Tulsa OC Sterlin Gilbert is now on board as UT's new Offensive Coordinator.
OK so now we know what UT's offense will look like next year....Kinda like Baylor's. Here is that Tulsa offense is putting up 38 on OU last year. They spotted OU a 31-10 lead (following one of the funniest blocked extra points ever at the end of the 1st quarter.) then scored two TDs in the last minute of the first half to make it a game again.
You cannot help getting excited for the future of as you watch the game. Tulsa's WRs were skilled but not very fast. There was not a lot of separation there. Their OL was not great. Their QB was very solid, not exceptional, as was their RB. They misfired a bit in the first half, but they competed, they didn't quit, and they put up 38 on OU, forcing OU to play them all game.
The vast majority of their running plays were right up the gut. They spread their receivers to spread the defense but every throw was thrown 5 yards plus into positive territory...none of this screen nonsense. They punched OU in the mouth on the ground and attacked them in the air all game long.
That really fits nicely at UT.
So now you have the OC....
Is it time to get a ready to play QB?
Now this is where things get quite interesting. FCS power Montana State's QB Dakota Prukop graduated but still has a year of eligibility left. He has gotten a release to try to transfer into an FBS school. He is free to go to Oregon, UT, or TCU. TCU had Kenny "Trill" from A&M, so the thought would be UT or Oregon.
UT just hired a coach who put a guy (Jimmy Garrapolo) into the NFL as a high draft pick, while Oregon's offense had everyone doubting Mariotta very obvious attributes. This guy is transferring to get NFL attention and in this regard UT is still very competitive.
You see he really doesn't improve his stock as much going to Oregon because it is essentially the same Chip Kelly scheme he was in at Montana State. Oregon is high profile, but it is not quite the same player growth bump.
At UT he would be playing for a guy who developed a player a LOT of pro teams thought very highly of. (Usually a handful of teams will like a QB prospect. Garrapolo did not just have a few teams....He had a ton of advocates. That was unusual and speaks highly to the coaching he received.)
Prukop is a pretty talented QB looking to play for a team where the QB takes snaps out of the shotgun. That is both schools now. He is 6'2, 210 lbs. and scored an attention getting 39 TDs last year (28 passing and 11 on the ground) with 10 interceptions.
He has a surprising arm, mobility, and good field vision. He doesn't appear to have a big arm, but then you look and he just threw a 50 yard pass. He is Romo-esque in that some times his play looks very much sandlot and the mechanics he employs at times make you cringe, but he is actually pretty well trained and there is no questioning his effectiveness.
PASSING GP Effic Cmp-Att-Int Pct Yds TD Lng Avg/G
Dakota Prukop 11 157.70 216-344-10 62.8 3025 28 88 275.0
RUSHING GP Att Gain Loss Net Avg TD Long Avg/G
Dakota Prukop 11 158 926 129 797 5.0 11 61 72.5
Montana State was held below 35 points once this year. He was the show at Montana State.
UT appears to have a very good running game returning and very talented (maybe) WRs, allowing the QB to play within himself----exactly the scenario you want if you are this kind of candidate and trying to earn NFL attention. You want to show that you have the mental game to manage victories.
And he is from Austin.
If you think the idea of coming home to lead UT out of the wilderness for one year isn't appealing.... well... There is probably a thought to be next year's Baker Mayfeild.
I think this is a guy who could step in and be the 3rd or 4th best QB in the Big 12 next year...maybe better.
I think landing him should be Gilbert's first and main job this off-season.
The situation is reminiscent of Russell Wilson's last collegiate season.
My thinking is why not give him a shot? I have to think if that would cause Buchele or Heard to transfer rather than compete against a one year guy, they are too soft to handle the pressure at UT anyway.
It improves both of those player's chances if this kid comes in and takes charge of the offense for a year, helping all the other players naturally step into their jobs, then the two young QBs can have their moments with the much easier role of stepping in to be replacement cogs in a working system.
And this works out well for UT. Heard may be the real deal, but even an advocate like myself sees how much work he still needs on footwork. A year absorbing the system with no pressure could make a world of difference for the kid and frankly less mediocre tape vs. good tape only helps any kind of NFL future for him.
Buchele could be redshirted, creating an ideal situation of Prukop starting in Strong's make or break year (2016), a more polished and comfortable Heard in 2017 and 2018, and then a mature Buchelle inheriting the earth in 2019,2020. That is the kind of progression you hope for.
UT has two big holes right now...center and QB. This would fill one.