Football

Texas notebook: Horns assistants update their titles but are expected to stay put in 2019

Posted February 6th, 2019

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This fall, the names of Texas’ assistant coaches will remain the same. But their titles will change.

Texas coach Tom Herman on Wednesday said safeties coach Craig Naivar has been promoted to co-defensive coordinator, and tight ends coach Derek Warehime will pick up Naivar’s special teams coordinator duties.

Naivar has worked with Herman in some capacity for 11 years. In 2017, he coached Thorpe Award finalist DeShon Elliott. Last fall, freshman safety Caden Sterns blossomed under his tutelage.

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On Wednesday, Herman praised the work of receivers coach Drew Mehringer on the recruiting trail. He also said he expects to retain all 10 of his assistants. Herman did acknowledge that job opportunities may present themselves to his assistants in the coming months, but he’s not currently aware of any such situations.

Since his arrival in Austin ahead of the 2017 season, Herman has not had any turnover on his coaching staff. The NCAA allowed the addition of a 10th assistant last offseason, so Auburn’s Herb Hand was hired to coach UT’s offensive linemen.

“It’s really important to have the same offensive system, the same defensive system, the same position coach,” Herman said. “If you’re a true junior and you come out early and you’ve had the same position coach and the same coordinator your entire career at Texas, and we’re proud of that. Very proud of that.”

Texas guard Patrick Hudson looks on as the Longhorns run through drills during a practice on Aug. 2, 2018. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Hudson stepping away: Offensive lineman Patrick Hudson is not with the football program, Herman said. Hudson is “is currently taking some time away from the team just to kind of figure out what he wants to do moving forward and weigh all of his options.” Herman left open the possibility of Hudson returning to the team.

The 6-5, 330-pound lineman has appeared in only two games over his three years at Texas. This past year he was rushed to a hospital after suffering a heat-related illness during an early-season practice. Hudson redshirted in 2016 and then sustained a knee injury in the second game of UT’s 2017 campaign.

On Wednesday, Herman also provided updates on a few injured Longhorns. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger (shoulder), receivers Collin Johnson (knee) and Joshua Moore (shoulder), defensive lineman Marqez Bimage (shoulder) and early-enrollee linebacker Caleb Johnson (shoulder) are expected to be cleared when UT begins practicing next month. Some of those players will be limited during winter conditioning.

Dates to remember: Herman said the first spring practice is scheduled for March 11. It had previously been announced that the Orange-White spring game will he played on April 13.

Additionally, UT’s pro day is set for March 27. That will be a chance for tight end Andrew Beck and defensive tackle Chris Nelson to showcase their skills in front of NFL scouts. Herman opined that those two seniors should have been invited to the NFL’s scouting combine. The Longhorns will still be represented at the combine by Kris Boyd, Davante Davis, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Gary Johnson and Charles Omenihu.

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