North Texas National Signing Day 2012

Dan McCarney has the gift of motivation. He has long been known as master of the press conference and I must admit I fell for his charm at the podium once again. I came away thinking we had the recruiting class that will be essential to our future success.

Hell we just might have.

There is, however, an underlying tone of … something. It don’t know if it is disappointment or frustration or something else. Having built a program before it would seem he would understand the difficulty in recruiting to a historically moribund program. Perhaps he thought it would be a tad easier considering the proximity to the most fertile college football recruiting ground this side of southern florida.

Dan McCarney is not a quitter and he is ever positive. I’m not worried, just intrigued.

It has been chiché to say “No coach will tell you they had a bad class”. This one was … okay. We managed to nab a stud on the offensive line in Boone Feldt, ESPN 150’s 10th ranked center in the nation. He will be the starting center going into next year.

Dan said there were no shocks or surprises in this class. I wonder if that was the reason for the relative lack of excitement on twitter for these guys. Other than a few shoutouts from high school classmates, there was no “JUST SIGNED WITH UNT!” updates. Of course, I could just suck at twitter. . .

So, the state of the program is thus: we are unknown, and have few positives outside of a shiny new stadium with which to woo recruits. The carrot, as it were, is the opportunity to be a part of a culture change. “We have lots of challenges ahead of us”, says the coach. “we need guys that want to take those kinds of things on.”

That kind of thing is hard to do. I think we probably end up with less talented, more motivated guys when we open up Spring Camp. Is that good? Yeah. Unmotivated talent is a drain. Guys that can play okay combined with a desire to succeed and a coaching staff that can teach them how? Well we might just do something pretty good, ya’ll.

Let’s get into some totally random, quick observations after looking at their minute-long highlight videos on Mean Green Premium, shall we?

Mark Lewis RB  5-10, 210 –looks shifty. and quick.

Boone Feldt OL 6-3, 276 — dominating the competition. Looks beastly.

Brad Horton 6-6 DE 230 –looks quick.

Carlos Harris WR 5-8, 175 –fast and shifty. has breakaway speed. good returner.

Connor Trussell OL 6-5, 285 — yeah pushing people around.

D.Q. Johnson JUCO DB -5-11, 185 — Can make tackles –blocked a kick. good in special teams. Apparently really fast.

David Busby S 5-11, 180 — reads the play well.

Devante Davis CB 5-11, 185 — can tackle. blowing dudes up. blew through a blocker to beat up a runner. He played LB??

Dustin Clark LB 6-1, 205 –fast. special teams guy?

Dutton Watson DT 6-3, 250–quick and big off the end.

Jamal Marshall DB 6-3,185–fast. chased down a guy from across the field. play recognition.

Jamarcus Jarvis RB 5-10, 195–shifty. quick. fast. breakaway speed.

Jarrian Roberts LB 6-2, 220– strong.

Lajaylin Smith LB 6-0, 218– quick and fast

Malik Dilonga DE 6-4, 250– Big. strong. quick.

Mustafa Haboul DT 6-0, 247 — quick. strong.

Nic Schrapps WR 6-3, 197– big and good hands. not that quick or fast.

Rex Rollins S 6-1,185 –big hitter. had some time as RB. — pretty damn fast.

Rodrick Lancaster 6-2, 200– WR –fast and plays big.

Ryan Rentfro OL 6-4, 280– Yeah. Sure is blocking and stuff.

Sir Calvin Wallace DT 6-2, 300– monster. big and strong. gets into the backfield with some quickness too.

Xavier Kelly CB 5-11, 165– quickness and speed.

Cam Feldt OL 6-5, 308 –will start JUCO transfer

Marcus Trice DB, 5-8, 190 –will start JUCO transfer.


As always, this list likely includes a bunch of guys that won’t be on the roster in three years for various reasons. Rankings and stars are tabulated on a lot of things that do not necessarily translate into on-field success. Like coach said, a lot of this is about evaluation: what you have, what you can be, and what these recruits can be.

Here’s hoping we have some gems in this thing.

Go Mean Green.

hat tip: ESPNDallas.

Basketball Football

Holmen Out, Regurgitated Recruit News

Oh, Vito. He is the only one on the Mean Green beat, having outlasted Troy Phillips twice. He gets to break news like this though:

Jacob Holmen is not practicing today. He is on crutches and in a walking boot. I will find out what his status is after practice. It does not look good, though. At least not to me.

Now if only he’d get around to using twitter instead of just having an account. Who does a live-blog anymore? This isn’t 2005, ya’ll.

