DALLAS – Charlie Strong has named his starting quarterback – for the first practice.
When Texas opens training camp Aug. 7, incumbent Tyrone Swoopes will take the first snaps with the No. 1 offense, but Strong was quick to note Tuesday that he has not closed the competition involving redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard.
At Big 12 media days, Strong said he’s “not going to play musical chairs” with his two quarterbacks, which appears to be an acknowledgement Swoopes holds the edge.
“Somebody’s got to be in charge, ” Strong said. “Swoopes will be in charge because he’s played a lot. Somebody’s got to take the snap, and he’s going to take it.”
Spring ended in a near-draw, as neither quarterback took the lead after 15 practices.
Defending Patterson: Strong took up for his embattled Athletic Director Steve Patterson, whose impersonal management approach has made him a target of criticism from fans and boosters. New UT President Gregory L. Fenves has had multiple meetings with Patterson about the issue.
“Steve has been great for me, ” Strong said. “Everything I’ve asked for, he’s done it for me and done an unbelievable job. There’s always some type of drama going on, but we have to understand this is his (second) year into it. We saw what an unbelievable job DeLoss Dodds did, and Steve will do the same.”
Strong did say, however, that Patterson did not consult him before firing long-time football sports information director John Bianco last month. Strong was close to Bianco and said he was the best SID he has worked with.
That’s a rap: Daje Johnson’s hip-hop career is over for now.
After Strong caught wind that Johnson had released a song called “Dealer” about drug trafficking, he phoned the oft-troubled wide receiver and ordered him to remove the song from his Twitter account.
“He apologized, and we got that straightened out right away, ” Strong said.
Ill-fated rhymes aside, Johnson has been a coach’s dream since returning from a four-game suspension to start last season, Strong said.
“Daje has come a million miles, ” Strong said. “He has not been an issue for us.”
Strong couldn’t review Johnson’s lyrical skills, as he did not listen to the song. But he had a good idea of its quality.
“I told him, “‘Who would even buy that record?'”
Short yards: Strong is planning to follow a national trend and schedule a series of satellite camps throughout the country next summer. The camps have been controversial, as they are off limits to the SEC and ACC…. Strong said three incoming recruits – wide receiver Gilbert Johnson, offensive tackle Ronnie Major and tight end Devonaire Clarington – have some work to do academically before they qualify…. Strong said linebacker Malik Jefferson has beefed up from 217 to 240 pounds…. The coach said the addition of Australian punter Michael Dickson is not yet official.
Contact Ryan Autullo at 512-445-3958.