Texas fans love up-to-the-second updates, but after Monday’s first practice, coach Tom Herman declared, “Nobody impressed, nobody disappointed in shorts.”
Herman has been adamant that it’s hard to tell anything about anybody without pads. Thanks to the NCAA’s elimination of two-a-day workouts, teams will now ease into training camp. Junction, it’s not.
For Texas, that means players will wear shorts and shirts on Monday and Tuesday, add shoulder pads on Wednesday and Thursday and then full pads on Friday. The Longhorns will have a scrimmage on Saturday that will be closed to outsiders.
Best to take things at an appropriate pace. After all, the season opener against Maryland (Sept. 2) is still more than a month away.
“The training camp, from sun up to sun down, for 4 1/2 weeks, that can get a little cumbersome and monotonous,” Herman said. “So we’ll find ways to break it up. It is something that we have to be very mindful of because it is so different from what we’re used to.”
Reactions to the elimination of two-a-days has been mixed across the country. The NCAA stresses an increased awareness on player safety. Every team is allowed 29 preseason practices. How a team gets there is up to the coach.
“Maybe other places are going two, two-hour full padded practices, I don’t know,” Herman said. “Twenty-nine practices is 29 practices. I think, though, if we’re going to stick with this model, then kids reporting on July 30, that’s a little crazy to me.
“I think we should nationally cut practices down to 26 or 25,” he added. “Not only does it alter our scheduling, but it alters our summer training program.”
The only two Longhorns who missed the opening workout were expected to be absent. Transfer defensive lineman Jamari Chisholm and receiver Damion Miller are both still addressing academic issues, Herman said.
Asked if Miller could still enroll and have an impact this season, Herman said, “I”m never optimistic when it’s this late into the summer. I’ve never seen a guy come in this late and contribute in year one, usually year two. You’ve missed a whole indoctrination into a summer training program and the winter offseason will be the first time he’s full-time conditioning and training. It’ll be tough.”
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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