Tom Herman’s in a good mood these days.
When he was asked if it made him a little nervous that he was being so complimentary about how his Texas team has performed in the first five days of practice, the new Longhorns coach sheepishly said, “Yeah.”
But then he added, “I don’t know if I’m ever happy, though. That’s exaggerated. I’m proud of the guys.”
He sure seems satisfied with the developments of this first week, including Friday’s morning practice when the players worked out in full pads for the first time.
Offensive tackle Connor Williams and nickel back P.J. Locke III talked about how physical the practice was and the great strides the team has taken since the spring.
“It’s crazy how much stronger we are,” Williams said. “Crazy how much more durable we are.”
Herman and his staff will be able to measure that progress in the team’s first full-scale scrimmage on Saturday; they will pit the ones versus the ones, something Texas didn’t do in the spring game. They’ll go at it for a couple of hours at Royal-Memorial Stadium, but the session will be closed to the public and the media.
As for some observations from Friday’s practice that we were allowed to watch for about an hour:
1. Locke, weighing in at 212 pounds, looks totally ripped.
2. Wide receiver Lil’ Jordan Humphrey looks vastly improved.
3. Quarterback Shane Buechele has really filled out his frame.
4. The running backs will be heavily involved in the passing game. Herman said the running backs’ hands “are good, not great,” but they dropped very few passes.
And while Herman’s smiling a lot these days, he loves he’s got four more weeks before the opener against Maryland.
“I’m glad we don’t play tomorrow,” he said. “We’re not a finished product by any stretch.”