Alas, such is the state of media-coverage of our beloved Green and White.

That said, you will find the most up-to-date recruiting info on that site, not this one. I have long held that recruiting creeps me out in some respects while wasting my time in the rest.

I simply find the most of it a crapshoot. Sure, generally high recruiting classes equal high win totals. I’m expecting Danny Mac to do a decent job here and have the patience to let the classes develop.

Using Coach McCarney’s nephew’s rule of thirds –laid out in the Coker Chronicles Podcast — we should look for 8 guys to be all-conference contenders, 8 guys to be on the team but not particularly special and 8 others to leave the program for some reason.

I have no clue what will happen and so am not particularly worried. Our improvement last season was subtle. The big selling point — Apogee — was mitigated by the Texas Rangers and terrible weather. We squeaked out a record with some creative people counting. Our most hyped player suffered from injuries and bad luck.

Compare that situation with ArkSt’s. They won a lot of games and landed the biggest name in recent offensive coordinating history.

SMU? Well they just have won a lot more games than we have and have a former NFL guy/ offensive guru.

Forgive Danny Mac if he can’t woo top guys immediately. If you don’t you may also not realize the depths to which this program had sunk under the previous regime.


A Different Perspective

Mrs.NTM says,

Thanks to my husband, NTM as you may know him, I have been “following” UNT basketball this season.

We bought season tickets and have attended as many home games as our schedules have permitted. Seeing them play so frequently has reminded me how much I actually enjoy watching live basketball. Live sports in general tend to be much more entertaining to me than trying to watch at home with so many other distractions–the remote, the kitchen, my computer, pretty much anything else.

I think we have a great team. Josh White, Tristan Thompson (or Crispan as I call him…because I misheard the announcer and it stuck), George “Odufu-Who” Odufuwah, and Jason Holmen are who I consider to be our star players. I’m not sure where Jason Holmen really falls on the list but he stands out to me. Those are the names I remember after games. They make clutch plays and are our top scorers, save for Jason Holmen who’s more like 7th in average points.

OK I already feel stupid for saying “clutch plays” when it probably wasn’t appropriate so please don’t re-read that part.

My point is, we have an entertaining team. Most nights they’re fun to watch. But when they’re off, they’re really off. When they have a bad night there’s no defense what so ever and the best they can do is throw a hand in the face of the guy about to shoot right before he takes the shot, when it’s really to late to throw him off.

That stuff is frustrating to see. I don’t really get how teams go through these highs and lows, especially having never been an athlete myself. Our team definitely seems to thrive on the energy of the home crowd, which sucks because half the season consists of away games.

I dunno. That’s about all I can make of it at the moment.

I’ll leave the more complex analysis to NTM.

Take it away babe.

Editor Note:

I find all those mistakes cute. What can I say? I’m in love.


Tony Mitchell to North Texas

Tony Mitchell

Eat it Mizzou.

KC Star reporter Mike DeArmond gives the breakdown on his situation up there.

The decision to try to do that in Texas rather than at Missouri was most likely a monetary one. Mitchell, as a resident of Dallas, can pay in-state tuition at North Texas, which costs $7,496 according to, with a total projected cost to in-state residents of $18,061 a year. Out-of-state tuition and fees at Missouri cost $20,516 according to the same source, with a total projected cost to out-of-state residents of $33,123 a year.

Let’s go ahead and chalk up a victory for our beloved ‘scuela’s DFW placement. It’s one of those things that is always touted as a strength yet seems to rarely deliver at an acceptable rate. It wasn’t only our generously low tuition that won him over however.

Thanks to the Sunbelt’s lenient rules on non-qualifiers and the Big 12(ten)’s hardline stance on the same, we get to enroll the guy and get him eligible. The earliest he can play is December 2011 by all accounts.

Mizzou’s loss is our gain. Sort of. Mitchell has to make up 24 credits in the spring and summer. How did he get into this situation? It is a weird one.

Let’s look at the timeline:

June 1st: WFAA investigates Tony Mitchell’s eligibility relating to the transferability of credits from his old high school, Center of Life Academy to L. G. Pinkston in Dallas. News 8’s Brett Shipp finds Tony Mitchell took nine tests in two days including five in two hours to become classified as a senior at DISD.

Here is the link, complete with very newsy-wording. Seriously, read it out loud with a nasally newscaster voice and you’ll see what I mean. There is also a video if maybe you graduated from Center of Life and cannot read.

Speaking of Center of Life. Hop on over to their website to see what all the fuss is about. If not for the outrage then for the hilarity.

