Charlie Strong is all about recruiting right now.
At least that’s the impression you got if you listened to the new Texas head coach’s ten-minute interview on Jay Mohr Sports Thursday afternoon as Strong brought several questions back to one of the fundamental tasks of a college coach.
The recruiting buzz has been mostly negative in his first few days on the job as three defensive tackles defected from UT’s 2014 pledge class, along with others setting up visits with other schools.
Not to worry, says Strong.
“When you lose a guy, you just can’t control it,” he said to host Jay Mohr, “because someone on the previous staff recruited them, so they develop that relationship.
“There’s a lot of players out there,” he added. “You might lose one or two, but you’re going to gain one or two, also.”
He might lose more than one or two in the days ahead after news broke during Strong’s radio interview that Texas would not bring back player personnel director Patrick Suddes. Mack Brown hired Suddes from Alabama a year ago to reinvigorate UT’s recruiting efforts, and by all accounts had done a very good job at that – especially with the 2015 class.
As Strong tries to put together his coaching staff in time for the Jan. 15 end to the recruiting dead period, he’ll now have to hire someone to handle the newly formed personnel department. Once that staff is in place and the dead period is over, Strong seemed anxious to hit the trail hard.
“Once I get my staff in place we’ll go out and recruit,” he said. “And we’ll get some good recruits, because the University speaks volumes, and the only thing I need to do is just make sure that we get the right fit and get the right players.”
Recruiting hasn’t been the biggest issue at Texas in years. Strong, like Mack ahead of him, will surely get enough talent to compete at a high level simply because of the name recognition of the Texas Longhorns.
What’s been missing has been development, and that’s another point Strong drove home on Thursday.
“At the end of the day I have to go develop players,” he said.
First and foremost is making something of the three quarterbacks that will be on the roster when fall camp opens up- David Ash, Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard. This fall will be four years since the departure of Colt McCoy, and there’s still not a guranteed answer on the roster, though Heard oozes potential.
“You have to develop a quarterback,” Strong said. “The really good teams, they all had an outstanding quarterback … It’s what you have to do. You have to develop that quarterback.”
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