We sent five staffers to AT&T Stadium in Arlington for this year’s Big 12 media days — columnists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden and writers Brian Davis, Suzanne Halliburton and Danny Davis. Here are their takeaways from Day 2, which included coaches and players from Texas, Baylor, West Virginia, Kansas State and Iowa State:
Bohls: This year’s media days were more like media daze
Big 12 media days came and went, but nary a grenade was thrown. The two days of interviews with 10 head coaches and 40 players produced little explosive material and truthfully came off very tepid.
Of course, only two teams — Texas and Kansas State — brought their quarterbacks. Kansas’ Les Miles was not on his A game on Monday, and Tom Herman gave thoughtful, solid responses on Tuesday. I’d say Baylor’s polished, articulate, personable Matt Rhule and Kansas State’s humble, affable Chris Klieman were the stars of the week, and Sam Ehlinger drew the biggest crowd of all.
Brian Davis: To pee or not to pee, that is the question
Credit Tom Herman with never giving an inch on what he believes is critical to winning. Remember the hydration chart from his first season? Those with clear urine were properly hydrated, and those with dark yellow were “bad guys.” The Longhorns are getting tested still today.
“I set my alarm at 3:15 every morning and go pee,” safety Brandon Jones said. “Drink two water bottles and go back to sleep. When I wake up, I hold that pee in until I get there, and then I go (to the bathroom). I figured it out.”
How easy is it to drink two bottles of water at 3:15 in the morning? “Whew, that first one goes down like a charm,” Jones said. “That second one, I struggle with that second one, I’m not going to lie to you.”
Danny Davis: That’s music to UT fans’ ears
It appears that when it comes to music, Texas has talent. Longhorns defensive lineman Malcolm Roach revealed on Tuesday that he both raps and sings, and he says he’s also impressed with the rapping skills of teammates Chris Brown and Jacoby Jones.
Roach began rapping in high school and enjoys working in the studio with senior D’Andre Christmas-Giles. Roach teased that his album may be released before the season starts, but he said something else that may be music to the ears of UT fans. When asked about this upcoming season, Roach said the “defense is going to play hard every game, every snap.”
Golden: Sam’s the man, and a smart, poised, maturing one at that
The sheer star power of Sam Ehlinger shined through on Tuesday. A reported 54 media personnel surrounded him around during his afternoon breakout session of interviews.
Good for Sam that he took the high road when asked about Terry Bradshaw and Baker Mayfield making disparaging remarks about him this summer, terming the haterade as “irrelevant.”
The Ehlinger I know is smart enough to not say what I know he must have been thinking when those stories came out. That’s called maturity.
He’s handled himself well over the last couple of offseasons and seems poised for yet another solid campaign, assuming he stays healthy. I’m not ready to proclaim that Texas is back like he did after the Sugar Bowl, but the Horns definitely have the right man behind center.
Halliburton: Rebuilding Baylor means rebuilding all of Baylor
This is Matt Rhule’s third time attending Big 12 media days after taking on the program as a character reclamation project. And each time the Baylor coach has talked to the media before preseason training camp begins, he always touts his team’s academic credentials and commitment to community service.
That stuff does matter, especially after the program was rocked by a sexual assault scandal that forced out former coach Art Briles in 2016. It’s also good PR. So if you’re wondering, four of the five Baylor players brought to media day already have graduated. Four did mission trips to South Africa. The team completed 839 hours of community service. It all helps with winning more games.