Texas connection could continue

Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 1:31am

Could the University of Texas connections continue with the Tennessee Titans?

The Titans have already found success by drafting former Longhorns quarterback Vince Young two years ago and snagging tight end Bo Scaife the year before that.

Now, a pair of other Longhorns prospects could be of interest — running back Jamaal Charles and receiver Limas Sweed — to the Titans.

The Titans are interested enough in Charles to host him for a visit April 16-17, according to his agent Justin Schulman, while talk continues among draft experts and some Titans fans that Sweed could be a good fit for Young, since there is familiarity with each other from their University of Texas days.

Charles, 6-1, 205, had rushed for more than 800 yards in both his freshman and sophomore years while splitting time at running back for the Longhorns. He then became a workhorse back as a junior and responded with 1,619 yards and 18 touchdowns on 258 carries.

Despite the presence of 1,100-yard rusher LenDale White on the roster, the Titans are expected to look at running backs seriously in the draft, after having lost White’s running mate Chris Brown to the Houston Texans in free agency.

Charles possesses the type of home run speed the Titans covet at the skill position, as the former track athlete ran a 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

That was still slower than running backs Chris Johnson of East Carolina and Darren McFadden of Arkansas, but plenty fast to be an explosive NFL running back.

As for Sweed, his best season came in 2006, the year after the Titans drafted Young. In Sweed’s junior season, he caught 46 passes for 801 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a senior, Sweed caught just 19 passes and played in only six games because of a wrist injury, something he will have to show NFL scouts he has recovered from in order not to see his draft stock fall.

Sweed, 6-5, 219, caught 59 passes during his first two seasons in Austin while Young was Texas’ starting quarterback.

“It would be a great thing to be reunited with Vince. I’m just happy right now to be in a position to be drafted by anybody. Wherever I go, I’ll be happy,” Sweed said at the NFL Combine in February.

ISSUES: Speaking of the draft, Pro Football Weekly reported that two of the top prospects in this year’s draft have failed marijuana tests while in college.

The two players, cornerback Aqib Talib of Kansas and wide receiver Mario Manningham of Michigan, have both admitted to failing drug tests while in college, according to the report.

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By: jwk6179 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Vince Young will never be the type of Pro QB he is capable of being if the Titans only DRAFT and SIGN his former Texas teamates. I thought Rick Patino showed that you can't have success on the next level if you only DRAFT and SIGN your former players and team mates. I suggest the Titans look at several over teams and players before they use another #1 draft pick on a LONGHORN!!!

By: carpbeatch on 12/31/69 at 6:00

What are you talking about? Sweed is considered by some draft "experts" as the best receiver in this class if he's healthy. If the guys are good enough I don't care if they draft every Longhorn possible. Pitino was just getting guys he was familiar with regardless of if they could play at that level or not. I think Bo Scaife and Ahmard Hall both have shown they can play.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I agree carpbeatch, I don't care what college they come from as long as they are great players. And yes, Scaife and Hall are very good players.

By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I would worry more about Fisher's current and former penchant toward his alma mater, or drafting the disastrous "tru playa f'rill" Pac.

By: nashbeck on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I want jamaal charles. This guy is a play-maker, and could be a punt/kickoff returner, eventhough I hope pacaman stays. He is also the change of speed we need from Lendale's bruising running style. I hope Sweed falls to us in the 2nd round, he is very good as well. Draft Red Bryant, the dtackle out of A&M, in the 3rd to compliment Haynesworth.