Afternoon Brewsky: Destinee Hooker Wrecks Faces, Other Olympic Longhorns, Kendall Sanders Puts In Work

Horns_bullet_mediumProtect yourself -- Destinee Hooker is across the net. One of the breakout stars of this year's Olympics is former Longhorn volleyball player Destinee Hooker, not just in terms of Texas athletes, but among all Americans in London. It's her first Olympics (and will not be her last), even.

It doesn't take a volleyball aficionado to appreciate her skills -- she's clearly the best hitter on the team, supported by the statistics, which have her as the top scorer on Team USA throughout the first three contests, which included a big-time victory over second-ranked Brazil, which defeated the Americans in Beijing.

Against China, it was impressive seeing Hooker dominate the proceedings, include several big spikes at the end of the game. When the USA went to the other hitter on the court, she wasn't nearly as powerful or accurate as Hooker. One of the spikes ended poorly for a Chinese player, as the rocket off Hooker's hand didn't give her opponent time enough to react, hitting her in the face.

USA Women's Volleyball Facial (via juroch1984)

So yeah, sometimes when Destinee Hooker spikes it at you, all you can do is try to protect yourself. If that, even. Respek. /snaps fingers

Horns_bullet_mediumKendall Sanders putting in extra work. One of the biggest late additions to the 2012 Texas recruiting class was Athens athlete Kendall Sanders, a jack-of-all-trades for his high school who many believe could be an elite-level defensive back prospect.

Instead, Sanders will use his explosive athleticism on the offensive side of the ball. A little rough around the edges, Eric Nahlin over at Inside Texas had the inside scoop about what Sanders is doing right now to get prepared for the start of fall camp.

While many on the team are rightfully taking a break after a grueling summer working with Bennie Wylie in preparation for the 2012 season, Sanders has been making the commute from Athens to Dallas in order to train with David Robinson, a former DeSoto and Dallas Kimball wide receiver who was a track star in high school (10.5 100m) and went on to play football at Oklahoma.

Robinson offered his insights on Sanders, his work with him, and the potential upside for the electric playmaker. In particular, Robinson has been working with Sanders on his route-running:

He definitely has the tools, but he has a way to go until he's really ready. We've been working on his routes, about what leg he needs to cut off of depending on the route and keeping his hands moving as he breaks his route off to keep his acceleration up. A lot of times a young receiver will drop his hands and that kills their momentum.

Robinson also spoke with wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt recently, who wasn't aware that Sanders was putting in the extra work:

He didn't know at first but I called him up. He was asking pretty much the same things you are. He was asking what I thought of him and said he wasn't sure what exactly he had in Sanders other than a great athlete. I'll tell you the same thing I told him, this kid is special. I work with NFL players and a lot of college kids and this kid is a first or second round talent. I told Wyatt he has something special on his hands.

Like Texas fans who fell in love with Sanders on film and were distraught with the lack of early Texas interest in him before some attrition thinned out the numbers at wide receiver, Robinson seems to be a believer in Sanders after working with him for several days:

Once he learns to be a complete receiver and learn to beat press and do all the little things that go into having an all around game he'll be unstoppable. His hands are really nice too. He doesn't fight the ball at all. And he wants it. He wants to be perfect. If he messes up he's really hard on himself.

Hard work + sick athleticism should be a good combination for Sanders as a Longhorn. Look for Bryan Harsin to find some plays to get Sanders the ball in space this fall to showcase his speed. How fast is Sanders? Robinson said that he clocked him at 4.34 in the 40 during their work.

Horns_bullet_mediumFreeman, Watkins approved for offers. The DB picture for Texas started to come a bit more in focus on Thursday with the news that new of the top defensive backs in the state were offered:

Lewisville Hebron's Jamal Adams and Beaumon Ozen's Tony Brown have both already been approved for offers, so they appear to be the top targets also on the board for Texas. It actually appears that the Longhorns have officially offered both players in a major change of strategy for the Longhorns in response to increased early recruiting efforts by other schools carpet-bombing the state.

The Longhorns also picked up a commitment from Abilene Cooper wide receiver Lorenzo Joe today. More on that in a minute.

Horns_bullet_mediumKD Trey in action. After leading the American squad in scoring during the World Championship in 2010, lifetime Longhorn Kevin Durant is off to a fast start in his first Olympics, scoring 22 points in a victory over France earlier in the week and then pitching in 13 in a route of Tunisia on Tuesday.

Along with the rest of Team USA, Durantula will be in action against Nigeria at 4:15 CST on Thursday. Maybe after the game, a Nigerian player will ask KD for an autograph like the dude from Tunisia did with Kobe Bryant two days ago. I believe that's now referred to as "Pulling a Tashard Choice."

Horns_bullet_mediumMack's message to Marquise. Mack Brown took the opportunity on Thursday to post a video for long jumper Marquise Goodwin as he prepares to compete on Friday:

From Mack to Marquise [Aug. 2, 2012] (via TexasLonghornsVideo)

Goodwin will jump in the opening qualifying rounds on Friday starting at 1:50 pm CST.

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