Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a truly incredible signal-caller. But if former Texas coach Mack Brown could have gotten his way, Mahomes would have been on the other side of the ball in Austin.
Not to pile on Mack Brown, but Pat Mahomes said the former Longhorns' coach wanted Patrick Mahomes as a safety. (cont.)— Don Williams (@AJ_DonWilliams) January 3, 2017
Pat Mahomes: "I told 'em, 'That lets me know they don't watch film, because that boy ain't tackled nobody in two years.'"— Don Williams (@AJ_DonWilliams) January 3, 2017
Texas didn’t offer the 3-star QB out of Whitehouse, Texas, and he committed to the Red Raiders in April of 2013. Mahomes is now headed to the NFL after a stellar final season in Lubbock. He threw for over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns.
The crux of this is twofold as it pertains to Brown.
First, as his tenure was coming to a close in 2013, two of Texas’ in-state rivals saw their QBs win Heisman trophies: Baylor’s Robert Griffin III in 2011, and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel in 2012.
Second, a lack of being able to get any player worthwhile under center besides Colt McCoy in the post-Vince Young era was perplexing. Texas is a hotbed of college talent, and the Longhorns should always have the pick of the litter at all positions. While Texas didn’t formally offer Manziel, Will Muschamp did say they considered him as a DB.
Texas never offered Johnny Manziel a scholarship. A source involved in that recruitment says concerns about Manziel's character were the chief issue, but then-assistant Duane Akina pushed hard to convince the staff the longtime Texas fan was worth an offer. A year later, former UT defensive coordinator Will Muschamp declared the Texas staff had considered Manziel a future safety.
As for Griffin, Brown did reportedly want him on offense, but he didn’t want him as a QB. Instead, he wanted him as a receiver. Texas also missed on other talented QBs during the recruiting cycles around the time like Jameis Winston and Andrew Luck (whose father went to UT’s law school). And it even goes deeper than that.
From 2005 to 2012, more than 180 quarterbacks from the state of Texas signed with Football Bowl Subdivision schools. The 2013 class will push that number to at least 204.
You'll recognize a few of the names in that group.
Andy Dalton. Matthew Stafford. Christian Ponder. Then there are the rookies: Griffin, Luck, Ryan Tannehill and Nick Foles. They're all NFL starting quarterbacks. Only Stafford and Griffin were offered by UT.
As far as the safeties on the roster during Brown’s tenure, Texas had some absolute bangers at the position.
Michael Griffin, Adrian Phillips, Earl Thomas, Mykkele Thompson, Kenny Vaccaro, and Aaron Williams each starred in Austin and are on NFL rosters to this day. The players Texas had at the position were talented, but we’ll always joke about the ones Brown tried and failed to stick in his defensive backfield.