June 3rd: Tony Mitchell does not graduate with his class.

June 8th: More WFAA investigating. Apparently Tony Mitchell skipped 102 classes or so. Yeah.

Fast forward to Jan 5th: He is ruled ineligble by the NCAA (see DeArmond link above). Mizzou appeals and waits for the results.

Jan 24th: As the spring deadline approached for enrollment, Mizzou’s head coach Mike Anderson still held out hope — at least publicly. Center of Life Academy may or may not have sent a ‘package’ that could help Mitchell’s case. Maybe.

Jan 26th: Mizzou loses the appeal and subsequently Tony Mitchell enrolls at North Texas. The NCAA ruling:

The University of Missouri has decided it will not make any further appeals on the eligibility status of prospective men’s basketball player Tony Mitchell.

The NCAA staff initially ruled Mitchell ineligible on Jan 5. The university then appealed to the Division I Initial Eligibility Waiver Committee, which upheld the staff decision on Jan 13.

So yeah. Here is some more pertinent information. At least to us interested in North Texas-related stuff. The requirements for becoming eligible:

There are two ways for an individual who is not cleared for academic reasons to eventually become eligible for Div I sports. The person can either go to a junior college or enroll at a four-year school. If the individual takes the latter route, he or she must serve a year in residence and sit out from competition for a year. In both cases, the individual must meet the necessary academic requirements before regaining eligibility. Individual conferences may have more restrictive rules that could apply.

Again, as pointed out above, the Sunbelt doesn’t a ban on signing non-qualifiers.

Okay, So Should We Be Worried??

From a purely athletic point of view, this is a tremendous signing. Tony Mitchell has NBA-level talent. For a mid-major school this could be the thing that launches us into a golden age.

Or it could be the thing that kills the program if for some reason Tony has more problems academically.

For Johnny Jones and RV, this is definitely evidence of progress and success. Sustained quality on the court has finally paid off in talented recruits. Among the listed reasons that swayed Mitchell toward Denton was the talent that was already headed this way. We had the number 31-ranked class before this.

As listed by the esteemed Brett Vito:

Jordan Williams rated U.S. 108 by Rivals and highly touted Texas guys: Chris Jones, Forrest Robinson, Trey Norris.

Let’s hope Tony Mitchell takes care of business this spring and summer and an already awesome thing gets even awesomer.

[Yahoo Blog- The Dagger]
[WFAA-Investigates Part One and Two]
[STL Today]
[Denton RC/Dallas News’ Brett Vito]

Basketball Recaps

North Texas Puts A Beating On Arkansas State.

Arkansas State’s Martavius Adams came into this game averaging 12.6 points per game. He scored 4 tonight.

I can’t say much for the other games he has played this year as I am not a Ark State fan.

I can say that I watched him loaf around the Super Pit tonight and look all kinds of garbage.

For serious, guys. Arkansas State has some big dudes. Four guys are near 250lbs and 6’7″-plus. Theoretically they should clog up the lane and make it difficult for Josh White and the rest of our perimeter-oriented team to score. Instead, North Texas strolled down the middle for easy buckets often. When they tired of that, they strolled down the baseline for equally easy buckets.

It wasn’t even like they had their focus on the 3-point line and got burned. No, Dominique cashed five treys en route to his 21 points.

They got hammered at Denver on Friday and did a repeat of that woeful performance tonight. Obviously the cannot compete with the ‘Belt elite on the road.

Unfortunately, that isn’t saying much considering both North Texas’conference losses came to two very-middle-of-the-pack Sunbelt East teams.

We know we can dominate teams in Denton yet we have difficulties away from the friendly confines of the Pit. I am not wrong to not pencil in a win against bottom-dweller ULL on Thursday. We will just have to wait and see even though we put a hurtin’ on them on New Years Day.

The big game is obviously in Denver a week from tonight. How will we handle the altitude plus the road game? If we handle our business in Louisiana then that game will even us up in the loss column at two a piece and give us one more win (7 to 6). Denver loss tonight at Middle Tennessee and doesn’t play until the Saturday matchup with us.

Interesting week ahead of us.

Also …

–There was a good crowd tonight, huh? The attendance was listed at 4856. Sweet.
–Tristan had 16 points and 11 of which came on free throws. Dude just gets to the line every game. Definition of a scorer, dude.
–How ’bout the dude donating 1 million to the athletic department? More awesome. We need to crank out a T. Boone Pickens already to upgrade that M to a B, though.


Who will replace Riley Dodge?

So who do we have to replace Riles? Here, in no particular order, are the guys that are on/will be on the roster: