a lot of moving parts and exciting changes to Texas Longhorn Football. One of the biggest being this was our first shot at seeing what our new couch, Tom Herman had in store for us this fall. After a hard goodbye to our beloved Coach Charlie Strong, it was good to see a promising future for the Longhorns. Coach Herman has taken what some would say a militaristic approach to turning the football program around. Whether you are a fan of this technique or not, it was hard to argue that it’s not working. There were many strong displays of a promising future for the Texas Longhorns. Many of players have expressed their excitement for the new coach and what he can do for them.

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Sam Ehlinger (#11) in QB position

Also, a new addition to the team is freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger (#11). Fresh out of Westlake high, this rookie was clear that he came to play. We can feel some big plays coming from this guy!

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D’Onta Foreman signing autographs for fans. PC: Monica Mott
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D’Onta Foreman taking pictures with fans

With new talent comes the passing of veteran talent. Seasoned favorites Tyrone Swoops and D’Onta Foreman declared for the NFL draft this year. They were crucial members of the Texas Longhorn football team and lucky for us, they were signing autographs and taking pictures at the Orange vs. White game.

Update: D’Onta Foreman was drafted as the overall 89th pick to the Houston Texans, and Tyrone Swoops was picked up as a free agent by the Seattle Seahawks.

In the end, the Orange team proved victorious. We can’t sleep on this new and improved Texas defense. Although there were many impressive moves made this game, we know Tom Herman and the Texas Longhorns are just getting started and we look forward to seeing what this season has in store!

Interview: Patrick Vahe & Buck Major

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This week I got to interview a few of the Texas Football players Patrick Vahe and Buck Major. Both are phenomenal players with outstanding characteristics that we as fans get to see on the field, yet aren’t exactly attuned off the field.

In my interview with Patrick Vahe I learned that he is the first Islander to be signed here at the University of Texas in Austin. For him, he finds it honorable not only representing his family but his ethnicity as well. As of right now, there is talk of possibly recruiting other Islanders, but for the most part–they are just looking at them, but we can all hope to get a few other Islanders on team to share some Texas Football pride! As for the upcoming season, Patrick is excited to be back on the field with some of his new partners, and Coach Herman. Patrick’s not quite sure what his future holds when it comes to the draft–right now, it’s a maybe but the thought is there depending on how the season goes! Patrick’s favorite team is the Cowboys and he would love to be drafted there; we would all love to see that as well and wish you the best in your upcoming season!

As for some off the field insights, Patrick was an MMA fighter in Jr. High, and found his love for the game of football in high school watching his brothers play only to start playing himself. Although sports seem to be a very dominate ability, Patrick has many others, some of which include–playing instruments and singing! Patrick plays various instruments from guitar to piano which goes hand in hand with his passion for singing, although he doesn’t intended to pursue it professionally, we can all hope he gives us a little taste of his musical abilities!

During my interview with Buck Major, he kept telling me about “the 9.” Confused at what it meant, he continued to explain that the 9th represented a lot of special things in his life that happened on the 9th–one including his birthdate! As for his passions outside the field, Buck loves to do photography and editing and would love to one day be a director. In the tenth grade he started editing films by taking clips from movies online, recording them and putting them together–essentially creating his own style. Once his senior year rolled around and he was enrolled in a journalism class, his teacher wouldn’t allow him to touch the computer although he genuinely wanted to get that hands on experience. Although his teacher might have refused to acknowledge his abilities then we are watching and waiting to see what he’s going to do next! I encourage you to take the time out to check out his work, he may be just starting out in that field but who knows where it will take him–I promise you, he’s someone to be on the lookout for!

One last thing, I got to talk with Buck about, was this unusual setback that has never slowed him down. There is no joints in Buck’s thumbs which means he can’t bend his thumbs at all. While most of us would be shaking our heads thinking, “You’re a football player! Isn’t that necessary?” According to Buck, it has never slowed him down; he’s dealt with it his whole life and it’s just something he’s always adapted to! I think we can all say that’s pretty impressive for any athlete, and something that definitely makes him stand out!

It was incredibly awesome getting to talk with these guys and learn more about who they are outside the football field! While you’ll see us all enthusiastically cheering them on during the on-season, we hope you that cheer them on during the off-season as well and any new ventures they decide to take on!

Texas Softball’s Recent Wins

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Texas vs North Texas

Texas Softball faced off with North Texas earlier this week. The Longhorns beat North Texas 6-0 at home, bouncing back from losing a series against Iowa State. It was refreshing to see the Longhorns put together such a dominating performance both in the field and at bat. Pitcher Erica Wright threw 6 innings and accumulated 6 strike outs. Brooke Bolinger closed the game out with 1 inning pitched and 2 strike outs.

Texas vs Kansas

Texas Softball traveled to Lawrence Kansas to play the Jayhawks in a 3 game series. Texas was able to beat Kansas in the first to games. During the double header on Friday, the Longhorns shut out Kansas completely, beating them 10-0 the first game and 2-0 the second game. It was a solid performance from the Horns and a good stepping stone from the Texas game. Texas seems to be gaining some traction after the upsettings Iowa State series, and the Horns are now putting together some big time wins. Offensively, Texas was able to do what they wanted with Kansas, and even put up a pair of home runs. Defensively Texas was also on point. They made Kansas earn everything, and did not give them much hope. The final game will be rescheduled for Sunday due to a heavy rain forecast. However, if Texas keeps up their recent trend, they should not have an issue with the final game of the series. Texas has an overall record of 28-20 as they go into the game this Sunday.

Cristie Kerr keeps defying the odds

Its not usual that a 39 year old golfer goes out and shoots the course record on the way to winning a 19th career LPGA tour tournament. Cristie Kerr is the exception. Many critics came to the conclusion that she would never be as dominant as she was in the year 2010, when she was the #1 player in the world.  In 2010, Kerr won two of the first 10 tournaments on the LPGA Tour, including the LGPA Championship, which she won by a record-breaking 12-stroke margin over the second-place finisher Song He Kim. As a result of this finish, she went to the top of the Women’s World Golf Ratings on June 28, 2010. Kerr held the position for three weeks before Ai Miyazato again regained the top ranking by a margin of 0.0006 average points. After that year Cristie found that it was much tougher to come by wins on the LPGA tour. She won once in 2015  at the CME Group Tour Championship but hasn’t seen much success since then.

Coming out this week at the LOTTE Championship presented by Hershey Cristie felt like this could be her week. She certainly showed her stuff, especially on Saturday when she went out and shot a course record of 62. Kerr shot 29 on the back nine, making a birdie on every hole with the exception of pars at holes No. 10 and 14. She’s now just three shots off leader Su-Yeon Jang entering the final round.

“Everybody (talks) about being in the zone, (but) I just kind of stayed out of my own way, which is what I have to do to have a chance (Saturday),” Kerr told lpga.com. “I hit it fine. I stayed out of my own way and I had a good time with my caddy, Brady. It was a lot of fun today.”

She certainly showed that she still has the skills to dominate the LPGA.

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Five Straight in the Big Twelve

After placing first in the Longhorn Shootout nearly two weeks ago, the University of Texas Men’s Golf team doubled down by winning their fifth-straight Big 12 Championship this week in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Notable Stats: 

  • UT set a Big 12 Championship tournament record by posting a 39-stroke improvement between Round 1 and Round 2.
  • The Horns faced a six-stroke deficit in the fourth round before rallying to eclipse the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
  • This week marks the eighth Big 12 title for the burnt orange and the 40th conference title overall.

Top Performers: 

  • Three UT golfers finished within the top-25 on the tournament:
    • Scottie Scheffler, ranked 15th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, led the field with 16 birdies and finished tied for runner-up (+8). This was Scheffler’s fourth top-10 finish on the year.
    • Doug Ghim, ranked 27th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, finished tied with Scheffler for runner-up (+8). This marks the fifth event of the season where Ghim has posted a top-10 finish.
    • Gavin Hall sunk a vital eagle on hole 17 to help pull the Horns within one stroke of Oklahoma State and finished the tournament in 22nd place on the individual leaderboard (+19). Hall posted a tournament-high two eagles.

Looking Ahead:

By winning the Big 12 Championship, the UT Men’s Golf team has earned the Big 12’s automatic bid the the NCAA Regional Tournament. Depending on their performance, the Horns can potentially earn a bid to the NCAA National Tournament.

  • NCAA Regional Tournament: 5/15/2017-5/17/2017
    • UT Golf Club, Austin, TX
  • NCAA National Tournament: 5/26/2017-5/31/2017
    • Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Illinois

Be sure to keep up with the men in burnt orange and cheer them on as they pursue an NCAA National Championship! Scores and updates can be found at:

http://www.texassports.com/index.aspx?path=mgolf

 

Who’s the Next MVP?

The road to the NBA playoffs has come to an end, but the intense journey through the playoffs has just begun.  As a result, talk about this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player is being bounced around in avid NBA fan conversations.  Who do you think will be the next MVP?  Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, James Harden, or even Kawhi Leonard? 

Snapchat recently provided a segment called “Trash Talk,” where basketball fans all over the nation could weigh in on who they think the next MVP will be. 

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Some people articulated that James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, should be awarded the MVP because of his string of triple-doubles and his outstanding performances during season, which helped the Rockets clench the Number 3 spot in the Western Conference. 

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Others on Snapchat, argued that LeBron James should receive it solely for the reason that he is “LeBron James.”

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However, majority of the people disagreed and proclaimed that Russell Westbrook, from the Oklahoma City Thunder, should get MVP.  Russell Westbrook definitely showcases the qualities of an MVP, with his NBA-record of 42 triple-doubles and his hard work.  Some people even believe that if he didn’t play, OKC wouldn’t have even made it to the playoffs. 

