Take Two: Rosen sounds off, Texas counting on newcomers on offense

Take Two: Rosen sounds off, Texas counting on newcomers on offense

Take Two is back this week tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape.

National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from wholesale jerseys National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the network of team sites.

SHOULD ROSEN KEEP QUIET?

Storyline: UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is uber-talented and is lining up to be a surefire first-round draft pick after two more seasons. The kid can play.

He can also ruffle feathers. Like when he wore a F&!K Trump hat to Donald Trump’s golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., last month. Or when he went to social media to rip college amateurism rules after UCLA signed a $280 million deal this week with Under Armour, the biggest in NCAA history. Of that, Rosen and his fellow student-athletes at UCLA won’t see a penny.

Last year as a freshman, Rosen was pictured with a girl in a hot tub – in his dorm room. UCLA notified the media the hot tub has since been removed.

The former five-star quarterback from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco is young, having fun and speaks his mind. But is it in his best interest for the long term? Should Rosen say what he wants or should the UCLA quarterback consider toning it down so he doesn’t turn off NFL scouts and executives who are watching every move?

On the Rich Eisen Show recently, UCLA coach Jim Mora heaped tremendous praise on Rosen but also said he has asked Rosen if he wants to be more like Johnny Manziel or Tom Brady . The implication is clear. Maybe Rosen should tone it down.

First take: “Josh Rosen is probably the most intelligent recruit/freshman I’ve been around in my time covering UCLA. He was the first person to ever graduate early from St. John Bosco, and I’d bet his IQ puts him in a pretty good national percentile. So with that being said, I think he’s earned the right to speak out on controversial subjects. He’s educated and informed, and if he has an opinion that he believes is worth sharing, then he should go ahead and do it. As long as it’s not affecting his play or his teammates, I don’t see why anybody should have an issue with statements he makes on his personal Instagram page.”

Second take: “I know everything gets scrutinized at the NFL level and I’m always one to say, ‘Don’t be stupid.’ When I see the Laremy Tunsil situation come out, Byron Cowart get busted at Auburn and Cameron Robinson recently hit with felony charges, that’s stuff the NFL really gets scared about. An outspoken, brash, cocky quarterback? I don’t think they worry about that as long as he has the talent to back it up. The big fear is that Josh Rosen is Jeff George — an ultra-talented kid with every skill you’d ever want but is just a jerk. I don’t get that impression. Through the recruiting process that turned off Stanford and they didn’t offer him, I just think he has that ‘it’ factor about him where NFL GMs are going to gravitate toward.”

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COULD TEXAS SURPRISE?

Storyline: Freshman quarterback Shane Buechele has been described as the “main man” at Texas and the “solution” to the Longhorns’ quarterback issues according to various media reports.

Third-year coach Charlie Strong better hope so.

Strong is on the hot seat in Austin. He’s hired a new offensive coordinator, Sterlin Gilbert from Tulsa, to figure out how to produce more than just 1,751 passing yards and nine passing touchdowns like last season.

For a coach looking for more time, a freshman quarterback coupled with a new offensive coordinator doesn’t seem like the best –- or quickest — fix. But it could also be like hitting gold, a fresh start on both fronts that could reap great rewards.

Some prognosticators have Texas as one of the surprise teams in college football this season. Strong needs that to happen. Winning will help recruiting and then the Longhorns could be off to the races.

It has to happen now, though, or Texas could be looking for someone else to kick-start this thing. Someone else might be the “solution.”

First take: “We really won’t know for sure until the team hits the field in the fall, but it does have a feel that Charlie Strong and Texas may have finally found an effective combination in first-year offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele. For the first time in a while, Texas will run an innovative, up-tempo offense. And in Buechele, the Longhorns finally may have solved their quarterback problems that have plagued the program for years. If things go well this year and Texas can stockpile some wins, I can certainly see a scenario where Texas begins to haul in top national recruiting classes on a regular basis. Then again, if the offense struggles – and that’s always a possibility with a new OC and true freshman QB – it could punch Strong’s ticket out of Austin.”

Second take: “It’s a new offensive coordinator and a freshman quarterback and Strong is hitching his wagon to that. That’s really scary. In this day and age, you can have a freshman quarterback have success and build on that success. But can you do it on the hot seat? Can it happen? Yes. But are the percentages there that it’s likely to happen? I don’t know of too many examples.”

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