By 'Chance', Will NFL Consider 'Mock'?

Photo: Will Gallagher/Inside Texas

Senior quarterback Chance Mock could have started at virtually any Division-I program in the country. Instead, the former high school All-American from the Houston area spent the better part of the past two seasons on the bench watching the <I>other</I> former high school All-American from the Houston area directing the Longhorns to another January bowl game.

Mock will have the, well, chance to impress NFL scouts when he plays in the Gridiron Classic College All-Star Game at The Villages, Florida this Saturday, 10 a.m. (CST) in an ESPN2 telecast. Players are spending this week in Orlando preparing for the game, where they are practicing in front of scouts from 32 NFL teams. Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer and Ohio State's Jim Tressel are coaches in a North versus South format, while coaches from the NFL Europe will serve as the assistants for the game.

"The bowl game will be really good for him in that it will give him an opportunity to be seen by the scouts," Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis said. "He's been so impressive in that he's helped Vince so much, probably more than anybody. And he's not been angry about Vince's playing."

Texas, of course, re-invented itself offensively midway through the 2003 season. A program that had set new school records for passing yards during Brown's first five seasons but struggled to a 4-2 mark suddenly transitioned to a devastating rushing attack predicated upon inside zone running plays. By the end of the 2004 regular season, Young was 17-2 as the starting quarterback, establishing the RS-sophomore as the ninth-leading signal caller in program history.

Mock's support of Young was "critical" to the team's success, Davis said.

"Especially at that position," Davis added, "because it permeates through your team. His attitude as a senior and his support of Vince has been a big part of our overall chemistry. This team has really worked hard and has been a real fun group to be with."

Mock's season's totals, 79 yards on 9-of-21 passing, would amount to about two quarters work for Young.

"One thing (Mock) understands is that we didn't change because of him," head coach Mack Brown said. "We changed because we weren't stopping the run and we weren't protecting the passer. It was a decision that I made that was very unfortunate for him because he'd be starting in most places in the country."

Slowed by an ankle injury during the first week of August camp, Mock saw very limited action during the first half of the 2004 campaign. His most extensive action this past season was when he came off the bench against Missouri to spell Young, who suffered both a bruised sternum and his poorest showing of the year. Mock was just 4-of-10 for 39 yards against the Tigers' league-leading defense but engineered a seven-play scoring drive in the fourth quarter to seal the 28-20 win. The key play on that 71-yard march was Mock's 10-yard slant pass to SE Limas Sweed.

"In the Missouri game, he had the real slow start but he came out of that," Brown said. "He's been a dream as a leader."

Orangebloods will always remember Mock for The Drive in which the selfless signal caller was summoned to rescue the 2003 season on a mid-November night. With little more than two minutes remaining in a seesaw contest against Texas Tech, the high-flying Red Raiders had erased a double-digit Longhorn lead to stake a 40-35 advantage. Mock rode the bench during the entire ball game until Longhorn coaches gave him the nod to take the field with 2:03 remaining. Staring at 86 yards of real estate, Mock started the march with a 54-yard toss to SE Roy Williams. Three plays later, Mock hooked up with SE Sloan Thomas for 10 more yards. The backup then sprinted left for another 11 yards to put the Longhorns within striking distance. Snapping the ball from the nine yard line and just 46 seconds left, Mock found B.J. Johnson in the corner of the end zone on a go-route to give Texas the two-point lead. Mock then slashed across the goal line to cap the seven drive-play drive with a successful two-point conversion run.

"I really hope Chance will get an NFL Camp because of the way he played last year," Brown said.

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