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Despite all this high praise for Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard should for sure be in your top choices for the race to MVP.  Leonard has proven his abilities with his impressive defensive skills and game-changing actions.  For example, in the fourth quarter of the fourth game against the Memphis Grizzlies, he scored the Spurs final 15 points.  Let that sink in.  Leonard scored the final 15 points of the last quarter by himself.  Additionally, he’s known for his large hands that help him defend the best of his opponents.San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets

Definitely keep all of this in mind when you are evaluating who your pick for the 2017 NBA MVP award is.  Choose wisely.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder

What’s Yours…?

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What do you see when you look at this picture? Just a pitcher doing his job? Does your mind entertain itself for even a moment with the wondering of what can’t be seen in this photograph, or do you just trust your eyes completely?

We’re all guilty of it… of looking at someone, looking at their label, and applying words to their person…

But wait. If you look at this picture, and think up some words to describe it, you’ll come out with some flattering ones…

Athletic…

                  Talented…

                                     Determined…

                                                               Inspiring…

                                                                                    Success story…

                                                                                                                 Hardworking…

and you’d be right about all of that. You don’t get to play any sport at the college level without putting in an admirable, and incredible, amount of work.  Left Handed Pitcher Nick Kennedy, number 32 of the Texas Baseball team, started playing at preschool age like his teammates, and it led him to the mound at his dream school.

He stayed the course throughout his childhood, even overcoming a time when he felt like quitting.

 You’ll be playing for so long. Try not to make your highs too high and your lows too low.” – Nick Kennedy

His baseball story is wonderful, engaging to listen to, and almost impossible to give justice to in a few words.

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But is that all? Is all we see when we look at an athlete, or sit in the stands at a game, is their sport? Their stats? I get it. I felt the rush when UT played OU in the Red River Showdown of baseball, and the rejoice when we beat them in the first two games. And I feel the defeat walking away from the stadium after a hard-played game didn’t come out in our favor.

But you know what? The time that we, fans and players alike, spend in that stadium, holding our breaths and waiting for the outcome, is only a few hours, and when we leave, life still continues.

“When you’re done with a day of baseball, and you go home, leave the baseball at the field.” – Nick Kennedy

You’d in no way be wrong to look at a picture of Nick Kennedy, throwing a pitch, and think of a whole list of flattering words to describe him, but you would be wrong to think that his identity lies on the mound.

“Faith and Religion is the real foundation.” – Nick Kennedy

When we hit a wall in our lives, a time when we realize we need something that nothing in our world is offering us, we all need a firm foundation in something that will show us meaning in what might seem like meaninglessness.

Nick Kennedy loves the sport he plays, but it doesn’t define him as a person. The essence of who he is isn’t contained within his label, just as all of us are more than the activities we choose to participate in.

Faith is the foundation of Nick Kennedy’s life, the light in a dark search, the anchor, and the thing that nothing else takes place in front of. It’s the thing that stays with him after the gates of Disch-Falk field are locked up for the night, and it’ll be centerfold in his life when baseball is no longer in the immediate image.

Faith decides his perspective, and adds words like

Caring…

Passionate…

Thoughtful…

and

Human…

to the list.

So, scratch off your labels and the stereotypes that define them. You know about Nick’s foundation… What’s yours?

 

 

 

 

 

D’Onta Foreman’s path to the NFL Draft

The anticipation surrounding the NFL draft is high, as prospects and fans look forward to the start of the draft this Thursday. Swoopes, Foreman, and Haines, are a couple of Texas prospects, but one stands out as the only junior on the roster, D’Onta Foreman.

The NFL Network released an exclusive interview with Texas running back D’Onta Foreman where he publicly revealed a secret that had inspired his outstanding final season as a Longhorn, the death of his premature son. “He was a fighter, you know,” Foreman said about his son. “He would like fight and he’s going to make it and everything will be fine.”

D’Onta Foreman Jr. developed an infection the day before playing Big 12 rival Texas Tech. Foreman described the news as heartbreaking but still went on to play the best game of his life, rushing 341 yards and 3 touchdowns, making it the third best rushing performance in Texas history. “It was something about that game. I was doing it for my son. I’m leaving it all out there,” he said.

Winner of the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back, ending the season with over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns, there is no doubt that Foreman’s current projection as a second round pick this weekend is right on.

Texas, even with a less than stellar football season, has always been a team comprised of men with integrity, strength, and character, on and off the field, which is something that we can take full pride on. In life and in football, you have to keep moving through the tough parts and we are all very thankful for the drive and focus Foreman possessed through all this grief. He is without a doubt a class act, a fighter, and true Longhorn. I believe I can speak on behalf of Texas fans and those rooting for Foreman that we all wish him nothing but success in the NFL and the future ahead of him.

 – Laura Sorto